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Richard Harris vs the Weasel from Hell!
WEASELMsg # 110 of 125                 Date: Tue 21/07/1992,  8:57 pm

From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 15 times

     To: All
Subject: By the way...

...for all you folk (well, I'm hoping there are one or two, anyway) who are
wondering what I'll be doing once this saga wraps up next episode...

       ...I'm open to suggestions.


WEASELMsg # 111 of 125                 Date: Sat 25/07/1992,  7:37 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 17 times

     To: All
Subject: ...

Starting today...



   Edward MacDonald, a tall man, thin and athletic, had no idea of what fate
had in store for him. Nor of what Doris Lafferty had in store for him, for
that matter; she was currently lying concealed in the bushes just outside
the window, shotgun held ready, waiting for the prefect moment to fire.
   However, MacDonald was blissfully unaware of her designs upon him; he was
at that moment standing beside Judith OvaltineÕs bed, fumbling with his
trousers. Judith lay on the bed; she was not having any trouble with her
trousers, having removed them some minutes beforehand.
   At that moment, there was a thunderous CRACK! of displaced air, and a
large creature appeared in the room. MacDonald goggled at it, hands freezing
at his fly. The creature appeared to be a mongoose: eight feet tall, bright
purple, with sixteen eyes and a snout almost as long as an elephantÕs trunk.
The mongoose flicked a pair of switches on its computerised wristpad, and

          On advice that mongooses (or possibly mongeese) actually come
        from Europe and Asia, and definitely not from anywhere near
        Massachusetts, this serial has been cancelled.
          We now return you to your regularly scheduled epic...

WEASELMsg # 112 of 125                 Date: Sun  9/08/1992,  5:32 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 15 times

     To: All
Subject: Episode 100 -<< THE END >>-


   "Are you the real Weasel, or not?" Harris demanded, recapping the end of
the last episode in a confusing sort of way.
   They waited for its reply. The weasel gave them a decidedly shifty look.
"Don't want to tell," it squeaked sulkily.
   "Don't think you can weasel your way out of this way," Amanda blurted out
tastelessly. Everybody winced. (You can, too, if you like.)
   "Oh, all right," the weasel said at last. "Yes! I am the real Weasel."
   "From Hell?" prompted Umandi.
   "From Hel," the Weasel corrected. "It's in Poland, north of Gdansk."
   They stared at each other. "Well," Harris said at last, "That sure
as...heck ruined a lot of storylines."
   "You're sure you're not the least bit demonic?" asked Amanda pleadingly.
   The Weasel contrived to look embarassed. "'Snot a very demonic sort of
place, Poland," it said.
   Harris kicked at the floor. "Well, this is a fine way to end an epic," he
snarled. At that moment there was an audible click, and the lights came on.
They stood, blinking, in the bright electric glare.
   "Cheer up," a voice said. "At least you got an ending at all." As their
eyes adjusted, they saw it was a middle-aged man in a dark suit. "Dr Richard
Harris," the newcomer introduced himself. "I was the psychiatrist in episode
   "Oh - ah, charmed," Harris replied, shaking the proferred hand.
   "Captain Harris," said a main in strangely-coloured nautical garb.
"Commander of the starship in episode twenty." He rolled his eyes strangely
and whistled.
    "Don't pay any attention to him," said another, scantily-clad newcomer.
"Harris," he introduced himself. "Lord of the Jungle, episode 47. Look,
don't mind us. We're holding a little party, you celibrate the
ending." He handed Harris a glass of champagne with a little umbrella in it.
   Lo, quoth a mighty-thewed warrior in heavy armour. In sooth is this the
end of a mighty epic.
   Harris looked at him as he strode off, declaiming loudly. "How does he
manage to talk without quotation marks?" he wondered aloud.
   "Don't worry about him," advised Col Harris from episode 81. "They all
talked that way in episode six. We're thinking of taking up a collection to
buy them some punctuation."
   "Seriochem ectotron, neutrocrat," agreed Bolus from episodes 16 and 28.
   "***", added another, strangely two-dimensional Harris.
   "Don't mind him," said a little old lady from episode 62. "He can only
talk in pictograms, poor dear. From episode 78, you know."
   "God, is everybody here?" said the final Harris wildly.
   "Just about," confirmed someone else. Harris looked at him and recoiled
in horror and disgust from the rotten, decaying corpse.
   "Sorry," the corpse said. "Dr Richard Harris. From episode one, you know.
I got killed...I'm afraid I haven't kept too well since then."
   This was too much. Harris looked around for a familiar face, found none.
"Pardon me," he asked a passing gunfighter from episode 25. "Have you seen a
green witch named Amanda?"
   "Ah think she wus over in the corner, chattin with Daisy Rumblethighs and
Thelma Thundertush," drawled the gunfighter, picking his nose with the
barrel of his gun. "Ah fergit the episode numbers..."
   "Seven and 55," supplied a grizzly bear from episode 50. "Would you like
some porridge?"
   "Amazing." Harris wondered where all the Weasels were; he hadn't seen any
of them yet. But even as the thought crossed his mind, a shout rose above
the murmur of the crowd.
   "Look out! The Weasels are all outside, and it looks like they're
   The crowd froze. Then, moving as one, over eighty Richard Harrises turned
to meet the assault...

