The Milk and the Post is the twelfth story of volume three.
|The Milk and the Post|
|Season X, Episode 62|
|Air date||30 May 2021|
Toby and the Lorries
James and the Tar Wagons
Toby gets stuck with taking the night-time jobs of delivering the milk and the post.
Thomas, Percy, and Toby were resting at Ffarquhar.
"Is it just me or have we had a lot more work recently?" asked Percy.
"There's definitely been a lot more work," said Thomas.
"You two always complain about the workload," chuckled Toby.
Then Liza came up.
"Hey Thomas, Percy, and Toby. I hope you're enjoying your rest. I know you've all been busy but there's a couple new jobs for you."
Thomas and Percy groaned.
"I already have so much to do," said Percy.
"I puff up and down the line all day," put in Thomas.
"Never mind them Liza," laughed Toby. "It almost seems like they're afraid of work."
"We're not afraid of hard work," protested Thomas. "There's just a limit to how much we can do in a day."
"Perhaps," cut in Liza. "In the meantime, I need to know who can do these two jobs."
The three engines listened.
"These two jobs are night-time jobs to be done at least twice a week," began Liza. "First off, there's collecting the post train from here and taking it to the Junction. Along the way, you must also collect milk from the dairy and take that to the Junction as well."
"I wouldn't mind doing it but I start very early. My crew needs rest," said Thomas. "So I'm afraid I'm out on this one."
"How about you Percy? You like taking the post," said Liza.
"Hmm, the thing is I have an extra stone train to take to the Harbour after the last train so I don't think I will be back in time," said Percy.
"That leaves just you Toby," said Liza. "As a matter of fact, you go down to the Junction at night so you could just take the post and pick the milk on your way."
"Are you sure?" asked Toby. "You know, I didn't think these jobs were going to be for me."
"Well it seems like Percy and Thomas have other things to do," said Liza. "Apparently. Anyways, I think you're perfectly capable of doing it."
"So that's settled then?" asked Thomas. "Because I don't want to worry about something that doesn't pertain to me."
"Same here. I have my own stuff to worry about," put in Percy.
Toby sighed. "Fine. I'll do it. Besides, it seems logical considering I can do both jobs on my run back down to the Junction."
"Then it's settled. I shall let the Stationmaster know," said Liza and she walked away.
"Two new jobs for you Toby. That must be exciting," said Thomas.
"I suppose," said Toby. "Are you both sure you're not able to do them?"
"Absolutely," said Percy. "If anything, I'll be lucky to be back here before midnight."
"You don't have to worry Toby," added Thomas. "You'll be fine. Now, if you'll excuse me, it is time for my next train."
Thomas puffed away. Then Mavis trundled in.
"I have to take those trucks to the Harbour," said Percy and he puffed away.
Toby was about to leave too when Mavis rolled up beside him.
"Heading up to the Quarry now?" asked Mavis.
"I am," said Toby.
"I heard something about some new jobs," continued Mavis.
"Oh, as it turns out, there's a milk train and post train to take in the night to the Junction and I'm in charge of it," explained Toby. "I guess it works out because I can do on my return journey."
"You don't sound too excited about these new jobs."
"The thing is I was just teasing Thomas and Percy that they complain about extra work and now I'm stuck with extra work."
"I see. I'm sure you can handle it," said Mavis.
"Yeah. I guess I'll be fine. I may be older but I am still perfectly capable of most jobs. That being said, I better get going."
"All right then. See you in a while."
Toby trundled up to the Quarry where he arranged some stone trucks and headed back down to the station.
Finally, night was falling and Toby picked up the workmen from the Quarry.
"Next we have to collect the post," Toby told Henrietta.
"That shouldn't be too hard," replied Henrietta.
"I hope so," muttered Toby.
When he arrived at Ffarquhar, he saw that the post was waiting. The post vans were coupled up and Toby puffed away. By now, night had fallen and the moon could be seen up above. Toby rumbled over the bridge and made his way to the dairy where he collected the milk vans. Then he set off towards the Junction. He was making good time though he felt the weight of the milk and the post as he puffed along the line.
"These trucks are quite heavy," panted Toby.
"You used to pull even heavier loads with ease," said Henrietta.
"Key word: I used to," replied Toby.
Presently, they reached the Junction where Bear was waiting.
"Hullo Toby. Lovely night, isn't it. Thanks for bringing these trucks down," said Bear.
"It was my pleasure," replied Toby.
Toby shunted the trucks into place and then Bear rolled away.
"Now I can get some well deserved rest," sighed Toby.
"You seem more tired than usual," commented Henrietta.
"Well, I did have a heavier load to pull but I'll be fine. I just need some rest," sighed Toby and then he fell fast asleep.
The next day, he woke up early to take workmen to the Quarry. Then, he continued with his usual jobs for the day. However, he was still not looking forward to taking the milk and the post again.
"It's the end of a busy day and all I want is a nice, relaxing journey and then get some rest. Now I have extra weight behind me," grumbled Toby.
"Then why don't you ask Jessie to do these jobs?" asked Henrietta. "She's always happy to help."
"She has other things to do and so do Thomas and Percy. That leaves just me. Honestly, I just don't want to make a fuss about this job."
With that, Toby set off. He collected the post at Ffarquhar and then trundled down to the dairy to collect the milk. Finally, he was at the Junction.
"This is just so tiring," sighed Toby. "The worst part is that I just can't handle heavy loads anymore. I almost feel like it's too much."
