15. FURTHER EVENTS AT THE BEAR HOTEL. NELSON CRISIS IS OVER.

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The Nelson crisis is at an end. Without needing to issue civil defense procedures or resorting to the deployment of tactical hologram weapons and risk condemnation from The Campaign for Hologram Disarmament, we used our initiative here at The History Maintenance Commission and put right the damage to the past the winner of our time-travelling competition to meet Horatio Nelson caused at The Bear Hotel, Havant on 13th September, 1805 when he suggested to Nelson that he should miss The Battle of Trafalgar to instead attend a Disability Benefits Tribunal in London.

Those of you who keep abreast with news out of the HMC will be aware that concerns were heightened that Nelson had taken the advice and missed Trafalgar because a pigeon had appeared in a photograph taken in Godalming in 1881, where previously it had been absent and also the hologram of the sculptor of Nelson’s statue atop its column was now prominently incorporating signs of the great man’s disabilities in its design as well as enabling access to it by lift. Having consulted the Sibyl @ Delphi she prophesied catastrophic consequences to there being no Nelson as we know him from people no longer turning a blind eye to Britain not being shopkeepers but being a nation of chop-weepers instead.

Clearly something had to be done. We had essentially created this problem by meddling with the past. So we were determined to resolve the perilous situation, and by George we did. However, it sometimes isn’t this easy and occasionally, and regretfully, we need to use the hologram defence program. But only when there is no other option and other lines of resolution have been exhausted. Please, we appeal to future users of our unique, patented time-travelling facilities not to make mistakes and to follow our strict guidelines. Then these incredible visits to the past can be conducted without threat to our present.

It has been put to us when these faux pas are made, why don’t we just return to the exact same time again and simply prevent our time-travelling guest, by whatever means, from making his or her transgression. Unfortunately, we cannot do this. Once a specific time has been used it cannot be selected again. However, we were able to send agents back to the Bear Hotel, Havant later on the night of 13th September, 1805, indeed the first minutes of 14th September as that was a fresh, unused date. They knocked upon Nelson’s door and were soon given admittance by the naval hero who had yet to retire for the night.

It was just as well our agents arrived when they did. For Nelson’s table was strewn with papers on which he had scrawled his answers to possible questions the tribunal would ask regarding his disabilities. This was some of what was spotted:

Poss Q at the Tribunal: Can you walk a hundred yards at your workplace without any difficulty?

My Answer: No because I would fall into the sea.

Poss Q: Do you get out of breath when you walk?

My Answer: It depends on whether I have been shot by an enemy sniper. I can also get out of breath if I am wearing all, my medals as they weigh close to half a tonne.

Poss Q: Do you need someone with you when you go out?

My Answer: Yes a crew of 821.

Poss Q: Do you ever have difficulty preparing a meal for yourself?

My Answer: Yes, because the ship’s cook keeps the provisions under lock and key.

We were able to persuade Nelson that the Disabilty Tribunal was a hoax to keep him away from the forthcoming important battle and that it was a French spy who had informed him of this. Britain’s greatest naval hero immediately declared that he mercifully hadn’t fallen for the devious subterfuge and gathered his jottings as swiftly as he was able to with just one arm to cast them for combustion in the fireplace. Within a puff all evidence of the faux pas that would impact upon our present, if unaddressed, was gone and the emergency at an end.

Once news was received that the mission was a success, our Edward Hodges-Baily hologram was requested to give a lecture and had thankfully returned to normal with no further talk of providing disabled access to the statue of Nelson atop the column at Trafalgar Square via an adjacent lift.

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