The Fortunate Fabrication of Thomas Smith
Young Thomas Smith was born and raised in Manchester, England. His father, Frederick, was the finest tailor in the area. Many of the young gentleman and ladies came to Thomas' father for their aristocratic garb. Many times Thomas helped his father in the shop, while the other children made fun of him through the store window for his clumsy, bumbling manner, mouse-like features, and big ears. But Thomas did not mind the teasing, he was more interested in putting together lavishly silly outfits when the store closed. His father laughed and shouted, "Ah, my boy you will never be a courtly gentleman in that outfit!" Thomas, with his oversized top boots, and powdered periwig that slipped over his eyes, grimaced and replied, "I will be at court one day father, you'll see." And in usual fashion, Thomas tripped over his boots and fell into a rack of waistcoats.
As Thomas grew older and a bit more distinguised (growing into his ears), he began working in the shop quite often. When his father left early and Thomas stayed late to straighten up the store, he would try on some of the finer clothes of court that his father was making or altering for the young aristocrats. Gazing in the mirror, dressed in a fringed waistcoat with gold fabric, velvet breeches, a perfectly-fitted bag-wig, and wrapping his leather gloves on his walking stick; he was the perfect image of a young-blooded gentleman. Thomas longed to be a young aristocrat, to hold a lady on his arm and fall in love. But at the end of the night, Thomas always put on his old frock-coat and headed to his country home.
One rainy day, a fine gentleman came into the shop. Thomas overheard his father and the man discussing that he needed an escort to a courtly gala for that evening, becasue his coachman was ill. Thomas' father recommended that Thomas take the gentleman. With this underway, Thomas escorted the gentleman to the event. Unbeknownst to his father, Thomas took a fine suit decorated with light-catching glass and spangles and sauntered into the party.
Thomas passed for a true gentleman. He wined and dined with England's finest. Everyone was curious about Thomas. He explained that he had been travelling for quite some time and he just arrived back from the Continent. He was intriguing, and caught the eye of a beautiful woman. They exchanged glances all through the night. For even though Thomas knew he would be the tailor's son when he left the party, he knew what it was like to be an aristocrat, in love, for a few hours.
As Thomas said good-bye to his lady, all of his mystery followed him. He left the gala and changed his clothes before the gentleman returned to the coach. Thomas called on the horse with a roaring voice and rode away to the pastoral countryside he called home with a smile.