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The Guns of Abalone

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Abalone Island

December 15, 1943

"I tell you, the island is sinking," said Major Heinkill. "It's probably because of that monstrosity the verdammt Pioneers built." He nodded toward the huge concrete structure squatting atop the island's only hill.

"Calm down, Major," replied Dark Helmet. "As commander I must caution you not to alarm the troops." The sawed off little runt rapped his desk with a riding crop. "I have it on good authority that the sea goes up and down at certain intervals. It's called the tides. I don't know why."

"Schiess! Zis body of vater haz no tidez!"

Dark Helmet held up a hand, stopping the flow of words. "How many times must I remind you not to speak broken German? Ve haf -- I mean, we have too many non-Germlish speakers assigned to this garden spot in the Aegean."

"Garden spot?" Heinkill sagged into a chair. Talking to the Commandant was an exercise in frustration. Not since his days as a triggerman for the Bulgarian Secret Police had he run into a commander as moronic as Dark Helmet.

"Look on the bright side, Major. The wind is down to 30 kilometers, it isn't raining or snowing, and the Ami haven't bombed or shelled us today."

"Ja. Probably they are busy blowing up monasteries in Italy. The schweinhunds will be back."

"No doubt … " DH fell silent. "Is that an airplane?"

"Alaaaarrrrrm!" Heinkill sprinted from the tent. "Take cover! Air raid!" He dove headfirst into the closest bomb shelter. Herr Fick of the Gestapo was already there, whimpering in the back corner. A former pimp on the Kiel waterfront, Fick was out of his element at a combat base, even one like Abalone. There were no women to slap around and everyone went about armed to the teeth. After The Camel bit off Fick's left ear the Gestapo man retired to his bunker and stayed there. He only came out at meal time and to use the outhouse perched on a cliff behind the mess hall.

It was The Camel who looked in a moment later. "All clear, Major. It's one of ours. A Storch and it ain't running so good."

Heinkill clambered out of the bunker and followed The Camel toward the tiny airfield operations hut. The Storch was on a wobbly short final for what the inhabitants of Abalone laughingly called an airstrip. Though the strip was laid out on the long axis of the island, it was too short for anything but light aircraft. The crumpled wreckage of a JU-52 lay in the trees at the north end of the field. On the steep slope above that wreck lay the burned remnants of an ME-110, effectively marking the missed-approach procedure as impossible and fatal, to boot.

The Storch was dragging a smoke trail. "Engine cowling is gone," said Heinkill. "And I see some damage to the wing."

"He's had a run-in with an Allied fighter," said The Camel.

"Or he flew too low over someone with a shotgun."

The engine flared and died.

"Too low!" cried Heinkill. "He'll hit the cliff."

But the only part of the Storch that impacted the cliff top was the landing gear. Shorn of gear legs and struts, the airplane careened down the rough strip. One wing ripped away. The other served to drag the remains of the little plane in a circle, shedding parts.

"No one is getting out of here on that bird," observed The Camel.

Heinkill stuffed his hands in his pockets and started toward the dust-shrouded wreck, now at rest on top of an empty flak position. "You better hope for a supply boat. No way can we get a camel out on any airplane that could land here."

The Camel's reply was typically upbeat. "Something will turn up -- a supply ship, maybe, or perhaps a boatload of Americans with cigarettes and whiskey."

"Right. Our rescuers will be greeted by our bleached bones. Unless the island sinks first."

Poor Heinkill. It's a long step down from commanding a fighter squadron in Greece, charged with intercepting American bombers, to being a castaway on a forgotten island in the Aegean. His former life included plenty to eat, lots of beer and schnapps to drink, and even a dark-haired Greek mistress to while away his time when weather kept the squadron on the ground.

Sadly, it was the mistress who was his undoing. Their little excursion to a café on the waterfront turned into a sweaty session in a hired room above the café, interrupted by a partisan ambush. He cringed, remembering the running gun battle along narrow streets ending up on a narrower dock. Partisans gunning, him running. His Luger lay on a side table in the room, along with all his clothes, save for his billed cap, which he never removed except to wash his hair.

He tripped and fell into a boat moored to the dock and huddled under a foul-smelling canvas for nearly an hour while the partisans searched the area. Finally, they retreated to an open-sided shed on shore. Someone produced bottles of vino. Heinkill's erstwhile mistress showed up with a basket of bread, cheese, and meat, along with two other obliging females. Soon, a riotous party was in full swing, less than twenty feet from the landward end of the dock.

Heinkill discovered a battered flashlight that actually worked. Using the canvas to hide the light, he examined the boat. It proved to be a fishing vessel, perhaps ten meters in length, powered by a grease- and dirt-encrusted engine mounted under a cover amidships. Forward, he found a small cabin with a wheel and engine controls. Nothing was labeled, but he couldn’t read Greek anyway. He sat in the wheelhouse for a long time, afraid to try anything.

A drunken partisan staggered out on the dock and fetched up against a piling, where he proceeded to take a leak. Job finished, he stumbled back toward the party, singing as he went. Heinkill forced himself to move. Sooner or later the partisans would find him. He had no desire to have his manhood sliced off and stuffed in his mouth. The mere imagining made him whine and piddle on the deck.

Once in motion, he didn't stop. He cast off fore and aft and returned to the cabin. Even if the engine didn't start, he could possibly row his way into the harbor and flag down a patrol boat. The thought gave him a focus for action.

