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THE FATAL PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL. 10, PAGE 40, EPILOGUE

“Before I headed out to Creepy Wallow and Ricketyback Falls to continue my gamble with dicey Mr. Fade, I stopped at Chop Louie’s in Chinablock for a bucket of verbal tea, some chow mean and a contentious bone for Ruckus.

We were just leaving when the dog saw the tail end of some orange Purr Puss nipping across the tiles of Tea Square.

He must have thought it was Emanuel Katt, so hot in fur suit, he passed the tailor, SoHi’s, with me, just a hair behind.

Like the weaner salesman said: “Thats when things went from bad to wurst.”

I stumbled, cracking my dim bulb, and the lights went out.

I awoke after a good licking from Ruckus, with the actor, Connell Oldman holding Banter’s broke back cat and looking down at me saying: ‘Quite the bump, Old Beam!’

He looked the same as when I left him tears ago.

Thats when I knew I was back in Baba Alley.

Third time stuck, I knew I could never leave again.

Oldman looked at Ruckus and said: ‘Nice dog, not too shaggy.’ ” *

BACK IN THE ALLEY FOR GOOD
  • *Recorded with a short hand by preceptionist, Helen Wheels, after waking from a Baba Alley dream where she claims to have encountered her former employer, P.I. Hatrack.
  • (As a slide note, Smokey Banter, of Banter’s Newsstand And Cigars has posted a reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of his cat, Emmanuel.)
 

THE FATAL PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL. 10 , PAGE 39

On Thirstday while I waited to hear from the faceless Mr. Lloyd, the Space Pirate landed in the middle of Wiggly Feel.

It was during a crackit match between the Sea Czar Togas and the Reclina Layabouts.

Out of the ship stepped a manticore and the long lost Rib Lee.

In the daze to follow many a snooze worthy termite came out of the would work.

On radio’s Java Jungle Show, Ida Clair started her broadcast announcing: “Outside of town, on Weaving Road, the Drunken Hind was spotted eating cake and leaving travelers a tray.

Harold “Hark”, the Angel is now doing air mail, for the Post Office, on his route.

I hear that star of stage, scream, and cell block, Holly Bridgair, has been seen around town with that handsome devil, Tryone Powder.

The ex-hoofer and the ex-con just might be a match made in sulfur.

Also it seems that cud-chewing Billy The Goat Boy and beauty detestant, Stammer Ann Thong, have fallen in lust in spit of themselves.”

It wasn’t until this morning that I got the call.

Tab Lloyd’s voice iced my ear as he suggested we meet at Ricketyback Falls.*

WHILE WAITING

*”This is the last known written communication from Packet Inn Hatrack, Private Guy.”**

**From “At The Window Still, The Biography Of P.I. Hatrack” by Russell Papers

 

THE FATAL PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL. 10, PAGE 38

“Then you know who he is?” I asked

“Confusion say: ‘Man with wrinkle know small worry make big headline.’

There is a certain exclusive Tab Lloyd out of New London that made enough selling murder and muggings with a rag called Fish Rap to buy the Port Wine Town Cryer.

Next for a laugh, he purchased Clowntown’s The Guffaw, followed by The Plunder, Ed Mills’ paper out of Torntoga.”

“Yes” I said, “I heard he swallowed The Gulp Island Consequential Magazine as well.”

“All that, yet no one has come face-to-face with his face.”

“Mr. Fade?”

“Pre-slicely!”

The plan was nimble enough.

After a Munday morning meeting with Titus Ironicus, editor and chief of The Bench Press, I phoned The Gulp Island Consequential, stating I was representing the BP in regards to selling the paper to the mysterious Mr. Lloyd.

NEWS FOR SALE
 

THE FATAL PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL. 10, PAGE 37

Wand Ton Tan elucidated:” Mr. Fade grew up the muddle child of an unlucky family of thirteen on Grime Alley.

Due to an unfortunate use of vanishing cream by his mother during pregnancy, Fade was much ignored.

Virtually invisible, for a while the only way he could be heard was with face paint and charades.

Eventually he became known as The Master Mime of Gulp Island.

As a child he started off as a packpocket then grew into strong harm work.

During Witch War II, he was a spy for Black Art.

Mr. Fade can blend in anywhere, any flavour, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, a veritable Neapolitan of Crime.

I believe he was the fastermind behind the Longview Cemetery’s Great Brain Robbery and may have orchestrated the coochie-coup that turned the Girlique over to Colonel Corny Cobb Webb.

I believe he is responsible for the murder of my own true love, Miss Casbah.

I want you to nix him!”

“Me?”, I said, “I’m just a Private Guy.

Mostly I find mitts in the snow or look for socks after hops that usually land on my jaw.

I’m no Jojax Hammer or Sargent Singer Of The Mounted.”

“Exactly, he’ll never think you bright enough to see him”

MASTER MIME OF GULP ISLAND
 

THE FATAL PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL. 10, PAGE 36

Helen Wheels was in yoke by the time I arrived at the office.

I could hear her egging someone on as I scrambled down the hall.

Wand Ton Tan was sitting in the client chair, gripping his knock-out Nova Cane.

Wand Ton Tan had been big when I was a kid.

He was even bigger now.

The Magician Defective and his assistant, the lovely Miss Casbah had their true life adventurers cearlized on breakfast radio by Corn Fakes.

But when Miss Casbah died, Wand Ton Tan seemed to phase away.

