Mornington sat back listening to the Urchins account of what actually happened, trying desperatley to hold back several chuckles and failing.
2 hours previously, the strange chinese cabinet had appeared in the restaurant of Brunel Hall, and an old man, very overdressed for the time period, sporting a large shiny walking cane and an oversized top hat had walked out…right into a small group of urchins who was helping Mornington with cleaning out the basement to reopen the old wine celler behind the bar while Mornington was taking care of some business in Port Babbage. It was Cardinal Patrice…on one of his few ‘Holiday’ jaunts away from the High Council. He was also very…VERY bad at trying to fit in.
The urchins account of what happened now had Mornington in fits of laughter next to the fireplace of the restaurant.
“It wos like dat Mista M…’e walked straight out of dat funny cabinent in da corner”
The account of Patrice trying desperatley to fit in became clear. He walked out of the cabinet, closed the door and turned to the two or three urchins and said…
“What what young chaps! Hey Hey!”
…to which the urchins looked at him with a strange stare…
…Patrice then walked down the stairs to the Bar and tried to pour himself a pint, thinking that the beer taps was old manual pulls he grabbed the guinness tap and pulled it with all his might…to which the tap handle snapped off because it was electrically ran. The snapped off handle then locked the tap on full flow and seeing the guinness run off the side of the bar and onto the floor he turned to the Urchins and said…
“I say young lads, what, what! Could one of you young gentlemen give and old man a hand? HEY HEY!”
By this point in time Patrice’s fake west London accent was starting to give way to a sort of cross between cockney and welsh.
One urchin locked off the pipe that fed the tap and Patrice then walked up the stairs and out into the entrance of Muirsheen Durkin, when he reached the outside entrance he knocked his cane on the ground three time, turned to the two urchins who was now looking at Patrice wide mouthed and said…
“Hey Hey young lads What What! I’ll be off to wander your faire and generous town! HEY HEY!”
At the last ‘Hey’ he heartilly gave the door surround a thud with his cane…which then caused one of the timber strutting to come loose from two floors above, and land a mere 1 foot away from Patrice.
The urchin then said the last thing they saw of “Mr Hey Hey” was him running towards Palissade shouting “Mornington is trying to KILL ME!”
After hearing the Urchins account of what happened he payed the young lad a half silver and then waved in one of the Academy engineers who was standing outside looking at the outer foundations of the hotel and using a builders plumbline to mark out the walls.
“Aye Mista Mornington…its the Curse of the Downs i tell ye!”
“The curse of the downs! Academy Downs Mr Mornington! This same road has seen many an accident, the tram incident, the other tram incident…and that last tram incident where they started breeding! Cursed i tell ye!”
“Nonsence…ya cant curse a road…”
“Aye Mista Mornington…thats may be all and well but what about that old geezer with the ‘what what’? He was almost killed!”
Mornington looked at the engineer and grinned…
“Was nothing more than an accident my good man…a few timbers are loose here and there, nothing more”
The engineer looked at mornington and shook his head.
“No sur…the entire wall is loose, not just the front 3 floors, but around the side and back as well sir!”
Mornington looked at the old engineer with a look of shock…
“Aye, see here, front wall is now leaning t’wards the street with a 5 degree lean, its da roof thats holding da whole kit and kaboodle t’gether…ye dug into the foundations of the hall too deep sur! Ya need to reinfornce the whole buildin before it collpases outwards…”
The old engineer held Vic the two sheets of paper with his findings and wandered off…
Mornington slumped back in his chair and listened to the soft creaking of the front wall of the hotel.
He picked up a pen and started scribbling…
“To The Port Authority, Port Babbage
Please be prepared for a large shipment of timber, iron rods, iron girders, 5 long tonnes of white plaster and various other sundries including two full pallates of Portland Cement to be delivered to Brunel Hall at the start of next week.
Usual recompense for a short notice load will be sent to the foreman on completion of delivery.