Major (Truffles) Rupert Gore-Smith, tangles with some gypsy’s and receives a curse for his troubles.
(This story is fiction and resemblance to anyone, living or dead is coincidental)
Major Rupert Gore-Smith was widely known and reviled in the small town of Amble on Dextor as Major Truffles. He was what used to be known as a nosey-parker, someone who can’t keep his nostrils out of other folk’s business. The police would dread his weekly visits to their station as he called to complain about anything and everything.
He was of small build and had a stiff ramrod back. Now in his later years he carried a stick and was always accompanied by a small terrier. He was a familiar figure in his pork-pie hat, wax jacket and cord trousers as he self-importantly hissed and snorted his way through the crowded streets, finding fault with motorists and pedestrians alike. A well meaning greeting of “How”d you do? Or good day to you sir’ would be answered by a curled lip and a fierce oath. His nickname of “Major Truffles” came about because of his hobby of digging “The Bottoms” (a wide acreage of antique woodland, adjacent to the town) for Truffles.
He’d trained his dog; Rufus, to smell them out and he could regularly be seen by the local ramblers and bird watchers as he scrambled about on hands and knees, hunting for the prised delicacy. He might have carried on being a thorn in the side of his community for many more years but for the day he met the Gypsy’s in the wood. This was to change his life in more ways than one. He had set out early that morning for the woodland armed with his stick and basket and accompanied by his faithful and much abused dog. On entering the forest he found a likely spot and quickly dug up several big Truffles which he placed in his basket, then he gave a mighty sniff and muttered to himself that some careless blighter had lit a fire. He would investigate immediately. He followed his nose and shortly came to an open plateau, where a Gypsy encampment was located just off the beaten track. Indignantly waving his stick he stormed up to the small group of men, women and children, quietly sitting around the fire. The visitors had several old fashioned, gaily coloured caravans pulled by horses. These animals were tied up, grazing the long grasses at the outer perimeter of the clearing. “Just what do you think you”re doing here? Come on-be off with you before I get the police to evict you! Damn tinkers!’
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