Lee's Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends
An important visitor was coming to the Island of Sodor and Lady Hatt was the most excited of all. The famous fashion model, Miss Sophie, was due to come to the Island to launch her new range of clothes and showcase it all in a catwalk show – Lady Hatt loves fashion and Miss Sophie for her celebrity status, and was overjoyed when she had finally persuaded her to come to Sodor. The preparations had been in the planning for some time, but Lady Hatt still couldn't quite believe that her fashion idol was soon on her way.
"This will be the best fashion show she has ever done!" said Lady Hatt proudly to her husband. "Miss Sophie is the choice for any fashion show."
"Hmmm…." agreed the Fat Controller even though he didn't really have a clue or care about fashion at all.
The wind was strong when Miss Sophie arrived in a blaze of media attention and bustling crowds but it was nothing to worry about at all. She calmly and elegantly walked around in the model-like ways for the press and signed autograph after autograph for the big crowds. She looked every inch the superstar with her long flowing green dress and big cream coloured hat. Her long blonde hair flowed down to her shoulders but it was unmoved in the strong winds. Gordon had proudly brought her to Sodor from the Mainland and expected to be taking her wherever she needed to go from here on in. This wasn't the case though as Gordon was called away on other duties leaving his role vacant for the time being.
"I should take Miss Sophie!" said James indignantly to Emily from a siding not far away from the station. "She clearly loves red," James then continued. "I'm the choice."
"She doesn't wear red, ever…" pointed out Emily. "She wears a lot of green, so therefore I'm best."
"Huh…" scoffed James. "I've pulled important trains before; Miss Sophie requires experience." he then added. Emily was going to give a response but was cut short but the sudden whistle of an incoming train.
"Who's that?" she asked as the whistle got louder and louder. James was just as puzzled until one last loud and long whistle brought the engine into view – it was Duck.
"They are kidding aren't they?" James spluttered rudely. "Since when is Duck used for these kinds of things?" Emily just smiled.
"I suppose he's green, so it suits well…" she then remarked as James fell silent. Duck meanwhile pulled into the station with the crowds still cheering loudly at Miss Sophie. Linking up with his carriages, he waited for what seemed like ages until Miss Sophie was finally ready to set off.
"Apologies," she said politely to Duck and his crew. "I do get so very carried away when in front of the cameras."
"It's no problem." said Duck. "I best just be a bit quicker for your tour of the Island though!"
"A tour of Sodor?" said Miss Sophie.
"Indeed," smiled Lady Hatt as she led Sophie into the carriage. "Nothing less for a superstar on Sodor…"
Duck was happy and was in shock that he'd been chosen for the job but he was loving every moment of it. His tour may have now finished but he was taking Miss Sophie to her fashion show at the Sodor Exhibition Centre. Whooshing through stations and whistling loudly, he felt like he Gordon with the most important job on the Island. He could sort of see why Gordon could get a bit pompous now but Duck tried to remain humble and grateful for being selected.
"It's just a job, any job…" he said to himself. "Anyone else could have got it…" he added as the winds brushed alongside him. The weather was becoming a slight concern for Lady Hatt and she was becoming worried the show would be ruined by any strong winds playing havoc with Miss Sophie's lovely hair and stunning clothes.
"Take your time; Duck…" she warned as she kept a close eye on the weather. "We don't want to ruin our guest's hair or clothes, do we?"
"There really is no need for all this fuss, Jane…" Sophie then said. Lady Hatt just smiled but couldn't help but keep a watchful eye out on the weather. Everything had to perfect in Lady Hatt's eyes and the weather was threatening to ruin it altogether. Duck meanwhile was happy, the wind was at times a bit harsh on him and it was rattling him a bit but he didn't mind.
"It's just a job…" he said again as he steamed past Elizabeth the quarry lorry. She smiled and beeped her horn loudly at the passing train. She knew it was Miss Sophie on there and Elizabeth adored her sense of style.
"If I was a person, I would be her…" she muttered quietly to herself as she trundled along the road to carry on with her work. "If only…"
Duck's carriages clattered loudly as the winds grew stronger and fiercer with each passing minute. He was being battered by the winds and the journey was becoming less comfortable for Lady Hatt and Miss Sophie too. The carriages were being tipped one way and then the other.
"Duck, slow down!" called Lady Hatt.
"We have…" said Duck's driver. "It's the wind's fault, not ours!" he protested but Lady Hatt was less than convinced. Miss Sophie tried to calm her down.
