One Shoe Gumshoe EpilogueOne Shoe Gumshoe Epilogue


The news had been expected for weeks, all London anticipating the celebration of Victory in Europe.

When the confirmation of Germany’s surrender emerged on the BBC News broadcast, the next day, Tuesday 8 June 1945, was declared a Bank Holiday, to celebrate the end of a war where the civilians of Great Britain had been on the front line for five years and nine months of hardship, danger and austerity.

My boss Morely Makepeace called me for a meeting of senior detectives and uniformed officers based at New Scotland Yard in the heart of London.

“The streets are going to be filled with revellers, lots of hoarded alcohol will see the light of day, there’ll be open displays of affection and possible jealous retaliation. We need sharp eyes and light touch policing, warnings delivered carefully to maintain public order.”

We all agreed and were dismissed early.

“Honey, I’m home. Heard the news?”

“I did, sweetheart,” my wife said excitedly, flying from our flat’s kitchen to welcome me.

Mary was an American actress given leave by Gold Studios to work here with British filmmakers for almost Maltepe Escort four years at Ealing Studios, where she worked long hours between three and four days a week, making films to keep Britain’s spirits up through film, mostly shot in black and white.

“A bank holiday’s been declared, but I guess you’ve got to work?”

“All leave cancelled, I’m afraid.”

“Thought so, darling. Well, the studio’s closed, so I’m going into work with you. Maybe we’ll get to recce celebrations in Parliament Square?”

“No, Trafalgar and Piccadilly Squares are where London celebrates, we’ll see both.”

“We’ve a chilled half-bottle of Champagne to accompany my goulash. Let’s celebrate.”

We did, relaxed and lovingly, we exhausted ourselves to peaceful sleep. The Blitz ended in May 1941, but less intense bombing continued unabated, before rocket attacks, first the V1s, then those deadly V2s, which fell without warning. It was months since enduring nightly bombing, and our future plans were exercised, but we always kept an ear out for the sirens.

My driver Jock picked us up and took us into Anadolu Yakası Escort Westminster early. Mary was always welcome there, universally worshipped wherever she went. Even Makepeace visited my office for reacquaintance and personally invited us to dinner on Saturday.

By mid-morning, I was ordered to close up my office.

The atmosphere while walking arm-in-arm down Whitehall was magical. We waved at Winston Churchill speaking from a window of the Department of Health near The Cenotaph. Mary was recognised as Marcia la Mare, so she posed with soldiers and civilians for photographs almost every yard of the way down Whitehall. I wasn’t required in the pictures so I often held the Box Brownies taking snaps.

“Enough, enough, boys,” Mary called out eventually, as one of the squaddies squeezed her harder than she wished, “We too want to celebrate Victory.” She tucked her arm in mine as I returned the camera.

“Whatcher doin’ wiv that old stiff, Marcia, come join us,” cried out one tall guardsman as we walked away, “we’ll see yer celebrate in style.”

“Well, dear boy, I Ümraniye Escort hope you enjoy yourself,” she smiled sweetly, “but I’d rather accompany my wonderful hero husband than waste time with ordinary.”

Behind us we heard the sound of a smack on the back of a close-cropped head and a more mature voice admonish, “Blithering idiot, Joe! Don’t ya recognise a real lady when ya meets one?”

We exchange glances and smile.

Then, there in front of us was the splendour of Trafalgar Square, home of the statue of Nelson, the greatest of our heroes, an amputee like me, who shrugged off his own adversity to win time and again, even if he failed to enjoy his outstanding final victory.

We wandered around the crowded square, with many joining from The Strand, or exiting to head towards Piccadilly Square. Lots of American soldiers out and about who recognized Mary as “Marcia”. Everyone was wreathed in smiles of relief and hopes for absent loved ones’ return after finishing off Japan, the last of our enemies.

An impromptu band, a combo of trumpet, sax, flute and a man tapping a stick on a lamppost, played a swing tune and Mary and I danced. Others joined in, the band slowed tempo and Mary rested her head on my chest.

She looked up lovingly as we gently swayed, “I saw Doc Jones yesterday, Edgar … You’re going to be a Father in January. Soon we’ll go home for good.”

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