Teders And turntables
THE big ststions at both ends of the line each have a turnttable. Sir Topham Hatt had made them so that the tender engines can be turned around, because it is dangerous for them to go fast backwards. Little tank enines like Thomas don't need turntables; they can go just as well backwards as forwards. But to hear Danni or Gordon talk, you would have thought that Sir Topham Hatt had given him a tender just to show how, (cough cough) important he was.
"You don't understand Kattie, and neither do you, little Thomas," said Danni. "We tender engines have a position to keep up. You haven't a tender and that makes a difference. It dosen't matter where YOU go, But we are important, and for Sir Topham Hatt to make us shunt trucks, fetch coaches, and go on some of those dirty sidings it's-it's-well it's not the propper thing," finished Gordon. And they puffed away in a dignified manner. "Tender engines," said Kattie. Thomas chuckled and they went off with Annie and Clarabel.
After arriving at the terminus, Danni and Gordon waited till all the passengers had gone out; then, groaning and grumbling, they shunted the coaches to another platform. "Disgraceful! Disgraceful! Gordon hissed as he ran backwards onto the turntable. The turntable was in a windy place close to the sea. It was only just big enough for Gordon, and if he was not on it just right, he put it out of balance, and made it difficult to turn. today Gordon was in a bad temper, and the wind was blowing fiercely. Danni tried to make him stop in the right place, but Gordon wasn't trying. Larry, the fireman, tried to turn the handle, but Gordon's weight and the strong wind prevented him. "It's no good," Larry said at last, mopping his face, "your tender upsets the balance. If you were a Tank Engine, you'd be alright. now you'll have to pull the next train backwards."
Danni and Gordon arrived at the platform. Some little girls notticed and one shouted, "Ooh! Ooh! Blossom! Buttercup! come quick! There's a new Tank Engine!" "Don't be silly, Bubbles! It's only Gordon, Back to front," pointed out Blossom. "Aww man! What a rip off!" complained Buttercup. "Ugh. I feel so stupid," muttered Gordon. "Well, at least Thomas and Kattie aren't around," soothed Danni. As if on cue from karma, anthoer train pulled up, and guess who was the Engine? "Hullo!" called Thomas and Kattie. "Playing Tank Engines? Sensible engine! take my advice, scrap your tender and have a nice bunker," said Thomas. "Yeah I didn't see that coming!" exclaimed Gordon. "Hi Thomas! Hi Kattie!" waved Bubbles happily. "Hi Bubbles!" they replied. "HA! HA! HA! HA! DORK!" James shouted as he and Jacob passed them. "Wait Jacob! Be careful on the turntable! James might stick too!" Danni warned. "No need to worry," replied Jacob, "he's not as fat as Gordon!" "Ugh...worse and WORSE," Gordon moaned. Danni, in an effort to comfort him, hugged him, well as much as anyone can hug an engine, but you know what I mean.
"Dear god I HOPE James dosen't stick," Jacob thought to himself anxiously as he ran James onto the turntable. He stoped on just the right place to balance the table. It could now swing easily. The fireman turned the handel... James turned... much too easily! The wind puffed him round like a top. He couldn't stop! At last the wind died down, and James stopped turning, but not before Danni and Gordon, who had been turned on the loop line had seen him AND Jacob. "AH! HA! HA! HA! HA! Well! Well!" they laughed, "are you playing roundabouts?" Poor Jacob and James, feeling quite dizzy and sick, rolled off to the shed without a word, and Jacob made rather gross use of a greas bucket he found in the shed.
That night, the three engines and their workers had an indignation meeting. "It's shameful to treat Tender engines like this! Yuki and Henry get spitted on by an elephant; my poor Gordon has to backwards and people think he's a tank Engine; Jacob and James spin round like a top and everyone laughs at us. And added to that, Sir Topham Hatt makes us shunt in dirty sidings." "Ugh!" said all three engines and their workers together. "Listen," said Gordon, "I've got a plan." He whispered something to the others. "Gordon, you evil genius," sniggered Jacob. "Listen," said Gordon, "we'll do it tomorrow. Sir topham Hatt will look silly!" The engines AND their workers had decided to go on strike.