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TRUE TALES FROM THE SIDE SHOW: By the Sword - Trickle of Consciousness
Our second report in the hair-raising events of yesterday was recently recovered from the flight journal of World War I flying ace Craigson Engle

When Mr. Monde hired me to fly folks back and forth on these little treasure hunts he funds, I figured I had things free and easy. Making it through The Great War, after all, a fella supposes everything else is tame.

Then there was this trip to pick up the dame he sent on over to the desert. Seems she'd gone and got herself into quite a pickle, and Mr. Monde sent me to track down some fella he knew thataway.

Quiet guy, that one. What's the word? Stoic. Yeah. Carried a sword and a knife and not a lot else, which seems like it wouldn't be much good against a pistol, but the boss thought he was the fella to fix things, so I just stayed quiet and drove. That's how I made my dough, after all.

A lot of sun and sand later following that map the dame sent, and we pulled up on that oasis. All fancy silk tents clustered up around that pool of water that shouldn't have probably been there with all the heat, but there it was.

And there was that Sheik the boss warned us about, and just like the boss's buddy, this one had a sword, and he already had it out, shouting something about guarding his home and never giving up his wives.

There were the wives, too. Pretty little things. Or I think they were pretty. They were all veils and big eyes, but they sure had nice shapes. I could see why a fella might be inclined to protect 'em.

I might have tried to talk to him, myself. With all those women, I supposed he might not miss one of them, especially since the boss had the money to make it worth his while. But that quiet fella I brought with me? Jumped to the ground and had his sword out quick as you please.

Didn't last long, the fight. Not because the Sheik was a slouch with a sword. No, actually, it looked pretty quickly like he was much better than our man, and I cringed a bit as he stabbed past the guy's guard and got him right in the mouth, of all things. Not a pleasant way to go.

But then, he didn't go. That satisfied grin the Sheik got when our fella staggered backward fell right away when he didn't fall down. No siree, he stood straight and tall, that sword shoved all the way down his gullet. Then he reached up, grabbed the hilt, and pulled that sword right back out, clean of blood. Then he was holding his sword and the Sheik's, and it was our man's turn to smile.

After that, well, what else is there to say? The Sheik fell to his knees and begged for mercy, and I can’t say as I blame him. A man who eats metal for breakfast shook even this soldier.

Mr. Monde's lady friend insisted we take the other girls with us, which made for a ride home that was crowded, but not so you'd mind. I heard a rumor the girls went over to the states. Heard another that the Sheik got his nerve back and went hunting for them. Not that I know anything about that. Wouldn't surprise me, though. Nothing much can after that.

At least, not yet.

Can a man really make a meal of metal, or did some kind of heat stroke mar a good man's memory? Find out for yourself now through May 5 at The Players Theatre!

Previous entries in the series:
The Fortune Teller
The Cannibal King
In the Blood
If Witches Worked Curses
His Own Boss
A True Lady
In a Foreign Land

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