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"Equal Treatment" is the twenty-third episode of the tenth season.

Story

Ffarquhar Station: Day


(Thomas has a lamp on his smokebox lamp iron, due to it being rainy, so signallers can identify the class of train he’s pulling.. He is coupled to Annie and Clarabel, and passengers are boarding them.)


Narrator: Thomas, Annie and Clarabel were getting ready for their first run down the branchline. Since it was summertime, there were more passengers than just the usual regulars that took the train to work. Holidaymakers climbed aboard with ice cream.


Clarabel: (sadly): It’s one thing to have mud on the floors, but it’s another thing when ice cream gets on the seats.


Annie: (agreeing): Or getting ice cream on the windows due to handprints.


(The guard blows his whistle, and Thomas starts off)


Thomas: (kindly): The children can’t help it.


Annie: (calmly): We know that Thomas. We just want the usual passengers to have an enjoyable journey.


Thomas: (kindly): I bet the regulars will understand why you two are dirty.


Clarabel: (thoughtfully, yet having her doubts): I suppose so.


Elsbridge Station: Day


(Thomas pulls into the platform at Elsbridge Station. Henry is there. Passengers get on and off. A man brings a dog aboard, who has muddy paws. The muddy paws tough the seats and windows.)


Thomas: (thinking to himself as he starts off again): Maybe Annie and Clarabel won’t feel so bad when we go to Tidmouth to collect Sophia.


Tidmouth Station: Day


(We see Gordon pulling into platform 3.)


Narrator: Thomas has a third coach, named Sophia. She usually works on the Mainline, and is brought to Tidmouth, so that Thomas can come and collect her for passengers wishing to travel along the Ffarquhar Branchline.


(We see Thomas puffing backwards into platform 4. He is coupled to Clarabel. When he arrives, Thomas is uncoupled, and runs round Annie and Clarabel, moves onto the platform 3 line, and is coupled up to Sophia. Sophia is painted in the express coaches cream and green livery. He backs down onto Annie and Clarabel, with Sophia being coupled to Annie. Then he sets off to go back down the Ffarquhar Branchline)


Sophia: (hopefully): Are you two dirty as well?


Annie: (sadly): If you mean with ice cream and dog prints on the windows and seats, then yes.


Sophia: (gloomily): Gordon was furious when he saw holidaymakers bringing ice cream and dogs aboard. It’s a good thing Thomas doesn’t complain as much as Gordon does about the holidaymakers.


Ffarquhar Station: Day


(Thomas stops at Ffarquhar Station. The passengers get out. He then takes his three coaches to the yard.)


Ffarquhar Yard: Day


Narrator: After their first run, Thomas took his three coaches to the yard, but he only asked for Annie and Clarabel to be cleaned.


(Thomas, Sophia, Annie and Clarabel are in a siding in the yard.)


Sophia: (confused): Aren’t you going to ask the workmen to clean me too?


Thomas: (hastially): I would, but you aren’t exactly my coach.


Sophia: (crossilly): I AM too your coach! I work on your branchline with Annie and Clarabel.


Thomas: (a little annoyed): But you mostly work on the Mainline.


Annie: (shocked): If you’re not going to treat Sophia as well as you treat us, then we’re not going out with you for the rest of the day!


Thomas: (crossilly): Fine then! I’ll use other coaches.


Ffarquhar Station: Day


(Passengers are boarding the rake of six branchline coaches. The guard blows his whistle, and Thoms puffs away.)


Elsbridge Station: Day


(Thomas stops at Elsbridge Station. Passengers get on an off his and James’ trains.)


Narrator: Although Thomas didn’t mind using other coaches, he was beginning to miss the company of his actual coaches.


(A man and a little boy holding a chocolate ice cream cone walk up to see Thomas. Thomas lets off a wheesh of steam.)


Little Boy: (scared): Daddy, help me!


Narrator: The little boy was so scared, he accidentally threw his ice cream at Thomas’ face. Chocolate ice cream dripped from his face down his front.


Father: (apologetic): Sorry Thomas. My son hasn’t seen steam engines up close before.


(The Father turns to the Little Boy)


Father: (kindly): Let’s get to our seats before the guard blows his whistle. I’ll get you another ice cream cone at Dryaw.


Little Boy: (still a little scared and apologetic): I’m sorry for throwing my ice cream at you.


Thomas: (knowing that the little boy didn’t mean to do it): That’s alright.


(The Father and Son board Annie and Thomas puffs off.)


Knapford Station: Day


(Thomas arrives at Knapford Station. Henry is there, at platform 2)


Henry: (chuckling): Oh dear Thomas! You first try fish, and now ice cream!


(The guard of Henry’s train blows his whistle, and Henry puffs away, still laughing.)


Thomas: (hopefully): Please Driver, can I get cleaned before the next run?


Thomas’ Driver: (dismissively): I’m only working the afternoon shift. Your evening crew will have to deal with it.


Ffarquhar Sheds: Night


(We see workmen with sponges and brooms, giving Thomas a good rubdown.)


Narrator: It wasn’t until that night after his last run of the day to Ffarquhar, when he finally got cleaned.


(Thomas is looking upset as the workmen finish their work)


Ffarquhar Branchline: Day


(It is sunny. Thomas is wearing a disc on his smokebox lamp iron. He is cheerfully pulling Sophia, Annie, and Clarabel.)


Narrator: Thomas was soon pulling his three coaches again. He now knows that all three coaches belong to him, and that he must take good care of them if he wants them to work with him. Thomas also went a puff further by asking the Fat Controller if Sophia could work more on the branchline, and luckily his wish was granted. Now Sophia works regularly with Annie and Clarabel, and I must say, the four friends make a grand quartet.

Characters

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