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Bristow's Inferiors
Mary on the switchboard  
Highslide JS
Strip 1241 was published in the Evening Standard in January 1965 and (redrawn) in Bristow (1966). This scan is from the Melbourne Age April 1976

An hour to spare and a fresh cup of tea waiting to be drunk? What better than a chin-wag with Mary, the doyen of the switchboard operators? Bristow made friends with her very early on. Perhaps his motives were a little cynical since she is one of the prime sources of information in the Company.
Highslide JS
Strip 4365 was published in the Evening Standard in April 1975.

Another less honourable motive for his interest is in using her talents as a knitter (to make a little hood for his feathered friend).

Highslide JS
Strip 5145 was published in the Evening Standard in May 1978. This scan is from the Sydney Morning Herald June 1978

Mary automatically listens to Bristow's calls, cutting in with "Boring, boring" when he is deep in the details of an invoice with Gun & Fames. But she also lets him make personal calls, a dangerous policy with a new supervisor around. As Bristow hears through the phone

Supervisor : Mary were you in the habit of allowing staff to make personal calls?
Mary : Well er actually

The new policy is rather embarrassing for Bristow.

Mary :There is, as you know, a public phone on the second floor
Bristow : Have a heart Mary. This call can't wait until payday