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Illingworth House: Chance Child - Part One: 16 - The Embarrassing Kingham-Jones

Abe Illingworth's brother-in-law Major Kingham-Jones drinks too much and starts to make a nuisance of himself.

Continuing his story of a Yorkshire mill dynasty John Waddington-Feather tells of a grand garden party which did not go according to plan.

To read earlier chapters of the story please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/illingworth_house/

When her uncle set his heart on something, he went for it, just as his father had done when he had wedded him off to Rachel Binns. Marriages were serious contracts, for business often depended on them. Lord Rimington had clout in the highest places of the land. He had the ears of the right people, and that counted for much when it came to business. His son's marriage into the Rimington clan would consolidate the Illingworth dynasty and add to its wealth. Of that Sir Abe was sure, so he was furious when his son hadn't appeared for the opening.

John Illingworth and Sydney Goldstein had other ideas. They decided to liven up the garden party with an aerobatic display, which would also give him the excuse not to turn up at home till it was too late. By then, the guests would have gone and the Hon Eleanor Rimington with them. He would tell the old man afterwards that they had done it as a surprise to help the garden-party along, but what he didn't know was the stakes his father was playing for.

When John still hadn't put in an appearance half an hour after the official opening, Sir Abe decided they couldn't wait any longer and Lady Rimington duly launched the event. She said it was really splendid of Sir Abe to throw open his splendid gardens for charity and such a splendid cause. She said what a public-spirited person he was and hoped everyone would have a splendid time and spend plenty of money at the stalls of the splendid people who manned them. In fact, everything about the event was splendid and she was applauded splendidly when she had done.

Then she paraded round the stalls with Sir Abe and her family, all the time wondering when John Illingworth was going to put in an appearance. Her darling daughter was dressed to the nines and had spent hours getting ready for the garden party. It should have been perfect. The sky was cloudless, the Keighworth Silver Prize Band, refreshed regularly from a new tapped barrel, played wonderfully, and the Keighworth Amateur Dramatic Society performed a patriotic sketch in which a well-proportioned lady, who looked singularly like Lady Rimington herself, took the part of Britannia. The sun grew in warmth and so did Sir Abe. He was never good at apologising but he had to apologise all that afternoon for his son's non-appearance.

His brother-in-law, Major Kingham-Jones didn't help matters either. He started making a nuisance of himself early on, after he'd drunk too much, helping himself freely to the wine on offer. He'd button-holed the local M.P. and was singing the praises of some new party he'd come across in the German spa town where he and Victoria had been holidaying. The major was rabidly pro-German and let every one know it. He was also anti-Semite and laid the economic crisis in Europe squarely at the feet of Jewish bankers and financiers. It was time they were brought to heel as Herr Hitler was doing in Germany.

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