Armies of Salvation
The dark-haired girl carrying the tray of plums looked
longingly at my elephant gun. I know I could fuck her
but it wouldn't be much fun. "It's not fair for you to be
the only one here with a gun," Loretta Frisk said to me.
"Don't worry," I said. "Derek Peabody has a derringer
concealed in his boot." "Which one?" Loretta asked.
"I told you, Derek," I said. "No," she said. "Which
boot?" she asked, lifting the black patch over her left
eye. "What's wrong with your eye?" I asked. "Nothing,"
she said. "It's an affectation." "What isn't these days,"
I said. "Have you seen a doctor about it? It looks red."
"So, which one?" she asked again, letting down her patch.
"Well, he's only got one leg so it should be obvious,"
I said. "Yes, but it might be a disguise," she said. "He
once disguised himself as a clown on stilts." "What good
are stilts to a one-legged man?" I asked. Loretta slipped
back into the crowd. I turned to my friend Chet and said
above all the chatter, "You see that tall blonde with the
black patch over her eye? I could fuck her if I tried. Not
that it matters." "No you can't," Chet said. "Yes I can,"
I rebuffed him. "Look," Chet said, "That's Loretta Frisk
and she's a Duchess. She owns an island off the coast of
Malaysia and wouldn't be interested in you. And that
dark-haired girl with the tray of plums? She's a secret
agent sent here to infiltrate the place. She's hot on the
tail of the thief who stole the memory of the saber tooth
tiger. If that falls into the wrong hands we're all screwed.
Besides, that's not even an elephant gun you've got,"
he said. "It's a broom handle." "I know," I said. "But it
makes me feel sublime." I asked, "Do you have any
cans to cash in?" "None that you'd care to know about,"
he said. Somewhere in the night I heard a jungle
cat growl and knew our paths would cross someday.
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