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A Desperate and Despicable Dwarf: Section Nine

       Last updated: Tuesday, February 3, 2004 01:12 EST



    I was disturbed, but not surprised, to see that the individual was known to me. It was none other than Wolfgang Laebmauntsforscynneweëld, the lunatic. As Your Excellencies and Exalted Sir are aware, this individual has long been under Godferret surveillance. Our initial suspicion, that the fellow was an avatar of Joe, proved false when he became insane at the age of twelve. Nevertheless, we have continued to keep him under round-the-clock surveillance except for those (unfortunately frequent) occasions when he makes his escape from the madhouse at Begfat. Fortunately, as you know, the head psychiatrist at the madhouse, Dr. Wolfgang Laebmauntsforscynneweëld, is a long-time friend and collaborator of the forces of God (indeed, he bears the honorable title of Godferret Auxiliary No. 1). He has assured us that the lunatic Wolfgang, although filled with insensate hatred for the established order, has been singularly unable to harm the interests of that selfsame order during the course of his various escapes from the madhouse, due, of course, to his dementia. His assurance stems not only from his own incomparable psychiatric skills in ferreting out the truth from within the lunatic's babble, but stems as well from the more forceful methods of questioning to which he sometimes puts the madman at the capable hands of the chief security guard of the madhouse at Begfat. This latter individual is actually Godferret No. 666 operating undercover as Captain Wolfgang "Biff" Laebmauntsforscynneweëld. Godferret No. 666 has concurred with Dr. Laebmauntsforscynneweëld's assessment.

    The lunatic Wolfgang's insensate hatred of the established order was immediately demonstrated to me upon his arrival. No sooner had the madman caught sight of my manacled, bound, gagged and phlegm-covered form upon the floor of the farmhouse than he proceeded to babble a stream of remarks which, though incoherent, were unmistakably hostile and derisive. Eventually tiring of this tiresome activity, the lunatic suddenly displayed unlooked-for rationality when he proceeded to enter into a conversation with the witch Magrit and Gwendolyn Greyboar.

    Somewhat to my surprise, the suspects made no attempt to prevent me from overhearing their conversation. I ascribed this carelessness to the typical stupidity of the Groutch lowlife, although I was not unaware that they had perhaps heard the ancient saw that "dead men tell no tales," especially after overhearing certain unsettling remarks regarding a certain hound named Fangwulf.

    Be that as it may, I was able to determine the approximate identity of yet another member of the conspiracy. In the course of discussing their respective experiences over the past year, the witch Magrit commented to the effect that Gwendolyn Greyboar seemed gloomy and dispirited. Somewhat relunctantly, and only after various jocular remarks from the lunatic Wolfgang, Gwendolyn Greyboar explained that she was experiencing a certain amount of heartache due to a romantic liaison in her recent past, which liaison, or so she claimed, she had been forced to discontinue due to the impossibility of maintaining a personal relationship between a committed revolutionist and an apolitical Ozarean artist.

    The name of this artist she did not mention, but shrewd deduction has allowed me to ferret out his approximate identity. By her description—I leave aside the nonsense regarding the fellow's supposed charm, intelligence, sensitivity, talent, humor, good looks and copulative vigor—I determined that he is obviously a member of that disreputable branch of the Sfrondrati-Piccolomini clan which has, on numerous occasions, proved an embarassment to both Ozarae and the way of godliness. I also learned that the individual in question is apparently now residing in New Sfinctr, where he intends to ingratiate himself into Sfinctrian high society (such as it is) by posturing as an accomplished artist.

    Armed with this knowledge, I am sure that Your Excellencies and Your Exalted Sir will have no difficulty in tracking down and apprehending the culprit. I urge maximum rigor here! For I also discovered that, despite his claims to political innocence, the individual in question had assisted Gwendolyn Greyboar in slaying the Godferret pack sent to apprehend the wizard Zulkeh in Goimr last year. Nor do I doubt, judging from the lunatic Wolfgang's coarse humor regarding the artist's similar state of heartbreak, that the fellow will once again lend his hand to his paramour's subversive activity, if given half a chance.

    At length, Les Six returned, announcing loudly that the pigs of the vicinity were a discriminating lot, in that the savvy swine had adamantly refused to ingest the remains of my excommunicated subordinates. The local crows, on the other hand, were having a feast.

    Shortly thereafter, the subversive band departed the farmhouse. I was carried along, bound and gagged. My initial transport, draped over the shoulder of one of Les Six, was most aggravating. In short order, however, the subversives came upon a cart brought there by the villainess Gwendolyn Greyboar, and I was tossed aboard. We set off.

    Our destination, I soon discovered, was the estate of General Kutumoff in the Mutt. As before, the suspects made no attempt to prevent me from overhearing their conversations. Unfortunately, my earlier supposition that this oversight was due to typical Groutch stupidity was soon overshadowed by the suspicion that they intended harm to my person. Such, at least, seemed the most likely interpretation of their annoying habit of referring to me as "the dog food."

    After two days of travel, the suspects removed the gag from my mouth. I immediately began my interrogation. Gwendolyn Greyboar and Magrit refused to answer my questions. But Les Six, somewhat to my surprise given their earlier recalcitrance when put to the question, proved to be most co-operative. Upon my demand that they divulge the identity and whereabouts of the culprit who currently possessed the Rap Sheet, Les Six immediately offered the following confession:

    After seizing the Rap Sheet, Magrit and Les Six remained in hiding in the witch's domicile until the immediate furor died down. They took advantage of the time at their disposal to construct a small sailing vessel on the roof. This vessel they proceeded to equip with hot-air balloons, following a diagram given to them by the most infamous of Grotum's many infamous Underground Artists, Leonardo da Vole. (As Your Excellencies and Exalted Sir are aware, this individual has long been under suspicion by all law-enforcement agencies; I urge stepping up our efforts to locate the felonious artists in the maze of tunnels which he has constructed beneath the entirety of the sub-continent of Grotum.)

