Monday, 29 October 2018

A New Case, Chapter 33.

Welcome to the UK & Worlds BEST feline adventure!



(Suitable for ages 12+)




Previously:- Ms Harriett has discovered the truth of Jennifer's situation and plight. Mr Herod was about to give a speech to the assembled guests at the opening, extolling the store's virtues, when he is called aside by Ms Harriett and told of the matter. It is all down to him now to set matters right. Will he confess or will it all be brushed under a highly priced Persian rug? Read on to find out what he decides.......

Chapter 33

   As he stepped up to the podium to give his speech, Mr Herod faltered and took a moment to look at the guests. From shopkeeper in the suburbs to owner of one of London’s finest stores. Had it all been a dream, or was this really him, here and now, facing not only guests, his own monarch, and a president but also his fears of failing his uncle and heritage? In his hand he grasped a speech written for what should have been a better situation, for a better time, and maybe a better man than he. Then he looked around again and saw the happy faces, the guests talking with his staff, the president with the general, and the queen with Miss Darcy. Even the companions Vinny, Jackson, and the Lady Esmerelda were mixing and having fun. This was now his family, and those he served. The store was more than numbers on a balance sheet, it was the life within it, and the good it did and the pleasure it gave through its services. 

   He stepped onto the podium and started his speech.

   “Your Majesty, ma’am . . . Mr President, sir . . . honoured guests, and staff of the Herod’s Companion Department . . .”

   Mr Herod’s voice was not loud. There was none of the booming that had made Mr Askew cringe, just a croaking that barely registered above the background noise. He coughed to clear his throat and felt his stomach churning, like the moment one is told to turn over the exam paper and begin. He was about to turn and walk away to calm his nerves when the ringing sound of a spoon being tapped repeatedly on a china cup brought the room to silence.

   “Pray silence for our host, Mr Herod,” called out the general, who, having watched the scene develop, realised he needed to step in. He nodded to Mr Herod to begin.

   “Oh, yes, thank you, General. Ah yes, right.” Mr Herod faltered, then took a breath and began again.

   “Your Majesty, ma’am . . . Mr President, sir . . . honoured guests, and staff of the Herod’s Companion Department. Thank you for coming today to help launch and celebrate our companions. This is a very special occasion for us all, when we celebrate the great store and the guiding principles that made it what . . .” His voice trailed off into silence, and his eyes glazed over as he thought of all that had happened that day, the good news and then the bad and then the worse. 

   A cough from Mrs Hudson brought him back to reality and the eyes focused on him. Mr Herod looked at the speech in his hand and crumpled it up and let it fall to the floor. With a cough, and with a small tear welling in his eye, he continued. “I cannot stand here before you now and hark on about this great old establishment when it has perpetrated a great wrong, been neglectful in its responsibilities to its staff, and considered profit over well-being and quality of life.” 

   A small gasp from the audience was followed by an intense silence that seemed to burn into Mr Herod’s soul, just as the stare of a high court judge burns into the soul of the accused. He swallowed hard but found no saliva to ease his dry throat, so he continued.

   “I have learned a valuable lesson today, one of loyalty and friendships. Of rights and wrongs and not living or perpetuating a lie or an act that hurts others for your own gain. One of our guests here today has been greatly wronged by a series of errors that were created by and cast shame on King Herod’s. The errors have meant that a designer and skilled seamstress has been ignored and her skills abused by my forebear. This is a situation that has today, I am pleased to say, stopped. Miss Darcy and her delightful companion, the Lady Esmerelda, are unexpected but timely guests that fate has brought here today. They have for so long worked without recognition or recompense for their creations. They will receive full and enlarged reward for their past endeavours. An apartment nearby will also be made ready for their immediate use, for as long as they need. And also, should they . . .”

   Mr Herod stopped to draw a breath and wipe away the small tear. “And also, should they wish, we would be honoured for them to accept their own department within Herod’s. Plus, staff to help develop, create, and showcase Miss Darcy’s own brand—not a Herod’s brand, her own brand for the world to see and enjoy.” 

   There were gasps of delight from the audience. Jenny almost fainted from shock, but Mrs Hudson caught her arm and sat her down so she could steady herself and take stock of what she’d heard. Esme, who had been napping after the exertions of the event, jumped up onto her lap, purring and rubbing cheeks and sharing her mamma’s tears of joy.

