The Meekrat Entertainment Group

Where mayhem is the man-fish!

Article of Evidence

Posted by meekrat on September 22, 2010

At the Fox’s Den, headquarters of the world famous Basset Hound Brigade, the team was enjoying a rare night in when suddenly trouble stuck! In the form of a man knocking on the door! The first on the scene was Jojo Jenkins, gardener.

“Hello?” Jojo answered, but as he opened the door he was met with a flash of blinding light.

“Gee whiz, what a story!” said the light, though as it dimmed it revealed a short stocky man in a pork-pie hat with a “PRESS” ticket sticking out of its brim, “The Basset Hound Brigade keep a slave!”

Jojo stepped back nervously, raising his hands defensively, “Why you taking my picture? I never did no crime!”

Jojo’s cries did not go unheard, and the Impossible Mister Frink joined him at the doorway, “What’s going on here, Mister Jenkins?”

Jojo pointed to the reporter outside, “That man just took my picture!”

“A slave and one of our British oppressors? The Basset Hound Brigade is a regular house of sin,” exclaimed the reporter, snapping more pictures, “This is the story that’ll take me right to the top!”

“Oh dear,” sighed Mister Frink as he rolled up his sleeves and approached the newspaperman, “You must be a newspaperman. I believe our official policy is to turn you out upon your arse and wish you the best.”

“I’ve no doubt about that,” said the reporter, escaping Mister Frink’s grasp with the ease of one who had done so many times before, “What else do you have in there? Vampires? Automatons?”

The Little Spick, commander of the Orphan Freelance and member of the Basset Hound Brigade, chose that inopportune moment to join his compatriots at the doorway, “What’s goin’ on here?”

The reporter snapped more pictures, deftly moving so that he could see past Jojo and Mister Frink, “Why, hello there, son! I’m Arlo Flannery, newspaperman! What do you know about this Basset Hound Brigade?”

The Little Spick grinned and jammed his thumb into his chest proudly, “Why, I’m a bona-fide member!”

Arlo nodded, “What do your parents have to say about that?”

“Nothing, on account of me not havin’ any!” said the Little Spick, still grinning.

Arlo shot more pictures, “Child labor! Not only that, but minority child labor! I know we don’t have any laws against that sort of thing, this being the nineteen-twenties, but it’s still sensational! Off I go to make a name for myself by dragging yours through the mud! Farewell, gentlemen!” With that, Arlo Flannery tipped his hat and ran off.

Jojo turned to Mister Frink, “We’re in trouble, ain’t we?”

“Indubitably,” said Mister Frink solemnly, “We must alert the rest of the Bassets!”

***

In no time flat, the team was assembled in the study. Mister Lucky paced back and forth in front of a statue of the team’s founder, Horatio Chan, who was otherwise indisposed. Mister Frink stood against the wall, arms crossed, while the rest of the team lounged on various couches and chairs.

“I thought we had an agreement with the newspaper,” ranted Mister Lucky, waving his arms, “We keep providing the derring-do and they don’t try to pull stunts like this!”

“Faith and begorrah,” said Vinny Fitzpatrick, the team’s pilot, tears welling in his eyes, “What are we going to do?”

Mister Lucky slammed his fist on a nearby desk, “For one thing, it’s pretty clear to me that anyone with a skeleton in their closet is going to cause this guy to jump to some crazy conclusion. Which means that, god help us, Dick Douglas is our only hope.”

Vinny Fitzpatrick looked up in shock, “But Mister Lucky, what did you ever do that was wrong? You don’t got anything to worry about.”

Mister Lucky stared at Vinny and loosened his bow-tie, “Why, I was one of the founding members of the Orphan Freelance. That’s it. No other skeletons in my closet. Heh.”

“Sorry for bringing it up,” said Vinny, who remembered he was distraught and began almost crying once again.

“It’s all right, you didn’t know. No one did,” said Mister Lucky, tightening his bow-tie again, “Anyway, that’s why Dick’s our only hope. As far as I know, he’s the only one of us without any blemishes on his record. Well, not his personal record, anyway.”

“So I’m the only hope, huh?” said Dick Douglas, who had been reclining on a couch and forcing Jojo to stand, “Well then, I guess that I’m on the case! Uh, what am I doing again?”

“You have to track down this Arlo Flannery person and convince him not to do whatever he’s planning,” said Mister Lucky.

Dick stood up and walked to the door with a swagger, “Heh. Yeah, that’s right. This is a job only Dick Douglas can do, and the rest of your jokers better not forget it.”

