As Mac’s eyes grew accustomed to the light he could see activity by the guardhouse. A group of boiler suits were standing around smoking and smirking. One or two of them were laughing at something that someone else had said and before he knew what he was doing Mac had stood up and wobbled over to them.
‘What’s happening?’ he asked in a broken voice. The group stopped talking and for a split second it looked like they were going to take turns beating Mac to death. He stood as tall as he could in his ragged pinstripe suit and broken brogues.
‘Nothing, Grandpa,’ said one of the thugs. ‘That’s what we are laughing about. It is all over.’
Mac didn’t understood.
‘What’s all over?’ he asked. The thug leaned close to Mac and spoke very slowly.
‘Congratulations,’ he sneered. ‘Thanks to you and all of your learned friends there is now not a single, solitary book of any description left in the country.’