                   [Exeunt, in general confusion. Applause. CURTAIN LOWERS.]

WEASELMsg # 113 of 125                 Date: Sun  9/08/1992,  5:34 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 14 times

     To: All
Subject: What Next...?

Well, folks, that's it...the END of Richard Harris.  Frankly it's a bit of a
relief...after 100 episodes I was getting pretty sick of what, essentially,
was the same gag over and over again. ("What sort of story shall we parody
THIS time?")

So. Now, it's over.

"But what comes next?" I hear you ask. (Actually I don't hear you ask
anything of the sort, because I'm probably quite a long way away from you
right now, but I'm sure I'd hear you asking it if I happened to be there,
and, of course, you were actually asking it at all.)

What comes next is a NEW serial, completely unconnected with Richard Harris.
It'll probably be around 35 episodes long (that's just a number I plucked
out of the air, but it sounds good - long enough to have some serious fun,
not so long that I get bored of it).

So...coming soon...

          (A Will Humpernickel Case)

WEASELMsg # 114 of 125                 Date: Sun  9/08/1992,  5:38 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 12 times

     To: All
Subject: The Bronze Didgeridoo

Starting here, any message now...

          (A Will Humpernickel Case)

Just in case you missed the notification last episode...


WEASELMsg # 115 of 125                 Date: Sun  9/08/1992,  5:39 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 12 times

     To: All
Subject: The Bronze Didgeridoo

OK, it's for real this time. Starting next message...


WEASELMsg # 116 of 125                 Date: Sun  9/08/1992,  5:39 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 12 times

     To: All
Subject: The Bronze Didgeridoo

All right, NOT this message after all. It'll be in the next message, honest.


WEASELMsg # 117 of 125                 Date: Sun  9/08/1992,  5:40 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 13 times

     To: All
Subject: The Bronze Didgeridoo

Actually, on second thought it'd be a bit obvious for me to start off in
THIS message. Try the next one.


WEASELMsg # 118 of 125                 Date: Sun  9/08/1992,  5:40 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 18 times

     To: All
Subject: The Bronze Didgeridoo

     _____________________________     |                            |
     |  A Will Humpernickel Case  |
     |                            |
     |      By Angus MacSpon      |

     Starting here Real Soon Now!


WEASELMsg # 119 of 125                 Date: Sun  9/08/1992,  5:42 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 23 times

     To: All
Subject: Episode 1

(A Will Humpernickel Case)


