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Thompson’s Lost Plimsole

Part 57

Constable Henry Blott, aka, Koko, The Lord High Executioner, was on great form at this evening’s rehearsal, earlier in the day he had been called into the Chief Inspector’s office to be advised of his promotion to Police Sergeant. “The first round of drinks are on me this evening, gentlemen”, he proclaimed. A rousing cheer was given, and congratulations voiced. Someone from the back of the chorus shouted, “We’ll have to watch ourselves now then, eh, Blotty?” “That’s Sgt Blotty to you”, he replied with a huge belly laugh. The rest of the chorus joined in the laughter. Henry Blott was a loved and respected member of the community, straight as a die and generous to a fault.

A couple of the young ladies in the chorus had already noticed the level of attention that Douglas Gilbert, aka Terrence Onion, was paying towards the new girl. “You need to watch out for him”, said one of the ladies. “He’s a right Romeo, thinks he’s God’s gift to women”. “I’ve met his type before”, replied Petunia Harbottle, and she had. Former Councillor, Gerald Roper, who had tried it on with her at the handing over of the golden plimsole, and she’d swiftly dealt with his shenanigans. Douglas carried a tray with two cups of tea and a small selection of sandwiches and cakes over to where Petunia was seated and placed himself next to her. There was something about this girl that drew him to her. She wasn’t simpering or catty like some of the other girls. She had a confidence about her, and she spoke intelligently and seemed to have a shared interest in the moving pictures. Apart from this musical group and the occasional theatre visit, films were Douglas’s passion. There were three picture houses in Hallifield, enough to keep him entertained, especially if any of his favourites were starring, and then he might see the same film several times. 

“One sugar,” said Douglas, “and a ham sandwich, I’ve put a dab of mustard on the side of the plate just in case, not too much milk I hope”. “Just fine”, replied Petunia. “Just how I like it and thank you for fetching it for me”. He’d only known this girl for a couple of hours, but he was already besotted. “I didn’t know what cakes you would like so I brought a few different ones”. Petunia laughed. “Thank you, but I’m not too fussy about cakes”. A voice from several seats away piped up. “If you don’t want them cakes, I’ll have them”. It was Arnold Blanch, Station Porter. “But only if you don’t want them, I mean, I wouldn’t want to see them go to waste”. Petunia smiled. “I’ll save them for you”. One of the girls in the row behind leant forward. “Be careful to leave them on the tray, the greedy pig would eat your hand as well, given half the chance”. This was Belinda Blott, daughter of Sgt Henry Blott, a small girl with a round, red face, an upturned nose and pursed lips that gave the impression that she had just finished sucking a lemon. A constant gossip, a whisperer of rumours, pure acid.  “My name’s Belinda”. She thrust her hand towards Petunia. “My friends call me Belle; you can call me Belle, if you like”.  

Walton Clegg called out that the rehearsal would resume in five minutes. “As quick as you can everybody, we’ve got ‘Three Little Maids’ to get through yet. There were audible sniggers and muffled, suppressed laughter from members of the gentlemen’s chorus. Arnold laughed so loudly that he nearly choked on his third cake. “That’ll teach him”, sneered Belinda, and then cast her eyes and her bile towards Douglas. “This is the ladies’ chorus, your seat’s over there”. Douglas took the empty teacup from Petunia’s hand and glanced towards Belinda. In his mind he had both hands around Belinda’s throat, choking the living breath out of her body. Just like the actor Clarence Hesketh in the film ‘Murder in the Attic’. Once Douglas had resumed his seat, Belinda leant forward towards Petunia, and in a hushed voice said, “He gives me the creeps. I only mentioned that we would be starting soon, and did you see the way he looked at me? He was like that actor in that film ‘Murder in the Attic, have you seen it?”


Published by crispinunderfelt

All round good egg. Humanist and red wine drinker.

8 thoughts on “Thompson’s Lost Plimsole

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