The Dancing Men

The sun beat down on village green where a group of children from the Village School were dancing around the Maypole. Families were dotted around the area enjoying picnics while others were in the pub beer garden enjoying the bank holiday. If the scene didn’t look like a picture postcard at the moment, it was to very shortly as a Burgundy vintage car rolled up to the pub car park and an immaculately dressed middle aged man got out the driver’s side, walked round to the passenger door and assisted a dark hair young lady out the car. She smiled her gratitude and the two them disappeared into the pub.

“Any idea who they are?” Bill asked his drinking partner James.

“No idea,” he answered. “Probably the local gentry taking his daughter out to see how the other half live.”

Bill collected the empty tankards from the bench, “same again?” He queried. James nodded and went to have a nose at the new arrivals motor.
“What will it be?” Asked the Landlord with a polite smile. He wasn’t use to having such a dapper gentleman in his pub.

“Oh what would you recommend?” Asked the gent.

“Well I would recommend the Inheritance Mild. it is a rare example of a Pennine Light Mild. Brewed by the good people at the Last Drop Brewery.”

“Sounds perfect,” said the man. “Oh and Zinfandel spritzer with soda.’

“Can I see some ID for the lady?”asked the Landlord.

“Certainly,” replied the girl and showed him her driving license. The landlord studied it. MISS JULIA SEVENPENNY, the birth date checked out, twenty at the end of the month and he served the pair their drinks.

“Cheers,” she smiled and picked up the pint of Mild, much to the landlord’s amusement. The gent escorted her to a table in the corner and they sat down and went into conversation.

Bill approached the bar, “two more Bests please.” He said, quickly checking the new arrivals. “Hey Pete, any idea on his lordship over there?”

“No idea, the girl’s called Sevenpenny though.” Answered the landlord as pulled the two pints.

“Odd name,” said Bill.

“Says a man who named his son Reynolds.”

“Fair point,” conceded Bill. He collected his beers and popped across to the arrivals.

“Hey there,” he said. “That’s a very impressive motor you have.”

“Thank you,” replied the man. “It’s a very charming village you have here.” He reached out his hand. *Arthur Fransure and this is my ward, Julia.”

“Bill Evans, local handyman.”

“Bill Evans?” Said Arthur, “You’ll be popular with Julia, her favourite musician is called Bill Evans.”

“Was-” corrected Miss Sevenpenny, “he died long before I was born.”

“Never heard of him I’m afraid,” said Bill.

“That’s ok,” smiled the girl with a smile that made her eyes light up. “We can’t all be music dorks.”

“Would you like to see the car?” Asked Arthur.

“Yes please.” Replied Bill.

James was studying the car with great interest when Arthur and Bill emerged from the Pub. Bill made the introductions and James promptly went into a series of classic car related questions.

“I am afraid I can’t give you the answers,” said Arthur. “The car and restoration were indulges if Miss Sevenpenny.”

“Miss Sevenpenny?” Queried James before catching up with himself. “Oh the young lady, your daughter.”

Arthur smiled, “not quite. She’s my ward.”

“I see…” Replied James a little unsure.

“Why don’t I take you both for a quick spin?” Suggested Arthur.
Miss Sevenpenny watched from the pub window, Arthur was certainly in his element there. When she was assigned they said he tended to be very dour with people… But she had seldom seen that side of him. She strolled across to the bar and started to chat to the landlord.

“Why is the pub called the Dancing Men?” She queried.

“Ah,” chuckled the Landlord. “Apparently in the 17th century, the owner of the tavern fell out with the lord of the manor who was a nasty piece of work and upon learning that he had been barred from the Tavern, raised it to the ground. As an act of revenge, the owner kidnapped the lord’s sons put them in iron boots and made them dance on red hot coals.”

“Sounds as if he was an equally charming man,” said Sevenpenny. She smiled and returned to her seat. Ok Arthur, why are we in a little village on May Day? Why are you befriending the first guy who has spoken to you? She saw the car pull up again…. And more importantly why was he letting a total stranger driver her car? She got out of her chair and marched out the pub.

In response to the Daily Prompt: Dancing


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