Len Maynard, tall, attractive, about to graduate with a first from university and a broken engagement behind her, waited at the train station with butterflies in her stomach for the arrival of her parents. She felt a gentle touch on her arm.
"Are you ok?" asked Con, concern clear in her eyes.
"Sort of," replied Len.
"I know they are cross with you, but they can't force you back to the Platz and make you marry Reg," grinned Con.
"I know... But Mamma is very angry, Papa too, and as for Reg..."
"It will be fine," said Con calmly, "And as for Reg, well it's not like they are going to bring him with them."
At that moment a whistle blew, alerting them to the fact that their parents train had arrived. Through the smoke and steam they could faintly see three figures approaching them, one with enormous earphones clamped to each side of her head.
"Three?" said Len in horror.
"Ah, I may have been wrong about the Reg thing. Do we have time to run do you think?"
"Too late," replied Len as one of the figures raised their hand in what she hoped was a friendly greeting.
It was not. Joey Maynard erupted out of the steam like an avenging fury, closely followed by Jack (less furious, but equally intimidating, indeed thought Con as she considered backing away, why had her father brought his medical case along?) and finally Reg, who was exuding anger from what seemed to be every part of his body.
"Hhhehhehello," stuttered Len.
"Just what do you think you are doing?" screeched her mother (missing now was the famed pure, choirboy's voice), "How dare you break off your engagement to poor Reg? As soon as you have graduated you will return to the Platz and you will marry your Doctor!"
"But..." tried poor Len.
"No buts!" said her father crossly, "We have trained you to be the wife of a doctor, and that is what you will be!!!"
"Where is Con?" demanded Joey, suddenly changing the subject and looking round frantically.
To Len's relief Con reappeared with a huge policeman. Jack Maynard seized the initiative promptly.
"Ah officer, sorry about that, slight family upset," taking the policeman by his arm he led him to the nearest office, he reappeared a moment later, shutting his medical case as he did so. The look he gave Con promised retribution later. "Now, lets get this graduation over with," he said. Reg continued to seethe in the background. Seeing no other option, Con and Len led the way out of the station.
The graduation ceremony was a complete disaster as far as Len was concerned. Whilst Con was allowed to go up and collect her degree by herself, neither Jo not Jack were willing to let Len move away from their sides, so they went up to collect her degree with her. If this wasn't embarrassing enough Reg insisted on punching every man who spoke to her, this included the Dean, the Chancellor, the rector, several Professors, 15 students and one small boy who happened to get too close to her.
"Well? Is it over?" demanded Joey finally.
"Yes," muttered a red faced Len. People were staring and pointing at them.
"Time for a nice glass of milk then," said Jack, exchanging a quick glance with his wife. Reaching into his medical bag he removed a bottle of milk and two glasses. Rapidly filling them he handed them to Len and Con.
"Drink up!" trilled Joey. Faced with the habit of instant obedience, both girls obeyed, drinking the milk down. Jack and Joey watched and waited whist Reg tried to hit a blackbird which he believed had whistled at Len.
Con gazed into the depths of her glass, what was that white, grainy substance at the bottom...
"Len!" she slurred in horror, "I think we have been dosed!" The world around her went funny, and her last coherent thought was to wonder at Len collapsing on the pavement.
"Oh dear!" trilled Joey once more, "I think the excitement must have been too much for them!"
Jack bent and picked Con up, whilst Reg slung Len over his shoulder in the manner of a Neanderthal with a fresh kill.
"Got their passports?" asked Jack as Reg stomped on what he thought was a male worm looking at Len.
"All set," responded Joey, and she led the way to station humming the bridal march happily.