Monday, 6 April 2009

The Thief And The Circus Queen - Part The First

Editor's Note:- Whilst cataloguing the vast archives left behind by the redoubtable Squire Kirk, the following confessional tale was unearthed, shedding fresh light on the Squire's hitherto murky ancestry. Without further ado, we present The Thief And The Circus Queen.

Part The First – Times Past

The time has come, oh true and constant reader, to lay bare a secret shame which has been clutched to the Kirkian breast for many a long year. The time has come to tell you all of how the good Squire came to be. Naturally, I have brought dignity, refinement and, admittedly, some notoriety to the good Kirk name but the Kirk name was not always held in such high regard. For, while I may well be the darling of the social scene, my parents were another matter entirely…

My father, Egbert Cornwallis Kirk, was a man born into promise only to have it cruelly dashed away. His father, Osbert, had been one of the biggest steam exporters of the time but, as other countries began to set up their own steam mills, his moistened empire went into sharp decline and he was forced to sell his vast estate, piece by piece, until nothing remained. His premature death forced my father and his mother out onto the streets of Lewisham, where they were forced to dance for scraps and perform light operettas for lodgings.

Within a short amount of time, my father had turned his hand to petty pilfering in order to bolster their meagre provisions. Always a quick study, Egbert soon became a master of the art – he could steal the segments from your orange without breaking the peel, he could purloin your undergarments without you feeling a thing and he once pilfered a gentleman's glass eye straight from the socket on a crowded train platform without anyone being any the wiser. His light-fingered lifestyle, however, was not enough to stave off the inevitable starvation and disease and, tragically, it was not long before my grandmother passed beyond the veil due to a terminal case of ingrowing rickets.

Left to fend for himself, Egbert passed from workhouse to workhouse. It was there that he found himself in the monstrous clutches of the terrifying Mr Dorstek, a mountainous brute of a man with a reputation for using buggery both as punishment and reward. My father's time there was brief yet brutal - he did not have long to languish in this bottom-blasting bastille before a chance for escape presented itself and, with nary a backward glance, he escaped the grim confines of the workhouse for a life on the ocean wave.

It was here that he found himself a true home amongst the rough, ragged and occasionally cross-dressing crew of the good ship Reginald. They were a merchant vessel but preferred to pretend that they were pirates, mainly for the eyepatches, peglegs and frilly shirts. Egbert took to the sailing lifestyle with aplomb but they made him leave that behind as plombs were strictly forbidden on deck.

They travelled the globe, dealing and trading in trinkets, gewgaws, doodads, whatchamecallits and assorted other miscellany and paraphernalia. In the short amount of time that he sailed with the crew of Reginald, my father amassed a considerable personal fortune. Unfortunately, he lost the lot in an unsettling incident involving a spoon, three midgets, a woman of ill repute and the long prophesied return of an ancient Aztec love god

Disappointed by the downtown in his fortunes and finding life on board ship sadly repetitive (Eyepatch Wednesday had long begun to lose its appeal for him), my father decided to return to the homeland and see what await him there. Little did he know that it was a chance encounter that was to alter the very course of his destiny...

To Be Continued....

[1] Some may argue that this is proof positive that the apple does not fall very far from the tree...


  1. Woo-hooo! More Squire postings! And a good 'un it is too. I so want these to be turned into Monty Python movies.

  2. Cheers, me dear! Let's hope it has an ending...