   My name is Will Humpernickel. I'm an agent for the ESSAU - the East
Slobovikna Secret Agents' Union. There isn't actually any such place as East
Slobovikna, but we couldn't think of any other place that fit the initials
   The story I'm about to relate you isn't found in any of my casebooks,
because I don't keep any (they have to be done in longhand to get the right
hard-boiled feel about them, and I get writers' cramp). But it's a damn good
story, and if I did keep casebooks it's be there all right, written as big
and bold as you please, in red ink. (I lost my blue pen.)
   It all started two or three years ago, back in good old East Slobovikna.
(Hey, it may not exist, but you can't have everything.) I was in my office,
reading over the typed report of my last case - it said "The Mistiry of tha
Mng-Fravored Wumpire", but then my secretary can't read my handwriting very
well; it should have been "the", not "tha" - when the intercom buzzed.
   It was my secretary, Miss Humperdine. "Will?" she said. (That's my name.
Will. Remember that, because if I catch you thinking my name is Tony I'll
get upset.) "The boss wants to see you right away," she went on, and
suddenly I got the feeling that the boss wanted to see me. We agents get
these feelings sometimes - you can call it a hunch, or intuition, or
whatever you like, but to a trained agent like myself it's a feeling that
must not be ignored. I probed more deeply, and had a hunch that the time
when the boss wanted to see me was right away.
   I went to the boss's office, knocked, and went in. "You wanted to see me,
Mr Humperling?" I said. You know. Playing it real casual.
   "Ah, Humpernickel," he said. Even more casual. God, he was good. "I've
just been reading the report of your last case. There seem to be one or two
spelling mistakes."
   "Yes, sir, but I've had a word with my secretary and cleared it up. She
knows how to spell - that word - now."
   He nodded smoothly. "Splendid," he said meaningfully. "Now, Will, I think
I have another job for you."
   If I'd been a dog my ears would have perked up. Or even if I'd been a
cat. I'm not so sure about llamas, though. I missed the llama orientation
seminar during my training. Some day I'll be stranded in South America, and
then God knows what'll happen.
   "Yes, sir?" I said.
   "No details yet - security reasons." Mr Humperling did his fly up, so
casually that if he'd been doing it at a royal garden party everyone would
have admired his poise, rather than wondering why he'd been waving his dong
around at the Queen.
   "You're to fly to Istanbul," the boss went on. "You'll be met at the
airport. The password is 'hernia' and the reply is 'strain'. Got that?" I
nodded, too transfixed by his coolness to say anything. Then I left the
office to make preparations for the trip.
   The first thing, obviously, was to figure out the boss's code; my
instincts told me that Humperling was way too cool to have told me the real
destination. I looked in a dictionary and saw that the word fifteen words
before 'Istanbul' was 'issuable'. I wasn't sure what that meant, but adding
up the letters of 'issuable' and 'hernia' gave me 143, which is 127 more
than the latitude of La Paz, Bolivia. That had to be it.
   I had Miss Humperdine make the reservations, and the next morning I was
on my way...

(Next: Bolivia the Hard Way)

WEASELMsg # 120 of 125                 Date: Sun  9/08/1992,  5:43 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 25 times

     To: All
Subject: Episode 2


   The airplane was large and spacious, which was fortunate because
otherwise half the passengers would have had to sit outside on the wings. We
took off (surprise), and I was on my way towards the most dangerous case I
have ever undertaken. (If only I'd known beforehand. I'd have packed an
extra pair of underpants.)
   The flight from East Slobovikna to Bolivia takes a number of hours, but
because we crossed several time zones it seemed like only ten minutes before
we were landing. As a result, the in-flight meal was rather hurried (a
course every thirty seconds), and the movie was completely incomprehensible
- opening credits, sixteen seconds of action, and then closing credits. I
think it was about a man walking down the street to buy a packet of
cigarettes, but the plane landed just as he got to the shop so it's hard to
be sure.
   I made my way through customs, using my number #16 passport, in the name
of "Henry Winkler" - a good, inconspicuous name that lets me blend in with
any crowd. For some reason it didn't seem to work this time; several of the
customs agents eyed me oddly, and one of them kept saying "Whoa" to me and
grinning in an inane sort of way.
   I got into a taxi and, speaking in fluent Etruscan, ordered the driver to
kill me, take me to a good taxidermist, and have me stuffed. They don't
speak Etruscan in Bolivia, but I find that it comforts taxi drivers to be
unable to speak the language of their passengers. Sure enough, a few minutes
later we pulled up outside a hotel. I paid the driver in Greek drachmas and
strode inside.
   Thy didn't have a reservation for me, of course, but I was able to sneak
a look at their booking list and find a name that matched one of my
passports. Upstairs in my room, I changed into evening dress (the official
uniform of my profession) and waited for evening to come.
   The big question in my mind was: where would my contact be made? Mr
Humperling had said that it would be at the airport, but I hadn't yet
managed to break that part of his code. Unless - it suddenly occurred to me
- that fool of a customs official had been my contact. However, looking in
my copy of the "Secret Agents' Passwords and Dot-to-Dot Puzzles Bumper Fun
Handbook" I found that the correct response to a password of "Whoa" was to
strike him over the head with a trowel - hardly inconspicuous behaviour at
an airport. No, he had to have been a perfectly ordinary looney.
   Hmm. Rearranging the letters of "hernia" gave me "near hi". Perhaps on
top of a mountain? But the whole of La Paz is practically on top of a
mountain (see how useful Geography lessons at school can be?). Hmm.
Rearranging "strain" gave me "in rats". Very ominous. And even worse -
rearranging "ominous" almost gave me "in mouse". Could it be that rodents
were somehow connected to this case?
   I went outside, found a hardware shop and bought several mousetraps - I
had run out of drachmas, and had to pay in centavos, but the shopkeeper
didn't mind. Then, setting them and slipping them into my pockets, I made my
way to a local hangout listed in my "ESSAU Local Hangouts Manual" where I
was sure to get some answers - the dreaded Rotthrush Cafe...

