Written for the Sunday Scribblings prompt 'I would like to thank ...'
Squire Gordon lived in Longmarson Manor high up on the hill amid acres of rolling countryside punctuated by lush green copses. Every year on the same day in July he invited the villagers to a tea party and dance in one of his grand wooden barns.
Pop pop pop. Squire Gordon tapped a podgy finger on the microphone. He looked up. Everybody carried on chatting. He tottered slightly on the upturned crate he was using to raise him above his audience. He tapped little harder. Pop pop pop. They all kept talking unaware that the rotund Roger Gordon was trying to get a bit of hush! His white beard and moustache bristled as his rosy cheeks turned scarlet as his monocle fell from his eye.
‘One two one two...’ he yelled into the instrument thinking perhaps it wasn’t functioning.
The assembled crowd fell silent except for Farmer Foxton who called out ‘three four three four!’ This was followed by hysterical laughter and once again the babble started up. Squire Gordon looked ready to explode.
Suddenly there was an enormous bang. It came from the back of the barn. Everyone turned as one to see Brian the Gamekeeper standing feet astride, a smoking rifle in this hand. He stood there illuminated by a beam of sunlight shining through the hole he'd blown in the roof.
‘I’d thank you all to shut up and show a little respect’ he shouted ‘Let’s listen to what our worthy Squire has to say’
They turned back but saw nothing but the microphone. Roger Gordon was sitting on a straw bale mopping his sweating brow with a white hanky whilst a couple of little ladies fussed around him with smelling salts and brandy. He staggered back onto his feet, wedged his monocle in his eye, climbed unsteadily onto the wooden crate then puffed out his chest in readiness for his speech. Brian the Gamekeeper strode slowly to the front and stood beside the Squire tossing his rifle from one hand to the other whilst glaring at the audience. Needless to say there was total silence!
The squire took a piece of paper from his pocket. He unfolded it then holding it both hands moved it backwards and forwards until it came into focus. He turned it the other way up, and suppressed giggling broke out from behind the hands of the crowd who were extremely close to laughing out loud. Brian was not amused and grasped his rifle firmly and somewhat menacingly in both hands.
Squire Gordon started to speak. Brian turned on the microphone and Squire Gordon started again. The speakers screeched, Brian turned down the volume and the Squire made another attempt. Some the crowd were in serious danger of having an accident in their underwear!
He was on his way ay last.
‘I’d like to thank you all for coming here this afternoon, but I’m afraid I can’t’ he spluttered. ‘Instead the only person I would like to thank is my trusty Gamekeeper Brian’
With that Squire Gordon climbed down, and followed by Brian the Gamekeeper started to march toward the door as the crowd parted like the Red Sea. Everyone watched open mouthed. The great doors on the barn slammed shut and there was a resounding ‘clonk’ as a key turned in the lock. They never laughed at Squire Gordon again!