In Episode 2 two highly confused vicars requested confirmation of James Pendleton's identity.
"I’m James Pendleton from Liverpool b 21 July 1847 in Runcorn – trainee book keeper, chemist assistant, soap boiler, mineral water entrepreneur and foreman. I live at 21 Danby Street, W Derby, Liverpool – and I too will have my death registered, in 1905 not 1902, in a small Welsh town with a famous railway station:
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch . . . . . . . . enough of all that! Lizzie, what on earth is going on? Are you and this chap an item? Who is this fellow who looks like me, using my name?"
Elizabeth replied, "I thought he was you and I thought you were him! I did notice sometimes you were a bit different at times. For instance sometimes my James had blue eyes (like yours) and sometimes my James had brown eyes (like his) and not knowing two gentlemen were involved, I could find no explanation as to how you managed to switch eye colours like that so regularly! I thought you might be related to a chameleon, except in every other physical respect I thought he was you and you were he - yet your temperaments seemed quite different, which I put down to the possibility of some mental abnormality since your mood swings were quite marked - quite confusing really. I did wonder whether I was in some sort of Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde situation, sometimes. Also, I could not understand quite why sometimes you had a mustache, which you know tickles me, and at other times you were clean-shaven - I thought it was somewhat miraculous to grow one, lose one the grow one again so quickly - and of course your clothes seemed to change with uncanny frequency. I am so confused now I do not know who is the right James for me to marry, ye or he!"
James from Liverpool remarked, "I thought I knew you for years, Elizabeth, but somehow lately you do seem a bit different and a lot more plump than usual, and a bit more plain if I may say so, and you seemed not to remember people whom you should know! I don't mean to sound hurtful but you are not the lady I would chose for a bride except you were very friendly and affectionate and being a widower I thought I'd better see how the relationship developed. I'm beginning to wonder whether you are the correct Elizabeth for me after all - perhaps not! Could I have mistaken you with a prettier young lady of my former acquaintance? But if you are not her, then where can she be?"
Said an angry Elizabeth, "Well there are 767 of them to choose from! Oh how could you, you cad! I know what this is all about! It's daddy with his money and bonuses that you find of interest isn't it? I am merely the vehicle for your greed!"
"Well, er . . . . "
Before he could answer the other James interrupted, "This man is an impostor! I am your correct James. I've know you for years - we got engaged 5 years ago!"
Elizabeth bust into tears!
Turning to the would-be tearful bride the vicar consoled her by saying, "Don't cry, young lady!"
"I am not sure which James is the correct one, although the one with blue eyes is decidedly rude today! But it's all these other Elizabeths that upset me your reverence. I cannot understand why they are all here. It makes my James look like a bull in a large field of cows. Who shall I marry? James from Liverpool, born in Runcorn – he is the one who has won my heart! or James from Congleton - he also has won my heart! Who shall it be? How can I chose?"
"I think I can answer that question!" said Eddie Bluelights. James Pendleton from Liverpool is my great grandfather, I come through my grandfather Walter, his son, and I have a photograph of James wearing a moustache and with him is Elizabeth and their two sons. Her countenance is different to yours - she is much more pretty! This photograph was given to me by his grand daughter a year ago, at present just a twickle in someone's eyes!"
James from Liverpool looked very surprised as to how Eddie could possibly know this information at this moment in time, as was Walter and Cyril.
"I need to speak with you, great grandfather James, there is something I must explain to you. My mission is to warn you and plead with you not do anything rash in January 1905. You see I have found out recently . . . . . "
Before Eddie could elaborate further a tremendous flash with deafening thunder filled the church and the image of the lady appeared again, this time with much more gravity. . . . again from no-where! Geraldine had returned.
"Are you an angel?" asked several people falling flat on their faces.
"No, I most certainly am not - get up, there is no need to do that, GET UP, I'm Geraldine from the future and I am working with Eddie Bluelights, although we have different missions which overlap slightly. Ah! I see he is here with the other vicar from West Derby. I have been assisting Mr Bluelights on his family tree – I met him on email."
