Tales From The Other Railway

Bernard's Run

Bernard's Run

Bernard the Bus will go to any lengths to offload his passengers - ANY lengths AT ALL!!!

One morning Pip and Emma were waiting to pick up passengers from Bowler's train.

"Toot toot! We're late!" said Emma.

"Where is Bowler?" asked Pip. "He doesn't usually make us wait. Not this long, anyway."

"Oh dear, what can the matter be?"... sang Emma's Driver, still a little drunk after last night's karaoke, "Johnnie's so long at..."

"We don't give a flying **** about Johnnie!" snapped Pip's Driver, "what do you think this is, the bleedin' X Factor? Just you climb on the cab, and look for Bowler."

"Can you see him?" asked the twins.

"Nope," replied Emma's Driver, "there's Bernard Bus in a tearing hurry. No need to bother with him, though. Likely he's on a pub crawl or something."

He fell back down.

"Right away, you 'orrible lot!" said the Guard, and Pip and Emma growled away.

"TOOOOT! TOOOOT! Stop! Stop! Oi've got Bowler's passengers an' oi'll get yers too!" wailed Bernard roaring into the Yard, but it was no good. The twins had disappeared into the tunnel.

"Bugger!" said Bernard. "Bugger der Droivers comin' t'work t'day! Whoi didn't we spoike der drinks last noight wi' a double dose loike wi' Bowler an' his Droiver? Told ye we should've bought more feckin' pills!"

"That will do, Bernard," said his Driver. "A vendetta is a vendetta and we must honour it."

"Oi'll catch dem gerls or bust!" said Bernard grimly, as he swerved along the road.

"Oh me odds an' sods," he groaned, spluttering up the hill. "Oi'll never be t'same bus again!"

"You won't be a bus again if you don't watch yourself!" snapped his Driver. "Oh great, there goes another wheel!"

"Tootootoo Tootoot! Oi see 'em. Hurray! Hurray!" Bernard cheered as he reached the top of the hill.

"FECK! Dey've reached the station! No...dey've stopped at a signal. Hurray! Hurray! Oi never knew a red loight could be so beautiful!"

Bernard tore down the hill, sparks showering from his plywood brakes.

His passengers bounced like the Fat Controller in his jelly vault.

"Dammit, Bernard," they shouted. "Let us off! Let us off!"

Pigeons and chavs scattered in all directions as he raced through the city.

"Wait, wait!" he tooted, skidding into the Yard.

He was just in time to see the signal drop, the Guard wave his fingers in a rude gesture, and Pip and Emma rocket out of the station.

His passengers rushed to Bernard's door, but it was locked, and the Driver kept them at bay with his spanner.

"Ahhh, d**n an' blast it!" said Bernard grumpily.

"Never mind, Bernard," said his Driver. "After 'em quickly. Third time unlucky you know!"

"Do you t'ink we'll catch 'em at t'next station?"

"There's little chance," he answered. "Our road keeps clear of the line, even including our short cuts, and Pip and Emma can climb hills better than us."

"Wait a feckin' minute! Lookit where we are!"

Bernard had just realised that an airfield was opposite the station.

Bernard's Driver thought for a minute. "I'll just make sure." He then knocked out the Stationmaster, while the passengers waited imprisoned in the bus. He returned with a wheelbarrow piled high with unusual objects.

"Yes, we'll do it this time!" he proclaimed.

"Not again!" cried the passengers, as Bernard crashed through a roundabout.

"This story's too dull! This story's too dull!" grumbled the coaches as Pip and Emma snorted up the hill.

They reached the top at last and ran smoothly into the station. They only overshot the platform by four coaches this time.

"Tootoot!" called Pip, "get in quickly please."

The porters and people hurried, and Pip and Emma impatiently waited to start.

"OI, YOU LOT!" shouted the Guard, and Pip's Driver looked back; but the flag didn't wave. There was a distant "TOOOOTOOOOT!" and the Stationmaster, running across, saw the Guard drop his green flag, staring upwards. He stared up too.

Then everything seemed to happen at once.

Bernard was zooming across the sky, a pair of wings duct-taped to his sides and a jet engine jammed up his exhaust. Twin machine guns were mounted to his wing-mirrors like a pair of homicidal earings.

"Buggers at ten o'clock! Too too TOOOOOT!" bellowed Bernard; he dived towards the station, setting his sights on the bewildered twins.

"Yer passengers are moine now, ye t'ick broads! FOIRE!"


The machine guns blew up in his face, tearing off his make-shift wings like rice paper.

"FECKIN' BELGIAN ENGINEERIN'!" cried Bernard as he plummeted back to earth. His Driver attempted an emergency landing, while Pip and Emma hastily reversed out of the way. The screaming bus skidded onto the tracks in front of them, rocketed through a siding and finally came to rest in a nearby field, his face buried in compost.

Bernard's passengers poured out of the wreckage, on to the platform and scrambled into the train. The Stationmaser told the Guard and Driver he needed a very stiff drink after that, and Pip and Emma agreed.

"We're not sorry about the chase, Bernard," said Pip. "It's not our fault you're even worse at our job than we are."

"'Tis all yer fa'lt," mumbled Bernard in a daze, "early at junction....T'weren't dis hard...wi' Bowler's passengers."

"Tootoot! Goodbye, Bernard, we're off!" tooted Emma. "Thanks for bringing our passengers back!"

"Three jeers for Bernard!" called the passengers. They jeered and gestured till they were out of sight.

"Oi feckin' 'ate manure," muffled Bernard.


Tales From The Other Railway - Series 3 / Story 12
Based on Bertie's Chase - Written by the Rev. W. Awdry