The noose was too loose, the trap door was stuck.
‘Lydia Steptoe, you are by dint of serendipity, free to roam the earth, jejune and fancy free’
The voice removed the sack. It was Mr Kipling.
‘None other’ said James Hayter, glowing with avuncular warmth
‘Are you pulling my leg?’ said Lydia.
‘No, dear lady. The rules are clear as custard tarts. Now off you trot, and sorry for the cock-up.’
James Hayter doffed his manky indigo topper and indicated the door marked ‘Exit’
The lights went orange. The cluster of onlookers began to hop on their right legs. Lydia stepped down from the rickety scaffold and scuttled toward the door. Before pushing the bar she turned
‘For what was I condemned to hang, James Hayter?’
‘Wasting court time with mediocre card tricks’
‘Seems a bit harsh’, she thought nodding mock penitence
Outside it was dark. The cathedral bell rang six-fifteen. A hansom cab was waiting. The driver smiled a welcome. Lydia jumped in.
‘Where to, Lydia Steptoe?’, said the Cabby, ’My name is Sylvia Simms’
‘Houndslow, please, Sylvia Sims.’, said Lydia, ‘and don’t spare the horses.’
‘Right you are Ma’am’.
Sylvia cracked the whip, off they sped
Houndslow was beautiful. Lydia cried.
‘Here we are, Lydia Steptoe’, said Sylvia Simms opening the carriage door with consummate aplomb.
Lydia composed herself and blew her nose on the black satin curtain before jumping out. Sylvia caught her and they kissed at last.
Love hides in familiar faces.
Love hides in the strangest places