Rags to riches
The story of the Thompson family was one of rags to riches, literally. William Thompson, the Thomson of our saga had been born into wealth, but this hadn’t always been the case for this family. His grandfather, Albert Thompson had been an East End rag and bone man who plied his trade in some of the more affluent districts of London, often bringing home little treasures that would supplement his small but steady income. It was when he was called to collect an old brass bed-frame that the family fortunes changed. The old bed had belonged to a deceased pawn broker, who, although he lived in a very smart area, was considered to be somewhat of a miser who kept himself to himself and had no known living relatives. Albert had to struggle down three flights of stairs with the various sections of the bed but was sure that the bed frame would fetch a few pounds. It was whilst offloading the frame in his yard that Dame Fortune shone her light on the Thompson household. As the frame banged onto the floor of the yard, a wooden plug came loose from one of the bed legs and a tight roll of what looked like ten pound notes fell out, followed by another and another! Albert quickly shut the doors to his yard to keep out nosy neighbours and hurried back to his treasure. Shaking the bed frame vigorously caused several more bundles of cash to become dislodged. The whole of the hollow leg of the bed had been packed with money. There must have been thousands of pounds in that one leg, and a simple deduction that would not have foxed the great Sherlock Holmes, led Albert to surmise that there may have been more in the other three. He wasn’t wrong. From the second leg he extracted an equal number of rolls of twenty and fifty pound notes, and from the other two legs a similar quantity of rolls but with the added bonus that in one of the legs was a pouch containing a large handful of uncut diamonds. Not usually a man known for any outward expressions of emotion, he simply rose to his feet, wiped the tears from his eyes and kissed his horse full on its mouth. Unused to any signs of affection other than an occasional pat on its backside, the horse promptly bit a chunk out of the top of Albert’s head.
Albert, his wife and son, spent the evening, curtains drawn, counting the money whilst attempting to staunch the flow of blood from the gash on Albert’s head. Sworn to complete secrecy, the family sold up the scrap business and moved to a small village in Surrey where they were unknown and were able to write themselves a new backstory. A number of regular small investments here and there quickly increased the size of their fortune, as did numerous house moves, each time to a grander pile in an increasingly affluent area. Albert had been able to have his son, Albert Jnr, privately educated, which in turn led him to passing the Cambridge University entrance exam. This then led to a successful career in finance and marriage to Hermione, the daughter of a wealthy financier and major benefactor of Hookemin Hall, a private school near Hallifield in North Yorkshire.
William, their first son, was somewhat of a free spirit who seemed unmoved by chastisement and impervious to pain, often delivered in the form of regular beatings for tardiness, eating with the wrong knife and fork, drinking from the wrong wine glass and for refusing to use the small Russian blinis (tiny pancakes) as dictated by tradition, choosing instead to spread his Caviar between two slices of bread and jam.
None of this, however, stopped William from being enrolled as a new boy at Hookemin Hall School, whose motto was (and is) Et ut primo calcitrant, translated as, Get in with the first kick. From day one, William took his beatings like a man. Every minor infringement or misdemeanor would elicit a thrashing. However, regardless of the implement being used, it would appear that the pain receptors in William’s hands and backside had been turned off. This would simply impel the Master, Head boy or Prefect to greater exertions, as would the comment “Is that it?”, from Thompson, post punishment.
Thompson was starting to become a legend in the school and Masters would practice new techniques and new moves, such as the stretch, the overarm or the run up; some would even take up golf lessons in order to improve their swing. The pressure was now on for the Masters to get the upper hand over this young recidivist. Canes were now being purchased wholesale in order to supply the demand.
To be continued:
4 thoughts on “Thompson’s lost plimsole”
Recidivist – my word of the day. Brewing up nicely now Chris
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Ah-ha! The thick plottens!
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Tin arse of a boy.
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Maybe he just likes the attention!