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Old 10-10-2009, 03:44 PM   #1
Ralph Sir Edward
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The Case of the Drowning Baptists

This is in big font for DixieGal...


The sun was goin' down on another great

day. Bubba and I were trollin' back form a

nice fishin' hotspot, cheerfully arguing

about our catch.

"I've got more than you, Bubba!"

"Yeah, but you shouldn't count the

alligator."

"He bit on the line, didn't he?"

"Yeah, but he's not a fish."

"Well, you're countin' a

good-for-nothin' needlenose, aren't

you?"

"Yeah, but an alligator gar is a

fish, not a reptile."

"They're both named alligator,

aren't they, and they both bit on

the line, didn't they?"

"Gars aren't endangered species."

"Alligators aren't either, any more,

they're down to threatened. And this

lake's full of them."

And so on.

We were fishin' down in my neck

of the woods, down at Choke Canyon

Reservoir, known for it's fishin' and

alligators. Back when they sank the

ranch, all the old timers told the fish

and game people that they needed to

clear out the alligators, but those

dumb bureaucrats laughed and said

there weren't any in South Texas.

You'd think they'd consider the word

of families who'd been there a hundred

years, but noooo, they just built the

lake anyway. So with all the extra

water and coves and fish and such,

the local alligators started breedin'

like crazy. Now everywhere there

are "Watch Out For Alligators" signs

everywhere, and the Fish and Game

people say "We didn't know there

were alligators around there." Typical

bureaucrats.

Anyways, the alligators add extra

spice to fishin' down there, and give

you somethin' to throw rocks at when

the fishin' slow.

We were puttering up to the dock

when I spotted a pair of Hoover dolls.

Suit and ties sorta stand out on a

boat ramp.

"Bubba, we've got a problem. Look

at the Hoover dolls on the boat ramp.

You want me to beach the boat nearby

so's you can sneak around to the car?

I don't want you to get dragged into

somethin' inhospitable."

"Naw, Red. I'm too lazy to slide through

the brush around here. Besides, it'd

scratch up my jacket. Let's go see what

they want."

"I wonder how they found us? You told

Patricia that you were going fishin with

me and that you could only be reached

through Mindy. I left Mindy only my

cellphone number to be reached at, and I

told here if I didn't like who she

forwarded, she wouldn't get her next trip

to Hawaii. She didn't know where we

were goin'."

"Well, Red, I figure we're going to

find out in about five minutes."

"Next time we go fishin', I'm gonna

wear a Tricky Dick mask, so that they

won't recognise me."

Bubba laughed. "Won't do any good.

They'll just set up a Pearl keg and a

"Free Beer" sign, and they'll catch you,

quick as quick."

"Sneaky devils. It'd work, too."

So we tied off the boat next to

the ramp and climbed out. The

Hoover suits were wandering our

way.




"Mr. Edwards?"

"Naw, I'm the Pearl beer salesman."

He looked at his photo of me and

back again. "You're not being very

co-operative, Mr. Edwards."

"I only co-operate with highly ranked

dead members of government. Like Grant

and Franklin and McKinley. I work real

well with McKinley. I'll even bow and

scape to Salmon P. Chase. Right now

I've got fish to deal with."

"I'm certain that what I have to say

is more important than your fish."

"I'm not."

"Please, Mr. Edwards. The FBI has gone

to great effort to track you down. You've

been very difficult to find."

"Obviously not difficult enough. I went

to great effort to to avoid bein'

interrupted fishin'." I looked at Bubba,

"Bubba, next time we go surf fishing on

some tropical island. That way the

FBI'll have to sent out pretty girls in

bikinis to fetch us."

The Hoover doll colored up real nice

at that one. "Mr. Edwards, if you please,

we have a crisis and we need your

assistance."

"I don't have anything to do with twistin'

Senator's arms. And if the Prez is trying

to order my services, he knows how much

I cost - and when to start payin' me. If I

decide the do the job. Which I probably

won't. You boys have enough

back-stabbers and arm-twisters without

me."

"Please let me tell you why we're here."

"Might as well, Red, he isn't going to

let you alone until he does." Bubba said.

