Miles On Monday
Miles Salter secures an exclusive interview with the king
(Our thanks to Beryl from Acomb for the tea and the séance. Beryl said it would be very costly to get hold of Richard III as he didn’t understand modern English, but she soldiered on. YorkMix said they could offer £40 and a taxi to bingo, and we were in business.)
Richard: Who is this?
Miles: Ah, Richard, is that you? You sound like Beryl.
Richard: Richard speaking. How can I help?
Miles: Just wanted to pick your brains.
Richard: That could be tricky…they dried up a long time ago. My DNA’s available, apparently.
Miles: We still miss you here in York.
Richard: I bet it’s changed.
Miles: You could say that again. We have plumbing these days.
Richard: What’s plumbing?
Miles: And coffee outlets.
Richard: What’s coffee?
Miles: And some great museums. Like the one about trains.
Richard: What is trains?
Miles: Crumbs. When did you die?
Richard: Year of Our Lord 1485. You’re a long time dead.
Miles: Quite. You’ve missed some great stuff on telly. And if you haven’t seen Star Wars…
Richard: What is telly?
Miles: Never mind. Can we clear one or two things up. If I don’t ask you a couple of questions, historians will never forgive me… They don’t forget.
Richard: A bit stuck in the past, though, aren’t they?
Miles: For example, this story about the Princes in the Tower. People say you gave the order for them to be murdered. Is that true?
Richard: No comment.
Miles: Did you want them silenced?
Richard: Well they were very noisy, those two. Always running around, causing a nuisance, fighting and carrying on. They made a bloody racket.
Miles: What was the Battle of Bosworth like?
Richard: I still get flashbacks. It gave me a very bad headache.
Miles: I thought time was a healer.
Richard: It was very vicious. Losing my helmet didn’t help. But then you have to be tough, especially in a battle situation. It’s not easy being a ruler.
Miles: You were good at measuring things, then?
Miles: Nothing. How do you feel about the way you’ve been perceived over the years? Shakespeare portrayed you as Machiavellian villain. You were devious and flattering, some say.
Richard: What is Shakespeare?
Miles: He said you had a hunch.
Richard: I had a few ideas, yes. And I was a good lawmaker. Francis Bacon said I was very good at the legal stuff.
Miles: Well the legal outcome may not be very welcome to the Plantagenet Alliance.
Richard: What’s that?
Miles: I think it’s an Italian Pasta dish.
Richard: Don’t be daft.
Miles: Sorry. The Plantagenet Alliance began a legal campaign to get you to York after you were found beneath a car park. Although some people suggest they have wasted taxpayer’s time and money.
Richard: Well, I’m on their side and would like to thank them for their efforts. Good work. What a great bunch of people. I look forward to coming back to York.
Miles: You’re not. You’re not coming back.
Miles: You’re not. You’re staying in Leicester. They’re planning a four day funeral with lots of pomp and ceremony and bishops and stuff.
Richard: Excuse me while I turn in my grave. (He rolls over)
Miles: Feel better now?
Richard: Yes. I’ve been on my left side for 500 years, it’s time for a change. I was getting stiff. But really. Not to be in York. It’s an outrage.
Miles: We’re all sad here.
Richard: Well, Yorkshire folk can be petty. Look, I’d better go. I am dead after all. Goodbye.
Miles: Thanks for chatting. Enjoy Leicester.
Richard: Whatever. Oh. One last thing.
Richard: Do you have anything for a bad head? And what’s a car park?
- Miles Salter is a writer based in York
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