|The Story||The Authors|
His first stop, as per usual, was for a double half-caf Latte' with a dash of nutmeg at Ol' Joe Starbuck's Tradin' Post (or so it was called in its Madame Coquille created guise.) The frothy beverage refreshed him well enough that he began the next portion of his daily ritual. A well tamped pipe and his morning duties, in that order. Thus lightened and fortified he began his quest anew for the whereabouts and whatfors of Mr Tickles and his nefarious band of hentchmen. Pausing only momentarily to straighten his bow tie in a storefront reflection he proceeded briskly down the Avenue towards the least likely place that his archrival might be found. Ever the assiduous detective Officer Pencilthinmoustache needed to cross a few spots off the list before he could proceed in earnest knowing he had not overlooked the unlikely.|
In the course of the morning he was able to ascertain that the dreaded Mr Tickles was not to be found in the vicinity of Bobo's House of Chew Toys, Orange Julius, Mrs Finnerty's Authentic Russian Tea Room, Crazy Leo's Discount Bible supply store, The Gap or The Rainbow Gatherers New Age candle emporium (but he was able to pick up a niftly quartz crystal medallion for his aging Mum).
Thus reassured the undaunted Officer Pencilthinmoustache, feeling a tad peckish paused for a brief repast of haggis and black coffee at Tom O'Shanter's Bar and Bagpipe Parlor before continuing on. The sweet reedy drone of the bagpipe was always the thing to put a fire in the good detective's belly when he needed a bit of inspiration. Aye, that and the buxom flame haired barmaid, Lois, with those grand and sturdy child-bearing hips he had his eye on to put a capper on a belly full of sheep bladder.He licked his thin lips greedily. So invigorated was the Inspector that he decided he would have dessert after all, and promptly importuned the lusty serving wench for a Flan (sans flames) and a glass of skim milk.
Unfortunatley for Officer Pencilthinmoustache he never had a chance to eat it.
Fir it was at that moment that the renegade band of Crow, far from home but on a mission for Sioux scalps and white women, galloped bareback into the pub and began to shoot their arrows. |
The first casualties were not human, but Scottish -- the wheezing bagpipes of the bagpipe quartet on the small stage were soon bristling with arrows, and the last, a fine tenor bagpipe, gave its final wheezing gasp and fell to the floor, stone dead.
"No makum bad music no more," said a brave.
"How! Diffcult to callum music, what soundum like dying buffalo," replied his neighbor.
"What say you, Fast Turtle, we killum, scalpum musicians, makum sure no more groaning-elk-in-heat music disturbum brave Crow war-songs?"
"I say, goodum goddamn idea, Fart-of-Bright Thunder, my brother."
And so they did.
Five minutes later the scattered, scalped corpses of the bar's customers and kitchen staff ÷ among them the pasty, bloated, tweed-clad cadaver formerly known as Officer Pencilthinmoustache, late of Scotland Yard, crumbs of his final Yorkshire pudding dribbling from his lifeless mouth ÷ all stacked now like along the bar like cordwood made useless by an unexpected rain. |
Only the barmaidens had been spared, destined to be traded into white slavery and sacrifice among the savage, bottlenosed Aztecs a thousand miles to the South. They stood bound in a corner, and every so often one of them would emit a loud, hoarse wail, only to be silenced with an icy look from the tall, ritually scarred brave watching over the captives, who ogled them with the greedy, undisguised lechery of a soldier too long on the campaign.
But even this particularly slovely character snapped to attention when a man, unquestionably the big cheese, strode into the bar with a pronounced limp and surveyed the carnage with the pitiless eyes of an osprey.
The astute reader has no doubt already recognized the dark and wounded form of that nemesis of modern man, that blight upon the days and means of Buffalo Bill, Dan'l Boone, Wyatt Earp and General Custer hisse'f...Injun Joe!