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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 79: 12 December

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysThere then occurs something which could have put Passepartout, me and the astrologer out of business in a big way. Our Central Line train from Liverpool Street to Oxford Circus pulls into Tottenham Court Road station. No sooner have the doors slid open than a disembodied warning voice rings round the platform, which I notice with a shock is completely empty.

'Stay on the train! Stay on the train! There is a suspected package at the station. Stay on the train! Do not alight here.'

It's the first time that I've seen the Professor, a veteran traveller and hard man to scare, lose his colour. It drains from his face as I imagine it must be draining from mine. For a frozen moment we are stuck beside an empty platform far below the ground with a 'suspected package'.

We look at each other, the same thought crossing all our minds. After all we've been through. There is a moment's complete silence. Breaths are held. Then, not a moment too soon, the doors swish closed.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 79
  • Date: 12 December
  • Country/sea: England
  • Place: London
  • Book page no: 254

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