Sunday, 15 April 2018

A New Case. Chapter 5

And now, it's Story time!


This adventure is suitable for ages 12 and upwards, and for younger readers with adult guidance/permission.






A New Case. Chapter 5



(Chapter 4 can be read HERE)
(Chapter 6 can be read HERE)

The night slipped away, and despite the countless juddering stops and starts at every village and town on route, the pair didn't stir.

There were no other passengers in that last carriage, and no need for anyone other than he, as guard, to be there. So after leaving them Albert had gone and locked the connecting doors to the forward sections of the train, just to make sure no drunks or straying passengers should bother them. He was in the guard’s van, behind, and would check in on them from time to time as his duties allowed, in case they needed anything - and to steal a glance at the lady, who through her beauty and kindness that day so long ago, had captured his heart.

Erin awoke to the smell of fried food, bacon she guessed, and the smell of coffee, too. There was a gentle rap on the compartment door and Albert slid it open just enough to pop his head through the gap. "Anyone for breakfast? I have fried egg, toast and cheese and sausages on the go. Plus I make a mean coffee too. If you have some nip tea bags I can do them if you'd rather?"

Mrs Hudson, yawned and shivered slightly, and looked at Erin then back at Albert. "You know I think that would be grand, Albert, thank you. I have some cheese sandwiches but somehow something hot seems far more tempting. Especially as it is rather chilly in here and we can see each other’s breath condensing in the cold air of the train."

Erin sat upright and moved out from under the cloak, and immediately shivered. Clearly, she thought, the trains meagre heating system didn't extend this far back. She had a sudden longing for the warm fires of the palace that she always came downstairs to in the morning.

"Well that's settled then," said Albert. "Meet me next door in the guard’s van in ten minutes and we'll have a hearty breakfast fit for a queen...... and a princess too!" He winked at Erin and tipped his hat to them both and left the carriage.

They both busied themselves with their morning 'ablutions', as Mrs Hudson called it. A good licking is what Erin described it as, for herself that is. Mrs Hudson spent time tidying her hair and washing her hands in the small toilet closet up the carriage. Then, once they had both passed inspection, they headed into the guard’s van and breakfast fit for royalty. Very hungry royalty.

The trained pulled to a halt at platform nine of Paddington station, bang on time. The engineer vented the boiler of steam, for safety, but it sounded for all the world, to Erin, like a big sigh.

By the time they had said their goodbyes to Albert, they were the last to alight the train. Albert had spoken to Mrs Hudson in private, and then they shook hands. Erin noticed that he ever so discretely slipped something into her hand. A ticket maybe, or a lovers note? She dismissed the idea as it was both impolite, and the latter seemed also unlikely as this was after all Mrs Hudson she was thinking about. Instead she gazed at the activity around them, and at pigeons on the platform walls. Sacks of mail and crates of fresh fruit and veg lined their walk down the platform. But it was the towering glazed roof that spanned the entire station that really caught her eye. She wondered if she could have something similar back home, over the moat and drawbridge? But of course, she would need a railway line too, and those wouldn't come cheap.

They stopped briefly to admire and check the time on the stations ornate suspended three sided clock. Then with a brisk pace and a deep breath, Mrs Hudson steered a path out onto the London streets and forwards to Knightsbridge.

Their walk took them through Hyde Park, and around a part of a lake within, that part being known as The Serpentine. There were a few more people out and about, shop and office workers mainly. The nannies with their charges in tow, silent or screaming, would come later on in the morning. Mrs Hudson had picked out a bench seat close to the path and the lake, on which to pass some time. Erin rested her head and paws out the carrier and meowed with delight at the geese that waddled past them. They in turn honked and hissed in reply, and then went on their way to nibble at the grass beside the lake.

A horse with its mounted rider walked past, the rider only glanced down at the two on the bench. But when it was a short distance away it stopped, turned around and came back to stand beside the bench. The rider, a man in army uniform, tipped his hat at them. "Good day, and pardon the intrusion, ma'am, but that isn't Mrs Hudson, is it?" Mrs Hudson looked up in surprise and scrutinised the man and his uniform.

"Well I'll be," she said finally. "Corporal Smyth-Jones.... BERTIE! or should I say General? Those stars do rather suit you, Bertie. How long has it been now, let me think...." she paused and thought for a moment. "It was in Egypt, on the Nile, thirty-two years ago to be precise. My how you have grown, and that moustache too. Very becoming a military man.

