• Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:43 am

Jamuary 1st 1947

John awoke, it must be Sunday? Crikey it was the first, the first of the year, had he celebrated? He did not remember anything since the night before, he had got off the train at Victoria and sauntered throughout London and in the Savoy he had met...who was it? Caruthers? Yes it was Lewis Caruthers an old Eton chum whos family distilled whiskey. Yes Whiskey that sweet ambrosia that had got him here.

John's head had a minor thump taunting it, still he began to look where he was, he seemed to be in a bed there was a woman besides him that was little suprise, he got out of bed and leaned out of the window finding himself in Kensington and Chelsea in a quaint little appartment.

John dressed and packed his belongings into his briefcase and then quickly wrote a note to Lewis,

Good bash old man,

will be back later for more of a catch up

Your pal,


John slipped the hat onto his head and stepped out into the fresh London air. It was time now, education was over and it was time for John to ascend the social ladder as was his social right. He needed to go the best parties. His Uncle's old pal Douglas Haig had married one of the ladies in waiting of Queen Anne, that was the plan, that was a good move for old Douggie, shame about the Somme, bloody affair that.

John had no plan what to do next, he imagined he would spend time with good old Lewis and crash up the Savoy and the Ritz every night. Good womanfolk and a lovely country estate is what he needed. But for now it was time to enter government he supposed. Those liberal bores were gaining in power and good old Mr Churchill and Eden was such a boorish thug. However the majority of labour under the leadership of the rampugnant Welshman Nye Bevan was worse.

John realised that a job along the lines of diplomat was his best option and using his chums from school was his best bet. For now he would bought a copy of the Daily Telegraph and meandered about the borough until he reached a coffe house, after sitting down and ordering the drink he amused himself by grooming his hair and reading the news.

Last edited by John Masterton on Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:12 am; edited 2 times in total

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:13 am

January 1, 1947, 8:00am

The Kensington Diner was especially empty that morning. A gentle, but flurried breeze made it a cold morning. Only the sober or unlucky were up at this hour and in this neighborhood. Along the stretch of stools was a recently wiped counter supporting bottles of honey, jars of sugar, jams, jellies, mayonnaise, and other relishes. Decorated as a poor attempt of an American restaurant, British decor still permeated the place with an olive drab wallpaper and Victorian electric light fixtures.

An aging and thin-hairedman with a mustache and a beak of a nose, was manning the paistries, tea, and coffee. He regarded his new customer with a proper smile and was quick to wash his hands before greeting him.

Elsewhere in the diner, an older gentlemen wearing a bowler cap, bow tie and freshly pressed suit enjoyed tea and scones over his news. Round spectacles treated his eyes with vision and a nicely trimmed salt and pepper goatee treated his face with character.

Everyone went about their business until another distinguished looking gentleman entered the diner. This man was younger, not much older than John, and wore an American-style fedora and double-breasted suit. Almost immediately, the older fellow came to his feet and cast a beaming, knowing smile upon John.

"Frederick, is that you! Why, how long has it been? How is your mother?" He tromped over to John as if he'd know him for years.

Extending his hand for a handshake he leaned in and barely above a whisper he said, "5 pounds if you play along, good boy."

The yankee-looking man disregarded the others and sat at the bar, ordering coffee.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:20 am

John had been quite the japer at University, be it pouring a bucket of water over the beak or other such a lark. So when accosted by this new fellow he was more than happy for a quick few pounds but more importantly it was the game and skill of the thing, the ability to "epat" the rest of the clientele but for all his intelligence John could not think of a reason why the chap was accosting him.

Shaking the hand warmly John was quickly into his stride, "Oh hullo Arthur, mater is fine if not a little under the weather," John stood and wandered over the the bar, "What have you been up to these last few months?"

Last edited by John Masterton on Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:20 am

The proper gentleman immediately continued the banter, relieved that the young man was going to support his story.

"I've been lost in my work, good boy, so I took a holiday this last Christmas. To the Azores. It was splendid, indeed. Glad to hear your mother is well. We miss her at the club."

As if rehearsed, Arthur skirted around John, so that he was facing the apparent American at the end of the bar, causing John's back to be to the same. He glanced over John's shoulder with curious eyes.

