Now, you'll obviously have read my previous tale, so you will have been looking at all those notsodropdeadgorgeousshedoesn'tlookslikeafilmstargirls with a more nuance eye; basically will they shag? And the answer is often yes. An example: although in this case it didn't get as far as it might have, in those days HL was fit and well and we were trying to emulate rabbits. Ah me, those were the days! But to continue, a small town newspaper office with two girls, one plump and plain dark haired, the other slim and blonde, although no raving beauty, but as I have said, how few women are. The dark haired girl comes to the counter and I start to talk to her. The other girl has seen me, but like I say, I'm no Adonis so she keeps working. I keep talking to the dark girl, looking her in the eye and smiling and talk turns to chat; she is reacting. The other girl notices this, and jealously flares, she knows she is more attractive and if a bloke is chatting up then she should be receiving that chat up. So she gets up and comes to help. Now, at this point you would transfer your attention to her wouldn't you? Wrong. Keep going with the other girl. Don't put the blonde down, but you can use her jealousy to give an ego boost to the target, who it turns out has nice eyes and a smile that lights up her face, as I said, they're rarely all bad. Under other circumstances this would have gone further, but sometimes you just have to leave with the thought that you could have scored. In any case the dark haired girl got an ego boost and that's no bad thing.
It was a while after the end of the last tale that I got to chat to a very pretty girl. We had some campers in the field and I was in my workshop finishing off a project that Her Loveliness had instigated. There must be, she told me, a market for shepherds' huts. When HL makes a suggestion I usually act on it, particularly when I am skating on thin ice over the rather unfortunate pregnancies of Ruth, Louise and Joan, for which, you may recall, I had some responsibility. HL works on the principle that once is happenstance, twice is coincidence and the third time is just plain silly, and she may well be right, but I felt that it wasn't a good idea to push my luck. So a shepherd's hut was having the finishing touches applied.
I was in fact finishing painting the external boarding when I felt a presence behind me. I turned round and there was the prettiest girl you have ever seen. She had curly blonde hair, the cutest elfin face with a turned up nose and wore a long summer frock and flip flops. She stood about forty to forty-five inches high and was all of six years old. Okay, maybe seven.
"Hello," I said, smiling.
"'Lo," she replied after a moment's hesitation and with a very serious expression.
"My name's Roger," I went on, "what's your name?"
"Elle," she smiled shyly.
There was a pause.
She digested this.
"It's a Shepherd's hut."
She looked at it.
"Yes, they always have wheels."
She was silent for a moment, and then we heard a voice calling 'Elle', and a moment later something much more to my taste appeared. She was a size eighteen, perhaps a twenty at a guess, a cuddly female if I ever saw one and with the kind of pretty face that only well built girls can have, apple cheeked and curvy, almost a Lucy Attwell drawing, but grown up of course. Dark wavy hair past her shoulders and a long summer frock similar to Elle's.
"There you are sweetheart," she exclaimed.
She looked at me expectantly, "She's not bothering you I hope?"
At this point Elle demonstrated manners beyond her years.
"'S Auntykate," she said. "Woger." She affected introductions.
"Hello Woger," said Auntykate with a giggle.
"Hello, Auntykate." I replied.
Throughout this exchange our eyes never left each others.
Kate was the first to break the silence.
"What is it?" she asked, indicating the shepherd's hut.
"'S a shep'd's hut," Elle told her.
"It's got wheels," said Kate.
"Yes," I said, "they do."
There was another second's silence.
"Oh there you are," said a new voice.
A blonde girl entered the workshop, which was becoming almost crowded compared with my usual solitary working. She was clearly Elle's mummy, you could see the likeness and the juvenile prettiness giving way to something, well, not quite so attractive.
"They're not bothering you I hope? Ooh! What's that? She asked, suddenly realising that we were standing in front of...
"It's a shepherd's hut," said Kate, knowledgably.
"It's got wheels," said Elle's mum.
"It's a characteristic," I said.
"They always have wheels," I replied. "So that they can be towed from place to place for the shepherds to live in."
After a brief introduction it turned out that, almost inevitably, Elle's mum was called Sarah. I sometimes think that every other girl is called Sarah. Or Sara. I knew a bloke who married one, divorced, and then married the other.
