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Thompson’s lost plimsole

Part four

Tarquin Fleet the Infant Wonder

Preparations were well underway for the ceremony regarding the rediscovery of Thompson’s lost plimsole, when a letter was received from the town hall clerk to say, that due to unforeseen circumstances, the Mayoral party, The Worshipful the Mayor of Hallifield, Councillor Frank Bigot, the Mayoress and the Sheriff, would not be able to attend the forthcoming ceremony.  It later transpired that all three had been heavily involved in an International  time-share and investment scam, and would probably, at the time of the ceremony, be residing at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Mr Thrashbutt suggested that local entertainer, Tarquin Fleet, be invited to open the proceedings. Mr Thrashbutt had seen Tarquin Fleet perform on numerous occasions at the Pink Gin Bar & Cabaret in Hallifield and had often marveled at the man’s ability to convincingly impersonate the late Judy Garland and Shirley Temple. He had also commented on his admiration for the way in which a man of such advanced years could still perform his routines with such vigour whilst dancing around in a short frilly dress, ankle socks and Mary Jane shoes.  

Mr Fleet, known in theater circles as Fleet of foot, had, in his early career, enjoyed great success in London’s West End, topping the bill as the ‘Infant Wonder’ with many of the old variety greats such as Terrence Fyffes, ‘The Human Banana’, Harold Throstle, ‘A bird song for every occasion’, Gladys Chipwood, ‘Watch three swords disappear simultaneously’, Arnold Snatch, ‘The Human Carpet’ and the hilarious, Pyro Twins, ‘Fireworks, flames and fun’, (until, of course, the 1948 tragic bonfire night extravaganza incident).

Mr Fleet insisted that his agent should be contacted first in order to discuss fees and any other personal requirements, such as transport to and from the school, plus a commode, a bottle of gin and some fresh flowers in his dressing room.

Why on earth he should want a dressing room for simply turning up and announcing that the ceremony was now open, seemed to be a thought that had gone completely unregistered in the mind of Mr Thrashbutt who was simply thrilled at the idea of having an entertainer of Mr Fleet’s stature included in the day’s events. The Infant Wonder had also mentioned something about a book signing and the need for a table and chair to be set out; once again this had gone in one ear and out of the other.

Mr Thrashbutt had tried unsuccessfully to locate Mr Fleet’s agent and had contacted the offices of Actors Equity, the actors’ union, only to be advised that Alexander Fulcrum, agent to the stars, had passed away in a Brighton care home twenty five years previous.  On being told of the passing of his former agent, Mr Fleet’s comment was that it obviously explained why he’d stopped receiving Christmas cards from him. “You’ll sort everything out for me, won’t you, Dennis?” was his final remark before ending the call abruptly.

The plimsole was to be carried into the main hall on a cushion commissioned from the ladies of the Hallifield Women’s Embroidery Guild. These ladies had, on many occasions, been called upon to apply their skills for the creation and restoration of religious vestments, altar cloths and heraldic coats of arms.   Now those skills were to be tested and no expense was to be spared. The most luxurious fabric, the finest spun gold and silver threads, the softest, hand-picked duck down filling, hand-crafted embellishments and gold tassels.  Nothing that these ladies had ever created before, was to compare with this cushion.

To be continued:


Published by crispinunderfelt

All round good egg. Humanist and red wine drinker.

9 thoughts on “Thompson’s lost plimsole

  1. I wonder what Mr. Fleet’s book is like? That cushion certainly sounds extravagant. But now, questions arise. Who is Thompson and how did he lose his plimsole and, what has he been doing until now?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When making ‘personal appearances’, my rider is always to have somebody there who can tell me who I am… and a bottle of gin. What a shame that the bird impersonator wasn’t called Mr Throstle. Loving the saga!

    Liked by 1 person

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