Henrietta felt sorry for Toby. She wanted to talk more but Toby was already falling asleep.
"I shan't wake him up," she thought.
The next morning, Toby dropped off workmen at the Quarry then headed back down to Ffarquhar. He needed to take on water. Jessie was there at the water column and Liza was helping her fill up with water.
"Good morning. Toby. Nice to see you," smiled Jessie.
"How is your new night-time job going so far?" asked Liza as she held the water-pipe over Jessie's filler-cap.
"Everything is going smoothly so far. It's more work but nothing I can't handle," said Toby.
"You know, I could help you out with those jobs," said Jessie. "That is why I am here!"
"No thank you Jessie. You already help us out so much," replied Toby.
"Are you sure?"
Deep down Toby did want Jessie's help but he was certain he could manage.
"All right Toby. It's your turn to take on water!" called Liza.
Then Toby puffed over to fill up with water.
For the next couple of weeks, Toby went about with his work as usual. He still had to take the milk and the post as scheduled. And each time, at the end of the journey, he would feel very tired indeed.
One night, he collect the post at Ffarquhar as usual and then headed off to the dairy. Soon, he was making his way to the Junction. He passed Percy at Toryreck.
"I'm clearing the line for Thomas's passenger train," said Percy.
"You'd best get going then. You know Thomas complains if you're late," chuckled Toby.
"That is true," grinned Percy. "I better go then. See you tomorrow Toby!"
Percy puffed away and a few minutes later, Toby puffed away too.
Toby was working very hard. Tonight, the goods seemed heavier than ever and he using a lot of coal and water. Then there was trouble. Toby began to feel dry.
"It can't be. I'm running out of water," Toby gasped.
The Fireman damped down the fire and they struggled to the next signal-box. Toby was diverted onto a siding and the Signalman called for help.
Percy had just arrived at Ffarquhar where Thomas was waiting with Annie and Clarabel.
"You're right on time for a change," commented Thomas.
"You act as if it's the first time," said Percy. "Besides you should be grateful."
"I am. In fact, I encourage you to keep it up," laughed Thomas.
"I won't make any promises," laughed Percy.
Then Liza came up.
"Listen up, Toby has run out of water near the Junction."
"Oh dear," said Percy. "Is he all right?"
"He's fine but he'll need help to get to the Junction."
"Don't worry," said Thomas. "I can rescue him. I'm heading down there anyways."
"Nonsense Thomas. You have your own train to worry about," said Percy. "I can help Toby. Besides Toby has the night-time goods. That means more work for me."
"The line is already cleared for me though," put in Thomas. "The extra load doesn't bother me. I'll manage."
"Are you sure?" asked Percy.
"Well the line is cleared for Thomas so I'm sure you can do it," said Liza.
"At least someone believe in me!" laughed Thomas.
"Fine. You can do it then," puffed Percy.
"All right. Then it's settled," said Thomas.
Soon, Thomas was on his way to the Junction. He stopped at Dryaw where the Stationmaster told him that Toby was just up ahead.
Toby was still in the siding.
"I hope someone comes soon," he sighed.
Then he heard Thomas's whistle.
"It's Thomas!" cried Henrietta.
"Hullo Toby and Henrietta. Don't worry, I'll get you to the Junction in no time," said Thomas.
"Thanks for coming," said Toby, gratefully.
Thomas was coupled up to the brake van and he pulled Toby, Henrietta, the milk, and the post out of the siding. Then, once everything was ready, he pushed the entire train to the Junction.
Thomas had to work very hard but he never gave up and soon he was at the Junction.
"Phew!" sighed Thomas. "I am exhausted."
"You did a good job," said Toby.
"Yes indeed. A very good job," said Gordon, who was waiting for Thomas's passengers. "Though I didn't expect to see you arrive with Toby but I believe Bear is waiting for some trucks."
"I ran out of water and that's why we're late," explained Toby. "I do have the trucks."
Once Gordon departed, Thomas shunted the milk and post vans behind Bear and then he set off. Thomas took Toby to be filled up with water and then left him in the shed before pulling his return train to Ffarquhar.
Then next day, Toby puffed into Ffarquhar sheds where Thomas, Percy, and Jessie were resting.
"Hullo Toby," they said.
"Hullo everyone," replied Toby. "Thanks for helping me yesterday," he said to Thomas.
"I'm always happy to help," replied Thomas. "I will admit it was hard work but sometimes you just have to keep puffing. That being said, are you sure don't need any help with the night-time goods 'cause it's not like you to run out of water."
"Well, it is a heavy train," said Toby. "Even for me."
"You just need some help," said Percy.
Toby thought for a moment.
"Honestly, I should have asked for help a long time ago. In fact, Jessie, you offered me your help but I thought I could manage. However, even I need help sometimes," said Toby, thoughtfully.
"I'd be happy to take the post," said Percy, eagerly.
"If you'd like Percy, I'll take care of your last stone train," said Jessie. "That way you're not in so much of a hurry."
"That's most kind of you," replied Percy.
"Then I can handle the milk easily," said Toby.
"Good. Then it's settled," said Jessie.
"Just make sure with your Drivers," said Thomas.
So it was arranged. Nowadays Percy takes the post which he enjoys and Toby takes the milk on his return journey to the Junction. And as always, Toby is glad to have his friends' help.
- The basis for this story is the title card image which is featured in the song, Day and Night.