"Can we have a look inside?" asked Kate.
"'S please," said Elle.
How could I refuse? I showed them up the steps and they 'oohed' and 'aahed' about the admittedly rather Spartan interior. Kate sat on the bed.
"This feels comfy," she said, looking me straight in the eye.
I grinned, "Well, if you'd like to try it..."
"I just might..." she replied, her eyes full of promise.
I helped them down the steps and they left, Kate looking back over her shoulder, giving me a wink and a big smile. Well, a nod's as good as a wink to a blind man they say and I went back to work.
Now, I do appreciate that you probably think I'm a randy old ram but the truth is that I'd been going through a rather dry patch recently, a veritable drought to be honest, in view of the previous few months, and let's face it, Kate would make a statue hard.
I'd better fill you in on what had happened since HL discovered about the slightly pregnant ladies. Three of them, and to be honest rather more than slightly pregnant.
The first thing she did was take Joan into town with her to meet Ruth and Louise. I never did find out what happened at that meeting, neither HL or Joan would tell me, and the girls just dissolved into fits of giggles, rolled their eyes and said things like 'wouldn't you like to know'. Well, yes actually, I would. I don't think there was anything other than an agreement, or understanding between them which certainly wasn't to my benefit, and I wondered if I could get at the girls' computer, knowing those two they almost certainly recorded whatever it was.
I was able to um ... take care of the girls up until they gave birth, within minutes of each other of course, and great fun was had by all during that time. Mother, Joan, too, was active until the last moment, about a month later so that was okay. Ruth and Louise had given birth to a boy and a girl, Maxine and Maxwell. I told them it was daft and would cause problems but would they listen to me. Nah. I can never remember which way round they are and to be honest I'm not sure they can, and Joan had twin girls. Yes, lightning does strike twice. She had heard that the next thing would probably be triplets so she had taken off for her sisters until the pill took effect, declaring that she had plenty enough children to last her the rest of her life. Probably right. After the births the girls had refused to allow me near them other than with my fingers and tongue, but Percy was definitely not allowed where he considered he belonged. The problem was that they didn't want to take the pill, and they didn't believe that condoms were safe, and they didn't want another pregnancy. Yet. Or that's what they told me. Whilst they were generous in taking care of the little fellow, to say nothing of the attraction of four milky tits, there is nothing that comes anywhere near the satisfaction of the velvet Tardis.
So with the girls out of the action and Joan away I was going a bit short. I didn't really expect anything to come of the flirtation with Kate, but as I've said before, my imagination is capable of running a full riot. And then some.
My office is over the workshop and since I like a little independence I make sure I can make coffee when I want or have a cold one if I am there in the evening. Just in case, before I went in to get supper I checked that there was a bottle of chardonnay in the fridge. Well, you would wouldn't you? After supper, as I often do, I wandered back to the workshop to review the day's work. HL was engrossed in some antiques type programme on the box and barely noticed my departure. As I entered the workshop with the daylight beginning to fade I detected a slight sound from the direction of the shepherd's hut. I went up to the office, got the wine and a couple of glasses and made my way over to the hut and up the steps to be greeted by the sight of the voluptuous Kate reclining on the bed. I set the glasses on the small table, unscrewed the top and poured the wine. I have to say I am a fan of screw topped wine bottles because they make it so much easier to abstain from drinking the whole bottle in one go. The major drawback, and I shall not believe you if you say you haven't done this, is that you naturally put the cap back on. So when you go to pour a second glass you invariably forget to remove it. And you look a right arse.
I handed a glass to Kate, gazing into her eyes as she took it.
"To you, pretty lady," I raised my glass and then sipped.
"Thank you, kind sir. But are you trying to get me drunk so that you can have your wicked way with me?"
"Certainly not! Just a little libation to set the mood," I replied.
I sat on the bed beside her, leaned towards her and gently nibbled her ear.
She giggled, turned towards me and we kissed. A couple of minutes later I turned and put my glass down, then relieved her of her glass and we went back to the kiss with some fervour. It was all downhill from there on, a lot of it heading south. Kate was clearly well versed in the arts of love and enthusiastic too. She had a magnificent body, there was plenty of it, firm, smooth and simply gorgeous, and it took me some time to explore it all. Eventually we got to the main part of the event, and although she wasn't noisy she was clearly appreciative of my efforts.