I sighed. "OK, what's the skinny."

"Mr. Edwards, we have a major

barricaded-with-hostages situation."

"So what does that have to do with me?

I'm just a greedy PI with bad taste."

"They have raided a secret meeting of

various ambassadors to the US. They

have 12 ambassador as hostage, as well

as a special delegate from the Pope."

"I guess they have somebody to

give themselves last rights. Sounds

like a Foggy Bottom problem to me."

"They also have the Viceroy to Pinwheel."

"The last time I met up with the Viceroy

from Pinwheel, he pee'd on my shoe. Next

arm-twisting."

That stumped him for a moment. He

must have not known Viceroy was a

talking dog. "They won't talk to any

representative of the US Government,

but your name seemed to pass muster.

They're willing to use you as a negotiator. "

"Who are these misguided blokes?"

"They call themselves The Drowning

Baptists."

"Well, no wonder they won't talk with

the US government, after that hoo-rah

at Wacko."

"The assault was under legal orders."

The Hoover doll said defensively.

"That's what the German boys said in

'46. Didn't do them any good. Anything

else I need to know before I say No."

"They have heavily mined the building

where they are holed up."

"Where's that?"

"The Pearl Brewery, in San Antonio."

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 10-10-2009 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
Patricia
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How very exciting!
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:37 PM   #3
zelda_pinwheel
zeldinha zippy zeldissima
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crikey ! that's off to quite a start !
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
Ralph Sir Edward
Gentleman & Cynic
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Thanks, o lovely ladies. This is in addition to The Whiter Shade of Red to be delivery on Dec 24th... Question, should I open a separate thread for DixieGal, and regular size for everybody else. (I do care about DixieGal...)
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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Enjoying the show....
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Loverly, just loverly.

You always manage to put a smile on my face.

I thank you.
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:18 AM   #6
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It's about the umbrella
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OH, NO!!! The Pearl Brewery, in San Antonio!! Red has to go!!
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:06 PM   #7
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Why didn't someone tell me that a new Red saga was starting? I've toured the Pearl Brewery. And the Lone Star Brewery. One of them had O Henry's lodgings on site...
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:37 PM   #8
Ralph Sir Edward
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Why didn't someone tell me that a new Red saga was starting? I've toured the Pearl Brewery. And the Lone Star Brewery. One of them had O Henry's lodgings on site...

'Cause your laddie didn't pay me at my door...

Actually. I haven't toured either one (although I went to the Buckhorn hall of horns once). So don't sneer when the fiction doesn't match reality... These are fantasies, remember...


By the by, when are Harv and Vera going to meet up with Red?
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:51 AM   #9
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Well, Biggles has him as his boss in the current saga, although he wasn't actually named. He also did for a Nazi spy, according to the Comte de Bois Aussi.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:54 AM   #10
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'Cause your laddie didn't pay me at my door...

Actually. I haven't toured either one (although I went to the Buckhorn hall of horns once). So don't sneer when the fiction doesn't match reality... These are fantasies, remember...


By the by, when are Harv and Vera going to meet up with Red?
Probably not a good idea. Vera left Red for Harv.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:56 AM   #11
Ralph Sir Edward
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Probably not a good idea. Vera left Red for Harv.

Hey, Red doesn't hold a grudge. She's enjoying life with Harv...
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:08 PM   #12
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Great story !! I, for one, can cope with the big font. So you don't have to create another thread, on my account.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:46 PM   #13
Ralph Sir Edward
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The Pearl Brewery.....That put a different

light on the matter. What good's a fortune

if you can't buy your favorite beer.

Bubba interrupted my cogitating. "Looks

like you've got a job, Red."

I agreed. "Sure does. And I was lookin'

forward to having Cajun Alligator for

tonight's cook-out."

I turned to the Hoover doll. "Tell your

boys not to over-react and do anything

rash. That's my job."

"And you do it so well", Bubba

interjected.

"Quiet, Bubba, before I introduce you to

some people you don't want to know." I

turned to the Hoover doll. "How did you

find us, anyway?"

"We were informed that you were out

fishing, so we sent agents to every major

lake in Texas to look for you. You

happened to be at the lake we were

assigned to."

