After work yesterday I went to a lovely small section of the river Rye , A beautiful river made special for me by the wildlife, the fish and the sense of peace and tranquility. After an hour or so fishing I was surprised to become aware of a couple of hikers on the bank behind me. This is an accurate account of the following encounter with the couple of walkers related in an older style.....Why dont people use maps?
Mr and Mrs Perambulator: Sir , Pray tell me does this public footpath extend to Helmsley ( name changed but a place I was unfamiliar with )
Piscator : Good evening Sir, Forsooth I am afraid that you are mislead that footpath is not for public use. You will find the path extends only another half mile. There it stops.
Mrs Perambulator : Sir you are mistaken I know there is a public footpath beside this river and this is clearly a footpath.
Piscator : Madam in that you are correct, however the path on which you stand is mown by the riverkeeper for the anglers convenience. The public path is on the other bank.
Mrs Perambulator: Sir no you are mistaken we will take your leave and continue.
20 minutes pass , A couple of Grayling are added to the tally….
Mr and Mrs Perambulator: ( now travelling back along the bank from wence they came)
Mrs Perambulator ( Stony face stares at Piscator)
Piscator ( smiles sweetly ) Touches the rim of his hat..
Mr Perambulator: Sir it seems you were correct about this path. It stops some distance hence.
Piscator ( trying to fish) Sir verily it does I did disclose that information to you.
Mr Perambulator: (After a pause ) :So can you tell me where we are
Piscator ( trying to fish) Sir you are currently walking east along the bank of the river Rye
Mr Perambulator: (After a pause ) Sir we are trying to reach Helmsley , Tell me how did you reach the river?
Piscator ( trying to fish) I travelled here in my horseless carriage
Mr Perambulator; We saw such a device stationary at the old bridge but from wence did you come
Piscator ( trying to fish and losing patience) I journeyed from ancient York
Mr Perambulator: ( now sounding desperate ) But along which route and road ? I fear Sir that you are being less than helpful
Piscator ; ( having been distracted and just missed a rise now irritated) I journeyed along the route I always use, the roads are small and unmarked, merely farm roads the final track to the bridge is a private road across an estate . I always venture along it with windows shut as savage dogs roam freely and the gamekeeper has an itchy trigger finger. I suggest Sir that you venture back along the road you journeyed from. Or cross the bridge to the path on the far bank.
At this point there was added a sound to the babbling of the stream it could have been the harsh screech of a tawny owl from along the bank , but I fear it was the demanding calls of Mrs Perambulator.
Mr Perambulator ( after longer pause and through clenched teeth ) Sir you are most unhelpful we are visitors to these parts and we find your manner wanting.
Piscator ; Sir I have helped to the best of my knowledge of these parts , Such knowledge you chose to not partake of.
Mr Perambulator : Your knowledge is sadly lacking: We will be forced to take the track along which your horseless carriage journeyed:
Piscator : Sir as for Knowledge I at least know where I am and how to travel to and from this point. I also know that the evening rise is waiting , I bid you safe journey. But would suggest that you let Mrs Perambulator lead the way along yonder track. I was not jesting about the dogs.
There followed a longish silence I was dearly tempted to turn and look upon the countenance of Mr perambulator but feared my own countenance could be less than beneficial. This silence was followed by the sound of fading footfall .
The evening was otherwise very beneficial to my health , Although still very high the river was splendid and I managed to fool half a dozen fish.. I do hope that they got home safely....