The General smiled at the compliment, and twiddled at one end of the moustache to neaten it up. "It was that minor incident with the locals over commandeering their racing camels for the war effort. I do recall it would have got quite nasty if you hadn't stepped in, Mrs Hudson, and chased the blighters away. I don't know to this day how you did it, but I am glad you did." The General's horse, a chestnut mare of seventeen hands, bent down and sniffed at Erin and snorted. Erin, not being used to such things, dived back into the carrier for safety, and hissed for good measure. "Don't mind Gladstone here, young lady," the General said, patting the horse on its neck. "She is rather friendly with the black cat at our barracks. Thinks the world of old Bomber Harris, as he's known. Thinks all cats are the same and just wants to give them a good sniff and a lick."

The thought of being licked over by a horse, friendly or not, was not to be encouraged in Erin's eyes. But being polite, she offered Gladstone her paw. Gladstone gave the paw a good sniff and gently rubbed it with a twitching action of his upper lip, which Erin found quite ticklish and made her smile and purr quite loudly.

"Erin, now we have by happy good fortune met the general on his daily ride, I do rather need a word with him about something. I'll just be a minute, so if you can just stop here for a bit please, then we'll be on our way." Mrs Hudson turned and went around and spoke in a low tone that Erin could not hear. She gestured towards Erin and back to the station, and then to the footpath and buildings that lay ahead. The general in return bent down and whispered in her ear. He had a serious look on his face though, and Erin wondered if it had anything to do with the kidnapped kittens. He straightened up and removed a calling card from his jacket pocket and handed it to Mrs Hudson who slipped it into her cape pocket. She smiled and, with a normal voice, wished the general a safe ride. As an after thought, she asked that should he ever be in the area of Erin’s Palace around July 16th, to call in for tea. And maybe stay for the village fair, too. Gladstone would prove to be a wonderful attraction for the child and could raise much needed funds for the Church Mouse Restoration Fund, too.

My dear Mrs Hudson," he said in a jovial manner that could only be managed by those senior ranks of noble birth. "We would love to, as long as there are no camels around that is. I'll tell you what, the boys from the officers’ mess would love a day out, and some tea and crumpet. We'll make a day of it and bring the band too!" Somewhere in the area a church bell chimed the hour, and he looked at his watch and then frowned.

"No peace for the wicked, it seems, Mrs Hudson. I must be off else I'll be late for my own special parade practice. I'll have to put myself on a charge, and that wouldn't do at all, what! Ladies, Princess, until later then." He saluted Mrs Hudson and Erin and turning Gladstone round kicked her into a fast trot. As soon as Gladstone’s hooves touched soft ground, she broke into a canter and headed off into the distance in a shower of clumps of soil and grass.

"Well now, he does cut a dash, doesn't he," Mrs Hudson said to no-one in particular. "Let’s be on our way Erin, as King Herod's will be opening as we get there, and we can have the store to ourselves."

Erin nodded and settled down into the carrier. As they walked on, she wondered about what she had just seen, and also about all the fun she could have with camels and galloping horses at the village fete.


To be continued......

What mysterious past does Mrs Hudson have, and can she walk like an Egyptian? Will the camels get the hump at having to go to a village fair? Why were the coconuts shy? Will the General get a speeding ticket? All this and more probably won't be revealed next week....... BUT the adventure will continue!




Chapter 4 can be read HERE;  Chapter 6 can be read HERE;




Here is this weeks selfie.....




IT IS IMPORTANT  that a princess is and seen to be on the straight and narrow. And whilst bits of me are not all that narrow at times, I do like anything that can be straight, acts like it. Here you can see me putting my whiskers through a tough balancing regimen in advance of going to church tomorrow. Not that I have sinned any, but I heard there was a new lot of church mice to welcome MOL Anyways, I think I should entitle this selfie 'Whiskers at 12 o'clock high!'



38 comments:

  1. Your selfie is divine sweet Princess! Love the story too. Gotta run.

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    1. Thank you, for both. Mind how you goes, Brian, and have a great easy and selfie day, we cats deserve it!
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  2. Such a lovely selfie, Erin, with those whiskers standing at attention! Just perfect! And I'm certainly enjoying the story and awaiting more! Have a blessed Sunday!

