James Stevens entrusted this narrative to me in December 2015, shortly before his death. He was seventy by then, and in the intervening years had created a new life for himself and his late partner, Dorothea ‘Dodo’ Chaplet. After a time spent training investigative journalists, James embraced the world of fiction, which he said was both ‘more satisfying and less unrealistic than reality.’

He and Dodo were co-authors of numerous short stories and a considerable number of novels, though James always credited Dodo with providing all the ideas. Among their more celebrated works was a series of tales for children about a crotchety old man who travels across worlds and time.

During our last conversation, James made me promise to see this manuscript published as written - warts and all. He doubted anyone would believe it, but felt the story had to be told.

I've done as you asked. Farewell, old friend.

David Bishop, April 2016.

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