Wand Ton Tan took one look at Ruckus and said: “Confusion say: ‘Man with shaggy dog can’t find own tale.'”

Then his opticals traveled up to my face before saying: “Confusion also say: ‘A closed mouth catches no lies.'”

Nodding to the Bench Press under my arm, he said: “Mr. Fade.”

“What ?”

“You are wondering the cause of so much crime.”

THE MAGICIAN DEFECTIVE

 

THE FATAL PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL. 10. PAGE 35

Crime was busting out all over.

There had been a break-in at Hudson Day’s Lost Lunchman’s Bottle House that left the door ajar.

Lill, The Ridding Hood of Basketune, was unmasked while trying to grab B.B.Wolf’s Moola Grande Amoured Car.

She turned out to be none other that Purity Warwax, owner of Homewrecker’s Demolition.

Curley Que,” Follywood’s Little Dolling”, was caught red-handed stealing paint from the Clenchcoat Store in Queensville City.

Dr. Burner Van Waggon set off an unauthorized A-Sonic Bomb Test on Noman Atoll, early in the day, leaving members of the resident Moodist Colony, wandering around deaf, as far as the eye could see.

There’d been a break-out from Redlamb Prison and the Gulp Island Police were on the hound for war criminals, Black Art and Rabid Hat.

The former judge and jury of the Whirlwind Court Ship was found dead in his robes, his mouth filled with gavel.

The Parley Mint, for some odds reason, suddenly made bookmaking legal which was heralded as a boon for gamblers and publishers alike.

Even Simon Degree’s “Weather Or Not” column read: “It’s dirty winds a foot!

A grim wave is hitting all the beaches.”

GRIME WAVE AFOOT
 
 

THE FATAL PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL.10, PAGE 34

Sumday mourning found me at my new digs watching the ever-changing portrait of Moona Lita.

My guess is that the delusion is enhanced by the shade of dorian grey my aunt uses on her walls.

It had been a nestless night so I was awake in the surly dawn to answer the hallway call from my perceptionist, Helen Wheels.

“Boss”, she shouted to be heard over the party line, “corns a poppin and you better foot it to the office toot sweet!

Pick up a Bench Press while your at it.

I’ll grab a bucket of lavajava and a bag of crow’s aunts from the Bunadventure and meet you there.”

Something was definitely up beside the sun.

The edition News Niceberg was hawking was a Double Extra with a side of Punday Sunnies.

The headline read: DILIGENT GANG GOES ON BANK HOLIDAY!

“The Regal Bank in Queensville City was robbed Fryday afternoon by Dan Diligent, Ernest ‘Solemn Boy’ Glance, and ‘Deadpan’ Jack Giggles, as was the Casabanka in Baddad, the Droveover Credit Onion in Drunken, the Funnymoney in Clowntown and the Left Bank in Farris on Mount Tree All Isle.

EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!
 
 

THE FATAL PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL. 10, PAGE 33

Back at the office I was listening to a radio repeat of Sargent Singer Of The Mounted, episode 28, “The Tail Of The Barkless Husky or Dog Gets Away With Murmur”, when Lee Z. Gladstone slammed through the door, having sidestepped the out stretched instep of my perceptionist, Helen Wheels.

“She was only an accountant’s daughter, but oh my, what a figure she made!” Lee Z. shouted.

“Open your peepers, creeper, the goose soup is hot off the presses.

Kneeasorus, the sea servant, deposited Gil Trawler on the banks of the Diner Shore in Wolf Bay, early this morning.

Looks like Gil may have tried to romance Coral Grief, the fishy mermaid, and she took him for a night on the drown.

Trawler is in a bed at the Abandon Hope Hospital, right next to Netty.

He keeps swearing he’ll never touch another Barnacle Brew or another piece of scale, if only she’ll pull through.

Doc Dover says the black pearl they found in Trawler’s clam bag should be enough to cure their worldly woes.”

ALL WASHED UP
 
 

THE FATALE PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL. 10, PAGE 32

On Wedsday, I took the room next to the water cheater and across the hall from my cousin, Tacky Dotes, “The Moving Stationary Guy” at my aunt’s place on Wharf Street.

The afternoon found me drowning my horrors in a double Lavaletty at the Dump n’ Grind with Constable John Frame.

Constable John told me he found Netty Trawler passed out at the trolley station on Broomtown Boulevard and took her to the Abandon Hope Hospital.

He tried to locate Gil but it looked like Trawler had packed his overnight jag and was no where to be profound.

I told the constable about the Swan Dive Inn.

Frame said he wondered if the couple was having trouble when Netty hadn’t even entered, much less won as usual, the Housewives Rollingpin Fling at this year’s Fair To Midland.

COFFEE WITH CONSTABLE JOHN
 
 

THE FATAL PROBLEM OF SEA CZAR CITY, VOL. 10, PAGE 31

Just to prove it was Twosday, I got my second blow crossing the Harbour House lobby on my way to my room, 2B or Knock 2B.

Preston Grinn, the manager hollered: “Stop!

You can’t bring that shaggy rut into this hotel!”

“Ruckus”, I said, “is my dog and either you roll over and let him stay or you’ll lose one ripe fine house defective.”

After I put my foot down, I found myself without a yard to stand on.

I phoned my Auntie Dotes with my story and she said fine, I could have a room in the debasement of her boring house.

LOBBY AT THE HARBOUR HOUSE
 
 
 
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