"I should be the one worrying Jane, not you. It is my fashion show after all." she said. Lady Hatt sighed.
"I know," she said. "I just want everything perfect that's all. My husband is such a perfectionist and I think it's rubbed off on me."
"Sir Topham is a wonderful man," remarked Sophie.
"A very wonderful man…" corrected Lady Hatt as the pair then and smiled and laughed. The winds may have been rocking the carriage but they didn't mind now, everything was fine. However, not everything was fine though as out of nowhere and all of a sudden a fallen tree branch crashed through the far side carriage window of Duck's train. Lady Hatt and Miss Sophie screamed as glass shattered onto the floor and the wind howled around them. Duck came to a halt as soon as he could while men tried to take control of the situation. No-one could believe what had happened and assumed the strong winds were the cause behind the branch's sudden appearance in the carriage. Duck knew in an instant that the job was over for him now as it wasn't safe to continue like this. Lady Hatt knew it too and wanted a replacement getting as quickly as possible. It came sooner than expected.
"Is everything alright?" called a grand voice through the loud wind. It was Elizabeth. "Is there anything I could do to help?" she then asked.
"You could help us out a lot…" said Lady Hatt as she walked Miss Sophie to Elizabeth. "You can take us to her fashion show can't you?"
"We would be ever so grateful…" added Miss Sophie. Elizabeth and her driver didn't hesitate to reply and let them get aboard as quickly as they could. The wind had messed up Lady Hatt's hair and crumpled her hat but hadn't done a thing to Sophie in the slightest.
"How do you do that?" wondered Elizabeth.
"Magic!" smiled Sophie sarcastically as they soon set off waving at Duck as they passed by. Elizabeth couldn't quite believe who was sitting in her cab and was just shocked going along the road at the thought of it.
"Miss Sophie, the Miss Sophie is in my cab and she looks wonderful…" she muttered to herself. Time was against Lady Hatt and Sophie after their delay but Elizabeth was doing her all to get them to their location on time. Beeping her horn loudly to clear the way, the bossy lorry was rather enjoying her role and Sophie could only smile at her enthusiasm.
"You never mentioned that your road transport is just as excellent," she remarked to Lady Hatt. "Apart from that tree branch, I haven't seen a bad thing here since arriving."
"Topham will be pleased…" grinned Lady Hatt. She may have been smiling on the outside but deep down was worrying they wouldn't make it in time. Lady Hatt was becoming very anxious indeed…
"Move please!" cried Elizabeth. "Very important lorry with very, very important guest onboard!" she added as she beeped her horn loudly. The traffic was moving aside with each peep of her horn as she then zoomed on through. Being able to go faster than normal was helping everyone out and Lady Hatt and Miss Sophie were both relieved when they eventually saw the exhibition centre in the distance. It had felt like they were never going to get there after the branch incident.
"Thank goodness…" sighed Lady Hatt as soon enough, Elizabeth pulled up outside the building with minutes to spare before the show was to begin. There waiting were yet more crowds and Miss Sophie took it all in her stride. Yet again despite the strong winds, her hair seemingly didn't move and wasn't ruined at all. Lady Hatt couldn't say the same and she struggled to hold onto her hat in the breeze. "Oh dear, just my luck…" she muttered with her hair in quite a state. She dared not think how bad she looked as she made her way inside. Sophie was just as relieved and immediately went back to Elizabeth.
"Thank you," she said before beginning to make her way inside. "I wouldn't have got here without you."
"No problem," said Elizabeth. "It was an honour, Miss Sophie…a real, real honour." she added as the model made her way inside the centre for her fashion show. Elizabeth couldn't help but show her pride and just smiled widely as men from the press began to take photos of her. She felt just like Miss Sophie now with photographers taking many photos and children calling out her name for her attention. It was quite overwhelming for Elizabeth but she took it in her stride. Come the following morning, Elizabeth and her driver were shocked to see that they were both on the front page as well as Miss Sophie and the report on her fashion show.
"My word…" said her driver. "A lorra lorry help…what a headline." he then joked. Elizabeth just smiled. She'd never expected to get on a front page of a newspaper ever and just by doing a helpful deed, here she was.
"I could get rather used to all this attention," she joked "It does wonders for your confidence and gives a nice warm feeling on the inside. I bet that's how Miss Sophie feels all the time."
"I'm sure she does…" agreed the driver as he left the newspaper for Elizabeth to look at the photo once more.
"My word," grinned Elizabeth. "My word indeed…"