   “Furthermore,” boomed Mr Herod, his confidence now restored from the relief and delight in putting right a wrong. “From a discussion I have had this day, I believe Miss Darcy will be much sought after in the coming hours and days. Sought after by one French fashion house and not one but two Italian houses. I can but hope that she will be able to visit us from time to time in between shows. And so, it is my pleasure to present to you all, and the world, Miss Jennifer Darcy, the fashion designer of—”

   Before he could finish, Mr Herod was cut off by a howl and some barks. He turned slowly around, dreading what new disaster might be about to unfold, and saw Vinny dragging a sack, with Jackson providing the vocals. 

   Vinny placed the lumpy sack before Jenny, and then both dogs gently pawed it open. The guests gathered round, craning their necks to see what the noise and fuss was about.

   “What is it, lad,” asked the president. “What have you found?”

   As if on cue, the sack began to move. What had seemed like a single object within split into two. The objects moved to the opening, and two small faces peered out. After a moment’s hesitation, two wobbly kittens emerged and attempted to climb up the gowns of Jenny and the queen. 

   A loud “Aww!” filled the room, followed by a round of applause as the queen and Jenny picked up the kittens and held them side by side.

   “A picture, I think, to celebrate this wonderful event and reunion,” said the general as he indicated to the royal photographer to come forwards. He looked to the queen, whose radiant smile in return was the permission he needed. 

   Esme had jumped down and, after checking the sack, came back and stood before the happy foursome. “Mamma, there is no sign of the tom kitten?” she asked.

   Jenny’s smile faded. Mrs Hudson picked up the sack and checked but shook her head. The gathered guests fell silent, not knowing what to say or do. Then, with an agitated, urgent murmur, they started to look around them in case the kitten had fallen out en route.

   A wolflike howl from Jackson brought silence once more. And out of the silence came the mewing sounds of a kitten. All heads turned to see Agent V come trotting through the guests, carrying the kitten in his mouth. He placed the kitten at the president’s feet.

   “Well, would you look at that,” said the president as he bent down and picked up the little tom. The little tom, for his part, spat and gave a small hiss, but on finding this hand quite comfy, gave it a lick and settled down for a nap between the president’s now-cupped hands.

   “Seems like we have a family once more. Yours, I believe, Lady Darcy, Miss Darcy,” the president said as he showed the kitten to them both and then placed it on the floor. 

   Esme bent over the kitten and licked his head and drew him close to her, along with the two kittens that the queen and Jenny had placed down beside her.

   Mr James had a moment of inspiration and grabbed a gold-trimmed red velvet sleeping cushion from a display and placed it in front of Esme. “I hope you will accept this gift, Miss Darcy, Lady Darcy, from the staff and management of King Herod’s store, in honour and appreciation of your visit today.” 

   “Oh my, that is wonderful. Yes, thank you so much, Mr James. We do,” exclaimed Jenny and Esme in unison, looking into each other’s eyes as they said it.

   The kittens didn’t need any encouraging when it came to having a nap and had already clambered on. By the time Esme had settled herself beside them, the kittens were all fast asleep. 

   “And now I think we are set for that picture,” said the general, with a broad and engaging smile. “Places, if you would be so kind, Your Majesty, Mr President. Thank you. If you would gather round, Vinny and Jackson too, with Esme. I think we have the perfect family shot. Don’t you?”



To be continued............


(Chapter 34 can be read HERE.)


Dare I say it, but that had me in tears. Boy did Mr Herod come up with the goods– I never thought he had it in him!   But what of Erin? Has the story editor deleted her? Will she make it to the party in time to have her picture taken? And what about those kittens? I mean, after all the shenanigans they just have to crash out when the all important pictures come around. Tune in next week when the story and action continues!

30 comments:

  1. Can't wait to read what happens next!

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    Replies
    1. I don't think you will be disappointed, though maybe a bit surprised!
      Toodle pips
      ERin

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  2. That makes my head spin with wondering what's going to happen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, sorry spinning was not intended. But more will be revealed next week, so stay tuned!
      Purrs
      ERin

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  3. * Wipes away tears and sigh in relief * On I though that kitten was goner! Hurrah for Mr Herod being so gracious and acknowledging his staff!

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    1. Yes it seems like he has opted for the correct way to go....
      That kitten really did get a break coming into the presidents hands and out of Anders' and what fun to get their pictures taken with the queen and president!
      Toodle pips
      ERin

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  4. Sounds like quite the event. Mrs. Hudson is our hero!

