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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 42… Arrival

He was instantly likeable, as with so many of Charles odd arty friends and Charles was not surprised at his friend’s enthusiasm for Esme, his reputation as a painter was widely recognized. The reference to their “Commotion” on arrival was due to Bill Porrit’s acute hearing. It was the very reason the Porrit’s had left London in order that Bill could paint in quiet solitude.

‘Come on inside both of you. We’ve got supper on the go.’ However, just before they could do so, a miniature woman with bright red eyes and a Humming Bird head stepped into the light of the doorway.

‘Margarita!’ Chanted Charles almost at once. ‘It’s lovely to see you again.’ His eyes danced over her. She was diminutively beautiful and unashamedly proud of her looks. He had seen many nude paintings of her over the years and had long admired her perception and gallantry in showing off her body against much public narrow-mindedness.

‘Charles my darling! and you have brought your lovely friend. She …

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 41… Journey (Part Two)

‘Well, this is about as far as we go with the car.’ announced Charles. ‘We’ll have to do the rest on foot.’
Esme groaned.
‘Don’t worry, it’s not much further. We can do it in about ten minutes.’ added Charles. He went to the car for their overnight bags and locked the doors. ‘I’ll pick up anything else we need in the morning. Stick close to me. There is a very narrow path a little ahead.’

She said nothing. Anger it seemed, was something of wasteful subject.

It was getting dark by the time they reached ‘the Porrit’s’ cottage. The frail light from an oil lamp spread dimly from a downstairs window and crept out in to easing night. It was a stone cottage of flaking white paint. Four small rooms. A small kitchen and an out back stone lavatory.

When the small front door opened spreading more feeble light on the two visitors, a tall, thick set man with an astonishing jet black beard stood with an outstretched arm and a beaming smile.

‘Charles…Charles!’ his voic…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 40… Decision

‘Esme… I’ve been giving our situation a lot of thought.’ Charles looked at her with careful consideration. She seemed to him to have more maturity now than ever he realised. She had grown into a fine woman. She sipped from a small cup of coffee whilst her crystalline eyes studied him back.

She lowered the cup gently to its saucer. ‘Charles, If I were a smoker, this would be the moment I would light up!’ She grinned lavishly.

He smiled back a reply and said: ‘I want us to stay with some friends of mine that live in North Wales. Toby can run things here for a while and his brother Barney will help out. Look we both need a break…Get away from London for a while. It would do us both some good.’

‘But North Wales Charles… Snowdonia! It will be cold this time of year.’
‘You won’t feel the cold I promise and you will just love ‘the Porrits’.

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 39… A Plan

That very day Charles locked the little photographic shop to the outside world. He sat in thought at the foot of the stairs for some considerable time. From time to time, the telephone would ring only to be ignored. Tobias remained occupied in the cellar and Esme slept soundly upstairs. He would check them later he told himself. By the time his thoughts had turned to a plan it was late afternoon.

Edward’s simple insanity would be driven from the man… that was Toby’s way. The key to Charles plan would rest with a friend in William Porrit and he would offer council and direction. He decided to send the man a Telegram first thing the next day.

At supper time Tobias emerged from the cellar with the declaration that his patient was sleeping peacefully having undergone some hypnotherapy. Esme too, was fully awake and well rested.

‘Who is sleeping peacefully?’ she asked.

Toby broke a piece of bread, dipped it into his bowl of brown soup and replied in a confident tone. ‘Oh…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 38… Prisoner

‘Don’t worry. I’m not taking any chances with him.’ Smiled Toby. ‘And maybe when I’ve finished with him… He’ll be a good little boy again!’

Between them, they half carried, half dragged, the dead weight of Edward down a drop of narrow stone steps that led to a cellar room far below the level of the street. Tobias had held a small torch light in his mouth and now its beam picked out a large and rusting iron ring fixed to the wall at the far end of the room.

‘That’ll do.’ Proclaimed Toby. ‘We can tie him to that!’

They put the unconscious body of Edward down on the stone floor and began to move away several wooden boxes of old discarded glass photo plates and yellowing photographic paper. ‘Been meaning to throw this lot away for years,’ remarked Charles. ‘Still nobody is likely to want to come down here….’

‘It’s me Esme…Please open the door. Everything is ok now. He’s gone!’ Charles tapped the door gently several times. In the flickering light that grew to brightnes…

Happy Memories of Earlier Television...

MacGyver

Ok guys, I guess, I’m still working on the next episode of the popular “The Shriving” at www.patrickcallaghan.co.uk  - so meanwhile, I’m going to give you something that I’ve held back for a long time because it’s not that far back in TV time land. Now, Richard Dean Anderson just knocks my socks off with his portrayal of MacGyver in the named TV show. I first watched this on UK Freeview and it just swept me out. so much so, that I rushed out a purchase for all 139 episodes of the show from 1985 to 1992.

Each episode is carefully and skilfully written, with all the ingredients needed for a successful production, those of action, help and love, just where its most needed. It’s a show that has youth, vitality and conviction. This is a young adventurer who believes guns are a menace, a downfall to humanity, and that people are more valuable than bullets. Perhaps, that’s a gospel we should all try and live by.

I’ve not watched the later remake of the series starring a different ac…

Happy Memories of Early Television...

Tales of Wells Fargo… 1957-1962 NBC

It all came back to me over the years, when I sat down to watch a disc of the opening series of ‘Tales of Wells Fargo’ featuring Dale Robertson as the company’s investigator. I must admit, that I had rather forgotten these productions long ago and it was only the reference to Wells Fargo in another western that got me thinking to myself… “Wasn’t there, a western TV series entitled thus.

Well, a quick check with Amazon has now provided with a reasonable priced disc of the first series.
These 25 min slot fillers are an enjoyable romp, much in the style of ‘Whiplash’, with Dale as Jim Hardy giving justice to the company’s problems by a left handed gun belt or simple logic that is much of the backbone of any respectable and successful western.

Dale Robertson’s lay back, easy going style, is quite engaging. An approach, I feel, that was very much of his own real life character. A man that women loved and men admired and who only recently departed from us…