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    1. Thank you, as they say, practice makes whisker perfect. Well they dont actually say that, but they should MOL
      tune next week for more of our adventure and first case...
      Toodlepips and purrs
      ERin

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  3. Erin you have some very attractive whiskers *Toby looks around for Miss Fitz* Sorry I have to make sure, um, someone, does not hear me complement a lady cat. Thank Mew fur the birthday wishes and I will see you next week. We are having seafood so please come hungry
    Toby Tomcat

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    1. Hi Toby, you are most welcome. I'm sure Miss Fitz would not mind the compliment as Valentine has my heart. She, like me, is a lucky lady. You have a great week, and I'm sure Val and I will be around next week for your Birthday Party....
      Toodle pips and birthday purrs
      ERin

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  4. Nice selfie Erin. Those kittens are going to be adults if they don't find them soon. XO

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    1. Thank you, they train each week :) Yikes!!! I hope not, we have an open return ticket but NOT for that long! MOL
      Have a great week...
      Toodle pips and purrs
      Erin

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  5. Sweet selfie ! And we enjoy each chapter of your story ! Purrs

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    1. Thank you, and, I hope you'll enjoy all that is to come in the story ;)
      Toodle pips and Swiss Purrs
      ERin

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  6. Your pawsome stories belong in a book, Erin! And I love that pink blankie :)

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    1. Thank you,I hope one day soon that they will be, assuming I dont break any official secrets MOL
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  7. Mouses, Erin. Does Mrs. H know EVERYONE? Will she know King Herod, too? Inquirin' minds wanna know. purrs

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    1. I'm sure starting to think so, Seville, either that or she has a photographic memory for the Who's Who of London MOL Anyways we'll be finding out about Herod's soon, I think?
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  8. Oh Erin, your selfie is so adorable. Our whiskers tend to bend and go this way and that. MOL We're glad ya'll made it to the city of Herods. We can't wait to read what happens next. Wouldn't it be somethin' ifin Mrs. H was actually royalty of some sort? Or did we misunnerstand that purrticular remeowk? Big hugs fur all.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

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    1. Now theres a thought, a governess cum housekeeper that was actually a princess, herself!? Gosh, I would be in great company, and maybe would have to curtsey to her too.... Then again with Mrs H's wobbly demeanour and forgetfulness it does seem possible she is anything other than her wonderful if slightly crazy self....
      Toodle pips and head bumps
      ERin

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  9. Replies
    1. Thank you, I seem to do my best work when I concentrate (Mrs H calls that napping, MOL) :)
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  10. Princess Erin, it seems like Mrs. Hudson knows everybody! Have fun at King Herod's. Imagine, the whole store all to yourselves!

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    1. She does seem to have had a plethora of admirers and acquaintances, doesn't she. That is probably just a housekeeper thing, I mean I get to know no end of mice and sparrows, granted they don't often move to London, but they do repeat... er... come back to visit me! Gosh yes a whole store to ourselves. I do hope there are lots of cat toys and a fresh nip counter in the delicatessen MOL
      Toodle pips and purrs
      Erin

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  11. Wow, Princess, that Mrs. H seems to have been a worldly traveler and adventurer back in the day! She must be filled with wonderful stories and secrets? Licks on your furrs from a horse? Well, at least it doesn't drool like some doggies do! I shall dream that you are an Arabian or Egyptian Princess. And of course, you would take the high seat on a two-hump camel from a thrown with pink satin pillows, canopy, and sheer curtains to shield your complexion from the glare. You would have an entourage of several camels that would carry all of your finds from your shopping trip. I would ask for a dance with you under the Arabian moon. Paw Kisses my lil' luv across the seas... -Valentine (& Mom) of Noir Kitty Mews

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    1. Oh my, Valentine, such wonderful thoughts and dreams. To have you as my Arabian, nay, Persian Prince to keep me safe on my wandering nomadic life, what more could a princess want, or need. Maybe we could park by an oasis and share a date, by the glistening pure waters, and listen to the sounds of the desert as you tell me stories of your adventures across the sands of time...... Can you bring the miec please as I'm all out! MOL
      Pawkisses, and purrs from your English Rose, under a golden moon, to my wooly bear prince
      Erin XOX

