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The Adventures of Giles Tommly-Horton, Volume 1, The Ransome

The Ransome
Westminster, London, England, February 2020

Walking into the smoke-filled Carlton-Fable gentlemen’s club there is some chappy dawdling in front of me. As annoying as this is, at first, I don’t say a word until with trepidation I watch him place himself down in my usual seat.

Flabbergasted, this I cannot possibly have, so I walk up to him and say, “Old boy, you do know that you just dropped some money outside on the pavement.” Smiling to myself, I take my usual seat as he rapidly stirs his stumps and runs outside to seek a unicorn.

“Would you like your usual sir? Dry Martini with a two-day-old room-temperature Kalamata olive?” Mendip the waiter asks me.

“Yes, thank you Mendip, you know me only too well.”

Pulling out one of the finest Carlos Amore Cuban cigars from within my blazer, I proceed to clip the end, as I see a hand in front of me with a lighter in full glow ready and waiting.
Slowly I pull on my cigar as I look up at the chap holding the lighter.

“Well, I never…! If it isn’t my old school chum Bentley Livingstone. How long has it been since I saw you last?”

“Luxor, Egypt, ’98,” he says, “Habib’s tobacco shop, just as that explosion ripped through, blowing half of Habib and his shop away.”

“I remember it well, oh the good old days. So, Bentley, tell me, what on earth brings you down to this part of the woods, didn’t Hampstead’s, ‘Henry III Casino and Gentlemen’s Club,’ used to be your haunt?”

“It still is old chap, but Giles my old friend, I have come here to see you and make you a proposition, one which I hope you will take me up on.”

“Well, fire away old bean,” I say.

“Here we are sir, your drink,” Mendip the waiter says placing it down on the table next to me, as I obnoxiously slip a £50 note into his top pocket and discretely pull it back out again.

Taking a seat next to me, Bentley leans forward and whispers in my ear, “On my father’s deathbed not so long ago, he asked me to promise him that if I ever hear the whereabouts of the sacred Lesser Spotted Omicron, I must immediately inform his lifelong African friend, Chief Humba-Humba of the Walatumbe tribe, in Northeastern Timbuktu, Mali, because his ancestors can never rest until it is found and handed back to them.

Well, my dear chum… I have. One of my museum friends has just arrived back from Timbuktu, and he made the acquaintance of the South African big game hunter and general ne’r do well, Jimmy McElroy. He found out that at his secret ranch he has hidden behind a false Walla Walla bush, locked up in a large cage…”

I break him off in mid-sentence and say… “Not the ‘Lesser Spotted Omicron?”

“None other than,” he says, “And has told the old chief Humba-Humba, that he wants $750,000 or else the Lesser Spotted Omicron will be no more.”
Moving in my seat to loosen my trousers around my groin area, and not being very successful, with a lump in my throat I ask him, “So, you want me, the great ethical hunter, to hunt the ruthless convict hunter, find the hunted Lesser Spotted Omicron, and take it back to Chief Humba-Humba. Is that about, right old boy?”

By Jove old chap, nothing gets past you… Yes, and I have been in contact with the Chief, and he has agreed to pay you, the sum of $1.00 and a rancid sheep’s bladder, apparently that is part of their custom if they like you.”

“Sorry old boy, I must be getting hard of hearing, did you just say, $1.00?” I ask.

“Yes, for two reasons, firstly, you will know that you enabled Chief Humba-Humba and all of his ancestors, and my father to eternally rest in peace and not forever turn in their graves, and secondly, just for the sheer fuck offness of succeeding.”

Taking a long gulp of my dry Martini, and a big fat puff of my cigar, for a moment I think about this challenge long and hard, and after careful consideration, I say, “I should co-co, love it… I have never turned down a challenge in my life, and I am not about to start now Bentley old boy.”

Handing me a sealed envelope with a map of jimmy McElroy’s secret ranch, plus the co-ordinates of the Walatumbe tribe, in Northeastern Timbuktu, I look sneakily left and right, with my pin-point accuracy 20/20 vision, and place it very carefully in my secret inside combination zipper pocket in the lining of my blazer.

‘By jingo this will be a grand adventure,’ I think to myself.

With that, I gulp down my drink, puff on my cigar, and I’m off. Deciding that my Macron rocket-boosted solar-powered micro-light will be the best thing for the long journey to Timbuktu in Mali.