    Using this ingenious means of escape, Magrit and Les Six departed her domicile in the dead of night and sailed to the moon. Once upon the moon, they proceeded to the castle of Baron Munchausen Laebmauntsforscynneweëld. Their lengthy description of the various peoples whom they encountered on the moon confirmed our long-standing suspicion that the moon is inhabited by a profusion of lawbreakers and miscreants. The people whose heads grow out of their chests seem to be especially prone to heresy. (I urge Your Excellencies and Exalted Sir to place a high priority on evangelical work on the moon. Missionaries from the Order of St. Vlad the Impaler should, I think, do quite nicely.)

    Arriving at the castle, they were greeted warmly by Baron Munchausen, who, it transpires, is a top operative of the underground. His description, as given to me by Les Six in the course of their confession, is as follows: He is tall, broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted; he has the strength of a giant; he is the handsomest man who ever lived, which accounts partly for his extraordinary success in seducing women; the other part is, according to Les Six, accounted for by the fact that he possesses a male sexual organ the size of an elephant's. (Armed with this description, I am sure that Your Excellencies and Exalted Sir will have no difficulty in tracking down and apprehending the suspect.)

    Upon explaining to the Baron their desire to find a place to hide the Rap Sheet, the Baron immediately summoned his daughter. This individual, described as a young girl, is named Alice Laebmauntsforscynneweëld. She is, despite her youth, an accomplished subversive in her own right—as my ensuing report will make clear.

    Now guided by Alice, Magrit and Les Six proceeded to journey down a hole and through a looking glass, encountering, along the way, numerous subversive individuals. Among these individuals were a disappearing cat and a renegade monarch named, appropriately enough, the Red Queen. But the most significant individual involved was a certain Mad Hatter, who, upon hearing of their desire to find a safe hiding place for the Rap Sheet, immediately sewed it into the hatband of a gigantic and—by Les Six's own description—truly grotesgue hat. The hat is colored blue and purple and has, as its most prominent feature, a large banana on the brim.

    The witch Magrit thereupon placed the hat on her head and she and her cohorts retraced their steps back to the Baron's castle. After being treated to a farewell feast by the Baron, in which the principal item on the menu was the flesh of innocent babes, the suspects set sail and returned to the earth.

    Once again resident in Magrit's domicile, the suspects set word to yet another conspirator, who appeared a few days later. This individual, a monkey named Hanuman, agreed to take the hat in which the Rap Sheet was hidden and secrete it in a location known only to himself in the midst of the great rain forests of the Sundjhab. The last that Les Six saw of the Rap Sheet it was being carried across the rooftops of Prygg by the monkey Hanuman. By now, they say, Hanuman has certainly succeeded in reaching the rain forest and the Rap Sheet is hidden therein.

    (I urge Your Excellencies and Exalted Sir to immediately set underway a systematic search of the rain forests of the Sundjhab. Les Six, under rigorous questioning, insist that the individual Hanuman is a reliable agent and that the Rap Sheet is still hidden within the hat. But they admitted, under further interrogation, that the description of the hat is perhaps inaccurate. By now, they say, the monkey has probably eaten the banana.)

    Upon the conclusion of the interrogation, I was filled with satisfaction. Yet another task in my mission had been accomplished! It remained only to apprehend the culprits themselves.

    My confidence in accomplishing this final part of my mission grew, I confess, somewhat dimmer upon our arrival at the Mutt. Shortly after our arrival, I was hauled from the cart and brought before an individual whom I easily identified as General Kutumoff, who, as Your Excellencies and Exalted Sir are aware, has long been known to be an enemy of law and order. Once again proving his nefarious character, the General seized me by the neck and proceeded to drag me to a hut in a nearby wood. Upon hearing him whistle, a hideous and enormous dog emerged from the hut. This dog I easily identified as the selfsame Fangwulf who had earlier destroyed my band of Godferrets in our pursuit of the wizard and the apprentice.

    The General announced his intention of giving his "pooch" a little exercise, and proceeded to remove my bonds. I deduced, from the growls of the beast and the pool of slaver gathering beneath his jaws, that I was to be the object of a hunting expedition.

    Although I had no doubt of my ability to outwit the simple-minded gigantic canine, I confess to some slight relief when the intervention of a new party resulted in the General's decision to postpone the hunt.

    And I was delighted to see that the intervening party was none other than that same wizard Zulkeh whose person I had long been in pursuit. In my hands at last! Claiming that I might possess some useful information, the wizard prevailed upon the General to cast me into the dungeons beneath Castle Kutumoff for later questioning.

    Reluctantly, the General agreed. Shortly thereafter, I found myself hurled into a small cell in one of the lower sub-basements of the castle.

    And here I am, even as I write these lines. As soon as I have made further progress in accomplishing the final stages of my mission, I will send another report. I am filled with confidence. Among other things, I have recruited a new company of Godferrets. My cell proved to be inhabited by a large band of rats, who, upon hearing my tale, immediately adopted the true faith and placed themselves at my disposal. Subject to the approval of Your Exalted Sir, I have named them Godferrets (Rodent) Nos. 001 through 056.

    I must conclude my report. Godferret (Rodent) No. 26 reports the approaching footsteps of several suspects. Upon my command, my subordinates have placed themselves in strategic locations, incisors drawn, in preparation for our escape.


    In devotion and sanctity, I remain,

    Your humble servant, Godferret Superior No. 5,

    Operating undercover as CRUD Agent G. Gordon Inkman,

    Operating undercover as Godferret Superior No. 5.

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