Marcus twisted and turned in his warm bed. It was Saturday morning, so there was no school today. He looked out of the window. The sun was starting to rise. He crept quietly into the kitchen. He knew his mum would still be sleeping. She worked very hard at a dressmaker in town all week. On Saturday morning she liked a lie-in.

Marcus put the kettle on and just as it boiled his mum walked into the kitchen.

“Good morning, Mum. I hope I didn’t wake you.”

“No,” she smiled. “I see the kettle’s boiling. I’d love a cup of coffee.”

Marcus made the coffee and brought it over.

“Would you like some toast?”

“That would be lovely son,” she smiled at him.

Later that same morning Marcus stood under the shade of a marula tree waiting for his mother. She was in the Standard Bank, sorting out her month-end stop orders. The day was hot and windy. Marcus hated the way the wind blew the dirt into his face. He hopped impatiently from one foot to the other.

The bank was really busy this morning. Lots of customers were standing in line by the ATM machine. Even more people were inside.

Today was a special day for Marcus and his mother. His sister Gertrude was coming from East London for a visit. She was bringing her boyfriend with her to meet the family. Gertrude was hoping to get married next year, with her family’s approval.

Marcus loved Gertrude. She was seven years older than him and was always very good to her brother. Today she had promised him a new soccer ball. She always encouraged him to work really hard at school. Gertrude had been as pleased as his mum when he received his end-of-term report.

“You’ve done really well, little brother. I’m going to buy you the most expensive soccer ball in town! I know how much you love the game.”

Marcus kept on hopping from one foot to the other. He wished his mother would hurry up. He kept thinking about the ball that Gertrude had promised him. Then he saw a red car drive slowly up the street. There were two people inside. It slowed down near the bank and stopped. Marcus noticed that the driver of the car didn’t turn off the engine.

A tall man stepped out of the passenger seat, wearing a hat pulled down low over his eyes. Marcus wondered why the man was wearing a hat with such a wide brim. After all, it was windy and the hat could easily blow off. The man walked quickly across the road and into the bank. He was carrying a hold-all bag in his hand.

The street outside the bank was quiet now. The only sound was the noise of the car’s engine. Marcus wondered why the man didn’t turn it off. The bank was full; his mum would be busy inside for quite a while.

It wasn’t long before the man with the hold-all came sprinting out of the bank. He was nearly at the red car when a gust of wind blew the hat off his head. The hat flew across the street towards Marcus. The man hesitated for a moment, and then came running after his hat.

* **

Tell us what you think: What has Marcus has just witnessed?