The War Hero the Film Star and the Footman and Another Story Added£0.99
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(A short story of 4287 words)

The War Hero the Film Star and the Footman and Another Story

Historical Fiction Literary

by David Phelps

A young footman's eyes are opened to the reality of life when he takes up a position working for a glamorous couple.

(This e-book also includes the story "What Have You Done To Your Hand, John?")

When Frederick came home from work one day there was a strange bike leaning against the porch. He cussed; the last thing he wanted was having to be polite to visitors after a hard day in the fields.

As his eyes became accustomed to the gloom of the kitchen he found himself being stared at by a middle aged man. He was wearing a better suit than normally seen in the village and the best china was out.

“They said you were a beanpole and they didn’t lie.” said the man approvingly. It was a local accent but flattened into slightly more refined tones.

His mother sprang up from the table and rushed over to him. “Fred, this is Mr Bishop.” Her voice dropped. “He’s butler at Stapleton Court.”

“Sit down lad. I’d like a talk with you.”

All Fred really wanted after the day’s work was a lie down but he dutifully sat at the table and drunk his tea out of a small cup.

“You’ll of heard of Captain Croft?”

Fred nodded. Captain Croft the Great War hero. The man who had charged the Turkish guns at Suvla Bay and won a Military Cross. People said that if he had been killed it would have been the V.C. and his death would have bankrupted the estate with death duties. But he was alive and people were still being employed.

Mr Bishop put down his teacup. "The Captain’s gone and got himself married to a film actress over in Italy.”

His mother put her hands to her mouth in horror but Mr Bishop only smiled.

“No Mrs Merriman, it’s all right. She’s English. A Miss Elizabeth Dale if you’ve heard of her. Can’t say I have. The captain’s only following in a family tradition. His father spotted his wife on the West End stage. The captain saw Miss Dale in Presteigne Village Hall, on a film, decided that was the woman for him and went off and hunted her down. I don’t think she put up much resistance. Father is a chemist I am led to believe.”

The two older people considered in silence the way the world had gone to rack and ruin since the war...

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