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Tom’s relations didn’t understand why the old lady left him a grandfather clock in her will, but Tom insisted that he really did want it, even though the chimes never did strike at the right times. He even offered to feed anyone who showed up the day it was moved, if only they would lend him a hand so that he didn’t have to waste any time.

So it was moved to Tom’s new flat, where the garden, though tiny, was still full of things that were green and the sounds of children’s laughter.

And that night, it chimed thirteen.