The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 22…Herbert Marks Part One

‘But I…’ She halted her words; embarrassed by the revelation. ‘You’ve seen him then recently?’ she asked.

‘Of course! I puts a bit o’ work Charlie’s way when I can. Got to elp’ one an’ other in this world… It’s the right way, and besides e’ does likewise for me when e’ ears’ of a good prospect. ‘Mind you…’ he continued, ‘…managing a young ‘opeful these days ain’t ‘wot it used to be… Treading the boards ain’t so easy specially in front of a camera. Charlie, well ‘es a natural for putting a person at ease. He took me’ ugly mug a few times ‘e as. You know, wot you and Charlie had going… Well, that’s non of ‘me business. But I will say this; ‘e loved you and I reckon as how you loved ‘im and I think you’re both a pair o’ fools to let things go like you did! There, I said it, and you hate ‘me guts for saying so!’

‘You are right Mr. Marks…. It is non of your business.’ She snapped.

He looked a little hurt. ‘Well, that’s how I see it.’ he replied sheepishly. ‘And you gotta see it, ‘coz I’m too old to play Cupid… And will you call me erb’ or erbert’ everyone does. This Mr. Marks business makes me fair uneasy… Like you’re a Tax Inspector or something.’

Esme smiled at his transatlantic adoption and a certain hypnotism prevailed. It was hard to be mad at Herbert Marks for very long.

A certain twinkle came into his eyes. ‘E’s still in love with you I reckon,’ he continued, ‘And you ‘wiv ‘im likely as not. You’re sitting here talking to me and ‘es sitting in fancy Bayswater talking to himself… Well aside from that idiot boy that works for ‘im.’ It was clear that Herbert had no understanding of Toby and perhaps wanted to keep it that way.

About Patrick

a photographer, writer and blogger, a studio and press photographer since the mid 1960's, first published writings in 1974
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