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penstroker
SS 1st assignment - desk job

102 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2007 :  07:01:44  Show Profile
The Night of the Split Seam
by Penstroker

Tennyson sighed as he threaded the needle with that distinctive blue thread. This was the most tedious part of his job; the upkeep of Mr. West’s wardrobe to the standard befitting a top government agent. As he knotted the thread, he glanced over at the pile of mending and washing he had yet to complete. He had procrastinated, although with good reason, from the time consuming chore of patching Mr. West’s favorite hat. “Bullet holes indeed,’ he sniffed, “The American West is so uncivilized.’

Not that Mr. Gordon’s wardrobe was any easier to maintain. His just produced a different set of challenges. ‘What on earth could be making all those yellow stains on his shirt cuffs’ Tennyson pondered as he sat down to tackle his project, ‘and for that matter, what other manservant has to worry about finding explosives in his employer’s clothes?’ It had only taken one incident for him to quickly fall into the routine of checking Mr. Gordon’s pockets thoroughly before washing. Who would’ve thought that doing laundry could be so dangerous?

As he began applying slow methodical stitches to the long rip, he wondered how his brother, valet to the Duke of Glouchester, was faring. Tennyson had once loftily informed his current employers, “Our family has an illustrious history of serving some of the most powerful families in Britain.”

‘How,’ he wondered idly, “did I ever end up here?’

He frowned slightly as he recalled his fall from his previous employer’s favor, earlier in the year. How was he to know that the Ambassador’s heirloom war uniform didn’t need cleaning before his knighthood ceremony? It certainly wasn’t his fault that his homemade cleaning solution weakened the antique threads and that the garment just happened to fall apart at the worst time and place, leaving the Ambassador exposed to ridicule.

In disgrace, Tennyson was banished to “The Colonies” to serve as a waiter during functions at the British Embassy in Washington. A fellow waiter’s untimely spilling of a tureen of gravy became a fortuitous even in Tennyson’s life. His ability to save the otherwise ruined tuxedo jacket of the United States Secretary of State had brought him the attention of President Grant. The rest they say, is history.

Tennyson returned abruptly to the present as the sound of a muffled gasp and his name issuing from Mr. West’s lips. He raised his head up from his tedious task, “Sir?”

“Tennyson, do you mind focusing your attention a little more on your stitching?”

“Not a problem Sir.” the manservant answered, “I’m sorry I am taking so long, but I want the stitches to be even. I’ll be finished in a jiffy.”

Jim looked over his shoulder and replied in exasperation, “Tennyson, I’m not trying to criticize your sewing ability, but do you have to keep jabbing me with the needle?”

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