"On email! you silly man! Never mind, I have confirmation that a major error has occurred. Elizabeth Dutton, your groom is the James without the mustache and with brown eyes. Do not listen to or marry the James with blue eyes for he is 'reserved' for another Elizabeth. I have all the necessary documentation at hand. Elizabeth Dutton, your wedding is confirmed from the records as here - a Congleton wedding, reference Volume 8A Page 449. James Pendleton from Liverpool, your wedding is in West Derby, Reverend Harding's parish of St Benedicts, Walton, Nr Liverpool, as per official records Volume 8B Page 603. Before that marriage can take place we must find the correct Elizabeth - a Pendleton or an Evans - from the ladies present in this church. Someone has made another very serious error. Eddie Bluelights and his incompetent relations made a huge blunder thinking West Derby was in Derbyshire - not a sub district of Liverpool. Some blethering idiot ordered the wrong wedding certificate and helped to cause all this mayhem and confusion. I am always having to make sure they get their facts right - all of them are a load of nincompoops!"
"Ahhhh! said the vicar, keeling over again, "What are you? Keep away from me - I think Armageddon's come! You remind me of the Queen of the fairies from Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Iolanthe' and I feel like singing, 'Go away Madam! Stay away Madam! you display, Madam shocking taste. It is rude Madam, to intrude, Madam . . . etc. ' . . . .
. . . . and to just think, earlier I took you for the proprietor of a ladies seminary but now I feel you are a fairy from Anderson's library! seeing you are so contrary! . . . . . but now I feel dizzie and light headed."
A lady screamed, "Quick, the vicar's fainted! Call a doctor!"
Geraldine enquired, "Is there a First Aider around, or better still a First Responder? Oh of course, Eddie Bluelights is here. COME HERE! and save this man. Now just watch him in action - the vicar needs the kiss of life and CRP! Two breaths and 30 compressions, then two breaths and 30 compressions – keep going plus Oxygen until Emergency Services arrive. Dial 999, somebody, quick! If he comes round put him in the recovery position".
"What the hell is she on about?" shouted the entire company.
Said Eddie, "It's OK and it's in hand - but this morning I never thought I would resuscitate two vicars in one day!"
"KEEP GOING Eddie", demanded Geraldine, "DOCTOR' ABC' - remember!". . . . DANGER, AIRWAYS, BREATHING and CIRCULATION in THAT ORDER then two breaths and 30 compressions, two breaths and 30 compressions!"
"Gosh! which fix is she on?"
"Which planet did she come from?"
"Give him the kiss of life you say? Nobody is going to kiss him – the only person who would do that was Mary Warburton, she'd kiss any man within a 50 yard radius but she died in 1864 of suffocation".
A lady from the back shouted, "Scarlet woman! Scarlet woman! Don't mention that man-eater in my presence."
"And . . . . she interfered with my husband!”
"And mine!". . . . . . and mine!" . . . . . "and mine!"
An old gent smiled to himself, remembering his distant past with the lady called Mary and remarked, "Yes, I do remember her well!"
He was nudged in the ribs by his stern faced wife, "What are you smiling about?"
"Nothing dear, just remembering what it was like to be happy!"
Geraldine, noting the vicar recovering, shouted,
"Silence! I have come from the future to inform you that your descendants, who are at present just a twinkle in Walter Douglas's eye, Eddie here included, are making significant discoveries about your goings on and they are far from impressed – they are deeply shocked at all your antics and skeletons in cupboards I keep discovering for them and look how they repay me, by not listening to me and making fundamental errors. I am a messenger from the future and a trained 'dendrologist'. I get my information from the internet from waves in the air on my laptop computer and this comes from the census returns that you all make every 10 years. It all comes out of the air on my computer screen, a bit like a TV."
"What' the 'ell is she ranting' about?"
"What the 'ell's a computer and a television?" "
She's off her trolley!"
"It's a bit difficult to explain," commented Geraldine, "but if you had a television your families would certainly not be as big as they are now! You'd have other things to do besides . . . . "
"What a fruitcake!"
"How many kid's have you got, then?"
"Maybe two and maybe three! That's for me to know and you to wonder! . . . . . Well I never! You are all extremely rude!"
