It’s Story Time!…….
Chapter 23 of London and UK’s BEST feline adventure!
(Suitable for ages 12 and upwards, and younger with adult approval.)
There were no crowds to meet them, as the staff car glided quietly to a halt outside King Herod’s. However, Herman exited the door and walked briskly down the steps, back straight, umbrella in hand to keep a light rain shower off the occupants. This was not the first time that morning he had walked down the steps, as the other guests had already been dropped off by their chauffeurs, and awaited within. This was however the only military car to arrive, and so his interest had been piqued as to who it might be. The only guests still to arrive were the housekeeper, Mrs Hudson, and her charge, the cat princess, Erin.
The Captain Jones got out and squared his cap, and then presented himself to Herman. Having introduced themselves and exchanged salutes, Herman confirmed that all the guests had arrived and all was well. With that assurance, Captain Jones was then able to advise that the royal party would, on receiving his radio message, be ten minutes behind and that the store should be made ready once his two guests were safely within.
The Captain returned to the car and removed and unfurled an umbrella from the driver’s passengers seat and then opened the passenger door. Mrs Hudson stepped out first and stood to one side and unfurled her own umbrella. This allowed Jenny to step into the limelight and be centre stage. Jenny stepped out, and took the proffered arm of the Captain and was escorted up the steps to where Herman stood. Mrs Hudson and the empty carrier, containing Esme’s dress, brought up the rear.
Herman’s heart momentarily fluttered at the sight of such a beautiful lady, and again as he took her arm. The dress she wore seemed to radiate simple elegance, a lightness that made this clearly aristocratic lady, float by his side.
As they reached the top step, Jenny reached into her handbag and passed her invitation to Herman, who had forgotten to ask. In fairness, he said to himself later, who so beautiful would be gate crashing a function such as this? They entered the buildings warm lobby and having passed his umbrella to one of the store assistants, Herman presented the guest, one ‘Jennifer Darcy, Fashion Designs of Kensington,’ to Mr Herod.
Mr Herod’s reaction was not unlike that of Herman, though he had no thoughts other than how beautiful the lady was. Her face was so familiar, and yet not. And the name rang a bell with him too, but he couldn’t quite place it. Maybe it was a purchasing order from the couture department, or one of his wife’s magazines? It continued to nag at him as he made the necessarily brief introductions between Miss Darcy and the rest of the guests. He resolved therefore, to find out more as the day progressed.
The housekeeper, Mrs Hudson, had also arrived. She looked different, slightly more severe and impressive than Mr Herod recalled from the last time. None the less, and despite having retained her uniform she was most presentable and well spoken. And clearly well-educated too, judging by the manner and nature of the conversation she had with the other guests, who warmed to her very much. She reminded him of his wife, only taller. Must have been the nanny in them both, he mused as he looked at her gentle unassuming yet firm manner.
When Mrs Hudson realised that neither Erin or Esme were to be seen, she excused herself to use the ladies rest room, which was near the rear service lift. As soon as she was out of sight, she picked up her skirts and sprinted past the rest room to the lift, sliding the last fifteen feet on the heels of her shoes, and stopping with the tip of her umbrella pushing the UP button. Fortunately, the lift was already on the way back down, and stopped with a groan and a bump when it reached the ground floor. She was about to dive in when she noticed that Esme was about to race out, all in a fluster. Seeing Mrs H standing there she meowed very loudly and jumped up into her open arms and rubbed faces.
“Oh my, Esme, that is a welcome and a half, very reminiscent of another young Lady I knew. But where is Erin and what of the kittens?” The look of surprise turned to worry as Esme recounted the tale of the adventure through the ducting, and Erin’s fall. And the finding of the kittens. “Hmm, so Erin is somewhere on the first floor, you say. The only way to find out is to re-join your mamma and the party, and search when we get to visit the Companion Department in the next few minutes.”
Esme’s whiskers lifted when she heard her mamma was there too, and wanted to race to join her. But Mrs Hudson had said she couldn’t until she was properly dressed, and took her into the rest room where they unpacked her own very special cream dress. As it had been rolled rather than folded, there were no creases in the material, which had been tailored to fit neatly around and shaping to Esme’s body. With the addition of some discrete fasteners, made whilst Mrs Hudson and Jenny were in the General’s rooms, the gown was slipped on and fastened in no time. Esme carefully climbed into the carrier and slipped under the black furry lining within to remain unseen until she got to her mamma.
Mrs Hudson had no doubt that she would not be missed with Jenny amidst the group, and slipping back into the lobby was very easy for the same reason. The housekeepers dress and uniform helped of course, and had been designed many years back to afford anonymity to the wearer. To blend into the background with one’s charges, whilst amidst the hustle and bustle and, on the rare occasion, the dangers of life.
As soon as he was in place behind Jenny, she bent down and let Esme step out. Esme brushed up against her mamma’s gown and which elicited a small gasp which she had to stifle and pretend was a cough. A smile came to both their faces as they looked into each other’s eyes, and then turned to face the door together, waiting at the end of the line of guests to greet the young Queen.
To be continued………
Well now, that was a fantastic reunion, even if I say so myself. Mrs H even cried! But what will happen when Mr Herod finds out that his guest is a lowly seamstress? Will Esme and Jenny get to see the queen or will they be kicked out from the store? And more importantly….. what flavour sandwiches will they be having? Tune in next week for another gripping and fun chapter of Erin the cat Princess’s London Adventure!
Here for all my fans, is this weeks selfie…..
This weeks selfie is all about………. A trip out?!.