Jacob puts his luggage in the boot of the taxi, enters the passenger seat and greets Tommy, the taxi driver.
Alright, young man? Where you heading you, mate?
Ablation Drive. Number, erm, eight I think.
Oh, I know where that is. It’s a really
Nice spot. Lots of indie shops and cafes.
Better than this dungheap. Are you moving?
That’s right, from the Horstgrab Mansion for good.
Rising out of the grave, I’d say, from that
Womanizer and his subordinate.
Womaniser? Joseph? That’s news to me.
You mean to say that you’re his son and you …?
His foster child, and no, I knew nothing.
It must be worse than those who catch a ride …
I see and hear it all in here, y’know.
They can say what they like, but is it true?
Dunno, but it ain’t half funny. Some bloke
Two days ago, let me call him Mr
Esker, told me that he has a kinky
Penchant for whips, and his daughter, who’s now
A school chaplain, has the marks to prove it.
Well I never! And Eve doesn’t know this?
Doesn’t suspect a thing, my lad, but that’s
Only the start. Delving further, I hear
That he’s rubber stamped the buttocks of some
Choir singers, practiced graphic tantric
Postures with some hippies – all in the name
Of the inner light or summat. I’d go
On but it’s too soon in the day for that.
He’s more of a faker than I assumed.
Oh yeah, straight up. He’s always used baptized
Lasses for his vices. Why do you think think
He’s a preacher? He spikes them with his words.
I’m starting to feel so sorry for Eve.
If I’m right in saying, did his marriage turn sour
With… who? Stephie? Not wait, was it Donna?
That’s right, I can recall her now. He had
A brief affair with her sister and was
Caught in the act. To be frank, her sister
Is a minger, so it was bad play on
His part. I saw her the other morning,
As it happens, owns a chippie just up
The street from me. Ah yes, Donna, I can
Picture her now. Chubby, with a toxic
Giggle, and her neck came out in a rash.
Yeah, she couldn’t take the sun much. Once, in
Malta, she got a bad sunburn, couldn’t
Go out for the rest of the trip. Stephie,
That’s her sister, was out with us as well,
The two … but the divorce came soon enough.
I was … I hated her, that much I know.
And then came Eve, fresh from … from what Uni?
Oxford. She got a First in History.
And moved in with someone twelve years older?
Jeez, not such a bright move. What does she do?
Oh, she copy edits journals from home.
Well that’s summat. Better than in the church.
My God, how I hate those pious buggers.
I mean, it drains all the fun out of life.
Some Catholics I know enjoy themselves.
Because the Priest forgives their sins each week.
Yeah, and they get last rites, absolution
And all of that. They can sin all their life
And still be saved at the point of dying.
It makes you think, why did Luther bother?
All I know is, I have these two fingers,
to stick them up at all those bloody mongrels.
In fact, I’d bring back all those head choppers,
And let all them to finish off the good job.
You can do that for the Royals as well.
Ah, don’t get me started on those ill bred posers.
I tell you, the greatest thing that ever
Happened in this country was when King Charles I had his
Big head chopped off, and that should have been that.
Shame the Diggers and their like were suppressed.
You think we have freedom? Not in the least.
Just one bleedin’ vote in five years,
So that some toff with a second home who
Doesn’t give a toss who you are gets to
Represent you, and lives off the proceeds.
Changing the tune, what does Stephie do now?
She works in the city, or so I hear,
As a tour guide. Going back to Eve, bless
Her soul. Y’know, she thinks he’s the upright
Man of society; but if she just looks at
A bloke then he throws the good book at her.
Though he doesn’t mind her wearing make up.
For his pleasure, as if she gets any.
Such a waste of a life, if you ask me.
To be baptised is a waste of a life.
Aye, you’re wise beyond your years, my boy. What’s your name?
Jacob Horstgrab, but born Moraine. And you?
Thomas Geronimus Herbert Massy,
But most people simply call me Tommy.
That’s no surprize. I bet you work long hours.
Yes, but sometimes it’s the only peace I
Can get away from me nagging missus.
I’ve been decorating the bungalow
And converting the loft, so I use my
Long hours as an excuse to get away.
Say, what are your plans now? Are you working?
I had a temp job at Asda, but that
Ended last month. Now I’m eighteen, finished with school,
Gambling’s the dream. I’ve already won ten
Thousand … but I didn’t see a penny.
Oh so you’re the lad that supply teacher
Told me about. He made a right fortune,
I’m glad to say, so you’re clearly legit …
But you didn’t see a penny, you say?
Joseph found out, and nabbed it for himself.
What a spineless bugger.
So, have you got any tips for this week?
You can’t go wrong with O’Brien and Moore,
Backing those two is like buying money.
Must be Royal Ascot? Someone I know’s going.
Yep, my first one as a legal punter. Shame I’m not going.
Oh, I wouldn’t say that. Her friend has a
Lot on at work and can’t make it and so
She has a spare ticket. Here, she’s written
Down her mobile number. Her name’s Cesca.
Tommy takes out the note from his glove compartment and passes it to Jacob.
I told ya this taxi’s like a magnet.
I wouldn’t give it to any cowboy
But for a real racing person, she said.
She has a soft spot for horsey fellas.
And not by chance … must have known something.
When Eve rang up for a taxi for you,
Cesca only just paid her fare, so we got on
To your hobbies and stuff, Eve said you like
Racing then pound signs flashed before my eyes.
I see, how much will you make out of it?
Ten pounds, just as a tip for her next ride.
You’ll pay the full eighty for the ticket.
That’s fine, not a problem. What day’s it for?
For Gold Cup day, she said. Thursday, I think.
Even better! I’ll ring her straight away.
One of the few items Joseph allowed
Me to have in the house was a mobile.
I was banned from having any laptop
Or I would be tempted by the ‘dark web’.
And yet, you can get the web on 4G?
That’s in the past. Tell me about Cesca.
Aha, I bet that’s got your tail wagging.
She’s quite curvy, blued eyed, red haired, fair skinned,
Quite tall and posh. Seems to have a penchant
For tweed, I guess that comes from the breeding.
But don’t worry, you’ve one thing in common,
Except horses, you both support Arsenal.
That’s good. I hope you don’t follow the scum.
Chelsea. We hate Tottenham as much as you.
Her full name is Cesca Smidgley-Tollemache
Blimey, who could live with a name like that?
Well, then, it’s up to you to change it, no?
Huh? Oh, I see. I’m too young to marry.
Did I mention she’s a loaded heiress.
At least I thought I was too young …
Thought that might change your mind. Not that
You’re a worldly bloke but but money’s money.
Ah well, we’re here at last. That’s twelve pounds please.
Jacob reaches into his pocket for the exact change. Meanwhile, Tommy gets the luggage out from the boot and shakes Jacob’s hand.
Thank you for the ride, it’s been a pleasure.
Aye. Best of luck for the future, my lad.
© 2017 AGP