A resounding "thud" sounded from behind and the restaraunt man gasped with horror.

The reaction was due to the American having collapsed on the floor.

Arthur immediately dropped the charade and said with precision, "I am a doctor."

The older man rushed over and checked the man's pulse. With surprised eyes that were clearly feigned, he said, "This man is dead!"

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:51 am

John was rather bemused with the game, he wondered what the jape was, something to do with that American fellow, no doubt he was going to fleece him or something, pilfer his wallet for a lark. John had his share of rougish traits and welcomed a fellow scoundrel in his midst, the chaps at the Reform club would guffaw about this incident for many moons.

John put the coffee to his lips as he heard the thud, quickly he turned round and put the cup down on the bar, putting a hand to his forehead as if to swoon himself, "Crikey" was all he could manage, this American must be one of those chaps who dashes about all the time and lives a life of riley.

Then the further statement, "Dead?" John said in disbelif he had not seen a dead person since he was seven and have seen his aunt die at his house from a heart attack. He was young then, but now he immediately had the urge to grab this imposter by the collar and box his ears, after all it could hardly be coincidence that this man had died in the middle of this jape, was he an accomplice to murder? He would not go down he had his friends, the chief judge would get him off, Cambridge student in jail never, not in a hundred years!

John moved over to the man and crouched down checking his own valuables just in case, when he was leaning down he whispered hastily, "What have you done you scoundrel!"

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:28 pm

Knowing eyes glanced up from beneath the brim of the man's bowler cap. He was aged. And smart. A cocky grin appeared on his face for a brief moment and in the next moment a semi-automatic pistol was drawn and in John's face.

"Don't move, good boy," he said, still smiling, then he pointed at the restaurant owner with the other hand.

"Lock the door, will you, fellow?"

Stunned by the events of the last four seconds the man hesitated and then quickly did as he was told. There were two other patrons in the place who gasped and then fell silent. One woman, forty, blond hair and a nice dress and a twelve-her old boy opposite her, probably her soon, who's blonde locks he'd inherited.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:12 am

John gawped at the gun before him, he had learnt quite a bit about warfare at Sandhurst, he was however an officer, Corporal John HErcules Masterton technically but he knew little about deflecting bullets or immobilising a chap with a single finger and this sort of things left to the colonials. His great uncle Roger had been in the colonial office and had gone out to South Africa and fought the Boers the first time at Majuba with Colley. Bad luck that battled, African wing of the army was never the same again.

"Crikey old boy, dont do anything you might regret" John gulped and then looked about noticing the other patrons of the location, "Come on old man be a sport and let the lady and the boy go, they are no good to you and it is the gentlemanly thing to do. This affair can be settled between us gentlemen surely." John made his coice calm and calling upon his debating hoped he could convince the chap that his course of action was a foolish one, "Come on old man, dont want to go to prison now do you?"

Last edited by John Masterton on Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:15 am

The older gentleman regarded John with a raised eyebrow. Now fully in control of the room, he backed away, keeping his gun trained on either John or the proprietor.

"Keep your socks up, fellow, don't try to reason with a pistol, then. Everyone can remain calm, this will only last for a short while until my blokes arrive. Don't do anything shifty and no one gets hurt."

He stopped backing away when he could have all of his hostages within his sight.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:20 am

John stood up slowly, his eye focused on the gun but regaining a little self-confidence. He calmly began to say, "Put the gun down old man, you wont get anywhere with dead bodies on your hands and I know people, my death would make the pages of the papers." He took a step forwards his hands by his side, "A woman and a child as well, what kind of reputation are you getting, you are the brigand that we hear about. Put down that gun and save your reputation." John was however in no mood to debate with a wall and instead sat down on a seat and put his elbow at a table "You bugger this is England, the home of chivalry, and here you horrid cad fortune favours the brave." John leapt from his chair hoping the sitting had lured the man into a false sense of security and aimed to take him by the middle and send him sprawling. John had been reared on stories of British heroism and this was his chance for a stupid heroic act but he had faith that in England this bounder could be defeated.

Last edited by John Masterton on Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:30 am

The strange hostage-taker seemed thoughtful at John's remark, but did not change posture. Glancing only briefly to the fallen American and then at the door in silent hope that whoever was going to come arrived soon, he lost interest in John's banter when he sat down.

