Friday, 13 February 2009

The One-Legged Dog At The Gates Of Hell – A Macabre Encounter (Part The First)

Editor's Note:- Another tale from the vast library of frantic scribblings left behind by the notorious Squire. A brief word about chronology – the Squire was always very vague in his tales as to when exactly they took place in relation to each other. There are sometimes clues in the narrative itself (as with this story's reference to his difficulties in Wales and time in Paris) but, other than that, any attempt to impose some sort of order on his writings is mostly educated guesswork on my part. Anyway, enough of that, on with the story......

Part The First - Arrival In Parts Unknown

I crouched in my hiding place, their fetid moaning filling the reeking air accompanied by the deathly shuffle of their unholy feet. There were more and more of them pouring through the open portal. It was only a matter of time before they rooted me out and perpetrated foul and unspeakable acts of monstrous deviancy upon my person. The future was decidedly bleak for your good Squire, gentle reader, decidedly bleak. But how had I become embroiled in this near hopeless scenario, I hear you ponder? Fear not, oh my curious ones, for I shall elucidate...

Our tale begins, faithful reader, far from the shores of this sceptred isle, this jewel, this land of plenty. Through a series of circumstances which, when put to paper, would appear rather on the fanciful side, I found myself nestled in the heart of Cairo. The exact mechanics of my arrival are far too convoluted to divulge here – suffice it to say that they involved disastrous misunderstandings, dusky maidens, devilish rogues, fine alcoholic beverages and no small amount of running away when most prudent.

Fortunately, Cairo was able to provide me with an oasis of sanity. My esteemed cousin, Arbuthnot Kirk, was currently residing in these parts. The rum old cove had always been morbid sort of a fellow and was busily engaged in some sort frightfully important yet stultifyingly dull excavation work. Not my cup of fish, truth be told, poking around in the dusty remains of some foreign blighters tomb but each to their very own, I always say.

It was whilst I was picking through some ful medames at a roadside food emporium, waiting for dearest Arbie to turn up, when the usual fortune that your good Squire has become accustomed to began to shower down upon him once again. When the time came to settle my account, Dame Misfortune once again rudely gestured in my general direction. Unfortunately, in my haste to arrive, I had neglected to obtain the local currency.

As my exchange with the local restauranteur escalated from heated discussion to diplomatic incident and the local gendarmes put in their customary appearance, I reflected that this may not be the best of omens for my African sojourn. As they cuffed me in that gentle way they have about the head and torso and I experienced minor flashbacks to my time in Paris (along with mild concussion), I began to suspect I was probably right.

"Here," I thought, quite rightly as would later become apparent, "we go again...."

To Be Continued

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