Whilst it had taken some time when we finally got back to the wine the chill was restored from the bottle which had been sitting in its iced sleeve. We finished the bottle, chatting about small things, touching on what she was doing and how she came to be there with her brother and his wife, Sarah, of course, and Elle, and a little bit about what I did.
Then we went for the second round.
When I arrived back indoors some time later I found Her Loveliness fast asleep in front of the television. She had, as she usually did, three cats draped over her.
The next morning Kate and the rest of the family had packed up and left for wherever before I was properly aired and breakfasted so I didn't see her again.
One of the reasons I had wanted to get the shepherd's hut finished was that I had a proper job to do, that is, one that someone had agreed to pay me for. I had fitted a new kitchen for the girls, it seemed the least I could do for the mothers of two of my children, although at the time they hadn't produced them, and they had passed my name on to several people who had admired the work. Quite where my next clients had heard about me I am not sure, the girls certainly didn't know the ladies concerned so I suppose it must have been an unknown intermediary. I say unknown because my clients couldn't, or wouldn't remember. But never mind.
Miss Patience, and Miss Constance Browning were sisters and I would guess around sixty years old, but very well kept, smart and presentable, with Patience the elder by a couple of years. Miss Patience and Miss Constance, I should say this is how they introduced themselves, and how I addressed them throughout, although they were Patty and Connie to each other, lived in a big Edwardian pile up on the west cliff above the town centre. This was the 'knobby' area of the town, although in recent years several of the old houses had been converted to flats, and several knocked down to build new blocks. Only in the poorest possible taste of course. The house had, they told me, been built by their grandfather, and in those days there was a covenant on each plot that said the construction must cost £2000 or more. In other words the knobs were going to keep the riff-raff out. Now, you might think that 'knobs' and 'riff-raff' refer to aristocracy and others, but you'd be wrong. All the 'knobs' were 'in trade', the butcher, the baker and their ilk, true aristos wouldn't have anything to do with a small coastal resort, and the riff-raff were the upstarts who were basically not on the town council or members of the town's high society. Basically nobodies with money keeping out nobodies who didn't have money. 'Twas ever thus. In later years, once a new sea wall had been constructed, there was a considerable area of land between the sea and the town proper and this was where they chose to build council housing. The riff-raff thought it was great being near the beach and no one thought of what might happen if the sea did come over. Except the knobs on the cliffs of course.
I had been invited to the house a couple of weeks before my encounter with Kate for an interview rather than a consultation, or even a 'this is what we want' sort of thing, for a job, which, in retrospect, will stand out in my memory for a very long time.
The house was a beautiful example of the builders' arts at their best, with perfect brickwork, and joinery which could have illustrated the best manuals of how it should be done. The whole thing was well maintained and set in an immaculate garden. The door was answered by a maid who smiled when I gave my name and showed me into a sitting room telling me that the Misses Browning were expecting me and would be with me shortly. I'd describe the maid as mousey, but that smile looked more like a cat regarding a mouse. Me.
It took about two minutes for the ladies to arrive.
Miss Patience was a tall, slender and very elegant woman, quite severely dressed in a dark skirt and jumper. I'd describe her as handsome rather than beautiful, her dark hair drawn back into a bun emphasising the finely chiselled bone structure of her face She was discretely made up and wore simple gold earrings and chain about her neck. Long finger nails were well manicured and finely shaped in the old elliptical pattern which looks so much nicer than the modern square shovel shapes, Miss Constance had similar nails, but there all resemblance ended and it was hard to imagine that they were the sisters that they claimed to be. She was shorter and more curvaceous, although not in any way fat. Her blonde hair was probably no longer entirely natural, her makeup a little more definite than her sister's and her dress and jewellery indicated a far more flamboyant personality. Sixtyish they might have been but they were still a very attractive pair. However, I was there to discuss bookcases.
I was told that grandfather and father had been book dealers and that the ladies also dealt in books, but only rare and very fine quality. They each had their own study and needed more space for their collections. They showed me their respective studies which were both pleasant comfortable rooms each with a computer humming gently on a desk. Apparently they did their dealing on the internet. They explained in some detail what they wanted and I told them that I could see no problems other than special cutters for many of the wooden mouldings. During the course of conversation the maid, Rosina it turned out, brought in tea and some rather scrummy home made cakes. I took some measurements, sufficient to work out a price, and said that I would put a quotation in the post in the next few days.
