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Speaking in Code is the fifteenth episode of the sixth season.


There were major repairs taking place on Misty Island. The Logging Locos were sent to work with Fergus at the Cement Works.

They’d been working with him for five weeks now. At first they’d liked Fergus, but they were now just as annoyed with him as the rest of the engines. Ferdinand arrived with fuel from the depot. He blew three long blasts on his whistle. Fergus quickly came over. “Oh dear,” sighed Ferdinand. “He’s bound to scold me for something.” He was right. Fergus was cross with him. “You used the wrong whistle code!” “Whistle code?” “Yes. It’s used to help others know your activity. One long blast would have told us you’d arrived, and two blasts would-“ Fergus kept on telling him all sorts of whistle codes. Ferdinand thought his smokebox would ache trying to remember all of this.

At the morning break he met Bash and Dash. He told them about what had happened. “We were scolded too,” said Bash. “Dash and I were puffing around too fast!” “We were only going fast to be really useful!” added Dash, who was still cross. “Well, I have an idea,” said Ferdinand. He whispered it to them.

That afternoon Ferdinand was leaving with a long line of cement trucks. He whistled one short, and two long blasts on his whistle. Fergus came puffing up alongside him. “You’re…using…the….wrong-“ Fergus had to stop. They’d came to the entrance to the Cement Works. “Fergus wista a bousa boillata!” he called. “A what?!” But Ferdinand had already gone.

Next, Fergus caught Bash and Dash bumped the trucks too hard. “Oh! Oh! Oh!” screamed the trucks. “You can’t bump trucks that hard! They’ll play tricks on the next engine who takes them out to work!” The twins looked at each other and laughed. “Youst gottan knot control on us!” “Whatever language you are using, please stop it! Use proper English!” The twins laughed and puffed off to the hopers to fill empty trucks.

Fergus went to sleep early that evening. It’d been a tiring day with the Logging Locos, who were at the Wash Down. The Logging Locos told the others what they’d actually been saying. “That isn’t nice!” scolded Neville, who puffed away. “Fergus might be annoying,” admitted Derek, who was in the middle of a wash, “but he’s really useful!” The Logging Locos noticed quickly that this subject wasn’t going well and tried to change the topic. The other engines didn’t want to speak to them at all. They noticed that they all ignored them. “Do you think they don’t like us?” asked Bash as he was beginning to get washed. “Well…we are reckless when we work, and we come across as being rude sometimes,” said Ferdinand. “Then we must change our ways,” said Dash, breaking a long silence. “But how?” “I don’t know.” They were still thinking about it when they returned to the Cement Works. But tiredness made them fall asleep feeling upset, and hoping that if they could change their ways, that the engines would be their friends again. But that’s another story.



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