(Next: Terror at the Rotthrush Cafe)

WEASELMsg # 121 of 125                 Date: Wed 19/08/1992,  7:42 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 26 times

     To: All
Subject: Episode 3


   The Rotthrush was the most notorious (notoriousest?) hangout in all of La
Paz - not to be compared with the Putrid Hen in Caracas, Venezuala, or the
dreaded Depraved Gibbon in Antananarivo, Madagascar (ah, how well I
remember!) but for all of that, unique ... in its own unique way, if you
know what I mean.
   You don't? I'll tell you.
   Back then, I wasn't familiar with the Rotthrush the way I am now, but I
knew a hundred joints like it in as many parts of the world. (Which pretty
well puts paid to my "unique" metaphor, come to think of it. Goldarn it.) I
had a good idea of what to expect when I strode inside - the usual
smoke-filled, poorly-lit dive, populated by hoods and whores (and you can
never quite be sure which is which - or at least I can't, which is possibly
why the CIA and the Mossad turned me down) and usually with one of those
stupid badly-tuned pianos honky-tonking away in the background.
   I was in for a surprise. When I strode in, the doorman held his finger to
his lips (this is an obscene gesture in some countries, but I wasn't sure if
Bolivia is one of them, so I simply waggled my fingers in my ears back at
him). The Rotthrush itself was in almost pitch-darkness but I could hear the
expected piano - better tuned than usual. Then I saw that it was up on a
dais, with a spotlight trained on it. The pianist was in a tuxedo, and he
was really hammering away at the keyboard. Moments later, a full orchestra
pitched in with him.
   Behind me I heard the doorman mutter something about "our chamber
orchestra evening," but I wasn't paying much attention. In these sorts of
situations it is vital to blend in with your surroundings, so I did my best.
The dance floor nearby was surprisingly empty, so I stepped on and started
to boogie - my efforts not helped by the fact that the music the orchestra
was playing was rather slow, without much of a backbeat. Fortunately, my
weight on the dance floor must have triggered some sort of mechanism. A bank
of coloured spotlights came on and started to strobe the floor, and a cool
reggae beat started to thump away. I heard the crowd who'd been listening to
the orchestra start to stir, and relaxed. The place was waking up at last. I
started to sing along with the drumbeat.
   Things seemed to get a little hectic then. Three rather bulky-looking men
started towards me over the dance floor, their arms spread wide. I'd heard
about the Bolivian men, but hadn't quite believed it until now. Dodging
them, I danced into the crowd who were beginning to cluster around the
parquet. From the corner of my eye I saw that the orchestra seemed to have
given up in despair, and the pianist was standing up on his stool, shouting
hysterically. Somebody bumped into me, and two of the mousetraps in my
pockets went off. I heard a shout of pain. The drumbeat pounded on, getting
louder and louder as more people stumbled onto the dance floor. One or two
of the orchestra players seemed to have brainstorms and started to add an
accompaniment - mostly trombones (you have to be careful around those
trombone players) but what the hell.
   I ducked past a last few people and found myself at the rear wall of the
Rotthrush. Behind me the crowd surged confusedly. Two or three people had
started dancing at last. There were several fights starting up.
   Then I heard a shout of recognition and the three men who'd been after me
surged up out of the crowd. In a moment they had my arms pinned behind my
back, and one of them was patting me down for weapons. (Apparently I'd
misjudged their intentions earlier.) An instant later the patter was
staggering back, shouting in pain, as another mousetrap went off. I lunged
forward, trying to break out of the grip of the other two, but barely
failing. That was when I saw the man watching me from the crowd - tall,
thin, good-looking in a sinister sort of way, dressed in a long overcoat
with a green carnation in the buttonhole. He was obviously there to meet
somebody - but was it me?
   "Hernia," I shouted at him desperately. "Hernia! Hernia!" The tall man
staggered back in shock...

