The Dimchurch Thunderbolt

A hundred years ago there were so many railways in Dimchurch that it wasn’t possible to leave town without crossing one of them, Pink won't saybut they fell into disuse and they’re all closed now. That’s where we found ourselves this morning, in an old cutting, with a rusty rail stretching ahead of us, and we hadn’t been there five seconds when we heard a shrill whistle from right behind us and jumped to the side to make way for the train. Only the train didn’t appear. The whistle came again, closer this time, and raced past and died away, and a minute or so later one of those old hand-operated pump trolleys came rattling along with two burly old men working the seesaw. There was a little grey cat on the apex of the seesaw and he miaowed to the men and told them to slow down. The trolley stopped next to us and the man at the front saluted and said: Begging your pardon, Sir, but did the Dimchurch Thunderbolt pass this way, and if so, did anyone get on or off it? We said we might have heard it whistle, but that was all, and the man nodded, and took his cap off and fanned himself with it. He was dressed like an Edwardian station porter, and looked like something to do with the heritage railway. I was just about to ask him if that’s why he was there, when the little grey cat miaowed in his ear and looked along the track, just as if he’d seen a bird and wanted to kill it. The Porterman replaced his cap pronto and set off again, pumping the seesaw, and believe it or not the cat jumped on his head and sat there looking to the front just as if the cat was in charge of the man.Pink's says be careful I told Pink all about it when I got home, but she wasn’t interested and I couldn’t make Alleycat spill the beans either. Of course, they know what it was all about. They just won’t say. Pink likes me to mind my own business. That’s her in the photo, telling me to watch it.

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