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"Tea With Skarloey" is the fourteenth episode of the twelfth season.


Skarloey Railway Mainline: Mid-Morning: Sunny

(We see a group of twelve workmen a little ways from the lineside. On the ground, we see telephone poles and coils of wire. The trolley, Mark V, is standing stationary on the rails, and a man is sitting on it, overseeing the work of the workmen.)

Narrator: A group of workmen that were new to the railway had come to replace some of the telephone poles and electric wiring. The gang of workmen was led by Mr. Robinson, a man who was only concerned with his work, and could care less about the railway - unlike some of his workers.

Workman 1 (female): (concerned): Are you sure there’s no services today Mr. Robinson?

Mr. Robinson: (confidently): Of course I’m sure. After all, it’s Sunday. Little to no work happens on Sundays.

Narrator: But he was about to find out that he was wrong.

(We hear a long blast of Peter Sam’s whistle. He comes around the bend. He is pulling Agnes, Ruth, Lucy, Jemima, and Beatrice. Through the windows we can see men and women dressed in fancy clothes. From his POV, we see Mr. Robinson on board Mark V, which is stationary.)

Peter Sam: (urgently): Get out of the way!

(Mr. Robinson starts up Mark V and slowly begins to leave. We go back to Peter Sam’s POV, and see Mark V slowly moving away. All the while, we can hear screeching noises from his brakes.)

Peter Sam: (with his eyes closed; frantically): I must stop! I must stop! I mu- (he opens his eyes; relieved): I have stopped!

(The Mark V is now out of sight.)

(Fade Out)

Glennock Station: Mid Morning: Sunny

(Fade In)

(We see Peter Sam pull into the station with Agnes, Ruth, Lucy, Jemima, and Beatrice. The passengers get out and rush over to a bus, which is waiting for them. Sir Handel’s in the loop. He is coupled up to five coaches and a brake van.)

Sir Handel: (confused): Why are you late Peter Sam? You know how cross the passengers will be if they end up arriving late to Church.

Peter Sam: (tiredly): I know. But I had to deal with those new workmen and their leader.

Narrator: Sir Handel listened as Peter Sam told him about his near miss.

Sir Handel: (angrily): How disgraceful! That leader must be the first foreman I’ve ever heard who has no respect for us engines!

(Fade Out)

The Thin Controller’s Office: Noon

(Fade In)

(The Thin Controller is cheerfully sitting at his desk. He has a lunchbox on the desk. He is pulling out a banana, a bag that has a sandwich inside it, and another bag with a chocolate-chip cookie inside it. We then see him put a glass bottle of lemonade on the desk. On the opposite side of the room, the clock shows the time being 12:08pm)

Narrator: After the service at church, the Thin Controller had driven back to his office at Crovan’s Gate Station to have some lunch, and then answer some mail. He was just about to open his bag that contained a peanut-butter and strawberry jam sandwich, when he heard someone knocking on the office door.

The Thin Controller: (cheerfully): You can come in. The door’s unlocked.

(Mr. Robinson walks into the office. He closes the door behind him and sits down in a chair on the other side of the desk.)

The Thin Controller: (sadly): Good afternoon Mr. Robinson. How may I help you?

Mr. Robinson: (crossly): One of your engines was pulling a passenger train much too fast! I suggest you keep an eye on the drivers and make sure your speed limits are enforced.

The Thin Controller: (sternly): We’ve worked out an agreement that you and your gang shall work during the night. That way, you’d only deal with the mail train.

Mr. Robinson: (crossly): But that’s not good enough for me and my workers. We need an entire day if we’re to make any progress.

The Thin Controller: (firmly): Look here. You shall obey the rules that the operating department, myself, and you have agreed upon. Now, I’m going to be kind enough to just give you a slap on the wrist. If it happens again, you’ll find your company being sent away.

(Mr. Robinson angrily gets up from his chair.)

Mr. Robinson: (angrily): I’ll do whatever I want to get the job completed!

(Mr. Robinson goes over to the door, opens it, walks out, slamming the door hard.)

(Fade Out)

Skarloey Railway Engine Sheds: Crovan’s Gate: Evening: Sunset

(Fade In)

(Peter Sam, Skarloey, Sir Handel, Rusty, Duncan, Rheneas and Duke are all at the sheds.)

Narrator: The Thin Controller wasn’t the only one who had Mr. Robinson on his mind. When the engines returned to the sheds, they too were thinking about Mr. Robinson.

Duncan: (crossly): As I was approaching the hill near Cros-ny-Curin, one of Mr. Robinson’s workers was standing at the foot of the hill. I slowed down, and as I did so, the worker went running up the hill! I had to reverse back down the line to get a good run up the hill, and because of that, it delayed my passengers!

Peter Sam: (gloomily): I almost had an accident with him this morning as I was taking people to the Church in Glennock.

Skarloey: (calmly, but with a hint of sternness): The company is new to working on the railway. I suspect they’re still figuring out how things are done here.

Rusty: (dismissively): But they’ve been here for three weeks now!

