Thursday, June 5 – Good old boys
Such laughter there was last night as Neil related his story of derring-do. All the boys were up for it, he said. He didn’t have any trouble rousing his homemade army. They know how to fight fair, he said and in the end they didn’t even have to fight, they just said boo.
I imagine the sight of these burly farmers, armed with their shotguns, coming from all sides in their machines and on their mounts, must have terrified the troublemakers. We thought we’d wake them up, Neil said, so at the agreed hour of five o’clock, just as the sun was coming through the river mist, we all sounded our horns. That woke them up, alright. There were girly screams and squawks from all their makeshift tents and hovels they’d draped over benders and garden chairs, then the first few started to crawl out, bleary eyed and shaking. And one of them screamed when old Bob’s shire horse Rosie shook her head and stamped her foot by his tent. Get that thing away from me, he shouted, get it off me!
How we laughed and then he told how the farmers force demanded to see a leader, a representative of this shabby crew and eventually after much muttering an enormous, bald-headed man with a gallery of tattoos was pushed forwards. By then, Neil had fetched David Henderson, our Parish Council Chairman, and Rev. James and the tattooed man was told he had to deal with these two stalwarts of the village if they wished to stay, but first he must tell all his men to bring out the supplies they had filched from the pub market on Saturday. And out it came, Neil said. The meat was no good, what was left of it, but we gathered together the vegetables, preserves and eggs and told them how we run things round here. They didn’t take much persuading, the wimps.
And after that the real army turned up. Neil’s boys entertained them with the tale of their recruitment and manoeuvres and the soldiers unloaded the hard rations allocated to the village. They have promised to return early next week with more, now that the local population has increased. I guess we shall see how it goes when the market returns to the pub this weekend, but for now, order has been restored, thanks to the old boy network.