Since abandoning his employment as a greased pig wrestler, after an unpleasant incident with a Gloucestershire Old Spot, Enoch Baines had fallen on hard times.
Winter was fast approaching and he knew the tattered rags that hung around him would be scant protection against the cold in his wattle and daub lean-to hard by the banks of the dismal canal.
It would be no understatement to describe his prospects as bleak.
Stumbling from the Horse and Rolling Pin public house one evening Enoch tripped on an unseen object on the filthy pavement.
A startled cry, and he found himself standing on a small trolly heading at great speed toward the gutter. With the aid of a nearby lamp-post Enoch stayed his impromptu trajectory the trolly took flight then landed, smashing to pieces on the cobbled street. Regaining his balance he turned to look at the obstacle that had caused this unexpected mishap.
Slumped on the flagstones was a truncated shabby figure holding what appeared to be a corrugated leather stomach and shrieking invective toward him...
"Why You dozy cove, look where your a'stepping lest I fetch you a drubbing an no mistake"...
Was the nubbin of the unfortunate's tirade...
Gathering his befuddled wits Enoch muttered his embarrassed contrition and set about assisting the sprawled figure attain an upright posture.
After ten minutes of cursing from the one and apologies from the other an uneasy accord was met and introductions made.
"I am Enoch Bains former greased pig wrestler to whom might I be speaking?"
"I am non other than Monsewer (sic) Albert Clamp Legless Concertina player to the crowned heads of Europe currently reduced to busking in the street on account of the fickle nature of stardom". Rattled out the aggrieved party.
"Where's me trolly?'
The two scanned the street they're eyes simultaneously alighting on the broken trolly surveying it with growing dismay.
"An' 'ow do you propose I am to get to me lodgings now mister?" said Clamp in a forlorn whine.
Enoch stood in thought awhile then announced,
"Why, I shall carry you for 'tis the least I can do."
"The very least!" said Clamp "but sufficient."
Hoisting the grumbling amputee on to his shoulders Enoch set off in the instructed direction swaying under the weight of Clamp and the influence of alcohol.
To inspire confidence in his burden Enoch began to whistle.
Clamp, his upset subsiding, eventually took up Enoch's shrill melody on the concertina.
After several hundred yards of swaying, blowing and squeezing the odd pair had attracted a small crowd of puzzled onlookers who followed them down the street.
When they reached the pump in the town square Enoch stopped momentarily to check his balance and catch breath before the final leg of the journey whereupon the gathered throng broke into wild applause all the while showering them both with coins. "Cripes!" said Clamp "we're on to something 'ere lad"
"Quick, to the City Folk Club...!"
Now memorise this list in case you need an alibi for the peelers....
Hello Mary Lou: Paul
About A Quarter To Nine: Berry
The Streets Of London: Les
Somewhere Along The Road: Eddie
The Day That The Circus Left Town: Maggie
Georgia On My Mind: George
Rambling Boy: Ray
How Can I Keep From Singing? : Lynda
Bonny Kate: Bill
The Happy Man: Colin
Man Of The World: Roger
When I'm Dead and Gone: David
It's Over: Paul
Ain't She Sweet? : Berry
Some Gave All: Les
The Night Is Young: Eddie
Apres Moi: Maggie
The Autumn Leaves: Paul/George
Home Lads Home: Ray
Mary Lou: Bill
The Heart is True: Colin
No Regrets: Roger
A Kind of Hush: Berry
Your Cheating Heart: Ensemble
Rolling Home: Ray