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Wednesday October 25th 2017Tim Candler9

 

     There are very few accurate records of those early days in Saint Barbara, they weren't that big on taking notes or keeping diaries, so while this time two years ago Saeed bin Saeed's entourage might well have numbered ten or twenty loyal followers, and again this time last year both that number and his name might have changed, the general opinion in the waning days 2017 is that Saeed had an entourage of eighteen. He had a cook, a food taster, a wardrobe master, half a dozen seamstresses, an hostler, a religious advisor, an oaf, a falconer and a group of fellow fossil hunting enthusiasts one of whom happened to be a Dutchman who apparently spoke English. After a long, very difficult journey Saeed, his entourage and whole gang of well dressed non-tee-shirt wearing Industrial Magnet representatives arrived in Saint Barbara. For the local Barbarians this influx of outsiders was exciting for a couple of hours but their constant questions and criticisms quickly became exhausting. The better centered Barbarians decided that rather than make fuss, the best thing to do was to take no notice, let the outsiders get on with whatever it was they had to do and soon enough they'd go away. The less peaceful Barbarians chose to put a sneer on the outsiders and would say things like "Do make an effort to clearly annunciate," which in those days was the rude way of answering a stupid question.

 

Past

     Travel had broadened Saeed's mind. He'd seen steam trains, he'd sat in the window seat of a moving railway carriage, and with the consent of Industrial Magnet representatives he'd ignored the advice of his religious advisor and his oaf, and he'd dressed up as locomotive engineer so that he could pull the cord that sounded a steam engine whistle. By the time Saeed had reached Saint Barbara he was full blown on the idea of steam trains and he was ready to start the difficult process of writing letters to his father imploring him to take the family money out of slave trading and put it directly into railway lines. Sadly his oaf and his religious advisor hadn't taken to the steam train, they thought it a general all round disruption, they thought it dirty, loud, a menace to the order of things, and along with the hostler they started tut-tutting which in the end is the only way to effect the psyche of a royal personage. Naturally there's dispute about who in Saeed's entourage fermented the rumor, but I am of the opinion that it was the Dutchman who in due course would settle down with a local Barbarian maid, and who as the first station master of Saint Barbara's Halt would become a pillar of Saint Barbara society. Either way, the first wage ever paid to anyone in Saint Barbara was to George Pudesduckle, nor was it a real honest wage. His job was to claim that he'd seen what looked like large fossilized dinosaur bones in a cave   

 

 

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