Two young boys, All and Thamby, have just finished the second-term examinations. Now the school is closed for a two-week holiday.
They plan to go to Ali’s aunt’s house which is situated midway between Kuala Lumpur and Seremban beside the old trunk road. It would be a refreshing change in the countryside away from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur city. So with some clothes and belongings in their haversacks, and lugging along a guitar and a camera, they take leave of their parents respectively around noon and soon are on a bus headed toward Seremban.
The bus is packed to capacity, but it is a lovely day and the two friends do not mind standing in the bus for a while.
Presently the bus emerges from the center of the city and after a few stops to let down and take in passengers, Ah and Thamby manage to get two seats at the rear of the bus. They sat down gratefully.
About ten miles out of K.L., the traffic situation petered down to a few vehicles. The air is cooler and the scenery much greener. All and Thamby settle down to enjoy the journey. However just as they are doing so, the bus suddenly lurches violently and the two friends find themselves in a heap on the floor.
All get up first. Though dazed, he looks around and finds that all the other passengers have been thrown off their seats. Some of them have cuts and bruises on their bodies. He can hear a baby cry among the moans and groans of the grown-ups. All realises they are involved in an accident! After a few moments, Thamby too rises to his feet. Other than a few bruises, the two friends find that they are relatively unhurt. When their senses have cleared sufficiently, the two friends quickly get to the other passengers and help them off the bus. Only when the last passenger has been helped off the bus do they realize that the bus has knocked into a stationary lorry parked inconsiderately beside the road. The front portion of the bus and the rear portion of the lorry are badly damaged but to everybody’s relief, there is no fatality. Most of the passengers have cuts and bruises. The bus driver is worst off; he has a broken leg.
As the bus and lorry are obstructing traffic, All gets down to the task of directing traffic while Thamby tries to flag down passing vehicles to take the casualties to hospital. Presently they manage to perform their tasks and by that time the police and ambulances have arrived to take care of things.
After the casualties have been sent off to the hospital, Ali and Thamby re-enter the bus to retrieve their belongings. Alas, the guitar is smashed up beyond repair. They manage to recover the rest of their belongings intact. Just as they are about to leave the bus they spot a lady’s handbag under a seat. All picks it up and hands it over to the police who thank them for their help and jot down the two friends’ names and addresses.
All and Thamby continue on their journey by foot as Ali’s aunt’s house is only a couple of miles from the scene of the accident. When they arrive there they are greeted warmly and Ali’s aunt is so relieved that they are all right. So begins ten days of fun and freedom from the pressures of city living. They learn so many things about living in the kampung, soaking in the tranquillity and beauty that surround them, making friends with simple country folks and generally enjoying themselves. When the time comes for them to return home, they really feel sad about having to leave. They thank everyone in the kampung and bid farewell, promising to return for a visit as soon as time permits.
After a short journey by bus, they are back at their respective homes. Each of them receives a pleasant surprise in the form of a letter and a cheque enclosed for the amount RM150.00. This is their reward from a grateful lady in the bus who’s handbag they recovered. The handbag had contained RM5,000.
That night the two friends get together for a well-deserved meal in a restaurant. The next morning they buy themselves a new guitar with the money leftover. Honesty does pay in the end.
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