Skarloey: (sternly): Doing something new takes time.

Sir Handel: (angrily): So you’re saying that it takes time to learn a few simple rules of working alongside the railway?! If so, th-

Rheneas: (kindly): What about we all just settle down a bit. There’s no need for arguing. We can talk about this in a clamer manner. Otherwise, I suggest that you end your conversation about Mr. Robinson.

Narrator: With the others knowing that they wouldn’t stop arguing, they simply listened to Rheneas.

(Fade Out)

Skarloey Railway Mainline: Morning: Sunny

(Fade In)

(We see Mark V on the line. We see the twelve workers; some are unloading a parked lorry, which is loaded with new telephone poles. There is a coil of wiring, and many digging holes for the new telephone poles. Mr. Robinson is standing on Mark V, fooling around with a tea brewing kit)

Narrator: Mr. Robinson and his workers had started work first thing in the morning, and by 10:00 they had made considerable progress.

Mr. Robinson: (cheerfully): Come on everyone! Let’s take a half-hour break!

(The twelve workers come up to the trolley. Mr. Robinson, with help of the workers, pass out cups filled with tea. A few went to sit by the coil and telephone poles that lay on the ground. Eight workers are on the trolley.)

(Cut To)

The Hill: Morning: Sunny

(Skarloey is charging up a hill. He is pulling Agnes, Ruth, Lucy, Jemima, and Beatrice. We can see through Agnes, Ruth, Lucy and Jemima’s windows that they are filled with passengers.)

Narrator: While the crew were merrily drinking tea, Skarloey was climbing up a hill, which was only a half-mile away from the crew’s workplace.

(Skarloey goes down the other side with Agnes, Ruth, Lucy, Jemima, and Beatrice.)

(Cut To)

Skarloey Railway Mainline: Morning: Sunny

(We see the eight workers and Mr. Robinson on the trolley, drinking tea. We hear a distant, long blast of Skarloey’s whistle.)

Workman 2 (male): (concerned): Did any of you hear an engine’s whistle?

(We hear another long blast of Skarloey’s whistle, which sounds closer now. We can also hear the pounding of an engine’s wheels on the tracks. Mr. Robinson looks in the direction of the noise.)

(From Mr. Robinson’s POV, we see Skarloey, who has his eyes shut, and is looking panicked.)

Mr. Robinson: (shouting frantically): ABANDON TROLLEY! ABANDON TROLLEY!

(From Skarloey’s POV, we see Mr. Robinson and the eight workers jump to their feet, and run in right and left directions.)

(We see Skarloey’s crew jump out of the cab. We hear Skarloey’s brakes squealing loudly)

Skarloey: (moaning): I must stop! I must stop!

(Skarloey rams into the trolley, sending it off the rails. The tea brewing kit goes flying into the air, and lands by a few of the workers who had fled from the trolley seconds prior. Tea shoots out of the brewing kit and splatters over a few of the workers. Skarloey’s left-hand side driving wheels are off the rails, while his right-hand side driving wheels are on the sleepers.)

(Skarloey’s Driver gets off the ground and goes to a nearby worker.)

Skarloey’s Driver: (urgently): Please drive back to Crovan’s Gate, and fetch some rails. We need them to lever Skarloey back onto the rails.

(Fade Out)

The Thin Controller’s Office: Early Afternoon

(The Thin Controller is sitting at his desk. He has a pen in his left hand. Under the pen, is a piece of paper. The clock on the wall on the opposite side of the desk shows that the time is 2:38pm.)

Narrator: The Thin Controller was in the midst of responding to a complaint, when the telephone rang. An Inspector of the railway was on the other end of the line.

(He drops his pen, and answers the phone.)

The Thin Controller: (kindly): Hullo. What, the replacing of telephone poles and wiring is completed between Crovan’s Gate and Cros-ny-Curin?! Excellent! What’s that? Skarloey had an accident with Mr. Robinson. What did you do?

The Inspector: (over the phone; sternly): I first ordered the gang to finish their work immediately. I stayed to watch them go about it. I then called the police. I told them that they put Skarloey, his crew, and passengers by not following the agreement we made with Mr. Robinson.

The Thin Controller: (thoughtfully): Well, I suppose that’s the end of working with him. Thank you for informing me. You did a good job dealing with the situation.

(Fade Out)

Skarloey Railway Engine Sheds: Crovan’s Gate: Evening: Sunset

(Duncan, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Rusty, Duke, and Rheneas are at the sheds. Skarloey then comes and slowly reverses into an empty berth between Duncan and Sir Handel.)

Duncan: (chuckling): Well, well, well. So much for knowing everything!

Sir Handel: (chuckling): I never thought I’d see the day when we young engines would have a chance to scold an older engine!

Duncan: (doing his own interpretation of Skarloey’s voice): Making assumptions isn’t the right thing to do. You must find out the truth!

Skarloey: (kindly): You’re quite right Duncan. But I’m also right in knowing that by learning my lesson, I’ll be a much wiser engine.



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