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They were seated in a tramcar - the mother and her little boy.
The conductor eyed the little boy suspiciously. He had to keep a lookout for people who pretended that their children were younger than they really were, in order to obtain (книжное – получать) free rides for them.
‘And how old is your little boy, madam, please?’
‘Three and a half,’ said the mother truthfully.
‘Right, ma’am,’ said the conductor, satisfied.
Little Willie pondered a minute. It seemed to him that fuller information was required.
‘And mother’s thirty-one,’ he said politely.