Tales from the Bottom End

A Jamie page with a continuing story ...

The sun blazed through Viewmount Park. It was so intense that the weathercock standing proud atop a neighbouring bungalow would’ve surely crowed had it been able. Curled up in a ball upon one of the moderately stale benches, our marginably suitable hero, Henry Wentforth IV of no fixed address, arose with the rosé sky.

Whilst surveying his surroundings, Henry overheard a rather animated conversation and the departure of a mouse-drawn carriage. Creeping closer, Henry realized that the odious, or odourless, abode was now completely still. Inching closer up the walk, Henry noticed a piece of parchment hanging from an ornate front door. Approaching the porch, he began to read,

“Dearest Cybil,
Please feel free to use the amenities whenever you happen by to give Fleur her kibble. The gardens seemed to have bloomed with particular rigour this season and I often find that a brief stroll and roll is quite lovely even in the rain. Thank you so much for your patronage on such short notice. Hopefully, Mumsey is simply creating a fuss – you know how the aged can be. We’ll send a messenger upon our return post haste.

Our deepest salutations,

Save infrequent visits from “Cybil”, the manor was vacant – a fortuitous happenstance for our hero. Breathless with exhilaration was our Henry, like a Chinese kid in a candy bull shop, or something reasonably close to it. For you see, our hero…dear Henry…was a semi-professional thief.

In dire need of a rest for his weary head and feet wearier still, Henry felt rather obliged to ensure that no “undesirables” should decide to make themselves at home in this palatially humble abode. Thus, he generously took it upon himself to provide a valiant service to the absent owners and stay awhile.

First, a warm fire and a cuppa. It seemed odd to Henry as he ventured down the spiral stone staircase that the entire house was empty – nary a houseboy or cook to be seen. Surely proprietors of such wealth would have hired help. The place was spotless and he was sure that the mistress of the house wasn’t on her hands and knees…scrubbing.

Finding the kettle and some fragrant jasmine tea leaves, he made his intoxicating brew and ascended to the parlour. As he assumed his rightful position in a large fan back upholstered chair, Henry gazed intently out the large bay windows at the gardens in back.

To be continued ...