When Fenella took her coffee with her to the bathroom for a shower, Mr Scratch whispered in Tim's ear: "black, no sugar – I've got to watch my weight and Hippocrates keeps warning me about cholesterol," and sat at the kitchen table, reading some of Tim's mail; he casually asked: "is that car still waiting for you?" which caused Tim to swear and raise the blind, but if there had indeed been a car, it was long gone: "never mind," said the old man: "you'd only have been selling your soul for a mess of pottage, you really should value yourself more highly, I'm sure that better terms could be arranged," and moved behind Tim as Fenella returned, dressed and ready to face life in The Bunker: "do you think you'll still have a job?" asked Tim, uncertain about Fenella's status, but she just laughed: "I'm Civil Service, Tim, Executive Officer, not just an office temp, whether I'll stay in The Bunker will depend on how long I can restrain myself from kicking our new Master in the proverbials, but I'm an old stager, so I've probably got more self-control than you, and if it comes to arm-wrestling, his wanking days will be over – I'll send you a text, don't worry," and pulled him into a clinch, kissed him hard before heading for the door, saying: "don't let Arthur Daley lead you astray," which made Tim turn round to find Mr Scratch comfortably reclining on the sofa with his coffee and pipe: "perceptive lass, young Fenella, she'll go far," he blew a smoke ring and watched it neatly surround the smoke detector as if he were playing Hoop-la; as Tim sat down opposite Mr Scratch, he felt himself compelled to ask: "what were you doing at Ultima Thule?" – and his visitor smiled benevolently, then said: "actually, I was only a passenger on a carrier wave, sort of a stowaway, you might say, if you were so inclined – are you a Moonwalker, Tim?" and Tim's eyes bulged, rather like Eddie Cantor's, at the man's impertinence, as he sat, quietly observing Tim, just as a lab technician might a hamster running ever upward on a revolving wheel, never reaching the end, never progressing, always blindly running – is that how he sees me? Tim wondered, "no, no," said Scratch, although Tim was certain he hadn't spoken his thoughts aloud, "it's not like that at all, you have come on enormously since we first met, why, then you were but a callow youth, seeking to please your Head Mistress – I trust I'm not being ungallant in referring to Mrs Maybe-Maybenot so, is it sexist? surely not racist? forgive me, but while the Bildungsroman of your own maturity may feel to you to be spread over a fair number of pages, I have been at this job for quite a while, and as I get older, time seems to flash by at a giddying pace, so you may be at page 32, but I am – at a guess – somewhere in volume 15 and trying to forget the conventions of, oh, say, Georgian England, or Pre-Columbus America, which were extant just a couple of pages earlier, so if you feel like a hamster, does that make me a Whirling Dervish? oh, I must tell you funny story about that, remind me after you've had your bath, and please forgive the ramblings of a very old man, Tim, it's not me I'm here about, it's you!"