George Designs a Monster-Powered Stage Coach


George Designs a Monster-Powered Stage Coach

By John Powell 

King Freddie had felt humiliated when King Pierre of France offered to send experts to help upgrade the English transport system as part of the French overseas aid programme for backward countries. Knowing that the French used Bretton bonglopers to boost the speed of their stage coaches, Freddie demanded that Merlin find something better, so the prime minister travelled down to Gloucestershire to consult George, England’s foremost monster expert.

Merlin was waiting with Jack when George was awakened on the Monday morning of the armour-on week. While Jack attended to his bruises, George greeted his old pal and asked what brought him post-haste from London. ‘That’s just it,’ complained the prime minister, ‘it wasn’t post haste, it was too damn slow.’

‘No need to swear: it’s not like you at all.’

‘I know, I’m just so angry about the whole thing.’

‘Angry about what?’

Then Merlin related the whole story about the French offer of development aid and the need for a high-speed stage coach for the inter-city routes. ‘I’ve suggested turning down the French offer as a matter of national pride but we must find some other way to upgrade our transport services.’

‘I’ve seen those French coaches with Breton bongloper boosters when I attended Pierre’s Coloured Hair Olympics in Paris,’ said George. ‘They only go faster because the horses are scared of the monsters on their tails. They’re not getting the extra power that should be available if the bonglopers were harnessed to really give a good pull.’

‘Hooray!’ shouted Merlin, ‘I told Freddie that we could come up with a second-generation monster-powered coach.’

‘Not so fast. There’s a lot of work to be done before we have a fully functioning system.’

‘Then let’s get started,’ exclaimed an exciting premiere.

‘Well, Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, the Hungarian woggalogs that we took to Wales when we were trying to build Freddie’s henge, have fully recovered from their exertions. They are already trained to obey the silent whistle and pull heavy loads at low speeds. We can try to teach them to pull a lighter load at high speed.’

‘Do we need some horses?’

‘Belt and braces eh! No, let’s go the whole hog: only monster power.’

‘That really will be the second generation! Do we need a coach?’

‘Yes, of course, but it will need to be slightly modified. Let’s take a stroll into Yate with one of the woggalogs, I know a carriage maker, Andy Spoker, who will be happy to help us.’

So with Jack bringing up the rear and leading Pip, the largest and most obedient of the woggalogs, the party walked the few miles into the small town of Yate. George led them to Andy Spoker’s workshop where they found the craftsman lying underneath a newly-constructed stage coach. ‘Are you checking the springs?’ asked George. ‘No, I’m hiding from that monster,’ gasped the carriage builder.

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