'We still do,' said Geoffrey, through a mouthful of chilli heatwave Doritos.
'Yes that's true,' I said, throwing another driftwood log on the fire, 'but I'm sure I read somewhere that two wrongs don't make a right. Mind you, we've never actually sold on anything we've stolen from the tunnels. We always consume it ourselves, taking only that which is sufficient to our needs, plus a bit extra in case of emergencies, late night snacks and so forth. Crates of best brandy and snouts don't count, as brandy is medicine and snouts are treatment for our baccy addiction. And everything else is sustenance. Which makes it kind of not stealing in a way, and therefore okay.'
'Get away!' said Geoffrey, 'The stuff in the tunnels doesn't belong to us. Stealing is stealing. The best you could say about it is, we aren't involved in 'reset'.'
'Maybe if we gave up stealing from the tunnels and just focused on stealing from the food bank that would leave just the one wrong, making it right.'
'That sounds all very well on one level,' said Geoffrey, 'but let's face it, the stuff we get from the tunnels is top notch. Best brandy, Madeira by the barrel, Turkish snouts, reams of silk...'
'Tins of korn bif,' added Tuppence.
'Of course! Crates of the stuff. And it's the real McCoy, not supermarket own brand,' continued Geoffrey. 'Tins of value rice pudding and cheesy pasta are not worth the candle. And remember - the stuff in the tunnels was looted from wrecked ships by the rats. It might not belong to us, but it doesn't really belong to anyone else either. And better that we enjoy it than the rats.'
Tuppence drained his Ribena and set his mug down with a crash. 'Alright. You've convinced me. I kind of feel bad that I ever even thought about stealing from a food bank. Not that it's morally wrong, or that, to steal food from starving people - it just isn't worth it. Part of me will always yearn to be a Victorian-style entrepreneur and I am DETERMINED, determined, mark you, to find a way.'
next time - the Narks offer Tuppence a job as an apprentice toilet cleaner, cleaning the yurt toilets for £3.50 an hour on an 'as required' basis.
*as explained in e-books and paperbacks, at great length