Take completely off guard by the young man's charge he reeled to point his weapon, but his move was too late. He found himself flying back into the breakfast bar, losing grip of his gun as he went. John's shoulder crashed hard into the man's gut sending a spike of pain through his own body.

He tumbled ontop of the older man and the collapsed to the ground together, losing their hats and ruffling their suits.

The man retaliated by shoving John off him. As they both recovered, it was clear that the two were equadistant from the gun.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:52 am

John was rather chuffed about his courage and success he could see himself on the front pages of the national newpapers, but first he needed to immoblilise this fellow. He reeled his fist back into his own chest and cracked a punch towards the man, throwing punches from a position on the floor was quite difficult but he tried to do a flurry hoping he could leave the man winded while he was reaching for the gun, then he could himself move towards the gun.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:55 pm

Fear washed over the old man's face as he was about to be struck. Doable, but ackward, John threw his arm forward. From the man's position it would be difficult to move out of the way or indeed block the blow.

Somehow he did.

The old man snapped his arm up with uncanny reflexes and grabbed John's fist not a moment too soon. Stopping the blow with an apparently hidden muscle strength, he returned John's efforts with a genuine smile.

"Very good, old chap," he said, "Roger, you can get up now. I've seen enough."

The dead American stood up and straightened his pant legs. The restaurant owner, woman and child all clapped heartily.

"You've passed the test. Bravo!" The old man said.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:02 pm

John felt his hand being caught, this chap had dared block the famous Masterton right hook, "rusty" as it had been called back in his school days and what is more he could not move his hand. Suddenly the man was smiling and John took a moment to find himself, his great brain whirring into action. He jumped up when he was released and held his fists out but on hearing the words uttered he fell back into a seat.

"Test?" John took a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and mopped his sweaty brow and straightened his tie, gently he straightened his suit, "What this was all a test? This cafe is a fake cafe or what? I am afraid I dont understand this whole situation." Gently John turned to the barkeep, "I dont know if you are a barkeep but can you get me a strong drink, brandy if you have it?" He waited for an explanation all the while needing the stiff drink.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:15 am

Still smiling the proprietor poured some whiskey for John and happily handed it over.

"On the house," he said.

The older man recovered his hat from the floor and also handed John his. Sitting casually at the kitchen bar he lit a fag and straightened his coat. Resheathing his pistol and pulling out his wallet he said,

"From the Ministry of Defence, old boy, and we're looking for recruits. Are y'interested in work?"

The man flashed his badge but did not leave it enough for John to see his name.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:22 am

John took a sip of the whiskey feeling the drink slip down his throat, it was a poor year and strung his throat a little however. He put ot down looking somewhat peeved at that and then set about straightening his hat rather angrily. Upon hearing the words of the man he looked up, "The ministry of defence, the runt of the government and you want me, Corporal John Hercules Masterton the lion of the union to be a recruit. I am not naive old man I could get a job managing one of the colonies if I so wanted, if you want someone of my talent and reputaion to work for your organisation you are going to have to up your offer, after all I am in the top one percent of this nation and any government group would jump at the chance to recruit me."

John had this arrogance from his academic record and he had confidence in his haggling and should he be persuaded to work for the MOD he knew that he had better go in running and not at the bottom of the ladder.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:04 pm

The older man scratched his salt and pepper beard and looked back at Roger.

"Runt of the government?"

"Heard him pretty damned clear, Barrister," his accent was thickly American. Probably east coast.

"I've been fully informed of your qualifications, good man. So I'll make this easy on the both of us. You do one assignment for a thousand pounds, no strings attached. If you like the work and we like you we'll sign you up. What do you say?"

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:45 pm

John grinned gently at the words of the men, he had enough arrogance to think that one thousand pounds would fund a weekend of his possibly if he was relaxing from his usual style. But one would always like to hear the offers of people. "Come on then tell me the work, though I should think you owe me a thousand for ruffling my suit, saville row my tailor is not cheap you know."