"No," said Miss Patience, "we'd like you to bring it in person, in duplicate, so that we can discuss it with you. Would the same time next Tuesday be in order?"
I averred that it would.
The maid showed me out, smiling that smile. I could almost swear she was purring, but HL assured me it was just my imagination when I told her about my interview whilst we were preparing supper.
I calculated the amount of timber, priced locks and various other hardware, glass and paint and then calculated how long it would take to make and how long to fit. It came to a lot of money, but I wasn't satisfied that I'd got it right so I asked HL what she thought. About fifty percent more she decided, so I added that on and then rounded it up to be sure.
Now that might seem a bit laisse faire but estimating isn't an exact science and you always forget something. Many years previously I had worked for a small company doing specialist metalwork, and the boss had priced an item on a bill of quantities for a council job in a big city. It was one of those items where when you read the description you still weren't any wiser, you really needed the drawings which he didn't have. Basically it was a steel lamp standard with four tapering arms. So he plucked a figure out of the air, memory tells me it was two hundred and forty seven pounds and ten shillings, yes, that long ago, that he was sure would cover it because when we got the job, backhander to the contractors buyer assured that, then the job would be dumped on my drawing board and I'd get to sort it. Lucky me. As luck would have it the estimator for another company who weren't going to get the job, although they didn't know that, had done the same thing, but instead of knocking a pound or two off had submitted a price of two hundred and fifty pounds. It was pure coincidence but the council's quantity surveyor cried foul and the boss had to do a lot of swift talking to avoid being prosecuted.
I did get to sort the job, worked out a quick way to make four tubes four feet long tapering from two inches in diameter to one inch and we made a killing No, I didn't get a bonus. Tightwad.
The next Tuesday saw an almost exact rerun of my previous visit. Two things were not the same. The smile was broader and Miss Constance had a different dress on. I couldn't tell if Miss Patience was dressed differently or not. Miss Patience took the envelope from me, opened it and handed one copy to Miss Constance. The maid served tea. And more scrummy cakes.
A look passed between the two ladies.
"Well, that seems fine Mr Smith. When can you start?"
That was it. I told them that I would need to take detailed measurements and gave them a schedule of when I would complete the job in the workshop, and how long it should take to fit. All seemed to their satisfaction so I went off to take the exact measurements I would need. In Miss Constance's study I had to move some books to get into a corner. Unfortunately I dropped one of the books, fortunately without damaging it but it fell open and was obviously a photo album. I picked it up and idly tuned a page, just black and white shots of people who were members of the family I supposed, and then a shot of a couple of small girls, then slightly older and obviously the Misses Browning, over the page several more shots and as I have said, they were a very toothsome pair, then a final turn and ... well blow me! There was Miss Patience in a killer all leather dominatrix outfit and Miss Constance in a frilly basque and stockings. Now you might think that this was a fancy dress shot, remember they must have been taken in the early nineteen sixties, but something said they weren't. Difficult to pin down, but they just looked too professional; the outfits that is, the photography clearly was. I was so gobsmacked by this that I didn't realise I was not alone. Miss Patience gave a sharp intake of breath behind me.
"Is this the way you will pry into our privacy Mr Smith? If so then perhaps we had better rethink."
"I had to move the books and this one fell open a couple of pages back. Seeing pretty girls I turned a page or two, hardly prying, I think."
I didn't want to lose a job that I had only just got, but if they didn't want anyone to see shots like that, and that would be understandable, then they should have made sure they couldn't be seen.
"I told Connie to put those away," and turning as her sister entered the room she continued, "Connie, now look what you've done."
"What have I done Patty? Oh! Yes, still I'm sure Mr Smith won't be telling anyone. Will you?" She asked, turning to me.
"I don't think I've anything to tell. Have I?" I raised an eyebrow in query. "It's just that those shots look professional, in both senses."
"Does the fact that we are about to pay you quite a large amount of money buy your discretion, Mr Smith?" ask Miss Patience.