At Pskov Passenger Vokzal, our heroes waited with the sad crowd in the sitting hall for the train. As there was only one train at that time (the next from St Petersburg to Riga was at midnight) it was safe to assume all were going to Moscow. Among the crowd there was a youthful man having an animated and joyful conversation on an old Nokia mobile phone, which he held with difficulty because of the handcuffs he was wearing. Occasionally he made comments to his captors, two large athletic and well-groomed men, sitting opposite. It seemed a contradiction that the only happy man should be a prisoner. Shortly the train hauled by a heavy diesel locomotive pulled into the station. It was still moving when Boris and Timofei made their way to platform 2. Soon carriage 8 appeared, drew level, and went by. They scurried along the platform to where the carriage stopped, and waited. Eventually their tickets and passports were checked and they climbed up a ladder onto the train. Places 005 and 006 were found in kupe 2. They settled in for the journey. Soon they were joined in the compartment by Grigory, an older man, who could have been an artillery officer, and sporting a huge moustache. He occupied place 007. Boris engaged him in conversation in Russian. He was going to Moscow for a holiday. Just before the train departed Pskov, all were joined by agent Katyushka. She was a slim built tall blonde with a pretty face and a charming smile. She introduced herself, and came right out to say she is an agent of the Poultry Production Authority (a euphemism for the Egg Marketing Board), and was responsible for the transportation of chooks (fowls) in the western region. At this point Boris and Timofei started to panic. Had they been found out? Had Katyushka been placed in the compartment to spy on them? After a little polite conversation, our heroes made a tactical move to the restaurant wagon. There they dined on bitter soup and rye bread, and hatched a plan.They would be retired kangaroo farmers on a fact finding mission to the Soviet Union, traveling across Russia and China. (Not too bright! The SU has long gone.). Upon return to the compartment the stories began. They related the story of the huge drought of 2007 where stock were depleted to a new low, and had it not been for weeds growing around a place called The Lodge, their stocks would have been eradicated. Also they told of the menace of drop bears. At this time Grigory had assessed that this was all a load of compost and to the surprise of Boris and Timofei he contributed tales of his own. Was he trying to prove there could be bigger liars in Russia than in Australia?After a discussion of current news events between all, it was agreed that the works of fiction could be ascribed to both sides. While Grigory had a tactical victory, Katyushka was pleased to be invested with the Order of the Koala (and they gave one to Grigory too). After dropping off to sleep, with dreams of kangaroos chasing sheep, all too soon the conductor was banging on the door to advise of impending arrival at Moscow Leningradsky Vokzal. With cups of tea, this event closed. And all said farewell at the station.
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