If I am lucky enough to catch the westerly trade wind, I could be there by this evening.

Packing a flask of Darjeeling tea and some honey sandwiches, I set off on my perilous journey.

With the warm tropical wind rushing past me, I puff on my half-finished cigar, look at the moon and then at my map. Taking into consideration the time difference, I can tell it is between 6:00 PM and 1:00 AM and there, directly below me, is my carefully planned drop-off point.

Quietly landing, I parachute roll into a small ditch next to a shallow lake and take a sip of my tea and a few bites of my honey sandwich.

That is when I see these two large eyes intently staring at me. Then it moves, and I know all at once it is a man-eating croc. Luckily, I have been in a similar situation once before when I was younger in the Gambia.

Leaping out from within the ditch, I give one of my Bruce Lee spins and in mid-turn, I pull out three new Charles III Fifty Pence Pieces, and carefully skim them all at the same time off the water. Two of them bounce and find their way straight up the croc’s nostrils entering its brain and instantly killing it stone-cold dead. The other one completely misses and hits a passing pelican, unfortunately chopping one of its legs off, which I truly hope no one saw.

Up in the distance, I can see Jimmy McElroy’s secret ranch. Slowly I make my way up past the thick lush, untouched tropical vegetation and walk around the back of the ranch, where I spot the false Walla Walla bush. Pulling the bushes apart, there it is in its full glory, in a large 25ft cage.

Using nothing but my simple pocket Swiss army knife, I attempt to pick the Washington-50 lock, but I can’t, so I place one finger on the side of the cage, and the Lesser Spotted Omicron with teeth the size of my hands, go to take a bite, which gives me an instant idea.

Suddenly there is a noise and standing directly in front of me is Jimmy McElroy, and just as I see him go for what I presume is a weapon he walks around to the side of me and urinates into a bush.
‘Obviously, he hasn’t seen me.’ I think to myself. Now completely overcome with nerves I quickly take a well-needed bite of my honey sandwich, and think, ‘By George, that was a close one,’ When suddenly a twig cracks and he shouts out, “If you move a muscle, I will shoot you”.

So, in one quick fluid motion, I pull out my Horton & Sons 18th century miniature Piccolo automatic 12-bore handheld shotgun, complete with 12 carbon-fibre bullets, load it and shoot him straight between his eyes, and he falls to the ground.

Placing my hand onto one of the metal bars of the cage, the Lesser Spotted Omicron attempts to bite me again, but swiftly I move my hand out of the way, and it bites clean through the bar of the cage.

Popping my hand in, I punch it in the face and knock it out for a few moments and prize open the cage.

Now, in my younger years, I was a fully qualified lion-tamer and hypnotist.

As this enormous beast begins to stir back to consciousness, I sing it a mellow lullaby and pull out my silver pocket watch and hypnotize it.
Once it manages to get free from within the cage, it begins to stretch out its wings. That is when I see its full size. With a wingspan of at least 20ft, a large green fury-looking duckbill platypus head, and two long legs, I jump onto its back, and it leaps off the ground into the air, and I steer it the short distance using its two gigantic antlers, and somehow manage to get it to land right amongst the Walatumbe tribesmen.

Now I have 2000 Walatumbe tribesmen dancing around the Lesser spotted Omicron with me standing next to it.

Then out from within the crowd comes Chief Humba-Humba, with a couple of senior tribesmen who gently pat the beast on the head, and calmly lead it away, to prepare it for a ceremony, while two more tribesmen wheel over my sight for sore eyes micro-light.

Pulling something out from within his pocket, the chief hands me a pristine looking $1.00 bill, hands it to me, shakes my hand, and says to me, “Good show old chap, HUZZAH!

Then from within his other pocket the chief pulls out a rancid stinking sheep’s bladder, and attempts to hand it to me, “Golly-gosh, no thanks old boy,” as I watch it splatter onto the floor, to which I do not pick it up.

“From my people, my ancestors, and myself, we will always be eternally grateful to you.”

Getting back into my vehicle, I saw high above the African plain, just managing to catch the cusp end of the returning South-easterly trade winds, fly back to Westminster, land directly on the roof of the Carlton-Fable gentlemen’s club, slide down a loose drainpipe, launch myself into an open window, land straight in my usual seat and finish off the second half of my honey sandwich.


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