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“Fuming funnels! This can only mean one thing. The Fat Controller is going to retire!”

Come Back, Please! is a magazine story.


Percy is in a hurry to collect his trucks in the yard, but lazy Dennis has fallen asleep and blocked the track. Percy tells the dozy diesel to wake up. Devious Diesel overhears Percy being rude to a fellow Diesel and drops oil on the tracks. This causes Percy to skid into Oliver's buffers.

Before long the feud between the steam engines and diesel engines has escalated and the Fat Controller orders them all to stop and get back to work. Percy is finally coupled up to his trucks and he sets off to deliver them to another station.

When Percy returns, he gets a surprise. The Fat Controller is emptying out his office. A stationmaster is helping him shift his desk. Percy overhears Sir Topham tell the stationmaster that he won't be needing it anymore. Percy thinks this can only mean one thing - the Fat Controller is going to retire. Percy watches as the Fat Controller loads boxes from his office into his car and drives away.

Percy tells the other engines what he has seen and that it is their fault for arguing. They decide they must find him and ask him to stay.

The engines clatter off urgently in every direction in search of the Fat Controller. Percy heads off to the big harbour in case he intends to catch a ferry. Meanwhile, Dennis heads off to the airport.

Soon, Percy meets Harold who agrees to help. Even Diesel offers to join in the search. But it is no use as the Fat Controller is nowhere to be seen. One by one, the engines make their way sadly back to the main station.

To Percy's astonishment, he sees the Fat Controller has returned to the main station, too. Percy begs the Fat Controller to stay and promises that all the engines will be really useful for now on. The Fat Controller is surprised and tells the engines that he only left to buy a new desk as his office is going to be redecorated. Percy thinks Diesel may have been right; he has been a very silly steamie.




  • In the final illustration, Dennis' bufferbeam is oversized.