Welcome to Part 2 of The Lost Tudor! If you would like to read from the beginning of this zany tale, click here!
A couple of hours later, the king had progressed only a few hundred metres. The spotty adolescent, cowering beneath the grip of his hands, had told Henry that this strange, and sense-assaulting land was London. But he knew London. London was his city, and this was most definitely not London.
In his new position, he could see what he was told were “Houses of Parliament”. The building looked as though it was woven from the finest gold—whoever the king of this non-London was, he certainly knew his building design. A sign, sitting on the side of the road read:
“Houses of Parliament Tours! Book inside today! Don’t miss your chance to see the inside of this popular landmark!”
Henry frowned. Though he was not seeking employment in the form of a tour, he regardless hoisted the belt of his robe and marched forth into the building indicated.
The woman’s face behind the counter faltered as she saw the king confidently stride through the door.
Undeterred, he slammed his fist upon the countertop and bellowed, ‘Madam! I am king, not of this land, but of another, and I wish to see the interior of the building spun from gold thread!’
The woman, thoroughly shaken, forced a half-smile, and spluttered, ‘O- of c-course, sir.’
‘Madam, your constitution is weak. Where is your husband? He is neglectful to leave the weaker sex to such matters as the hiring of maids,’ the woman jolted, as though he had stuck a red hot poker in her bottom. She opened her mouth to say something, but he got there first, ‘Furthermore, he should really be a lot more mindful to your attire, Madam. This,’ he gestured, with grandeur, ‘though alluring, is but an ill-fitting nightgown, not a stately gown in which to receive guests, servants or no.’
If she were a dog, her hackles would be as far up as they could possibly be. ‘I beg your pardon, sir, but I am going to have to ask you to leave,’ she pushed out through gritted teeth, ‘Not that I have any obligation to reply to such rude and horrible remarks, but firstly, you have no right to talk to any woman like that. Secondly, I am not married; this is my job not my home, and lastly, this “nightgown” cost me £300 and I think it looks rather nice, better than your choice of petticoat, anyway.’ she wrinkled her nose.
Astounded at such impertinent behaviour, Henry took a step backward.
‘Upon my honour,’ he croaked, ‘for such language, your father should have you whipped! And speaking in such terms to a most royal and rightful sovereign, no less.’
‘I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE THE KING OF THE ENTIRE WORLD,’ she shrieked, ‘GET OUT, OR I’LL CALL THE POLICE!’
Her voice filled the small room with frightening ferocity.
‘I know not what a police is, but it will be no use in saving your neck! Mark my words, once I find my royal suites and once again rest my head upon the most evangelical of resting places, I will find my vengeance upon you for receiving me in this, frankly, detestable manner.’ She snatched up her telephone receiver, her eyes as narrow as that on a needle, yet the king continued, ‘’Tis no wonder, madam, you have no husband, for he would send you to the gallows before your wedding night was through.’
He turned on his heel and sauntered onto the street again. His legs were beginning to become unbearable—he could the feel friction of broken skin on broken skin causing the wounds to trickle with blood. He abruptly halted on the footpath and closed his eyes; Doctor Timkins had not come to this realm—firmly planted ‘til his own demise. What was the king to do about his soiled bandages and leaky wounds?
He sat on a step, letting his legs stretch out before him. He had endured more walking in the last few hours than he had done in a few months. He pressed his palm to his face, and gently rubbed his eyelids with his fingertips. How was he supposed to find rest in this afterlife?
All of a sudden, a girl of about four years old, approached him.
‘Excuse me, Mr,’ she mumbled, causing the king to remove his hand from his face.
She was wearing a pink polka dotted dress with a matching hair piece. A woman was standing back a little way, watching with a smile. He guessed that she was the little girl’s mother—attired in breeches again!
‘Mummy says that you have no house to go to. She says that you have no bed or teddy. So I thought that you would like some moneys to buy one,’ she proffered a twenty pound note.
‘Thank you, little one,’ He said, taking the note.
‘Mummy says it’s not enough to buy a whole bed, but you might be able to get some day clothes,’ she turned to look at her mother briefly, ‘I hope you get house soon.’
Abruptly, she turned and ran over to her mother who, in turn, took her hand. They strolled off together, leaving Henry gazing with interest at the “money” in his hands.