While working at Galleries Lafayette Dan met Mick Codling who also worked there, and they became fast friends. They talked a lot about what they wanted to do for the next couple of years before settling down, and their plans to travel started to take shape. Mick had gotten himself in a bit of trouble and was wanted by the police in Durum for evading arrest for a traffic violation, so getting out-of-town suited him just fine. Mick moved in with Danny and they diligently saved every penny to speed up their dream of travelling the world. In their zeal to save money they tinkered with the gas meter, tying six pence pieces with some tape so it could be retrieved and used again the next time they needed to feed the meter. When Mrs. Meeks found out what they were doing, they had to find new accommodations in a hurry. They found a place near the Olympia Exhibition where they ended up staying for the next eight months.
Living on his own, miles away from prying eyes and all the rules, Mick introduced Danny to things that were forbidden in his strict upbringing. He started smoking and became quite familiar with alcohol. Meanwhile, Art Skidmore, a respected elder from the church back home sprung a surprise visit on him at his apartment. Art was on vacation in England with his wife Elsie when he knocked on the door of the apartment where Dan and Mick were staying. Imagine the shock when the door was opened and there stood Art. From the hallway it was evident what the boys were up to, but Art didn’t miss a beat, if they wanted to go for lunch, they should be ready in 15 minutes and they would meet them outside on the sidewalk where Elsie was waiting.
This gracious couple took them all around London for two days of sightseeing, excursions and paying for all their meals.
As far as Danny knows, Art never said a word to Elsie about the shape they were in when he surprised them in their apartment, and he never said anything to Danny’s mother either. Quite a testimony for Mick and a gentle reminder to Dan about where he came from! Many years later whenever Danny talked to Art he would remind Danny of that time in London. Art also talked to Mick about the Lord while he was there and Mick made a decision for Christ at that time. Only God knows if it was for real, and if it was, we will see him in heaven.