James was waiting for Edward at the station. He was angry when Edward
didn't arrive on time. He really wanted to go in the second shed from the left (the greatest of all sheds) after his train,
and the only way he could do that was to be on time. A delay of even a few minutes could make the difference between 'Shed
Heaven' and watching Thomas bask in all the glory.
"Late again?" James asked.
Edward laughed. Not at anything James
had said, he was just laughing at a joke Henry had told him earlier. It involved a diesel and a couple of tender engines,
but I can't tell you it since it's not really suitable for this forum.
James thought Edward was laughing at him, and steamed
off in anger. James isn't an engine who likes being laughed at, which is what prevented him from becoming a comedian.
James went to the sheds. He noticed Thomas had indeed nicked his favourite spot. Now he was even more annoyed. He would have
to go in the left-most shed, which wasn't bad in itself, but was nothing compared to the one next to it.
"Edward is nothing
but a lot of old iron," he grumbled. "He clanks about really slow and makes us have to work harder to compensate."
and Percy (who wasn't in a shed at all, in case you were wondering) didn't like that. They didn't like that at all. Edward
was a great engine to them, one who had took them under his wheel when they'd arrived, and taught them everything he knew.
He was an engine they looked up to and respected deeply. Why, Edward was no mere friend and colleague to them. He was more
like a leader, an inspiration to them all.
So yeah, they liked Edward. And they didn't like people bad-mouthing him.
Iron? Slow?" asked Percy crossly.
"Technically I suppose the bits making up Edward, including iron, are probably fairly
old by now. But he could beat you in a race anyday!" added Thomas indignantly. I think that's the word to use.
asked James disbelievingly. "I should like to see him do it." Of course now that he's said this he's bound to fall victim
to some sort of calamity. Will these engines never learn?
Sometime later, possibly a few days, possibly a few years
(probably not a few years though, because that would be silly), James's fireman didn't want to work. So he had an idea. He
threw a lot of flour on himself and pretended to be ill.
His plan worked. He added further to the illusion by pretending
that he still wanted to work, then acted like he couldn't stand after a suitable length of time. The driver, suspecting nothing,
stopped James at a signalbox and helped the fireman to the station, where he called a taxi to take him home.
As the driver
returned, he heard a shout, and then saw James start moving down the line. "Wait a minute...James is moving...but I'm here,
and the fireman's on a taxi...so that must mean..."
It didn't take too long for the driver to figure out what had happened.
"Someone's stolen my James!"
"Not quite," said the signalman, running towards him. "Step into my signal box, and I'll tell
you what happened."
The singleman explained to James' driver what had happened. Oh sorry, that should say 'signalman'.
Although I've no doubt that he probably was a single man.
"I saw a couple of boys playing on James' footplate,"
"Whew!" said the driver, mopping his brow. All this excitement was too much for him.
"I shouted at them,
and they ran away when James started."
"Just let me catch them!" the driver shook his fist. "Nobody messes with my
engine and gets away with it!"
Just then the telephone rang. The signalman answered it. The driver mopped his brow again.
Oh, hi there...er, barely. It's a bad line...okay, I think I get you...wait, how are we going to get the pope at this hour?...Oh
rope! Thought you said 'Pope'....Up the Pole? What, the arctic or something?...Oh, a shunter's pole! Right, I'll tell
him...yes, you're my buddy too...okay, bye!
"That was the inspector," he explained. "He wants a shunter's pole and a length
"What for?" the driver asked.
"How should I know? But you'd better get them anyway."
Soon enough the inspector
arrived on Edward. He was looking uncannily like Indiana Jones. "Good man," said the inspector when he saw the driver. "Climb
James was having the time of his life. "Well, this is fun. I don't know why we're doing this, but it's certainly
fun. Right guys?" he asked his crew. He didn't get a reply.
"Hang on...no reply...moving for no reason...boys legging it
from the cab...oh no! I'm a runaway!" he cried. "Help, I need somebody! Help, not just anybody! Help, I really need somebody!
Won't you please, please help me?!"
"We're coming!" called Edward, who must have pretty good hearing since he was quite
a long way behind. How he expected James to hear him I don't know.
Somehow Edward caught up to James. The Inspector edged
his way to the front of Edward carrying his apparatus. He had tied the rope to the pole, and made it into a noose. He was
trying to hook one of James' buffers. Dangerous work indeed, which is why the Fat Controller only allows the best to become
It took quite a few tries, but he managed to hook the buffer, bringing the two engines level. The driver took
this opporunity to jump into James' cab and apply the brake.
"So the 'old iron' caught you after all," chuckled Edward.
did you know about that? I never said it to you in person," said James.
"I know everything James. Everything," answered
The two engines stopped at the next station, where the Fat Controller was waiting for them.
done Edward," he said proudly. "Very nice work. James, you shall have a rest and then go get your train."
"Can't I have
the day off sir? I've had a very trying experience?"
"No chance James. Edward, you shall be sent to the works to be brought
"Oh thank you sir," said Edward, the outro music barely giving him enough time to speak. "It'll be lovely
not to clank."