One Saturday, perhaps 10th August 1963
1. The reason for Secretary Jones’s being brought before the EMB&H Disciplinary Court—which he, incidentally, had brought into being[more]—was that while Chris was away on holiday, Jones sold the Club out to the Middleton Empire.[more] That was the reason why he was brought before the Disciplinary Court, because he deliberately disobeyed instructions left with him.
2. So Jones duly was summoned and appeared, one Saturday morning, the earliest Saturday morning possible after Chris’s return from holiday. It was perhaps Saturday 10th August 1963.
3. It was a rainy morning when Chris and Fairhurst rearranged the dining room at Chris’s house to set up the “courtroom”. Chris’s Mum and Dad were out shopping, and that is why they were able to do it. They put the Club shield with its motto “Victoire!” on the wall in place of a picture which usually hung there, and waited for Jones to arrive. One of them expressed the thought that he might not come; but they should have realised that upon his “h”onour, he would appear. (Jones pronounced the word honour with an aitch: “h”onour.)
Leech had been asked to speak in Jones’s defence, but he didn’t come. They probably thought that as Leech had been expelled from the Club, they needn’t take his defence too seriously, and that they could probably overrule him quite easily. As it happened, Leech failed to turn up. So there were just Chris and Fairhurst there, waiting for Jones to arrive. They waited in the front room, through the double glass doors from the “courtroom”, with great anticipation, looking through the bay window down Ascot Road.
4. And suddenly this tall character appeared round the corner of Ascot Road, wearing his gaberdine mac and Grammar School cap, stonking—stonk! stonk! stonk!—up the street. He came to the front door. Chris was supposed to be the judge, so he went upstairs and donned his judicial robes—in fact, he wore his dressing gown. Fairhurst let Jones in, and the court proceeded. Chris came down and they sat. Fairhurst, prosecuting, read the charges out to Jones. Leech was lacking, but Jones said that he would in any case present his own defence; and he brought out a wad of notepaper, which had his speech written on it—not typed, Chris was surprised to note; it was written in fountain pen.
5. And Jones stood there, and for some considerable time delivered forth his rather elaborate speech in defence of his actions. Chris and Fairhurst sat and listened for a while, putting several questions to him; but having pre-judged him anyway, they weren’t really taking very much notice of what Jones said.
6. They retired, ostensibly to consider the case; but in reality they went up to Chris’s bedroom and had a good laugh, to get it out of their system. They pulled themselves together, and went downstairs again, where Jones was waiting. When they came in, he stood up and they sat down. They told him that they found him guilty, as charged; but before they even had chance to say any more, to pass sentence, Jones’s eyes began to protrude with anger, and the absolute rage could be seen on his face.
7. And he exploded: “Pshaaahhh! I RESIGN!” And he ripped up the pieces of paper on which his defence was written, and stormed out of the house, and stonked down the street till he disappeared from sight—stonk! stonk! stonk! stonk!
8. They were rather taken aback; they thought he might play it out, right to the end, in his “h”onourable way, but he just “blew a fuse” and stormed off.
After his rather unexpected outburst in the "courtroom" and hasty departure, Jones presumably regained his composure and decided that he would, in fact, end the matter "h"onourably after all. I can't remember exactly how it came about, but after a few days, he got in touch and said that he wanted to formally tender his resignation as Club Secretary. If I remember rightly, I went round to Davelyshome where Jones had already typed and signed his resignation. There was a space for me to countersign on behalf of the Club and, then, oddly enough, a space to be signed by the Club Secretary, witnessing the other two signatures! That's where the bureaucratic fuss started. I just took the piece of paper, read it and, seeing that Jones had already signed it, went to place my own signature under his. "Eeek, shouted Jones, "not yet, don't sign it yet! Give me that piece of paper!" He maintained that, once I had coutersigned it on behalf of the Club, his resignation would be effective immediately; he could then no longer witness both signatures in his capacity of Club Secretary, because he would no longer be Club Secretary! That was his bureaucratic dilemma. There was no further discussion, he just grabbed the piece of paper and signed it for the second time before allowing me to sign it.
The funny thing was, however, that after a bit of a cooling-off period, the whole thing about the Middleton Empire was forgotten and Secretary Jones was reinstated!
Davelyshome: See my post Davelyshome.
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