The Articled Particle: Part Three

In parts one and two, we left our hero being allocated a task that may not be quite what he is expecting..

I look at Mr Pettifore, who is shaking his head. “I apologize for that. Now, if we can get on with this ridiculous subterfuge, we can all get on with our lives.”

Inside half an hour, I am standing at the bottom of an ornate staircase, peering out of the glass in the front door. On the pavement are two men in almost identical brown suits, one with a camera and the other smoking an unfiltered cigarette. I check my watch; I’ve been told to exit at quarter past, smile for the camera and turn right, which takes me towards Soho Square. I count down the last fifteen seconds, take a deep breath and pull open the door. Instantly the camera flashes and the smoker hurries towards me. It must take a moment for him to register my face because he stops, frowns with confusion and then snorts out a laugh. “I hope you’re being paid well, kiddo.”

The cameraman has followed him but stops when the smoker puts out a hand. He looks up and down the street and points. “Sod. That’s him.”

The cameraman and I look where he’s pointing. Fifty yards up the road, I can see Roger Prod climbing into a cab, probably following Mr Pettifore. The smoker begins to run, followed moments later by the cameraman.

I’m left standing on the pavement, my ridiculous costume beginning to slip off my shoulders. Given the press are hailing the approaching cab, I turn in the hope of seeing one coming the other way. As I do so, a large man in a blue suit curses and bumps into me.

“Will you look…? Geoffrey?”

Of course, it’s Mr Bett, the senior partner. Next to him are two similarly aged and ancient men in blue suits with the same Brilliantine’s hair oil shining off their short back and sides. Each is wearing a Regimental tie. Mr Bett’s expression is a mix of disbelief and horror.

However, before he can say anything more, one of the men points at a cab. “That was that actor chappie, Pettifore. Bloody good in that Coward thing at the Lyric. Did you see the woman on his arm in the Standard? Lucky fellow.”

Both Mr Bett’s companions are watching the cab, which I note is now being followed by another. He is staring at me. He mouths ‘Mezillious?’ and I nod. That causes him briefly to close his eyes. He turns to his companions. “Better get back. Terry, Tom. Good to have your support.”

They look at him with curious, not to say old-fashioned expressions but move away without a word. In moments I’m in the back of a black cab.

“Sorry, Mr Bett. I hope I haven’t embarrassed you?”

He looks affronted. “Me? Good god, no. Why would you?”

“Dressed like this?” I wave at my outfit.

He shuts his eyes again. “Not in the slightest. After all they think I’m a feminist.”

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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7 Responses to The Articled Particle: Part Three

  1. Pity it wasn’t now, we could have seen the inevitable selfie!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. George says:

    Superb! Have you still got the costume?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 says:

    Loving every minute 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tootlepedal says:

    Most enjoyable. It is always good to laugh at the embarrassments of others. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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