The Small Town Storyteller

by Neil Coghlan

Professor Graham Higgins pushed on through the crowds. Though his new shoes were pinching his feet, he still had a few more book stalls to look at and the market here in the ancient heart of Salisbury would be closing in about fifteen minutes. The winter sun had already dipped below the imposing walls of the Town Hall and the bargain hunters and early Christmas shoppers scampered around in a darkening gloom.

Graham worked in nearby Bristol University and taught a handful of courses centering on Late Middle Age and Renaissance Era Britain and Europe. He loved perusing the book stalls in this haphazardly-organized open-air market in the hope of unearthing some dog-eared treasure on sale for a handful of coins. He liked to compare it to literary gold panning and had a shelf full of nuggets at home to affirm to its potential successes.

He knew most of the sellers here by name and greeted them jovially as he passed along the row of low tables.

“Evening, Bill. Anything new?” he would say to one.

“It’s a cold one today, Alison. Any new stock in?” he would inquire of another.

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