Chapter 185 – Steam Boat Quay

The Optimist docks at Steam Boat Quay, and I disembark onto Broomielaw Street. I walk past Glasgow Bridge to Custom House, a Greek revival building built in 1840 by John Taylor. Here, Custom Agents record all imports and exports, collects duties, and register all ship’s details. This beautifully appointed building is scheduled next year for an internal refurbishment by my neighbour, Alexander.

Merchants and Captains buzz around the building, like bees queueing to enter their hive. They all have a final task to give the State a share of their hard-fought earnings.

I stand for hours waiting for an important arrival. This spot is a perfect place for a retail outlet for all Thompson & French’s creations, and the building next to the Custom House is ideally situated. Fortunately I was made aware it was available for purchase.

I feel a tap on the shoulder, and I turn, finding Mary staring at me.

“I think so too.”, she said, handing me over a key to the building, “Everything is in order, and the refit begins tomorrow.”

“How did you know?” I asked, astonished.

“A lady never reveals her secrets.”, laughed Mary, “Shall we go in?”

We spend the evening in deep conversation about the next chapter of our business adventure. Last week’s horrors are now behind me. Time to move on.

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