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Tenders for Henry is the third episode of the thirteenth season.

Tenders for Henry
Season 13, Episode 3
Air date 18 July 2013
Written by Rev. W. Awdry
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Previous
Edward's Exploit
Next
Enterprising Engines Part 1

Plot

"I'm not happy," complained Gordon.

"Your fire box is out of order," said James. "No wonder, after all that coal you had yesterday."

"Hard work brings good appetite," snapped Gordon. "You wouldn't understand."

"I know," put in Duck brightly. "It's boiler ache. I warned you about that standpipe on the Other Railway; but you drank gallons."

"It's not boiler ache," protested Gordon. "It's. . . "

"Of course it is," said Henry. "That water's bad. It furs up your tubes. Your boiler must be full of sludge. Have a goods wash-out. Then, you'll feel a different engine."

"Don't be vulgar," said Gordon huffily.

Gordon backed down on his train, hissing mournfully.

"Cheer up, Gordon!" said the Fat Controller.

"I can't, Sir. The others say I've got boiler ache, but I haven't, Sir. I keep thinking about the Dreadful State of the World, Sir. Is it true, Sir, what the diesels say?"

"What do they say?"

"They boast that they've abolished Steam, Sir."

"Yes, Gordon. It's true."

"What Sir! All my Doncaster brothers, drawn the same time as me?"

"All gone, except one."

The Guard's whistle blew, and Gordon puffed sadly away.

"Poor old Gordon!" said the Fat Controller. "Hmm. . . If only we could!. . . Yes, I'll ask his Owner at once." He hurried away.

Arrangements took time, but one evening, Gordon's Driver ran back, excited. "Wake up, Gordon! The Fat Controller's given you a surprise. Look!"

Gordon could hardly believe it. Backing towards him were two massive green tenders, and their engine's shape was very like his own. "It's Flying Scotsman!" he gasped. "The Fat Controller's brought him to see me. Oh thank you, Sir!"

Gordon's toot of joy was drowned by Flying Scotsman's as he drew happily alongside.

Next day the two engines were photographed side by side.

"You've changed a lot," smiled Flying Scotsman.

"I had a 'rebuild' at Crewe. They didn't do a proper Doncaster job, of course, but it serves."

"I had a 'rebuild' too, and looked hideous. But my Owner said I was an Extra Special Engine, and made them give me back my proper shape."

"Is that why you have two tenders, being Special?"

"No. You'd hardly believe it, Gordon, but Over There, they've hardly any coal and water."

"But surely, every proper railway . . . "

"Exactly. You are lucky, Gordon, to have a Controller who knows how to run railways."

Everyone got on well with Flying Scotsman except Henry. Henry was jealous.

"Tenders are marks of distinction," he complained. "Everybody know's that. Why's he got two."

"He's famous," explained Duck and Donald. "He was the second to go 100 miles an hour; besides the Other Railway has no coal and water."

"Pooh!" sniffed Henry. "I can't believe that! I never boast," he continued, "but I always word hard enough for two. I deserve another tender for that."

Duck whispered something to Donald.

"Henry," asked Duck innocently, "would you like my tenders?"

"Yours!" exclaimed Henry. "What have you got to do with tenders?"

"All right," said Duck. "The deal's off. Would you like them Donald?"

"I wudna deprive ye of the honour."

"It is a great honour," said Duck, thoughtfully, "but I'm only a tank engine, so I don't really understand tenders. Perhaps James might . . . "

"I'm sorry I was rude," said Henry hastily. "How many tenders have you, and when could I have them?"

"Six, and you can have them this evening."

"Six lovely tenders," chortled Henry. "What a splendid sight I'll be!" That'll show the others the sort of engine I am!"

Henry was excited. "D'you think it'll be all right?" he asked for the umpteenth time.

"Of course," said Duck. "Just go where I told you, and they'll all be ready."

Meanwhile, word had gone round, and the others waited where they could each get a good view. Henry was cheered to the echo when he came, but he wasn't a splendid sight. He had six tenders, true, but they were very old and very dirty and filled with boiler sludge!

"Had a good wash-out, Henry?" called a voice. "That's right. You feel a different engine now." Henry was not sure, but he thought the voice was Gordon's.

Characters

  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Duck
  • Donald
  • Flying Scotsman
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Thomas (cameo)
  • Edward (cameo)
  • Percy (cameo)
  • Douglas (cameo)
  • Annie and Clarabel (cameo)
  • Bertie (cameo)

Trivia

  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from "Enterprising Engines" by the Rev. W. Awdry.
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