JOHN CLARK, all round handy-man, salt of the earth, Master of no-one but his wife Thomasine; He bursts through the front door like a boy, with a prize grin. That Jewish woman from next door was back again. Never mind for now, Johnny had a clay pipe to show her, a gift for a quick unloading job down the dock
Thomasine took the clay pipe and inspected it. She passed it to her neighbour, “I’d rather you pass me the coin you earned”. John’s silence made her turn her head and look at him. “So where’s the money, don’t tell me you did another favour?
“Fuckin’ hopeless idiot” she shouted, “What are we going to live on?”
“Trust Me” he said, taking the pipe back, seating himself at the head of the table and laying down a pouch, lifting the lid, to reveal a soft, rich,musty tobacco.
Rachel Mendoza had soldier in Cromwell’s New Model Army (but, best keep that to ourselves MASTER of nobody but his wife Thomasinepuffed his clay pipe, scratched his balls, watched his wife and the Jew widow from next door at the small kitchen table, cutting up Dandelions. engrossed in a conversation. He was going to have to put a stop.
Could she trust a Jew to write down her story. My neighbour was worried her native East London lingo wouldn’t be able to convey her non-conformist “Red Coats” narrative.
Her self-talk was a battle within her, like a constant tug of war. The automatic thought to Deborah’s proposal of writing down her story in a book excited her but then she would counter it by saying she was nothing but a dumb drummer?
Who would want to read about a poor ignorant, woman who played a drum for a cause which everybody had forgot!
“I can see what my wife means,” John said, his words rising with the smoke, “ waste of time, Thom! You’re getting better now and I am grateful to you Mistress Corteza for your care, but our Thom is a worker, a trooper, yes, but she is a woman of Wapping and were made by God to put food on the table .
we need to pay the rent and provide for those less fortunate.
My wife has always been practical. She can’t read or write, that’s for higher-born.” He stood up, stretched, baring his chest. Well it’s time I got my arse shifted. Thom I’ll need sprucing up a bit, as I’m meeting up with the old Regiment to work on the Bonfire Night.
That’s one thing everybody’s glad to see back – a hell of a good bonfire. The victualler’s will earn a profit. Their should be a few kids show up tomorrow to make the Effigies.
Que Señora? A big burning Papa Pope and Guy Fawkes for the Parish fire. Ruth offered to help, she had some cloth we might be able to use.
“In a Procession from here to there – I must admit it is a fun time of year, and the kids like scary! First we go to Thanksgiving Service at Church early.
Thanksgiving for what? Guy Fawkes tried to blow up our Parliament but found out in time to save King James, Westminster and , Gunpowder, pow pow, barrels of the stuff.
How could she let people see how few words she had in her empty skull.
“Most days I am at a loss for words!” Thomsina insisted.
“It’s not my time to write, wrong class, wrong sex.”
Wrong! shouted a little boy, wooden dagger in his breeches, and soon joined by a chorus. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Throwing rags, bits of rope, sticks, anything they can find to wreck everything.
“You lot don’t want a Guy Fawkes or a Pope for the Bonfire tonight. What if King Charles found out – he’d hang you all for treason at Execution Dock!
The oldest boy come on then, do as the General says, let’s get busy.
Not if that Jew is here. Hey, the greatest General of all, Cromwell let the Jews in because they are God’s Chosen of the Old Testament.
This lady is our Neighbour – what did Jesus say? Love thy Neighbour. Two groups one pope, one fawkes. They’ll be a prize for the first to finish.
Get on with it! From the doorway her husband John stepped out bare foot, loose linen shirt stained with a weeks food and booze splashed onto it. He wiped his nose on his sleeve. “Do as the Good wife says or I’ll throw you in the Thames! The kids start stuffing hose with rags.
The Jewish neighbour brings out some course cloth. I will help with the Pope, and help to burn him up as he did to my brother.
Did you see him die? Did he scream? Did he go to heaven. In the Hebrew Torah it says my brother will go to meet his maker.
Who is your Maker – the same as yours little one, the God of Abraham, but he was surprised you could be disobedient.
Was that your brother – no he was a Good son, a Good brother – it was this this Pope and his Priests who murdered the innocents.
Put a big ugly nose on him! Yeah. They will burn in hell tonight.
John had his breeches on by now, well I’ll need some help to collect drift wood and leaves and grass. Broken furniture. We can use this cart. Go door to door.
A 5 year old said, ‘This is my favourite of all festivals, even when we go Thomasin’.
“The Famous Woman Drummer” once sung in every tavern across the land!
That was my Season of fame!”