After he left, Mister Lucky turned to the rest of the team, “While he’s keeping Arlo busy, let’s find a new headquarters and think up a new name for ourselves. In fact, we might as well try to think up pseudonyms, too.”

***

Dick Douglas wandered the streets, searching high and low for his quarry but also trying to find his office and remember exactly what he was supposed to be doing. After wandering around the city for half an hour, he finally found his office and sat down in his chair and leaned back, putting his feet on the desk.

“I remember when this office was haunted,” said Dick, reminiscing about the founding of the Basset Hound Brigade, “That was a mystery and a half, but I solved it, I did, and took down those Nazi jewel thieves! And I can solve this case! Whatever it is, no matter how many Nazis I have to take down. Huh. Maybe I should have written down what my case is…”

There was a knock at the door and Dick sat up, “Come in?”

The door creaked open, revealing Arlo Flannery, “I’m looking for a private eye to help me dig up some dirt on the Basset Hound Brigade.”

“So you came to the best,” said Dick, grinning like the Cheshire cat.

Arlo sat down in the chair opposite Dick’s desk and shook his head, “No, I came to the cheapest.”

Dick didn’t miss a beat, “That’s because I don’t want to deny anyone my keen detection skills. Who did you say you were?”

“The name is Flannery. Arlo Flannery,” the reporter held out his hand, “I’m a newspaperman and this story I’m working on is going to be my big break!”

Dick completely ignored Arlo’s hand, “What story is this?”

Arlo, nevertheless, kept it raised, “The one about the Basset Hound Brigade. You know, maybe I can find someone else.”

Dick continued ignoring Arlo’s hand, but went on the offensive, “Ah, no. I’m just being thorough. I need the money up front.”

Arlo’s hand finally went down, reaching into his pocket to get his money clip. He paged through the paltry amount of bills it contained, “I only have fifteen bucks. You see, this story is going to be — ”

Dick Douglas grabbed the money and shoved it into his own pocket, “Yes, yes. The thing about the Basset Hound Brigade. Fifteen bucks will do.”

“It’s all I have,” said Arlo, “That and this camera.”

“Huh. That’s a nice camera,” said Dick, reaching over and grabbing the camera. Since it was latched to Arlo’s neck, it wasn’t going without a fight, “I’ll take that, too.”

“I can’t give you my camera,” said Arlo, struggling against Dick, “I have pictures on it that I need for my story.”

Dick continued to pull, trying to free the camera from Arlo’s grasp, “Uh, I’ll give you the pictures. Just give me the camera and I’ll help you with your story.”

Arlo sighed and unlatched the camera, “All right. Fine. Here’s the camera. When will you give me the pictures?”

Dick began fiddling with any button or latch he could find on his new device, “Right now. How do I open it?”

“No! You’ll ruin my pictures! You’ll ruin — ” shouted Arlo, nearly leaping over the desk to save his photographs. He was too late, however, as Dick pushed a button and the back of the camera opened up, spilling out film, “– my pictures. You just ruined my pictures.”

“Did I? I never used a camera before,” Dick looked at the camera and tossed it on the ground, shattering its lens, “Oh well. It just so happens that I know where these Fox Hound Coalition fellows are holed up, and pardon my French, but they’re a pain in my rear. It’ll be a pleasure to help you take them down. I’ll even do it free of charge.”

Arlo stared at him, his face pale, “You just took my camera and all the money I have.”

“I mean from this point forward it’ll be free of charge,” said Dick, “Plus expenses, of course. Now let’s go, if we hurry we’ll be able to catch all of them. Including their ring-leader!”

The color returned to Arlo’s face and his eyes glistened, “You mean Mister Lucky? Golly, if I could just get an ounce of dirt on him, it’ll undo all the damage you’ve already done to my blossoming career! It’s a deal!”

Dick Douglas stood up and strode to the door, “Let’s go take down some Fox Hounds!”

Arlo stood up and followed him, “You mean Bassets?”

Dick opened the door and the pair walked out, “Whatever!”

***

Dick Douglas and Arlo Flannery stood in front of the Fox’s Den after wandering around the city for an hour and a half, consisting of Dick trying to remember where he was going and, once he remembered, where the place he was going was.

Arlo turned to Dick, “I was just here an hour ago.”

“Yeah?” said Dick, “Well, now we’re back here again, and this time we’ll bring down Mister Lucky. Hey, do you have a notebook I can borrow?”

Arlo stared at the detective, clutching his jacket close to his body, “I need my notebook. It has all the information I have on the Bassets so far, and I won’t be able to write down anything about Mister Lucky if I don’t have it. So I’d really rather not give you my notebook.”

