Elgie meets Lawrence of Arabia

The other great thing about the past is meeting people who are famous for doing all sorts of hilarious things which made little sense in 2328. Elgie had developed this ‘thing’ about T.E. Lawrence. It wasn’t just the enigmatic life and tragic death (which hadn’t happened yet; Elgie had to keep remembering not to talk about things that hadn’t happened yet) but the fact that Lawrence had been born in a place called ‘Tremadog’. Elgie liked that very much. After whatever really happened in Arabia, and joining and being kicked out of the Airforce under the name ‘Ross’, and re-joining as ‘Shaw’ and being stationed in India, in 1928 Lawrence had been sent back to England when rumours had spread that he was learning Pashtun in order to lead a coup in Afghanistan. Lawrence was now living in a hut in Chingford, so Elgie got the train out of Liverpool Street to take a look. After trotting up a few dead-ends, he found a slightly built man with tousled blond hair, looking a lot younger than his actual forties, grovelling around outside a hut.

“Watcha doing mister?” (Elgie tried the cheeky-chappie approach, which had served him so well on many occasions, masking his actual razor sharp perception).

“The bloody council want to kick me off my land! I’m setting booby traps for when they come. Want to help?”.

T. E. Lawrence on his favourite bike“Yessir!”. Elgie jumped up and down with excitement.

“Right, help me with this tripwire. I’m going to rig the door to my motorcycle shed”. Elgie spied an immaculately maintained Brough Superior SS 100 in a corrugated iron shelter. “I’ll blow anyone sky high that tries to lay a hand on it”. The man had clearly lost the plot, and helping a celebrity commit murder was way outside of what the chronoloper should be doing.

“Er…actually it’s time for my favourite wireless programme and so I’ll be off, if it’s all the same to you”.

“Righto. Nice to meet you. I don’t get many visitors…although no one will believe I met a talking dog”, Lawrence exclaimed.

“They won’t believe quite a lot of what you say… Oh, and motorbikes…very dangerous things. I don’t think you should be riding them”.

“Oh, but I like danger very much!”, said Lawrence.

“You might … hurt someone.”

“I promise I’ll be careful”.

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