You may remember that we left our hero, and future owner of this circus, Algernon R. Pettigrew, making his way into the fair city of Edinburgh after being left to his own devices by the Raggle Taggle Gypsies because they were sick and tired of having to scour the Greenwoods for him every time he got lost.
He found lodgings at the "Bide A Wee" Guest House run by Miss Agnes Flotsam, an Edinburgh landlady (of whom it was often said...... but never, ever proved!) who was kind enough to feed this waif up and wise enough to leave him to his inner turmoil - as long as that turmoil didn't involve a lot of noisy crying which would upset the other guests.
After a day or two he felt fit enough to face the world - even that bit of it called Edinburgh - and so, on a fine Spring afternoon he strolled through town, buying a lottery ticket on his way.
Then, that same evening, as he watched T.V. with Agnes Flotsam, he found that he was now a multi-millionaire ex sandwich board man. His eyes lit up. Who needed sandwich boards now. Who needed all that running through Greenwoods anyway. He was sure that was the quickest way to catch Dutch Elm Disease.
At the news of Algernon's good fortune, Miss Flotsam let out an involuntary whoop, apologised and left the room carrying an empty biscuit plate.
Our dancing rover sat staring at the T.V., like a hypnotised rabbit trying to make sense of his new reality.His new position in life was a little daunting but it was certainly more exciting, than squirrels, strange flowers and trees with bark in the shape of a human face.(see previous posting for enlightenment).
Then it dawned on him that Miss Flotsam had been away longer than was strictly necessary to replenish a plate full of "Jammy Dodgers". He was just thinking of getting up to look for her when she burst back into the room, a vision in pink chiffon, the scent of "A Night In Tangiers" wafting all around her and carrying a plate of little pink and yellow cakes which she set down before him on the coffee table.
"Can I interest you in a Fondant Fancy, Algie?", she said in a voice quivering with desire and marinated in Gordon's Gin. "The'yre very moreish."
She licked her lips lasciviously and fiddled with her under wiring suggestively and, for good measure, she fluttered one false eyelash so vigorously that it fell into her mug of hot chocolate.
Algernon was finding that life was suddenly becoming so much more interesting. All of life's pleasures - even the forbidden ones - were being laid before him on a plate. Oh, he sighed, with guilty pleasure. Guilty pleasures, guilty, guilty, guilty, pleasures.
He eyed Agnes' swelling bosom and the curve of her hips. It was his turn to lick his lips now. It was all there, just in front of him. All he had to do was reach out and take it.
So our hero reached out and........picked the pink Fondant Fancy nearest him!. Then he picked another and another. Then he fell asleep in front of a repeat of Holby City and Agnes retreated to the kitchen and sobbed her heart out and didn't care whether the other %^@~~~** guests heard her or not.
Miss Flotsam was disappointed in a sort of Olympian way at the failure of her seduction attempt. Coming second to a fondant fancy is hard even for the most philosophical of women and the nearest Agnes had come to Greek Philosophy was the kebab shop owners musings on Edinburgh's local business rates.She was not a quitter,though. After all there were multi millions at stake if she could hook this "slippery little minnow".
Next morning there was an extra sausage on his plate at breakfast and she had taken the trouble to stuff his mushrooms with some delicacy, or another, which on questioning, she was slightly evasive about. Algernon was suspicious. Even his stint n the Greenwoods had not taught him to trust mushrooms. Things could go either way with mushrooms.When Miss Flotsam went pack to the kitchen to get more toast Algernon saw his chance and stuck them down the back of the settee, hoping that by the time she found them he would have moved on to pastures new.
On the day that his winnings cheque cleared he sought refuge from Miss Flotsam's attentions at an afternoon performance of the circus which had just arrived in town.
He had never been to the circus before and was absolutely enchanted. Then, it suddenly dawned on him. Here was the family he craved. This was the biggest and best family in all the world and, what was even better, was the fact that if he owned it and was paying the bills they could not leave him behind. Why, even if he got LOST they would HAVE to look for HIM.
Without wasting another second he went to his bank and came back in a couple of hours with a suitcase full of money.
He burst into the owner's luxury caravan and demanded to buy the whole show "lock, stock and barrel".
He fully expected to have to haggle but five minutes later he was the proud proprietor and the slippery little sod of an ex owner, whose character I have already given you, had burned tyre marks into the grass outside the caravan and was already history.
Pettigrew sat down on the couch with a contented sigh. Was it all a dream? He pinched himself. No, it wasn't! He was home, home at last.
Just then the door flew open and there stood N. Osferatu, the circus business manager/accountant/sword swallower. He was not a happy man, but then he never was.
Still, that's another story!
Our last picture shows the aforementioned Mr. N. Osferatu in one of his better moments.
ONCE AGAIN, WE DEDICATE THIS POSTING TO THE SUBLIME HARRY LANGDON, CINEMA CLOWN EXTRAORDINAIRE!
Paradise & Paupers
2 weeks ago