*Phew* the same barman was working the Cactus bar as had been the night before, when my Dieppe travel buddies and I had been enjoying a poorly thought-through tequila moment.
"Excusez-moi monsieur," - I was nailing my A Level French by this point in my lone wolf adventure - "I was here last night with my friends, do you remember me?" Thankfully, there weren't many other obnoxious British tourists in town, so we were tattooed on his memory. "Have you seen my friends tonight?" I asked.
Well that's it, I thought. I'm buggered. I might aswell go back to the house one more time before I settle in here until he kicks me out at closing time and, who knows, I may have to offer him free English lessons in return for board and lodgings at his place.
And this is where we started in part 1 of this story: Back once more at the house, I peered in through the kitchen window, straining my eyes for signs that the others had been back ... I gave the window a gentle shove ... One hard push and they swung inwards. "Well, that just happened" I thought, and with a furtive sideways glance I climbed onto the sill and swung my legs inside.
YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! Ecstatic with joy and relief flooding my system, I did what anyone would do and ate half a box of granola.
Once consumed, I settled down to write the others a note. If they came back and I'd gone to bed, they had no way of knowing that I was safe.
'Guys, I'm inside! Man, what a faff... I guess fancydress night is off?!' Then as an afterthought, as I knew what B10's next worry would be upon seeing this note, I scribbled another:
'PS. Don't worry, I didn't break a window...' And just as I opened it again to put both notes out on the sill, I heard, "Oh thank god, there you are!" as B10 came around the corner of the street.
The reunion was unemotional, but the relief was palpable as we debriefed on the past 5 hours. The others, largely due to the conviction of The Raver, had thought I'd never get on the train back to Dieppe by myself, so had hung around in Rouen trying to find me.
The search party activity had included showing passers by in Rouen a picture of me on an iPhone with the word 'MISSING' next to my face, which had been knocked up on the move by B10.
And all the while Feral Beryl had been adventuring, using initiative, language skills and adding 'breaking and entering' to a growing list of travel accomplishments.