(Next: Secret Orders)

WEASELMsg # 122 of 125                 Date: Sun 30/08/1992,  3:06 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 23 times

     To: All
Subject: Episode 4


   The stranger with the carnation turned and fled into the surging crowd. I
felt my heart sink. A moment later I felt it rise again - or was it my
stomach? - as one of my captors buried a fist in my belly.
   There's an old trick to withstanding pain that every ESSAU trainee gets
taught. It involves the use of physical techniques (the rigid control of the
body), mental techniques (willing the mind to ignore the pain), and,
ideally, a syringe of codeine (or some such) that can be injected
intravenously some time beforehand. The trouble in this case was that I had
left my syringe in my other false shoeheel, and the first two techniques
didn't work a damn.
   My captors, encouraged by my groans, hit me a bit more. After a while I
rewarded their efforts by throwing up over them, and they demonstrated their
appreciation for this by hitting me again. I think that's when I passed out,
but I'm not absolutely certain; what I saw next may have just been a
particularly vivid nightmare (the giant parrot with a wooden leg and the
dwarf on its shoulder who kept screaming "Crackers! Crackers!" was
especially memorable) but then again, in my profession it just may have been
   When I woke up the first thing I noticed was that I was no longer inside
the Cafe. The next thing I noticed was that my spine must have been broken,
because my entire upper body was twisted around 180 degrees, my face
downwards. The third thing I noticed was that the lower half of my body
seemed to be twisted around downwards as well, and after a few moments I
decided that my back wasn't broken at all, I was just lying face-down in the
   The fourth thing I noticed was that someone was trying to steal my
   I let him go through my pockets without giving any sign that I was awake.
After a moment I heard a snap! and a howl of pain as my last mousetrap went
off. I opened my eyes and saw that it was the man with the green carnation.
There was an odd smell in the air.
   I stood up and helped him to get the mousetrap off his fingers. "I didn't
know there were any green carnations," I said.
   "There are now," he muttered. "It's spray-painted."
   I nodded, impressed. That explained the funny smell. "Are you my
contact?" I asked him.
   "That depends," he said, his eyes narrowing. Then, in a low but intense
voice, he said, "Whoa."
   I rummaged in my pockets quickly (fortunately the mousetraps were all
sprung by now), pulled out the small garden trowel that I had bought
earlier, and hit him smartly on the head with it, giving the correct
countersign to his challenge.
   "Pass, friend," he said, wincing a bit. "Ernst Humpertork," he introduced
himself, giving me a rather clammy secret handshake.
   "Will Humpernickel," I responded.
   "Humpernickel!" he said, apparently surprised. ""What are you doing here?
The boss has the word out all over the world, to look for you. You're
supposed to be in Istanbul."
   I thought fast. "Istanbul, you say?" I said, stalling for time.
   "Sure. There're some sort of secret orders waiting for you, something
really big from what I hear."
   "I'm glad to hear it," I said, raising the trowel again and knocking him
out cold. I caught him as he fell, and dragged him quickly out of sight,
into a nearby alley.
   Going through his clothes didn't reveal muck, except that he had
forgotten to set his mousetraps. His wallet contained an ID card under the
name of "Donald Trump" - a nice, innocuous name, inconspicuous enough that I
decidied I might try it myself in the future - and a little money: mostly
Albanian leks and Nigerian nairas. I stuck the wallet back into his pocket
and hurried away.
   So, the opposition wanted me in Istanbul, eh? Lucky for me that I had
interpreted the Chief's code earlier, or I might have believed Humpertork.
But now, at least I knew that the enemy were on to me. I would have to watch
every step from now on...

