2. Thoughts of a rogue, new years day 1920.
Nobs? I can take them or leave them. This new decade might be the end for them, I reckon. Look what just happened in Russia! Well I’m not waiting round for the revolution, why should I share? I want my bit now, and all to myself.
I was easily pleased at first. Thought I’d done well for a boy from Gravesend, becoming a “gentleman’s gentleman”.
I had nice digs and a boss I could easily manipulate. I had access to the little perks, use of the Daimler, keys to the wine cellar, Tea in bags!
But I’ve come to think just recently, why them? Why not me? Why can’t I have what they’ve got? I’m cleverer than them, better looking some would say.
I finished polishing his fine crystal glasses, (I was only doing because I knew it would annoy him) and waited until he’d left before whipping a couple of his trinkets and heading out myself. My destination was Wandsworth registry office where Daphne Bougainville, glamorous millionairess, would be waiting to marry me, then we’d go on to Southampton to board the Aquitania for New York. Once I got there there’d be no more no more trams for me. I’d be rejuvenated! I’d be fee of the British class system not to mention the god awful weather.
Daphne is very, very beautiful, but spoilt rotten. She’d be an absolute nightmare to live with. So I’d already decided. Half way across the Atlantic it would be “Heiress Overboard!” and I’d be in clover. The English aristocracy would rue the day they underestimated the great Jack Jenkinson.
On the way I nipped to her flat to pick up a few bits and pieces as insurance. I could just say she’d entrusted them to me for safekeeping in transit if anyone asked.
Some instinct told me to hang back before entering her flat and so I had the pleasure of seeing the old boss leave looking quite heartbroken. On the landing a gaggle of footmen were struggling to get a life-sized stuffed elephant into the lift but otherwise the place was quite deserted.
I entered her dressing room, on her table was the priceless Madugalle Sapphire which, she boasted, matched her blue eyes. (A cue for her suitors to remonstrate that no jewel could ever be so perfect.) I pocketed said item and turned to leave only to hear a click behind me.
I turned round and there was Maude, her maid, holding a Baretta Semi-Automatic pistol in her hand. Little Maudie who I’d enjoyed many a frolic with before I came up in the world! I’d advised Daphne to sack her cos she knew too much about my true nature.
“Put down them jewels Jack” was all she said, with barely a quiver in her voice. I obeyed, I had no choice. She picked the Sapphire up and edged back to the door whilst all the time keeping her eyes and gun trained on me. She fastened the lock on the dressing room door securely before she left.
It is now 5 hours later I still can’t find my out of this bloody dressing room. The registry office was booked 4 hours ago and the liner will sail from Southampton any minute. Alas. I may have to re-assess my prospects for the new decade.