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Thompson’s Lost Plimsole

Part 17

Mr Twist had been rushed into surgery where the bullet wound in his shoulder was attended to. Luckily it was a clean wound with no major damage and with the school holidays fast approaching, old Twisty had commented to the Headmaster that it was probably a fortuitous time to have been shot, if ever there was a fortuitous time to be shot. Several beds down in the same ward, Mr Twist could see, and hear, the monk who had been in the shop cellar and who had been shot in the backside. Sitting next to the monk was a Policeman attempting to take a statement from him. An uncomfortable situation for both of them, as the patient was constantly struggling to get comfortable whilst lying on his stomach, but unable to lie on his back due the bullet wound in his buttock. A broken ankle that needed elevating, two broken fingers, a broken nose, and a severe gash to his hand simply added insult to injury, or in his case, injuries. On his arrival at the hospital, the staff had assumed that the monk had been in a road traffic accident due to his multiple injuries. The language that was emanating from his mouth would have made a docker blush and besides that, the constable couldn’t spell half of the words.

As an addition to the wound in his shoulder, Mr Twist had also been shot in his leg, and as luck would have it, this really had been a fortuitous shot due to the fact that it had entered his false leg. This substitute leg had come as a bit of a revelation to the Headmaster who knew that his trusted caretaker had sustained some sort of injury during the Great War, but not that he had lost a whole leg! The Headmaster wrote down a list of items to bring back for Mr Twist, bade him look after himself, thanked the nurses and then made his way to the Hallifield Police Station to give his own account of the business at the old chapel. The cells at the station were packed. They’d never had that many prisoners at one time, not even after the Butterbury allotment holders’ annual fruit and veg show riot of 1923. As the Chief Constable at the time was the Chair of the judging committee, four times champion in the brassica section and one of the main pugilists in the fight that broke out in the pumpkin and prize marrow tent, then it was thought best to let the combatants fight it out and simply step in to mop up the aftermath. Only two charges were brought against the rioters. One for interfering with a display of cucumbers and tomatoes and rearranging them so as to appear lewd and suggestive, and one for taking the opportunity to squeeze the life out of Jimmy Duckering’s plums.  

Once the majority of the prisoners were safely locked away, the only one left to deal with was the smallest monk. As soon as his handcuffs were removed, he laid into the two officers who had been restraining him and punched them both in their tenderest parts.  It took five officers to finally subdue him but not before he had blacked the eye of one and knocked the front teeth out of another. Without his hooded disguise, the custody Sgt could now see who this punching, headbutting, snarling, spitting, biting, Tasmanian Devil  really was.

Little Jackie Fanshaw, famous in his day when touring with Billy Bart’s Circus and known by his stage name Gongo the Great. A dwarf with amazing strength, who, as a young man, was renowned for the incredible weights that he could lift. He would finish his performance by donning a contraption that had a seat at each end and fitted over his shoulders. He would invite members of the audience to sit in the chairs whilst he mounted a rostrum via a short flight of stairs. He would then proceed to spin around on the spot whilst his willing, but unsuspecting victims, would scream for him to stop. As an adjunct to the weightlifting, he also took on all comers in one of the side show boxing booths. He rarely if ever lost a fight, because due to his size, he was generally compelled to punch below the belt, which he did, frequently, and that move became his trademark. For a laugh, people who had seen him fight before, would encourage friends who had not seen him fight, to get in the ring and challenge him for the prize money. However, that was all years ago and time hadn’t been kind to Jackie. Alcohol and a quick temper had been his downfall, well, that and the fact that in a fit of whiskey-fuelled rage, he had burned down the circus tent. After a time in jail, he had been reduced to challenging drinkers in backstreet public houses to fight him in exchange for drinks. It was at one of these dives that he was noticed by Don and Derrick Dray, notorious local hard men, known by everyone as the Dray twins.  

To be continued



Published by crispinunderfelt

All round good egg. Humanist and red wine drinker.

8 thoughts on “Thompson’s Lost Plimsole

  1. Oh, dear. What about poor Mr. McQueen? Have we heard the last of him? Did Miss Clench make it home? And what of Thompson? And what of the lost plimsole? Waiting anxiously for the next thrilling episode!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure the Kung Fu choir master will re-emerge and Miss Clench does seem to have a habit of popping up. I certainly haven’t finished with young Thompson yet. There will soon be a ‘Twist’ in the story and Tarquin Fleet will be making a re-appearance… Still another 60.000 words before I can call it a book!

      Liked by 1 person

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