‘Clickclickclick’ – Mrs. Norris knitted, as she did habitually, the sound echoing through the village hall – all patriotic bunting and memorials to the fallen. “Well, it’s for the jumble sale” she would say when challenged.
“Well it’s very annoying!” snorted Miss Prendergast, drawing herself up in haughty dowager indignation. “Lady Deirdre Ffaines-Muir has called a special session of the Townswomen’s Guild and all you can do is clatter those confounded needles!”
“It’s for the jumble!” retorted Mrs. Norris.
Mrs. Williams sighed. “Will you two please stop bickering for once? It’s so, well, provincial… Lady Deirdre, please continue.”
“Thank-you,” said Lady Deirdre, ignoring the interruption with practised grace and studied indifference. “In our last meeting, as you know, we agreed that desperate times need desperate measures, and we voted unanimously to take up arms, should the village come under peril.”
“From Communists!” spat Miss Prendergast.
“From Fascists!” growled Mrs. Norris.
“Yes, quite,” continued Lady Deirdre. “You all volunteered to collect whatever weaponry you could find and, husbands notwithstanding, have brought a fine collection of shotguns.”
“Frank was most supportive,” Mrs. Williams said with a superior smile, knowing full well the battles her less sophisticated comrades had had with their other halves.
“And it’s to his credit Mavis. Now, for my part I have contacted a couple of friends in The City, who have sent me a couple of little presents…”
She turned to the table besides her, and removed the cloth covering it with a flourish, drawing a murmur of appreciation from her audience.
“Rifles?” asked Mrs. Williams. “Frank said he couldn't get one for love nor money! And machine guns!?”
The clicking stopped.
“I’ll have that big ‘un,” said Mrs. Norris, her jaw set with determination. “My Albert was a Lewis gunner during the war. Never said anything about it except in his sleep, and I spent enough years listening to him jabbering on to know what’s what.”
“Well if she’s having that thing, then I'm having the Tommy gun!” Miss Prendergast grabbed the weapon and peered down the barrel. “Can’t be too hard for an educated woman to operate.”
“That’s settled then,” said Lady Deirdre. “Alas there aren't enough to go around, but with the shotguns we’ll at least be able to mount proper patrols and, God forbid, take to the field if we are needed.
“Although Frank says that the LDV are more than capable of defending the village.”
“Huh! Does he now?” chuckled Mrs. Norris, slapping a drum magazine into its mounting and flicking up the rear sight in a single effortless motion. “That’s nice.”
Some lovely figures from Blind Beggar Miniatures - armed housewives!