Jack of Many Trades is the twenty-second episode of season 2.
After the Arlesburgh-Harwick Branch Line was finished, Oliver, Alfie, Jack, Max, and Monty were returning from the construction yard to Miss Jenny's Yard. The others were pleased to see them.
"Welcome back!" Said Kelly.
"Thank you, thank you!" Said Max triumphantly, "I know you're all thrilled to see me..."
"See you?" Retorted Monty, "No one wants to see you! You can't do anything right!"
"Um, yes I can!"
"Nuh-uh! I'm much stronger than you!"
"Not true!" Protested Max.
"Yes true!" Insisted Monty, "Additionally, I'm older; I'm wiser."
"You're older?" Asked Isobella, "Then why is Max #15 and you're #16? Besides, everyone always says 'Max and Monty,' not 'Monty and Max.'"
"Ugh? Why? Why?! WHY?!?" Groaned Monty, "Everyone thinks that! Miss Jenny bought Max first, so he's 15. I was built first!"
"You learn something every day," said Nelson quietly.
"So what?" Said Max, "I'm still stronger than you, you haggardly old crone!"
"I could haul tons!"
"I could haul tons of tones!"
"I bet I could load tons," Jack chimed in. There was a brief silence, then the Dump Truck twins burst out laughing.
"You?" Laughed Max.
"You can't lift an ounce!"
"I can too!" Said Jack, "I lifted Thomas on a broken bridge, and I lifted Stephen up, AND I threw a crate of dynamite..."
"High into the air nearly destroying everything in sight!" Interrupted Monty.
"Well, what did you do to help?" Snapped Alfie.
"Not cause any problems!" Said Monty.
"Safety First!" Mocked Max, "A rule you should live by, Jack."
"Face it," Max went on, "The one job you can do without screwing up is digging."
"Eh, can he even do that?" Said Monty.
The dump trucks laughed and rolled off to their shed.
"Oh, don't listen to them. Their jealous," said Isobella kindly.
"Yeah, yeah," said Jack. He had heard those words hundreds of time. "I'm... I'm gonna go sleep in the back shed." Jack rolled away. The others sat in silence until Alfie spoke up.
"I'll go with him," and the excavator followed his friend.
Jack was sitting in the back shed when Alfie rolled in.
"Jack, don't listen to Max and Monty," he said, "Like Isobella said, they're jealous."
Alfie stammered. "Um, well... you... they..."
"Exactly! They're big, and strong, and fast. All I can do is..." He lifted his bucket in the air.
"But can they do that?" Asked Alfie.
"Well, no," said Jack.
"Well there's something! What would they do without you to load them?"
"You're right!" Said Jack, regaining confidence, "I can do anything they can do! No, I can do more than they can do!"
"That's the spirit!"
Jack went to sleep feeling better.
Next morning, Alfie woke up alone in the shed. Mr. Joel Stafford, the company foreman, came to see him. "Alfie, please be at Ffarquhar by 8. You and Jack are helping with blasting work."
"Yes, Sir," said Alfie, "But, where is Jack?" He thought to himself. The Foreman left. Alfie looked at the clock. It said 7:26. "Maybe he already left," Alfie said to himself, "If not, I can't let him make me late, too." So Alfie left.
When he arrived at the Quarry, Mavis was there.
"Hello, Alfie. Where's Jack?"
"He's not here?"
"Oh, dear," sighed Alfie.
It was 7:58 when Jack raced in. His face was as red as his paint.
"Jack, where have you been?" Alfie exclaimed.
"Sorry, I was collecting some parts from the Docks," panted Jack.
"What?" Asked Alfie, "What parts?"
"Well," Jack started, "When I woke up, Miss Jenny was talking to Nelson. She told him to head to the Docks to pick up some parts, so I decided I'd go instead. I went to the Docks, but I don't have a bed to carry stuff, so I picked the crates up in my bucket. However, when I passed Wellsworth, I dropped a crate, but I didn't notice yet, so I kept going. When I noticed, I went back for it, but I found Paxton, who had derailed, so I went to find Butch, but it turned out Butch had hit the dropped crate and broken his bumper, so I put him back on the rails, but then Arthur came in with the breakdown train, and he was kind of upset that he came for nothing. Then I went back to Wellsworth and picked up the crate, delivered the parts to the Yard, and came back here!"
Alfie blinked. "When did you leave the Yard?"
Alfie gasped. "You did all that in an hour?"
"Yep! I'm the fastest front loader ever!"
Then Max and Monty... er, Monty and Max drove by.
"Yeah, but the fastest front loader is slower than the slowest dump truck!" Laughed Max.
"You mean you?" Teased Monty.
"Rubbish! I'm faster than you!"
"Nonsense! You're as slow as Buster!"
"Oh yeah? Well you're as slow as Cranky!"
"Cranky doesn't even move!"
The Dump Truck Twins kept on arguing as they drove away. Jack looked cross. Just then, he heard some workmen talking.
"We're out of space in this siding."
"Toby's not coming back for these trucks for another twenty minutes!"
Then Jack had an idea. He raced up to the trucks, pressed his bucket against the brake van, and pushed the train out of the siding, and towards the exit of the Quarry.
"Jack! What are you doing?" Cried Alfie.
Jack left the Quarry, and was making surprisingly good time. As he passed Ffarquhar, Toby came by in the other direction. A quick thinking shunter switched Toby into a siding before he collided with the train.
"Was that my train?" Asked Toby in alarm. "WAS THAT JACK?!"
Jack was in a hurry. He came to a hill, it was hard work, but at last he made it to the top, but the downhill slope came with much more danger. Since Jack was not coupled to the trucks, they raced on ahead of him!
"Oh, no!" Gasped Jack. He raced after the trucks. The guard slammed the brakes on, and the train slowed down. But the trucks had other ideas. They gave the train a bump, knocking the brake van off the line! The short period of braking had slowed the train down a bit, and Jack was able to pull ahead of the trucks, but they soon started to speed up again. The runaway was soon approaching Hackenbeck. The points were set to the siding. Jack raced in the siding and turned around. He lifted his bucket forward to stop the trucks. They smashed into him, crashing all over him.
Thomas was nearby, and saw what had happened. "Jack, are you alright?"
"I think so!"
"What were you doing?"
"Taking these trucks from the Quarry."
"But that's Toby's... Wait, what?"
Soon, Norman arrived, along with Jerome, Judy, and Marion. Marion cleared away the rocks and dirt, and Jerome and Judy lifted the trucks away.
"Have you got the truck there, Judy?"
"Yes, Jerome. Ready when you are!"
Thankfully, Jack's repairs did not take long, and when he returned to work, he was careful to be much more sensible about the jobs he did.
- Oliver (does not speak)
- Max and Monty
- Miss Jenny (mentioned)
- Stephen (mentioned)
- Joel Stafford
- Nelson (does not speak)
- Paxton (mentioned)
- Arthur (mentioned)
- Buster (does not speak)
- Cranky (mentioned)
- Annie and Clarabel (cameo)
- Norman (does not speak)
- Jerome and Judy
- Marion (does not speak)
- This episode takes place during the events of Marion Makes a Move, and the struggles Marion goes through while travelling to the Quarry are caused by Jack's racing around.