(Next: Big Guns)

WEASELMsg # 123 of 125                 Date: Wed 28/10/1992,  6:00 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 28 times

     To: All
Subject: Episode 5


   The Rotthrush had obviously been a dead end, but at least I had gained
valuable information there. (Which meant, come to think of it, that it
wasn't a dead end at all, goldarn it, but I'd put it better when I came to
write my report.)
   There was no time to be lost. The Enemy were on to me, and I still wasn't
even sure what my mission was. Worse still, they knew I was in La Paz, which
mean that it was only a matter of time before they found me.
   But wait a moment. By now, they must know that I knew they were on to me,
or to put it another way, I knew that they knew that I was on to them. That
meant that they would expect me to get out of town and head for the closest
emergency cover (in this case, in Malaysia). But since I knew that they knew
that I knew that they knew it, and that they would be sure to anticipate me,
I decided to stay where I was, thus getting them off my trail and letting me
get down to business.
   Some sort of disguise would be essential. I wasn't familiar with the
native dress in La Paz, so I did a little research. I didn't have an
encyclopedia with me, unfortunately, but I did find a French dictionary in
the bottom of my suitcase (left over from another mission). The dictionary
didn't list "La Paz," but it did have "lapin," which was pretty close, and
which I discovered meant "rabbit." Presumably some sort of large false ears
was called for, then.
   After a couple of hours of shopping, however, I was beginning to come to
the conclusion that there weren't too many giant false ears for sale in
Bolivia. At the same time, moreover, I was beginning to suspect that I was
being followed.
   My suspicions were first aroused when I began to notice that the
shopkeepers of every shop I tried looked exactly alike, and gave me the
exact funny look whenever I walked into the shop, my hands cupped over my
ears so that he wouldn't see how small they were. What was more, I noticed,
every shop seemed to have the exact same range of goods for sale. There were
only two possibilities: either I was wandering around in circles and going
into the same shop again and again (which of course was impossible for a
highly-trained ESSAU agent), or the shops themselves were traps, hastily set
up by the Enemy to try and lure me in.
   This was getting serious. If the whole of La Paz was swarming with agents
all looking for me, it looked like I might be needing some heavy artillery.
I hurried back to my hotel and set about arming myself.
   The ESSAU labs back in East Slobovikna are technological marvels. One of
their latest triumphs, for example, is a fully-functional, fully-armoured
tank that can be carried in a briefcase. Unfortunately I hadn't been able to
bring one of them on this mission (my briefcase isn't ten meters long), but
I did have a fair selection of other goodies. Rejecting the bazooka with
regret (it's a bit conspicuous in a shoulder-holster) I chose one of the
latest F&S 1600 hmk/tf handguns (the kind with the telescoping barrel) and
loaded it with big nasty bullets.
   Confidently armed, I stepped out of my hotel room. Instantly somebody
clapped a revolver to my temple and rasped, "Don't mve an inch,

(Next: Captive!)

WEASELMsg # 124 of 125                 Date: Mon  4/01/1993,  1:07 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 29 times

     To: All
Subject: Episode 6 (yes I know it's been a while)


