You might have thought that booksellers in lonely places would welcome almost any kind of visit. But the range of excuses they come up with when faced with a presidential inspection becomes more and more extraordinary.
Here is the best, or at least the most lurid, so far: “At the moment there is a pile of broken up concrete between the front door and our gates, half the house is bricked up and they are busy knocking down and building up dividing walls on the other side, and windows gape leerily without frames. We are camping in semi-darkness …”.
Needless to say, we shall make a special detour to visit this spectacle – and perhaps use more stealth, guile and cunning in approaching our quarry in future.