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    1. The unsung heroes are the best !
      Oh if only we could all move in such circles....
      Purrs
      ERin

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  5. ERin; yes wear iz ewe at ?? ewe knead ta bee up front N centerz coz esme N de wee onez N jenny N well, like everee onez therz ....kinda like a familee ree union sorta kinda thing goin on !!! 984 pawz UP two ewe mr herod...ewe total lee ROCK.... { N for what itz werth; we get nervouz speekin in front oh crowdz two ~~~~~~~~ } ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you, Mr Herod came through with flying colours, though that could have been his blood pressure, MOL
      Tune in for the final three chapters to see what happens next!
      Purrs
      ERin

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  6. Well done! You brought a tear to my eye too.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, it turned out rather well for everyone.... or did it?
      Purrs
      ERin

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  7. BRAVO!!! APPAWs! APPAWS! APPAWS! What a chapter, what a revelation, what a conclusion!!!

    Erin, absolutely brilliant episode this week, it just gets better and better! Mrs H is EPIC!!!

    Can't wait to find out what mew're up to next time, did mew say the following chapter is tomorrow? MOL MOL

    Happy Halloween

    The B Team xox

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    1. Thank you, but I think applause to Vinny, Jackson and Agent V, really. MOL
      Tune in next Monday to see what happens next!
      Purrs
      ERin

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  8. I was worried that the Tom kitty might have run off and would end up on the streets somewhere in the busy city. I am so-o relieved that the pussycat family has been reunited! That Mr. Herrod is a decent human to set things straight and make sure that Miss Darcy and her kitties get what is owed to them. And that pillow was sure was a nice gesture by Mr. James. Every kitty needs a good floofy pillow to rest a sleeping head on. Purr purr purr.

    Mint kisses and nip hugs to my Tuxie dove. Luv, Valentine (& Mom) of Noir Kitty Mews

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    1. It sure seems like a happy fluff cushion ending, but is it?
      Pawkisses and nip scented kisses to my Wooly Bear
      ERin
      XOX

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  9. What started out as a scary presentation turned into a happy family reunion. I'm grinning ear to ear. ☺

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    1. It was and it did, MOL Still more fun and games to come!
      Purrs
      ERin

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  10. Goodness! This is purrfect! I can't wait to read the rest of the purrfect ending. I have totally loved this story. I think I shall have to start at the beginning and read it all at once, On My Vacations! Yes! Barb is taking her first real holiday in 20 years. And she is just taking her tablet, so commenting will be sparse. Keep the stories coming!
    Love Barb

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the story this week. Do start to read soon as in a couple of weeks it will vanish from the blog in preparation for getting it published!
      Toodle pips and happy holiday!
      ERin

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  11. I am very happy that the family are reunited and Jennie's great artistry has been recognised. But Erin, where are you, and I can't help worrying that we haven't heard the last of Anders. At least I only have 2 days to wait.

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    1. Yes, a happy reunion is what we all wanted.... But as to Anders and I, well, I want to find out myself as I sure seem to be out of the action and the photo opportunity! MOL
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  12. Late to read, but we thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. Apaws! Apaws! And so glad the Tom showed up to enjoy a nap on the lovely red cushion. We can't wait to read the rest of the story!

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    1. An adventure is never too late to be read, you takes it as you want. But we are glad you enjoyed this chapter, and only two to go! Tune in tomorrow to see what comes next... but really, what could possibly go wrong?!
      Toodle pips and purrs
      ERin

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  13. I must start at the beginning! I have enjoyed this episode...so I shall enjoy the others!

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    1. Thank you and yes please do. But shortly after it finishes (two weeks time) I will take it down in readiness for publishing.
      Toodle pips
      ERin

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  14. The dogs came to the rescue? MOUSES! What's the world comin' to? But boy-oh-boy, what a pretty picture they must have all made. PURRS

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    1. Yes, it would look great on film. To big dogs saving a little kitten and then bringing down the villain. I really want to see it first hand ;)
      Toodle pips
      ERin

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  15. Your selfie is purrfect Erin. You be lookin’ gawjus as always.
    As fur the story, we’re happy all the kittens have furinally been reunited with Esme, but where are you? We know you’re capagle of takin’ care of yourself, but…oh Erin. We’re also glad to hear Darcy and Esme are movin’ up. Ya’ can’t fill a belly past tense, but you can fur sure keep it full from now on. Big hugs
    Luv ya’
    Dezi and Raena

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    1. happy families once more, YAY. yes there will be no mouldy food for them going forwards, plus Jennifers failing eyesight should get better from here on in. As to me? Well I just don't know where I am, but as long as it's warm and cosy with plenty of sandwiches and cream, I'm sure I'll be happy ;) MOL
      Toodle pips
      ERin

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