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Mr McMurdle`s Machines Chap 2

by  Issy

Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010
Word Count: 807
Summary: I've slightly changed the end of chapter 1 to remind that Tim has an idea and so have included last few lines. All comments very welcome.
Related Works: Mr McMurdle`s Machines Chap 1 • 

“We want to see Mr McMurdle’s accounts,” said the second man.

“So we can collect his tax money.”

Tim’s tummy bounced as on springs. Mr McMurdle was right. They were in trouble.

It was a good job Tim had an idea.

Chapter Two.

Mr McMurdle round face went pink and his ears sticking out beneath his curly hair went red.

“Mr McMurdle,” whispered Tim, wanting to tell Mr McMurdle about the idea, but Mr McMurdle was too busy being flustered. The doughnut without the dough cracked in his hand and hot raspberry jam rolled down his overall to mix with all the oil.

He took a step forward and nearly slipped on the dripping jam, managing to hold onto the Clop-a-hopper Travelling machine

But Stanley smartly opened the door to the office and said, “Come in,” to the taxmen and, “Please sit down,” and he pulled out chairs in front of the desk.

“Thank you,” said the first tax man. They both and sat down and opened their briefcases.

“Would you like tea or coffee?” said Stanley. “Would you like a doughnut without the dough and with toffee crunchies instead?”

By the time they had said they would have tea and doughnuts, Tim had wiped Mr McMurdle's fingers and mopped up the jam and oil. He didn’t try again to tell Mr McMurdle his idea, as it seemed more important to get Mr McMurdle ready. Mr McMurdle took a deep breath. He went into the office and sat down the other side of the desk, and Stanley had put mugs of tea and plates of the doughnuts down on the desk with paper tissues and the taxmen were soon wiping their fingers and smiling.

“That doughnut is very good,” Tim heard the second taxman say before Stanley closed the door.

Tim breathed. Perhaps it would be all right after all.

He cleaned the new doughnut machine, and Stanley painted it red and yellow. Stanley seemed to like red and yellow best but he sometimes painted the machines red and green, or red and blue. The doughnut machine did look nice, there in the workshop, and Tim had nearly forgotten about the taxmen, when the office door opened. Mr McMurdle looked even redder. The taxmen looked angry. Stanley opened the door to the street and Tim and Mr McMurdle watched them get into their car and drive off.

“They gave me nil out of ten for arithmetic,” said Mr McMurdle, “and they said my accounts were a disgrace and my writing is like a spider with boots walking across the page. I have to do very much better or there will be a lot of trouble.”

Tim nodded. It sounded like what Mrs Brown said about his own schoolwork.

“What you need,” he said, “is someone else to do it for you – someone who knows how to do the accounts.”

“Ah,” said Mr McMurdle, brightening up, “now that is a good idea. I’ll advertise.”

So he did, and found Max, short for Maximum Efficiency came to work for him. Max was tall and thin, and wore black and a long cloak, and he had long fingers and long black hair and even a long pointed face. His elbows stuck out sharply and he towered above Mr McMurdle. Mr McMurdle had to crane his neck to look up at him.

But Max was the most efficient person Mr McMurdle ever known. He kept all the figures in straight lines in tidy columns and they all added up perfectly and there were no smudges like spiders wearing ink boots all over the account books. The taxmen came back and they saw all the forms filled in Max’s neat writing.

“Well done, Max. These accounts are a joy to behold,” they said.

Max took a big bag of money out of the safe in the office and counted out the money that was owed to the taxmen.

Mr McMurdle got up and wiped his oil hands and looked at the big bag of money.

“I didn’t know I had so much,” he said.

“You’re rich, Mr McMurdle,” said the first taxmen. “You could be even richer if you got things organised around here. Mr Efficiency here is the man for that job.”

They both nodded to Mr McMurdle as Stanley opened the door for them to leave.

“Marvellous,” cried Mr McMurdle, full of grins. “All my problems are over,” and he patted Max on the shoulder in a friendly way and stood at the door to see the taxmen get into their car.

Tim saw Max wipe the shoulder of his suit with his handkerchief. There was a not very nice expression on his long white face.

And then Max give Stanley’s foot a sly kick when Mr McMurdle wasn’t looking. That clinched it. Tim didn’t like Max at all.