Have You Seen My Brother?

04-01-2014 Saturday

08.30

I can’t believe it! I simply can’t believe it! Last weekend of the holidays already. What have I been doing? What have I done? What did I do? Nothing! That is why it is called holiday; you don’t do anything. Christmas was boring, boxing day was boring, New Year’s Eve … boring.

Yesterday I made a Facebook page. My Grandma told me to do it. She says I am too ‘socially awkward’ and should really get some friends and Facebook seems to be all the rage. I don’t really know what all the fuzz is about. It took me nearly two hours to figure out everything and still I have no friends. Turned out you have to find ‘friends’ and ‘add’ them like as if I am in a supermarket and putting friends in my shopping cart. What is this shit?

Anyways, I left off in the middle of my story yesterday. Mr Bent was about to get to the good part. He is a bit of a slow talker, but it makes the stories sound so much eerier. Wish I had a voice like his. Must practise that as well. So, let’s pick it up just after Philip got hanged.

‘As I said, news has a way of travelling fast, but this news never seemed to have reached Philip’s sister Sarah. One day she walked into that bank and asked one of the clerks if she could see her brother. The clerk, unknowingly, told Sarah the whole story about how Philip was accused of being a forger, about the trial at the Old Bailey and about the hanging. Which, as you can understand, might not have been his smartest move.

Sarah was shocked; she was horrified. The news struck her as lightning, yet, she couldn’t believe it was true. Her brain more or less short-circuited. Why had nobody told her? Why wasn’t she at the trial? Why wasn’t she at the hanging? All these ‘why, why, why’ questions must have driven her mad.

The following day she showed up at the bank again. She was dressed in black and she was wearing a black veil. It was as if she was really mourning her brother’s death. But … (pause for dramatic effect) … she walked up to one of the clerks and she asked if she could see her brother, Philip, as he worked at the bank and she wanted to speak to him. Of course, the clerk was puzzled. He must have tried his best to get it through to her that her brother was dead and therefore could not be working at the bank; they don’t employ dead people. Every day that followed Sarah walked into that bank, dressed in the same black clothes, saying,’ Have you seen my brother?’.’

 

This is where Mr Bent got up, walked to the window and stared outside for a bit. The weather was getting bad. Like in real horror films. It started raining and the wind started to howl a little. He was staring out of the window as if in deep thought, sipping the last of his tea, not minding the biscuit. It was almost as if he heard her say it at that very moment and he just couldn’t bare it.

 

I’m sorry, the story does go on, but my stomach is calling me. I’m in desperate need of food. Hopefully I have time to report back later, we’re going out today. We’re going to have lunch at my favourite café. Though I’m not really sure if I can mention the name here, but it has the best mint-shakes in town and they do the best free-range egg sandwiches in the world (as for as I know). Mind you, they have to be put under the grill, because I hate cold eggs! See you later. Image

Sarah and Philip Whitehead

03 – 01 – 2014 Friday

17.30

I know; that was a very long walk. Mum and Dad wanted to go shopping and I had to come. I don’t think they trust me enough to be alone in the house too often. As if I was planning a London Project X or something. We went up and down Oxford Street, then up and down Regent Street and in the end Mum ended up buying the clothes she said she liked in the first shop we went into. These things do not make me want to look for a girlfriend.

So, where was I? Oh, yeah, Mr Bent was about to start his story. It would be best if you could read this in one of those low voices. Closest thing I can think of is Morgan Freeman, but even lower still and at a steady pace, take your time reading this and sometimes, in the middle of a sentence, just breathe in very deeply (as if you are in deep thought) and then continue. Here goes.

 

‘We are going to go back as far as November 1811. That’s a mighty long time ago. You weren’t born, I wasn’t born, not even my dad was born then; it’s that long. In those times there weren’t any mobile phones, there was no Internet, no TV, no anything. If you wanted to talk to anybody, you had to go out and meet that person in person. Streetlights were just candles that were lit by people. News had to travel by word of mouth. They say news travels fast, but in those days, not all news travelled fast. Which was a shame for poor Sarah Whitehead.

Philip Whitehead, Sarah’s brother, worked at the Cashier’s Office at the Bank of England. The Bank of England, as you may know, is situated on Threadneedle Street near Bank station. Bank station itself is also renowned for some ghostly activity, but we’re not going to talk about that now, because we are interested in the story of Sarah and Philip.

Philip was said to be a man of genteel appearance, whatever that may be. He’d worked at the bank for a couple of years when he was charged with forgery. Whether he was forging money, papers, or both is not really known. Nonetheless, forgery was what he was charged with and he was taken to the Old Bailey where he was – as you can guess – found guilty.

Nowadays, forgers get fines and they are sent to prison where they will have to spend some time and then after a couple of years, they are released and can build up a new life. Back in those days forgers were just as bad as killers, and murderers, and people who took other people’s lives and such. They were criminals. Therefore he was sentenced to death and early 1812 Philip Whitehead was hanged.

Some think that being hanged is a terrible way to die, but when done correctly, it’s actually a very fast, swift and humane way to kill somebody. If the length and strength of the rope is accurate, the short drop and the sudden stop will break your neck and you will die almost instantly without a lot of pain. In those days they had much more terrible ways of dealing with criminals that I am not going to talk about as they are not suitable for kids.’

Oh geez… look at the time. I have got to go. We are going to Grandma. She has got this New Year’s Afternoon Tea Party, sounds more like a Mad Hatter’s Party to me. She is completely loopy, but I’m not buying it. I think she is trying to con us into believing she is getting old and forgetful. Before to long she’ll be shouting,’ No room, no room!’ I think it’s all just a big show and when have left the room she just laughs and laughs and she’ll laugh her head off thinking of how she has fooled the lot of us again. Anyways, got to go. See you tomorrow.

 

1.10

Just noticed I forgot to post the former post. So I am posting it now. Just got back from Grandma’s place and I was right … Mad Hatter’s Party. Got to go and get some sleep. Good night.