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Thompson’s Lost Plimsole

Part ten:

 An elderly, monocle-wearing gent stood before the trophy filled cabinets staring intently at one of the photographs. Mr Davies sidled up to him and asked the gent if he was admiring the display. “It’s strange,” said the old chap, “but I seem to recognise one or two of the fellows in some of these photos”. “Really?” replied Mr Davies. Thinking fast he added, “Well, that’s the thing about school photos, the longer you look at them the more the faces seem familiar”. The old fellow adjusted his monocle and leaned in closer. “No, I’m sure that chap there is my old sparing partner, Alistair Mainwaring, killed in the war, and this photo here”. His wrinkled finger pointed towards a group photo of a rugby team. “That chap in the center looks remarkably like Mainwaring’s brother, Donald… killed in the war.” Mr Davies bit his lip and replied, “Did you serve in the war?” “No” answered the old chap, “reserved occupation”. “Pity” whispered the Headmaster under his breath.

The old fellow asked if he could have a closer look at the photo, to which Mr Davies answered that he would have to find the school caretaker who had the keys to the cabinets and why not accompany him to his office for a glass of sherry whilst they wait. Once in the office, the Headmaster excused himself on the pretense of finding Mr Twist the School caretaker. He quickly made his way to the science lab, taking care not to be seen by anyone. Finding what he was looking for, he hurried back to his office and poured two glasses of sherry, whilst the old chap entertained himself by perusing the framed certificates on the office wall. “I see you went to Eton, what house were you in?” Flustered, Mr Davies replied, “I can’t remember off hand”. “Oh come now, an Old Etonian like yourself not remembering the name of his house, loyalty to one’s house was everything in my day”. Mr Davies encouraged the old boy to drink his sherry. “Sup up old fellow, the caretaker will be here in a minute and then we’ll have to hurry and join the rest of the guests.” Downing the glass in one, the old chap commented, “I have to say, this sherry has a mighty powerful kick”. “Yes” replied the Head, “It’s a vintage that I keep for special guests, fancy another?” The old chap knocked back the second glass with equal relish. The effects of the additive quickly took effect. The old chap’s knees started to buckle. “My word, that sherry definitely is strong”. The Headmaster dragged the old chap’s comatose body to the office chaise lounge and threw a tablecloth over him. “That should keep the old goat quiet for a few hours”.

As Mr Davies closed the office door behind him, he turned to face an elderly woman. Slightly flustered, she asked if the Headmaster had seen her husband. “Short man, monocle” she said. “Ah,” he replied. “I’ll send a couple of the boys to look for him. Would you like a glass of sherry while you wait?”


Published by crispinunderfelt

All round good egg. Humanist and red wine drinker.

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