I've always liked the 'friendly' rivalry between James and
Henry, and had wanted to do a story about it for a long time. The idea of one 'pulling a sickie' to drop the other in it seemed
quite reasonable, and even though it has been done in the series before - such as in 'Trucks!' with Sir Handel and
Peter Sam - I felt it was presented in a new light here. Indeed, James is ultimately wrong in his suspicions of Henry, for
the bigger engine is indeed struggling to get steam, resulting in James having to take the Flying Kipper instead of his hoped
for Express. Unwittingly, this chapter started a long running arc for Henry, as he is seen having steaming issues in various
stories over the subsequent volumes for quite some time to come...
TO THE RESCUE?
Based on a true story from the Welsh /English border route known as the Marches line,
where a failed freight train was rescued by a diesel which - ultimately - turned out to be far too small to haul the stricken
train. A third engine was subsequently called for, leading to disruption for most of the day and night. The same happens here
as a proud James - determined to make amends for his bad behaviour of the previous day - attempts to rescue Wakefield and
ultimately fails in the attempt. Henry is sent to assist, and it's the green engine who takes all the glory.
LOVE ME TENDER
this story was partially inspired by the return of Bill and Ben to the TV series. So taken was I with their returning episodes
that the idea to include them here - to cause further upset and annoyance to James - quickly came to me. BoCo is drafted in
to cover Wakefield's trains, and James finds himself deputising on the Wellsworth line. He soon finds he enjoys it, although
the constant teasing of the twins drives him to distraction, leading to a careless accident in the yard.
DO IT YOURSELF, HENRY!
James finally gets a chapter where he doesn't
come across as the loser, instead finally turning the tables on poor old Henry! Based on the very famous television commercial
that saw a Black 5 covered in a rather hideous wallpaper back in the 1970s (Here is the link if you've never seen it -
videosostav.ru/video/3e09c793518c4ed692296db2fac4f79b/ ), Henry finds himself suffering the same humiliation
when James tricks him into expecting a special filming job for a TV commercial. The two engines agree to forgive one another,
but with James and Henry it'll never be quite so plain sailing!