   I tried to sneak a glimpse of my captor out of the corner of my eye, but
had made out no more that a rather fetching paisley earring when he gave a
casual twitch of the gun at my head and I desisted. I thought fast. "The
toilets are at the end of the corridor," I said.
   "Thanks," my captor said in a surprised tone. "Look, don't move. I'll be
right back." He hurried off down the corridor. I waited impatiently. In five
minutes he was back. "Now, where were we?" he asked.
   "You were taking me prisoner," I reminded him.
   "Oh, right. Thanks. Now - don't move, Humpernickel! Give me the plans."
   Several questions occurred to me simultaneously. I picked one at random
and asked it. "How am I going to give you the plans if I can't move?" That
one was right out of the "ESSAU Handbook of Clever Comebacks to Stupid
   "I wouldn't worry about it," he said, "since I'm going to shoot you
anyway." Interesting. That was a reply that wasn't listed in the "ESSAU
Handbook of Intelligent Replies to Cretinous Comebacks to Poorly-Thought-Out
   "But if you're going to shoot me anyway, why should I bother cooperating
with you and giving you the plans?" I asked logically.
   "Obviously you don't watch 'Sesame Street', or you'd know how important
cooperation is," he said. "Anyway, you should do it because I ask nicely."
   "Sticking a gun in my ear is asking nicely?"
   "Nicely by comparison," he clarified. "I could have introduced myself
with a bullet in your kneecap."
   "True. All right, then. Take the plans."
   "Good. Where are they?"
   "Beats me. What plans were you after, anyway?"
   "Don't play games with me, Humpernickel! We know you were sent to
Istanbul to Isadora Moliganucha and trick her into telling you where the
plans are. If you're in La Paz, the plans must be here too!"
   Istanbul? But surely that had been a clever code-word for my real
mission? "Sorry, what was that bit about seducing Isadora Moliganucha,
again?" I asked.
   He made an impatient gesture with his gun (which would have gotten him
arrested under Section LXXVI of the "Naughty Behaviour With Guns (1973)" Act
if we'd been in Afghanistan). "You know," he said, leering a little.
"Isadora Moliganucha, alias 'The Tiger.' The most beautiful and most
desirable psychopath in Turkey. Terrifying, what she can do with a piece of
knotted string."
   "So," I said, whipping out a collapsible top hat and adopting a haughty
pose. "You think I've got the plans. Ha! You don't even know what plans they
   "Of course I do," he exclaimed, falling into my little trap. "The plans
of the new Mark 14 Bronze Didgeridoo. Now, hand them over or I fire!" He
raised the gun, took careful aim, and started to count.

(Next: Escape from La Paz)

WEASELMsg # 125 of 125                 Date: Sun 10/01/1993,  3:23 pm
From: ANGUS MACSPON              Read: 60 times

     To: All
Subject: Episode 7


   After a while I said, "Don't you know what comes after 'one'?"
   "I'm thinking, I'm thinking," he said irritably.
   "Great. Tell you what, I'm going to get a cup of coffee. When you work it
out, come on in and you can shoot me then. All right?"
   "Fine," he said, his mind not really on the conversation. I ducked back
into my room. As I closed the door I saw him put his gun away so he could
count on his fingers better.
   I decided to leave by the back way, which promised to be interesting
since I was on the fifth floor and there wasn't one. However there did turn
out to be a fire escape, which was lucky because otherwise I might have hurt
myself when I jumped out the window.
   As I climbed down, I thought quickly. So, the enemy thought I was after
the plans for the new Mark-14 Bronze Didgeridoo, did they? Well, well, well.
That little piece of knowledge might just enable me to crack the case
wide-open, if only I knew what a Mark-14 Bronze Didgeridoo was.
   I stopped half-way down, held on to the ladder with my teeth, pulled out
my pocket Etruscan-to-Arabic dictionary and looked the thing up, but it
didn't prove much help except to demonstrate that Etruscan and Arabic both
used funny-looking letters.
   Once safely on the ground, I looked around for transportation. I had to
get out of La Paz now; my position had been compromised too far. There
weren't any taxis about, and I didn't have the time to steal a car, but I
did see a small child pedalling a tricycle past. It would have to do. I
picked the toddler up and tossed her over over a nearby fence, glanced
around hastily, grabbed the tricycle and pedalled off.
   It was only five or six kilometres to the airport, but it seemed to take
hours to get there. When I finally did arrive I glanced at the departures
listing and picked a destination at random - Lisbon, Portugal, the only name
on the list (all right, so it wasn't very random after all). I had to pawn
my gun to a crippled black-market fence who happened to be passing the
counter to pay for the fare, but my ESSAU expenses claim would cover it.
   The flight was delayed for seventy-nine hours. I hid in a stall in the
airport men's room to avoid my pursuers. It turned out that there was only
one stall, and I had to fight off several desperate men to keep it over the
three days' wait, but my unarmed combat training was easily up to it: I
simply had to wait until they had their trousers down and they were much
easier to handle.
   Finally my flight was announced. An hour later I was relaxing back in my
seat as the airplane roared into the sky...

(Next: Death in the Skies)


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