Elementary Novels

Joey’s Luck by John Escott

Everything happens at the beginning of the twentieth century. Joey arrives in London from Ireland in January. January is a cold and windy month in England. Still he does not even have a place to stay. Joey thinks it is not too important. After all, luck will help him. Thanks to his luck, he will find a cozy and inexpensive room where he will rest after the road. Soon he will become a rich man, thanks to his good luck. After all, the real rich men always get lucky. He goes for a walk around the city and after a while finds a room. It is small, but very cheap. The young man likes it. From the window there is a beautiful view of the Tower Bridge. The guy does not have much time to find a job and pay for the next week. But Joey is sure that luck will not fail this time.

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Joey’s Luck by John Escott

Joey Kerrigan arrived in London in January 1912. He did not have a place to stay.

‘It doesn’t matter,’ he thought, smiling. ‘Joey’s luck is going to find me a room.’

Joey's Luck by John Escott

Joey thought a lot about luck. ‘One day I’m going to be rich,’ he told everybody. ‘Lucky people get rich, and I’m lucky.’

After a lot of walking, he found a room in a house. It was near Tower Bridge. The room wasn’t very big but it was cheap. The landlord’s name was Mr Webber. He looked Joey up and down.

‘What’s your name?’ he said. ‘Where are you from?’

‘Joe. Joe… Smith,’ Joe said. ‘I’m from Ireland.’

‘Well, you can have the room,’ Webber said, ‘but I want two weeks’ money now.’

‘I’ve only got one week’s money,’ Joey said.

‘And tomorrow’s Sunday,’ Webber said. ‘You can’t find work on a Sunday. So when can you give me the second week’s money?’

Joey smiled with his mouth but not his eyes. ‘I can find work,’ he said. ‘I’m lucky. Good things happen to me. It’s called Joey’s luck.’

On Sunday, Joey stayed in bed all morning and in the afternoon, he went for a walk. After an hour, he took a bag from a woman in Fleet Street.

The woman shouted, ‘Stop! Stop!’

But Joey was now fifty metres away, and there were no other people near.

Joey laughed and ran down a little street, then between two tall buildings down to the river.

He stopped and opened the bag. There was some money in it, but not very much. He took the money out, then put the bag into the river.

Later that day, he walked past a bookshop. There were lots of people there, looking at books, and Joey moved carefully between them. For a second he stood behind a fat man, then moved quietly away. The man did not feel Joey’s hand in his back pocket, but the man’s wallet was now inside Joey’s shirt.

It was a big, fat wallet, and when he got back to the house, he gave the landlord the second week’s money for the room.

‘You found work on a Sunday?’ Webber said. ‘Where? Who with?’…

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