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  12. Intriguing! You really must publish all your stories on Kindle!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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    1. Hi Marie. It sure is, and I hopes to be able to reveal more as the story unfolds in the coming months! Watch this space re publishing's that is where this will go after it concludes... I hope!
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  13. I would not like to be licked by a horse either, Erin! I'd bet Mrs. Hudson can walk like an Egyptian--and probably does it better than your average Egyptian. Looking forward to the next installment! :)

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    1. Hi Roby. I think Mrs H is well versed in many dances and funny steps, leastways she does quite a few around the palace... though to be fair, that could just be the sherry MOL
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  14. Hi Erin, We're sorry we haven't visited in so long! We love your selfie and your header photo is just fab!

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    1. P”ease don’t apologise, we are happy to see all our friends whenever they come. The door is always open. You guys are so busy, and I seldom get out in the world bar Sundays. Have a lovely time at Blogpaws in KC.....
      Yes, I like the image, done with pizap, and great fun to do.
      Toodle pips and purrs
      Erin

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  15. ERin; ya look gorgeouz az all wayz....984 pawz up thiz week, we can "see" yur storee N heer it in R mindz eye...thatz a sign oh good ritin...that mrs H doez noe de folk huh.... and

    PIGEONS?????? PIGEONZ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ♥♥☺☺

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    1. Oooh thank you very very much for the compliment, I am sooo pleased that it has the look in your minds eye and ear. Erm, well them pesky pigeons get everywhere, but rest assured I have my eyes on them and will report them to the police if they try any dirty stuff MOL Yes, Mrs H is turning out to know so many people.... I put it down to reading too many of those romantic novels and society magazines with her sherry! ;)
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  16. What a fabulishious Selfie! You do look most fetching! And will you get to meet a camel? Purhaps it will be my furrend Hump-free...If you come by my blog on Thursday I have another furrend Hummmfry...
    But I dirgress...do you think Mrs Hudsom=n is much more than she appears to be?
    Purrs
    Marv
    PS sorry we are late...Mom's company is in the last 2 weeks of the neer ending rollout - customers have drawn a line in the sand...she is working 10 hour days 6 days a week for the next 3 weeks and getting her to help me comment is tough!

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    1. Thank you Marv it is lovely to see you, no matter the time and a pal is never late by palace time MOL I hopes that line in the sand has nothing to do with camels, I hear they're most objectionable creatures at times, far less fun than the likes of Gladstone! Hmm Mrs H is quite a housekeeper, but given her haphazardness around the palace, I cant imagine her with a secret past....
      I shall nip along Thursday and say hello to your new pal Hummmfry, she sounds interesting...
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  17. Curiouser and curiouser fur sure! Mrs H certainly has had a rather extraordinary life, we can't wait to find out more... oh beetles wrapped in dung, we've got to wait 4 days, 4 more days, how will we cope?????

    This is one seriously epic tale!

    Bestest purrs

    Basil & Co xox

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    1. Eww you dont want beetles in dung, not tasty at all.... spiders in cheese sprinkled in nip, now theres a tasty treat! MOL
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  18. That is a beautiful selfie, Erin. I am very late visiting as I was elsewhere for a few Days. The New Forest actually, and I am sure you would have some good adventures there if you ever went that way. Lots of deer,mice and rabbits, of and deer too! I was about to read your latest instalment and suddenly remembered I hadn't read this one yet, so here I am.
    That Mrs.H is full of surprises, isn't she.

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    1. Hello. You are never late my friend, and always most welcome when you come.... and sounds like you had a wonderful time in the New Forest. If there are mouses I'll have to make sure I visit. There is definitely a mouse crisis going on around here. Hmm, rabbits and deer, huh. Tell me, are the deer small enough that Mrs H could sneak on in the cycles pannier bags? I hope you enjoy this new chapter and the ones to come. Mrs H sure does have a lot of tricks in that handbag of hers, but I guess that is because she was a girl guide before she was a nanny and a housekeeper MOL
      Toodlepips and purrs
      ERin

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  19. Excellent job on the whiskers. How do Egyptians walk?

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    1. Thank you, very regimented, and Mrs H is very proud. Now I thought Egyptians walk like Wilson Keppel and Betty, but Mrs H says, on sand. I have no idea who they are but finding sandy places to walk in London must be very difficult! MOL
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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