Here is the final episode as promised. Many thanks to all of you who have submitted comments. Some have enjoyed the story others haven’t. It has proved to be a useful exercise and I have learnt a lot about the limitations of my writing.
Keith Jahans (aka Jack Lindsey)
An everyday story of extraordinary country folk
The story so far:-
Young John Farmer arrives home from University to find that all is not well at Rookfield Farm. Both the prize Boar, Quinton, and his Father, Loon E Farmer have contracted Triple X Lemonade Disease. This is caused by a rare virus which renders the victim unable to partake of Old Bart’s Triple X Special Bitter. In fact the sufferer will not eat or drink anything except lemonade. The only known cure is to drink pints of shandy and then to slowly decrease the lemonade content. Quinton is shot by the Ministry of Agriculture under the Triple X Lemonade Eradication Scheme. Then a few days later at tea time, a fire breaks out in the pig-sty and John tells Grace, the fifteen vicar’s daughter, to enter the sty and try to save the new boar, Quinton the Second, while he and his father try to put out the fire.
Now read on:-
It was three days later and Tom Mellors, gamekeeper to Lord and Lady Chasterly, was leaning against the bar of the ‘Chick Inn’ talking to the land lord, Jack Door. Tom’s faithful ferret, Gip, was sitting beside him on a bar-stool, eating a beef burger. The door opened and in walked John Farmer, carrying his rucksack. He approached them, opened his rucksack, took out some empty beer and lemonade bottles and set them down on the bar. “I wish to return these, Jack,” he said.
“Aye, Lad,” Jack replied taking up the bottles. “I’ll get you yer change.”
“‘Ow do, John, said Tom, “I was sorry to ‘ear ’bout the tragedy at Rookfield Farm.”
“Yes,” replied John, “Grace was all right but Quinton the Second died.”
“Aye, poor Quinton the Second,” remarked Jack gravely as he handed John his change, “roasted before ‘is time.”
“Yes,” said John nodding his head sadly, “and without apple sauce too.”
“Aye,” agreed Tom, “but I ‘eard tell that Lord Chasterly ‘as let yer ‘ave another boar ooh also ‘appens to be an offspring of the original Quinton.”
“That’s right, “John replied, “it was very kind of him. We’re going to call him Quinton the Third.”
“Are you sure that Quinton be a proper name for a hog,” remarked Jack, “it don’t appear to ‘ave brought yer much luck.”
“We like it,” replied John. He pocketed his change, “Well, I must be off now,” he said. “Grace is taking part in a mud wrestling contest over in Doomsbury this afternoon and I promised to watch her.”
“Aye, cheerio Lad, said Tom.
They watched John take up his empty rucksack and leave, closing the door behind him. Once he had gone Jack remarked, “I ‘eard that ‘e an’ young Grace Ourchurch were going steady.”
“Aye,” Tom replied, “‘E be a bright boy, that Grace be worth three tractors an’ fifteen cart ‘orses put together.”
“I ‘eard on the radio this morning that the Ministry of Agriculture ‘ave completely eradicated Triple X Lemonade Disease,” said Jack.
“Aye,” Tom remarked, “they be clever people that work for the Ministry of Agriculture.”
At that moment the door opened and in walked Loon E Farmer. He approached the bar where the two men were looking at him in astonishment. “A pint of Old Bart’s Triple X Special Bitter please, Jack!” he announced loudly.
“Certainly, Loon!” Jack exclaimed and quickly filled a glass from one of the pumps behind the bar and then handed it to Loon.
Loon gripped the glass in his hand, blew the froth off the top of the beer and drained the glass in one gulp. Then he put the glass down on the bar, smiled and said loudly, “Same again please, Jack!”
“Loon!” exclaimed Tom, “you be well again!”
“Aye,” said Loon as he watched the golden brown liquid issue from the pump into his glass, “all be well that ends well!”
Suddenly, the door flew open and in rushed Mrs Farmer. “Loon come quickly!” she cried. “It’s Maggie, our best Jersey Milker. She thinks she’s a teapot!”