John reclined back and finished the whiskey and turned to the barman, "Your drink is detestable I reccomend you pay a trip to my friend Percey's estates in Scotland he will set you up and maybe you wont manage to poison your customers." He looked at the two men and raised an eyebrown, "As long as I dont have to deal with any more irksome scoundrels that waste the time of innocent bystanders I should be fine." He grinned to himself, arrogance almost oozing from his mouth.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:30 pm

Barrister's eyes narrowed at John's behavior, he cast an apologetic look to the proprietor. Reaching into his coat jacket he took a stack of a hundred bills and placed them on the counter in front of the new recruit.

Without a word, he signaled the American by patting him on the back. Heading for the door, he made a short bow an a tip of the hat before leaving.

The American, Roger got up and sat closer to John.

"If your diplomacy skills are anything like your people skills we are in trouble. But a deal is a deal. Your job will be at the US Embassy. You will have to help determine the fate of an international thief. I'll be your shadow."

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:07 pm

John reached into his jacket and removed his wallet, leather made in Florence origionally, he opened it and slipped the money inside before returning the wallet to his jacket. He made no response when the man left and when the American sat near him he remained calm and passive. "My words are reserved for those who deserve them, there is nothing wrong with giving the barkeep advice or calling you men what you are, you meddler."

John sighed and stood up, gently slipping his hat on his heat, "If you want to be a good shadow just dont let me notice you." John regarded this as asking a bit much with that dreadful American drawl emitted whenever that silly man opened his mouth.

John stepped outside the establishment and signalled a black cab, he would take it to the embassy and after entering assertain the situation.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:10 pm

January 1st, 1947, 9:00am

The US Embassy rested in the London Chancery Building in Grosvenor Square. The window-infested blocky building bore the American Eagle above a humble entrance. 600 rooms, 9 floors and six stories, the somewhat non-descript building was a very new one.

Two soldiers were posted in the lobby of the building, standing fast on Italian marble floors. An ambassador's secretary sat behind an oak desk typing studiously on stationary. Although corridors stretched in both directions and an elevator was accessible, it was clear the guards would not let anyone through without proper authority.

Roger followed John's cab all the way to Grosvenor Square, keeping two cars back and one car over. He did not remain unseen, however, when John entered the building. Following behind with duty and silence, he waited for John's next move.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 11:51 am

John stepped out of the cab, he straightened his tie and walked up into the building, he took a minute to stand outside and tut at the ostentacious American architecture infecting this lovely city. As a minor art critic himself John had been quick to sneer at Cubism, Futurism and Dadaism in that very order and architevture while not his forte, he could recognise pretentious Bauhaus rubbish when he saw it. Softly he pushed open the door and look around for a moment, his eyes scanned eveything and his shoes clicked when they touched the marble floor. He coughed and walked up to one of the security guards and whispered to him, "Young man, dangerous matter, I am from the department of construction and development, we have reason to beleive this building may breach custom and the architect used may have not used the proper materials. I need to speak with your superior. Not only may you be infringing on the laws of this land and breaking them will carry a fine or possibly improsonment at her majestys pleasure but this building could sink into the foundations and we dont want that in this city do we?" John stood back and waited keeping his eyes fixed firmly on the man he was speaking to hoping to convince him that he really was a government official.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:28 am

The security guard, a large man who easily doubled John's size in sheer mass and stature, regarded him with a raised eyebrow. He hoisted up his pants over a bowled waistline and pointed to the secretary.

"She's the one you want," he said in a thick American accent.

The secretary, typing diligently did not notice the exchange.

Roger came in from behind and somewhat amused by John's tactics stayed quiet and crossed his arms waiting for the next move.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:42 am

John nodded to the guard and stepped back from him, his hat held under his hand he moved over to the desk exuding confidence, looking down at the woman he leaned in somewhat to lean on her desk. His puppy dog eyes and curled mouth greeted her gaze and the voice he used was rasping like honey trickling over velvet, "I am glad to see they send the most pretty girls from America over here for us English men. Sorry....I am here on bussiness unfortunately." He winked gently before continuing "I am here to see your superior, I am from he Ministry of Works and I we have reason to beleive that this building breaks a number of rules and that the architect may be wanted for punishment and I need to speak with the man who hired him." John smiled, "And maybe after we can go for a drink, Savoy my shout?"

