Rupert Lane: The Last Knights Of The Road

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My name, Rupert Lane is a pseudonym. I never imagined filling the real Rupert’s boots,
In the 1950’s, Rupert was a tramp; not a homeless person, or dosser of the modern day. He was one of a breed no longer existing, but like the buffalo of the American plains, society decided he was in the way and no longer of use. In truth, Rupert was one of the last ‘knights of the road’.
It was during school summer holidays of 1951 that I first came across him. A bent old man sitting on an upturned, empty orange box in the middle of a bombsite. He was delighting shabby clothed, happy faced youngsters with stories of Arthurian knights and tales of brave, heroic feats.
Mothers of the children rewarded him more often than not with spam and beetroot butties, accompanied by a battered old enamel
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August Bank Holiday, the day of the explosion, he visited the graves of those killed in the explosion, apologising on behalf of his family and begging their forgiveness.
The rest of the year, he travelled around the country, following a well-worn path of his own making. For food and shelter in barns or outhouses, he would chop wood, do gardening, tell novel tales, or lend a hand at the many farms where he stopped.
Rupert Lane was a narrator, bard, and silver–tongued romancer, who plotted stories and edited them in his head. He had the gift of holding children spellbound for hours at a time.
Society called time on Rupert when his arthritic knees carried him no more. They consigned him to a council care home where he died a month later aged sixty-six. I believe he lies in a pauper’s grave. I never discovered where, but wherever, the people buried around him can rely on splendid entertainment for eternity.
You may wonder why I’m telling you the reader all this. Now, I too have become old and weary and looking for someone to take over from

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