"Gosh, only two or three kids! Don't you give your husband red meat for his dinner or does he come from Runcorn? We're from Widnes! nothing wrong with us! What's up with 'im? Obviously, if he can't do that, he can never get into Liverpool Football Club or even Widnes Rugby 13 and as far as Runcorn is concerned they cannot get 13 able bodied men fit enough to even muster up a decent team!"
"Did someone mention, Liverpool F.C.?"
"Shut up! They're rubbish", said another man waving his Everton shirt, "Everton are Magic! Liverpool are Tragic!"
"Oh no, they’re not! It’s Everton who are tragic!!"
"Here, here. Shut up, we'll thrash you next time we . . . .ouch! ouch! Let go or I’ll . . . . . “
"QUIET! QUIET! ORDER! ORDER!" shouted Geraldine, "This is all upsetting the vicars again! I must leave you now and go back to my own time, back to the future! I have to get home and make my husband's tea! He would be extremely cross if I didn't and would stop me talking to Eddie Bluelights on the email. I have a lot of Gentlemen writing to me and I have to get back and answer their emails. I have half the men folk in England sighing at my feet and I'm thinking of starting blogging!"
"What the 'ell's blogging?"
"Oh never mind!" FLASH! Geraldine disappeared as the vicar recovered fully from his faint, assisted by Eddie Bluelights. "Where did she go?" asked the vicar, who had just staggered to his feet? Are we in the next life?"
"No! were all stick stuck om planet Earth in Congleton! but I'm beginning to wonder if this is all a dream!", said Reverend Harding.
James from Congleton stepped forward and shouted, "Haven't a clue where she went but you, my pal", addressing his rival, "you are going to a funeral and it's going to be yours". He addressed the congregation and said, looking at our James Pendleton from Liverpool, "If this chap doesn't sling his hook and leave me gall and me alone we'll need this vicar for 'is funeral."
Just then there was another blinding flash.
"What the 'ell was that?"
"Ahhh!" said the vicar, "The End Has Come!"
"No it's the Queen of the Night again from Mozart's Magic Flute", said a soprano voice.
"No it's most certainly not! It's me again!", said Geraldine. I've solved it all and brought two people with me. I have the correct Elizabeth (nee Evans) with me – she has a sister called Mary – all the other Elizabeths here, all 767 of them are therefore redundant. Secondly, this miserable little specimen of masculinity is the registrar from the records office, responsible totally for the mess in which we all find ourselves in today. He's here to clear it all up, aren't you, little man? The Elizabeth I have brought lives at 21 Danby Street, Liverpool. I've looked through all the records for marriages in 1891 with Elizabeths born 1857-1862 and they are all accounted for and the Elizabeth I have brought is the only one that fits the bill."
James from Liverpool enquired, “Did you say this new Elizabeth resides at 21 Danby Street, Liverpool? That’s where I live! I wonder if I have seen you before" he said, eyeing her! "You look like a much prettier version of Elizabeth Dutton”.
“Improper!” Improper!” Fancy living together before marriage!
"Disgraceful!” said the self righteous woman at the back of the church.
Up to the altar walked Elizabeth to the obvious approval of the men folk – with wolf whistles and catcalls and admiring glances prevailing in abundance!
"Do you like your new Elizabeth I have brought for you, James?" asked Geraldine, against a background of continuing wolf whistles and admiring glances from all the men folk.
"Cor yes! what a cracker! I'm sure I've seen you before!" exclaimed James, who was ogling the new Elizabeth, as Elizabeth Evans gave him an amorous glance.
Elizabeth Dutton, whom until recently he was about to marry, gave him a right hook and yelled, "He doesn't love me any more! He has found an Elizabeth much fairer than I". Turning to James Pendleton from Congleton, her original suitor, she pleaded, "Now I know you are the James for me, James with no mustache and with brown eyes, it is you whom I will marry. I do not love James from Liverpool anymore!"
"Then marry us today without delay, vicar", they said in unison.
Eddie Bluelights became restless, "Great grandfather James, I must have a word with you, urgently!"
(To be continued - Episode 4)