Last edited by John Masterton on Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:51 am; edited 1 time in total

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:03 pm

Blond hair done up in waves adorned a pale face with dark brown eyes who looked at John inquisitively. Stopping her typing, the secretary leaned forward. Inquisitive eyes suddenly were drowned with sass accented by a raised eyebrow.

"You know, in Iowa, it takes more than a wink for an over-glorified plumber to flatter a young lady."

She smirked and dialed on the phone, "Counselor Brown? A man from the Department of Works is here to see you."

She paused and then hung up.

"He'll be just a moment, please have a seat."

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:26 pm

John grinned at the girl as she spoke to him. After she had phoned her superior John could not help but continue his interaction, "over-glorified plumber eh? Well I have never been to Ioha but I am quite tempted if you are from there." John smiled again, he was not seedy nor was he sarcastic, he was pleasant and a little cheeky. "But since we are not in Ioha what does it take an Englishman to get a little drink with a delightful Ioha girl?" John smiled and decided banter would be fun until he could get into the office.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:50 pm

The blonde smiled coyly at the man and then said, shrugging her shoulders up.

"An Englishman could start by learning the word 'Methodist' and then approaching the Iowa girl again, once he's learned her customs."

She playfully cocked her head and then resumed typing.

Just then, the elevator door opened and a balding man with a mustache and bowtie came out. He thanked his secretary and then extended his hand to John.

"Yes, how can I help you, sir?"

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:08 pm

John grinned, "of or pertaining to or characteristic of the branch of Protestantism adhering to the views of Wesley." John grinned and leaned into the girl, "They taught me something at Oxford, more than just how to be a plumber, I will speak with you later." He smiled and stood up straight accepting the hand of the man. Gently he moved in closer, "It is a delicate matter sir, one we dont want to raise but we feel we should for your sakes. I am from the Ministry of Works and we have reason to think that there may have been certain corners cut in the creation of this building." John coughed gently, "Now we know our American friends are not to blame but I should like to peruse your records room and look for the architect so we can interview him." John smiled amiably, he had no idea who the thief was and needed to generally have some luck and a bit of skill.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:02 pm

The secretary, a bit impressed quickly sequestered the expression on her face and went back to business as her boss stepped in and then snuck one last glance over her typing.

The balding, mustached man had a firm handshake and then listened politely.

"You understand that our records are proprietary, and I am sure this building's architect is a matter of public record. If there is a legal matter, you shall have to contact an English emissary. Perhaps I can direct you to the right person, Mr..." he paused waiting to hear a name.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:50 pm

"Percey, William Percey" he replied he had to admit somewhat under his breath so the secretary would not hear, he did not want her checking up on the name. "Well I understand your records are hidden sir and quite right too, there are many people around who would use the information for nefarious purposes but if you do not let me see your records on your building details and architects to check over your involvement in the matter I will take your reluctance as a sign of your knowing involvement in the wrongs commited and have no option but to file charges against your person and trust me sir the bureau take these cases very seriously, this building could sink into its very foundations for god sake, this is London clay you need to follow procedure." John was a bit worked up now as if he really did beleive that this building could sink into the ground.

John smiled, "Now look sir I know for a fact you did not know about this, so lets make a little deal, let me into the office and I will reccomend that the blame in this case is due to the architect alone and we will even fund the reconstruction, nothing off your back my friend, nothing at all." John smiled trying to gain the trust of this man and be allowed into the records to look for this international criminal among many he presumed.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 10:56 am

The man was impatient and irritated. John's explosion of information caused him to resign his posture for a moment. Glancing quickly to the secretary and to the others in the room, he finally sighed.

"Very well, I will give you limited access. Leave your indentification with Miss Green and she will give you a vistor's badge."

He shook John's hand and then returned to the elevator.

  • Author: John Masterton, PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 2:44 pm

John smiled at the man and walked back over to the secretary. He was his charming and cheery self as ever as he leaned on the desk again next to the secretary, "Well Miss Green as I always say, pleasure before bussiness, so firstly now I have displayed my prowess of your custom I think you mentioned something about a date, oh and I need my visitors pass if you could be so kind, William Percey if you could I have a lot to do, life of a plumber is never dull." John smiled and gave a cheeky wink as he idled on the desk and waited for his pass hoping identification did not require any proof.

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