Dick glared at him, “Listen, do you want me to solve this case?”

“Well, yes, but — ” stammered Arlo.

“Then give me the notebook!”

“Fine,” Arlo relented, pulling his notebook from his jacket and handing it over. He pulled out a pen, “Do you need this too?”

Dick grabbed the notebook and the pen, “I thought that went without saying.”

“Oh well,” said Arlo, rubbing his hands together with malevolent glee, “When I bring down Mister Lucky, it’ll more than make up for it!”

“All right. Knock on the door,” said Dick.

Arlo looked at Dick as if the detective had just told him to shoot the president, “Why?”

Dick smiled in what he hoped was a cunning way, “How else do you expect to get in?”

“I thought you had a way in!” said Arlo.

“Yes, knocking on the front door,” Dick pointed to the door, “It’s the perfect plan. They’ll never expect it.”

“If you say so,” said Arlo, who walked up the steps and knocked on the door.

It opened to reveal Jojo Jenkins, whose eyes bulged in surprise, “Hello? What you doing back here, Mister Douglas? Why’d you bring the newspaper man with you?”

Suspicions began to rise in Arlo’s mind, “What is he talking about?”

“Never you mind,” said Dick, pushing Arlo out of the way, “Let me in, Jojo. My client and I have business to attend to.”

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea, Mister Douglas,” said Jojo, standing his ground.

“As your employer, I demand you let me in or I’ll not feed you for a week!” said Dick.

Jojo thought about bringing up the fact that Dick rarely remembered to buy any groceries and so he and Jojo had to dine nearly exclusively at the Fox’s Den, but thought better of it, “If you say so, Mister Douglas.”

“Thanks, Jojo,” said Dick, entering the Fox’s Den. He turned to Arlo, “Follow me.”

The suspicions that had begun to rise had finished their ascent and were at the forefront of Arlo’s mind, “Wait, you’re that Dick Douglas?”

Dick stopped as if he had been stricken through the heart, “There’s more than one?” He regained his composure and continued walking, “They’re right through here.”

“So you’ve just been trying to trick me?” said Arlo, his face once again pale, his eyes sunken, looking for all the world as if someone had just shot his dog.

“No,” said Dick, “As I said, these Bassets are a pain in my rear. And they’re right through here!”
Dick swung a door open, revealing the Basset Hound Brigade, all of whom had changed their clothes. A set of fake IDs was sitting on the desk and someone had brought in a chalkboard and written down a list of locations with the heading “New Headquarters?”

Mister Lucky turned to the newcomers, dressed in a mortarboard and gown, “Dick? What the hell are you doing here?”

“I’m helping to bring you and this crooked organization down,” said Dick smugly, “Why are you all dressed like that?”

“We knew you’d screw up, but we never thought you’d outright betray us,” said Mister Lucky, trying to keep from panicking.

“Well, he decided to do what’s right, not what you say,” said Arlo, who actually had no idea what was going on but was going to make the most of it, “As well he should, since I gave him all my money, my camera, and my notebook! I have virtually no proof of your wrongdoing other than my word!”

Mister Lucky stared at Arlo, then at Dick, “Is this true? You took all his stuff?”

“I sure did,” said Dick, in the middle of tossing the notebook and pen into a fireplace.

“Did you mean to?” said Mister Lucky, “I mean, did you plan to take all of his stuff?”

“I certainly did,” said Dick.

“So, wait,” said Mister Lucky, taking off his mortarboard and scratching his head, “You took all the proof he had. And all his money.”

“That’s what I did,” said Dick.

“So you actually,” started Mister Lucky, trying to force the rest of the words through his mind and out his mouth, “Saved the Basset Hound Brigade?”

“Yeah, I guess I did,” said Dick, shoving the Little Spick off a couch and reclining upon it, “Maybe I planned it all along.”

“So you… you… what?” Mister Lucky sat down, “You actually did it? You saved the day?”

Arlo Flannery stood in front of Dick and removed his hat, “Dick Douglas, you’re the most cunning and devious man I’ve ever met. I take off my hat to you, and it’s clear that in any battle of wits, I’ll quickly lose to you. Any organization with you as a member must be top-notch do-gooders.”

“Yeah, that’s right, spread the word,” said Dick. Arlo nodded, put on his hat, and hurried out the door.

Mister Lucky turned to Mister Frink, “Did you have anything to do with this, Frinky?”

“No,” replied Mister Frink.

“I need to go lie down. This is just too much,” said Mister Lucky as he removed his gown and exited the room, “Good job, Dick. Good job saving the day.”

“Yep, I’m great,” said Dick Douglas.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: