The Fat Controller had been very busy. Lady Hatt had been
seriously ill and his grandchildren had come to stay for a while, so he left the railway to be run by his brother Richard,
else known as the Stout Controller.
The island was in disarray. A diesel named Pierce had caused a great deal of trouble
after spreading rumours about the engines and was sent packing by the Stout Controller. The Stout Controller decided to close
off the railway to visitors until it could be maintained and fixed up spic and span.
Months passed. The Island had
been swept by a major storm and had to nearly be rebuilt from scratch. Luckily, the Stout Controller had the help of the engines,
some of whom he gave the priviledge of joining branch lines.
One day, the Stout Controller came to see the engines.
been given some sad news," he said. "The Fat Controller has decided to leave and look after his wife and has left the Railway
in my control."
"Good luck, sir," said Thomas, "You have done an awsome job so far, and I'm sure that you'll do a great
Edward was sad.
"I'd say congrats sir," he said, "if this weren't such a bitter-sweet moment. Sir Topham
Hatt was a good friend of mine ...and I'm sad that's he, the man who had the idea for this railway's very existence, to step
down from his place."
"I too regret his departure," said the Stout Controller, "but we must move on to become the best
railway that there is."
Elsewhere, there was another railway on the Isle of Man, operated by the Man In Charge. Thomas,
Gordon and Duck sometimes visited there as they were friends with some of the engines. But soon Pierce had joined the fleet.
He knew about the Sudrian engines who visited and he hated them. He managed to use his goods trains to block them from entering.
was summoned by the Man In Charge to explain himself.
"Sir," he oiled, "these engines are spies for the Stout Controller."
do you say that," said the Man In Charge.
"The Stout Controller took over from the Fat one - stole it off him, if you will
- to preach Stoutism. They think the Island is so good. They're not even letting in new engines. Elitists."
In Charge was horrified. He sent a letter to the Stout Controller immediately to apologise - he didn't mention Pierce. A few
days later, he closed his railway and left without a trace. The Stout Controller felt sorry for him, for he knew what meddling
diesels could do.
Time had passed. Emily and Oliver hadn't heard of Pierce and kept asking about him.
he do?" Emily asked.
"He's a nasty piece of work," put in Gordon, "he kept saying we were spies and were up ourselves."
course he would say that," sniffed Thomas, "he's rubbish. I told him that and his stupid railway. Then I got blocked from
Percy puffed in, "Did you hear the latest? Pierce is at another railway and he plans to print out brochures
to the tourists to say what a bad railway we are."
"We should do the same," snapped James, "and show them how silly he
The engines looked around. It was Edward.
"Listen to yourselves," he said, "carrying on like that.
What was done was done. Pierce is a silly little diesel on another railway and we shouldn't have to worry about him. Now get
some sleep. We have work to do tomorrow - there's some more branch line evaluations to be completed and Thomas, you're behind!"
Edward," Thoms gloomily replied.
The Engines felt silly and went to sleep.
And for your information Pierce did
join another railway. It is by a farm in the country. He still spreads his lies about the Island of Sodor, but they can do
no harm. The farm animals don't listen to him anyway.