Written by William Clark
Written by William Clark
Many an adventure has been set in the United States but now the states are set in an adventure. See if you can locate the names of fifty states hidden in this story. There is a prize if you find fifty two -- a strong pair of glasses!
'You are quite ineffectual... a bam... a total dead loss.' she had yelled.
I was no intellectual as Karen 'stone bras Karen' well knew. We could never connect. I cut and ran, of course, not trying to explain the blow on the head.
In the distance I heard a dog bark. An SAS captain from England had once told me that the only thing to fear was fear itself. I had to keep calm. My face by this time was florid. A bead of sweat trickled down my nose. It seemed an age since I had discovered the ore gone. I decided to head south. Carol in a moment of insight had bought a trailer on Ida Holloway's farm. I would be safe there.
Over the door the flowery branches of mimosa hung in a mass. 'ACHUSETTS!' I sneezed. It wasn't locked. In the dim interior I pulled out the parchment. It had a strange yellow color. A dot followed by 'zl' drew my attention.
I nearly committed hari kari. "Z" on an end line! How could I have missed it before?' I exclaimed. Perhaps Karen's opinion of my brain power was correct. Outside I heard the Rhode Island Reds clucking, a distant radio was playing swing time. I had to concentrate. That radio was definatly not playing our tune!
OK, "l" a homage to the gods. No... think, it was a "1", a number. It leaped into mind like a flash flood - Akaha wa...I instantly stopped, dumbstruck, then continued aloud 'was the high Chief.' He must have known where the gold was hidden. So I had been right all along. But how did the Diana connection come in? Diana of course, she was the Ancient Greek goddess of hunting.
A knock rattled the door. Hastily I hid the parchment behind a picture of some toukans (As you can see, I can't spell either, Karen.) It was Ada's husband. 'O, hi, Ollie,' I stammered.
'I brought your bill in.'
'Oi,' said I, 'that's not due for a week yet.'
'You can afford it', he grinned, 'I heard you and Karen struck it lucky up on the old Akaha range.'
'You are mistaken; tuck your shirt in and take a seat,' I growled. 'It was my cousin, Louis. I analysed his response - sure, he knew I was lying.
'Strange,' he muttered, 'was told by old Joe Decali. For ni above forty years I've known him; never wrong, old Joe.'
I offered him coffee, the percolator was a new model. Aware of his interest in anything new I thought it might put him off. But no.
'When Joe was up North - "Dakota Joe" they called him in those days - he heard tell of an Indian cache. He and his old mule, Mary landed lucky a few times but never the big one, nothing large or giant like.' he continued.
'Look, Ollie,' I sighed. 'Pull up a chair. I'd better come clean. I've had a run in with Penn.'
'Sylvania Penn! That old virgin I already know,' he stuttered, his butt heading South, 'Dakota Joe told me all about her.' The chair wobbled and creaked. 'With that miss our instant reaction should be to flee.'
I nodded. 'That miss is sipping the life blood from the entire West. Virginal or not she must be near a hundred if she's a day, and getting greedier.'
The door burst open - it was Gandolf Bates, Sylvania's English butler. 'A showy 'oming pigeon told me you might be 'ere,' he smirked.
Karen, I guessed. Cosmic! 'Hi Ganny,' I simpered, apprehensively, knowing he hated the nickname
Ollie jumped nervously to his feet. 'I got washing to night,' he blubbered. 'It's nearly new.'
'Yorkshire, where I come from, the men never wash,' boasted Bates
'Figures,' I muttered, determined to be brave.
'New jersey,' continued Ollie, 'brand new.'
'Hampshire, where I was brought up,' sniffed Bates disdainfully, 'we never wash our jerseys, we make the women knit new ones.
''Min. nesot. a.' gabbled Ollie tears stinging their way down his grizzled old cheeks.
'He min. means creosote, he fell in it,' I explained coolly. 'Which is where I am going to throw you.' Act tough, I told myself hoping he wouldn't notice the quaking. 'I'll count to ten.'
'Nesseeceree, that is not,' Bates replied, mocking Ollie's accent. He took a package from his pocket. 'Semtex - a simple press and BOOM!'
I heard a car and glanced at the window to the north. Carol, in a jeep, was arriving at high speed.
I turned to Ollie, 'ask mum: is sis sipping the gin again?' He caught on, 'It wouldn't be new.'
'Mexicology is my hobby,' Bates snarled. 'I know that is where you got the parchment from. 'and it over or.'
'But ah ain't got none,' whined Ollie, not understanding.
'The main elements of the puzzle, Sylvania already knows,' continued the blighty butler 'but that now is consined (sorry, Karen) to history.'
Carol burst in.
'Eva, darling.' I greeted her. It was essential that Bates did not realize who she really was.
'Mont a na.' I chanted in the ancient language.
Bates screamed. 'No. never, mont.'
But he was too late - Carol sank her fangs into his neck.
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Copyright W.Clark 2007