Saturday, 28 July 2007

The Itinerrant spoon seller and other intrigues


Details have been finally completed for Chief Patissiers daring attempt to replace Loic’s missing appendages without the whole operation being turned into a fiasco of pseudo religious mania by his increasingly large group of followers. Under cover of darkness they intend to smuggle Loic out of the potting shed and take him to a secret location where he can have his limbs reconstructed by a skilled blacksmith who is to be paid handsomely for his silence.

Chief Patissier already had the blue prints drawn up for Loic’s first replacement leg and Antoine and he have improved upon the original design and added drawings for a new hand as well. One clever little truc will be a small metal seal embossed on the first digit of the artificial hand so that Loic may stamp his mark on any products sold under his name and thus vouch that they are genuine and meet with his approval. This we hope may stop the recent rash of theft s of handcarts from around the neighbouring villages which appear to be stolen to order to meet the growing market for wooden souvenirs. The mayor who is still rather aggrieved that the church seems to be doing so well out of the destruction of its tower, the churches takings yesterday alone were rumoured to be in excess of 95 Francs , 12 centimes and a pig. He has agreed that only mementos stamped with Loic’s seal will be allowed to be sold in the village, providing that no approval is given to the curé. In return he has promised to provide the labour and any new stone needed to replace the fallen tower. Of course for reasons of safety only we know what the seal will look like and where it is kept. Obviously we do not want to risks Loic’s new hand been stolen and auctioned like his last!

The idea is this before dawn has broken; Jacques will transport Loic hidden inside a laundry basket, in the governess cart, to the outskirts of a distant village. There he will climb out of the basket, dressed as an ancient washerwoman and make his way to the village lavoire along with the basket of dirty linen and Madame Grognonne who will be acting as his bodyguard in case he is spotted by gangs of marauding souvenir hunters intend on stealing his leg. Both will be wearing large shawls and bonnets to hide their faces. There, hopefully having first completed the laundry, they will be met by Antoine, dressed as an itinerant spoon seller, who will offer them a lift in his cart to the crossroads from whence he will take them to a small abandoned Inn behind which Chief Patissier and Jacques will be waiting with the governess cart and automobile. I say him but understand that Antoine has decided to dress as a female spoon seller for reasons that I can not quite grasp.

Once Loic is secreted in the trunk at the back of the vehicle, Madame Grognonne will accompany Jacques in the governess cart back to Chateau Loufoque with the basket of wet washing in time to prepare lunch, leaving the cart in a disused barn at the inn. Chief Patissier and Antoine, who will by then, hopefully, have abandoned his disguise; will drive to a garage where, by prearranged rendezvous, the blacksmith will be waiting. Chief Patissier will claim he has a problem with his pistons and he and the car will be taken inside the workshop. Once hidden inside, they will do the necessary work to reinstate Loic with the normal number of appendages. All being well they should be back before sunset in time for Loic to put the pigs to bed.

There are, risks involved, it goes without saying, but I must say the whole thing is not without an element of excitement as well!! I will of course have to go without my morning tea unless I have it exceptionally early or persuade Eldest to make me one, Madame Grognonne being otherwise occupied. My only fear is that left alone in the house with the children I might be in danger from a surprise attack by rampaging sardine gutters if they get wind of Madame Grognonne’s absence and seize the opportunity to ransack the potting shed for articles of Loic clothing!

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The photograph is of the old woman who sells wooden spoons at Quimper market. I have included it to give you an idea of what Antoine will look like in his disguise. Although of course he is considerably less wrinkled, having rather a nursery complexion, and is better built. According to Madame Grognonne Antoine was very upset when Chief Patissier forbade him to wear earrings and a necklace as part of his disguise. I can sympathise with both sides, no woman feels properly dressed with out a few bijoux but on the other hand I think by insisting on wearing emerald drop earrings and a diamante necklace he may have roused some suspicions, after all I do not imagine spoon sellers make a great deal of money!

10 comments:

snailbeachshepherdess said...

OK spill the beans...exactly where were you yesterday in Church stretton when i was handing over spoons to Bodran to enable you to pinch that picture of me? Just because I found Loic's twin in Sidmouth.... you've just got to go one better....humph...tossing of hair again...mmmm doesn't really work with short hair......

Faith said...

Hate to upset a lady but I think the spoon sellers of the past used to sell other wares as well as the spoons ..... but you'd have to be very pretty to earn emerald bijoux!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Perhaps Antoine could advertise on Ebay. That would surely hide their tracks and might even pay to have someone else pay that morning tea.

Crystal xx

ChrisH said...

Quick - add SBS's modifications! And a life jacket!!

Fennie said...

Psst - I shall say this only once. Heroic Loic is in the casket in the basket. Find the loons with the spoons in the cart by the mart - they will take you to the Inn where they will open the casket in the basket and make a new limb in the Inn on the anvil with the handle for heroic Loic......

Suffolkmum said...

Have to laugh at Faith's comment. Hope Antoine carries it off.

Posie Rosie said...

Oh this one had me in hoots, the mental images it conjures up, wish I could see him being taken dressed as a washer women...

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Good grief - edge of seat stuff here . . . I do hope that Loic does not suffer any more mishaps and that you do not suffer too much without your morning tea . . and also that the sardine gutters do not get to hear of Mme G absence . . . . Gosh very tense . . .

Pondside said...

Whew!!! I am finally caught up with all the excitement chez vous! What goings on there've been! I don't know how you keep your famous composure. Once more I am on the edge of my seat!
Thanks for your comments on my blog re the dolls' house. The one pictured is the one I bought - it is all wooden, house, furniture and wee people- and it is sturdy as it is made for nursery school use. The girls were delighted, and I was chuffed to get the seal of approval from the Bolton nanny! "That's a verrrry good dolls' house".

Grouse said...

My Dear I have wind of a plot!!! Is this blacksmith to be trusted? For rumour (direct from the underkeeper who is .....familiar...with the blacksmith's daughter, that he is to produce dozens of these stamps and flood the market with Loic seals.......what is to be done?