Richard Froude






Question One

A train leaves Lime Street at 10am heading south on the West Coast line.

Another leaves St Ives at one. Henry 8th sits at the window.
Both are traveling at 65 miles per hour. Both are only half full.
If all these things remain constant, how many wives did he have?
Six. And he engineered the break with Catholicism.
No, I’m thinking of a different train. I’m thinking of Steve.
Sorry no. The engineer is called Steve.
The train was once, twice, three times a lady.
Her names were Beatrice, Margaret and Jane. Margaret was the feisty one.
Ended up becoming Prime Minister and turning the others to stone.
Or was it gold? No. That’s something else entirely.


Question Two

Let’s try again.

A train leaves St Ives on Friday with an engineer named Steve.
I leave my house on foot with a cough.
Margaret Thatcher falls asleep on stage at the Conservative Party conference.
What is her average speed?
88. We don’t have enough road to get to 88.
But we’re traveling on rails.
Margaret Thatcher was the 66th wife of Henry the 88th.
The number is important to her.


Question Three

An engineer leaves a train at 72 miles per hour.

It is raining in St Ives.
Henry 8th seems glum today. He is lonely and talking to statues.
Beatrice looks at him through stone eyes. She says nothing.
Steve locates the Conservative Club off Lime Street.
Jane has escaped from Catholicism and is running through a cemetery.
Her stone legs drag.
Margaret and I are napping together.


Question Four

Beatrice discovers trigonometry. She follows a tangent to Lime Street.
We meet heading south on the West Coast line.
Jane wanders into the Conservative Club at 3 miles per hour.
Steve is at the bar, talking shop. Coffee and sugar drinks are cyanide to machines.
Henry 8th boards a train in St Ives at 3pm.
We pass him at 43 degrees.
Jane joins Steve at the bar.
Margaret is standing on the platform at Crewe.
The exact moment when the two trains meet.

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