"Ok, call your boss and have him tell

The Prez the meter's runnin'. Same rates

as usual. And tell him this isn't gonna be

another Alamo, or I'll never bail him out

again."

The other Hoover doll turn around and

started muttering on his phone. I turned

to Bubba.

"Y'all want to watch the show, Bubba,

or do you want to head back home?"

"Aw, Red, I don't want to horn in on

your fun. You can tell me about it later."

"Yeah I'll have to file a report to Pinwheel

when this is all over. I'll pop you a copy.

It seems I get snakebit every time we

try to go fishin'."

"Hey, we got a full day in this time.

Are you going to eat your fish?"

"No, won't have time. You keep the

stringer."

The Hoover doll looked blank-faced at

the by-play. "Don't you mean filing a

report with The President?"

"No, I meant Pinwheel. Queen Zelda is a

lot prettier than The Prez. And she pays

better, too. I guess I can pop a copy to

your boss, but he's third on the list. And

he'd better not niggle me about it, either.

Now, did your boss give me a pack on

these Drowning Baptists, or do I have to

wait 'til we get back to San Antonio to

see the paperwork?"

"There's a sealed pack sent with every

group of agents sent out to find you, to

be given to you when you were found. It's

in the car."

I started walking over to the car. I

turned my head and yelled, "I'm on my

way to save Pearl for the world."

He yelled back, "You sure it's not, save

the world from Pearl?"



I had to sign for the pack before I

could open it. Stupid bureaucracy. I

started reading as we cruised back to

San Antonio.



* * * * *



The Drowning Baptists were thrown

out of the Baptist church for being too

extremist. They believed that the water

of baptism purified the body and the soul

together, but it took time to wash out

the sin. So the more sin you had in your

life, the longer you had to be held down

to purify your soul. This led to several

cases of people being held down so long

that their soul escaped their body on

the way to purification. The secular

authorities tended to take a dim

attitude about this, even though their

lawyers plead for freedom of religion.

So a number of their ministers were

doing time for manslaughter, and the

sect got the nickname of The

Drowning Baptists.

Some of the more pious members

apparently decided that their problem

was due to inadequate proselyting. So

they seemed to decide that they needed

to advertise more widely. Forceably

converting a bunch of diplomats seemed

to them to be just the ticket.



* * * * *



I finished the pack, and looked out

the window. Poor VR. A bunch of bath

happy zealots on one side, and millions

of gallons of Pearl beer on the other. I

had to do something to save that poor

doggie. He'd had a hard enough life as

it was, without some yahoo trying to

wash his sins out as well. There was no

way he could hold his breath that long.

"Well", I told one of the Hoover dolls,

"we're going to need a bunch of bacon

on call when I get this case finished.

Y'all better call ahead.

"How have you been communicating

so far?"

"The leaders in the Pearl Brewery

have been pitching rocks wrapped with

messages around them with some sort

of whirly catapult."

"That's a trebuchet. Popular as

artillery in the Middle Ages. People use

'em for pumpkin pitchin' contest

nowadays. How have you been

responding?"

"We've gotten a local mega-church

pastor to pitch responses wrapped around

small rocks back. He was willing as long

as the pitching was filmed and released

to the news media."

"Looks like somebody getting some

good publicity out of this."

"The FBI certainly isn't. What are

your plans."

" Well, as soon as we get to San

Antonio, I'm goin' to shower and change

clothes, and then go out and pitch a

rock at the brewery, telling 'em I'll

start the negotiations are 8 AM

tomorrow. Then I'm goin' to get

some sleep. Don't do anything to

annoy 'em just to stick your hand in.

I don't want to deal with any mass

conversions."

We got to San Antonio and I

completed my checklist. Tomorrow

was gonna be a long day.


Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 10-13-2009 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:39 PM   #14
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Yay! Poor VR! He's been getting a bath in all these stories. Next thing you know, he'll have a guest appearance in Denial of Service episode.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:55 PM   #15
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Yay! Poor VR! He's been getting a bath in all these stories. Next thing you know, he'll have a guest appearance in Denial of Service episode.
He didn't get one in The Case of The Desert Pirates.....
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