The passengers swarmed at the foot of the ferry steps, then formed a queue to leave the boat. Once on the quayside, I realised that I had left my 3 foot tall replica Lewis chessman on the vessel. Fortunately, however, one of the other passengers coming up the ladder was carrying it in their arms.
‘Thank you so much’, I said, lunging forward to take my holiday souvenir from her.
‘Whatever do you mean?’ cried the stranger, hugging the chessman to her chest. ‘This is mine, and not yours.’ It was obvious that it would be pointless arguing with her.
I waited until all the passengers had disembarked, then climbed back down the steps to complain to the CalMac crew about their criminal customers. They were very sympathetic to my plight. As compensation they allowed me to select a souvenir of my choice from the on-board shop. My brand new Lewis chessman was so much smarter than that purloined earlier.