The engine started on the first try. The loud rumble evoked surprised cries from the partying partisans. Heart pounding, Heinkill shoved the throttle forward. The engine roared. His escape craft didn't move at all. Cursing weakly, he fumbled with the controls. Men shouted. A gun went off. He stumbled into a lever sticking up from the deck. "Schiess, a gearshift." He shoved the lever forward and tried the throttle again. The boat surged ahead, throwing him off his feet. An automatic weapon hammered. Bullets ripped into the wheelhouse.

Using his canvas to cover his naked white form, Heinkill crawled forward. Crouching in the wheelhouse, he steered the boat away from the dock and into the harbor. Badly aimed bursts of fire followed him into the night. As the shooting died away, he looked back. A single round ricocheted off something and smacked into his forehead. He fell, stunned and senseless.

The next morning he awoke somewhere in the Aegean, out of sight of land, out of fuel. The boat was half swamped from countless bullet holes. Two days later he abandoned the sinking craft and swam ashore on Abalone Island.

Heinkill and The Camel reached the wrecked Storch. A short, skinny officer in peaked cap and leather coat emerged from the wreckage. He tossed a valise to the sand and reached back into the Storch. "Schultzie, schtop schniveling. Du are nicht hurt. Are du bleedink? Scheiss. Gif me du hand. Schnell!"

The man he pulled from the wreck was covered with dirt and bleeding in several places; none of the wounds looked fatal. "Herr Oberst," he whined. "Mein back ist broken."

"Ist du ein ninny or ein German scholdier?" cried the colonel.

Heinkill saluted. "Herr Oberst, the Commandant does not allow the use of broken German."

The colonel returned the salute. "No Germlish? I nefer heard of zuch -- er -- such a thing."

"Too many of us don't know the lingo," explained The Camel.

Schultzie slumped down on a pile of sandbags. "A talking camel." He peered at Heinkill with bloodshot eyes. "Is this Hell?"

"Something very like it, I'm afraid. I am Major Heinkill. This is The Camel."

"Oberst Rommel. Unt -- And this is my driver, Gefreiter Schlutz." The Colonel gazed toward the concrete fortress at the far end of the island. "We have come to inspect the flak tower and the big guns."

"Guns?" Heinkill glanced at The Camel, who merely shook his head. "The flak tower you can see from here, Colonel, and the main gun positions are completed. You have to enter the fortress to see them, though. They face the open sea."

"Ah, yes." Rommel rubbed his hands together. "300mm superguns. Soon we will sweep this part of the Aegean clear of Allied shipping."

"Are the guns on the way?" asked Heinkill.

Rommel eyed him suspiciously. "The superguns are not here?"

"No, sir. No guns. And even if we had the guns, there is no ammunition."

The Camel nodded gravely. "No bullets."

"Mein -- My God!" Rommel sank down beside Schultz. He seemed entirely demoralized.

"It doesn't matter," said Heinkill.

Rommel stared at the Luftwaffe officer. "Doesn't matter? Are you mad? Without guns and bullets we can't smash the British ships! We can't blow holes in American vessels." Spittle ran down his chin. He quite forgot himself as he raged. "Smash them! Blow up all their razor blades and refrigerators!" Suddenly he stopped and drew himself erect. "It matters!"

"No it doesn't," said Heinkill. "The island is sinking."


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RN Garbage Scow

HMS Pequod

December 17, 1943

Lieutenant "Archie" Archerford, captain of the Royal Navy Small Mobile Dry Dock, Pequod, read the message flimsy with growing alarm. He handed it to his First Lieutenant, "Cobra" Jay.

Archie gripped the bridge railing and sighed. "Don't they know we're a mobile dock and not a landing craft? Besides, we've been detailed to garbage scow duties for months. This tub is not suited for hauling troops anywhere -- much less landing them on some flea-bite island."

Cobra sniffed in his usual Old School way. Taller than Archie and immaculately dressed, besides being much better looking (in his opinion), Cobra was a regular navy officer, sentenced to servitude under a reserve lieutenant barely three days senior in grade. He wore the unfairness of it all in his every expression. After a pause to wipe imaginary dust from his monocle, he studied the message.

"Captain, it appears we are to carry a small landing craft loaded with troops. The landing craft will put them ashore." He handed the already disintegrating flimsy back to the radio operator. "My uncle, the Admiral, is apparently under the impression that a mobile dry dock can ferry a small vessel into the Aegean and offload it there."

Archie ignored the jibe. "I'll be glad to be done with hauling garbage. Maybe they'll give the job to someone else."

"One can only hope, Captain."

The radio man handed Archie another message. "I dint know the Yanks 'ad any bleedin' Marines in the Med, sor."

"They don't," replied Archie, even as he read otherwise. "Well, this says they have a few. Enough to require a small landing craft."

"American Marines, Captain?" Cobra shook his head in disbelief. "I'm fairly sure that would be against the Geneva Convention. The use of US Marines against civilized people, I mean."

"Your uncle, the Admiral, apparently thinks otherwise," said Archie. "He signed the order."

Cobra, for once, had nothing to say. He read the message and handed it back.

"Chief," called Archie. "Break out the hoses. Form a working party to blast loose all this crud that never seems to float away when we're flooded down. Once everything is loose, we'll flood her again. We'll have Marines aboard for a few days. It would be best if the ship didn't smell quite like an outhouse."

"Aye, aye, sor," replied the chief. "If them Marines come from the bleedin' Pacific, they might not even notice the stench." He spat over the side. "But I'll get the lads to tidy up a bit."

Late the next day lookouts spotted a small landing craft approaching from the south. Shortly thereafter blinker light contact was established with Tadpole. Apparently the craft's radio was inoperative. Pequod lay flooded down, rear gates open, waiting to receive the little boat. The Navy rating at Tadpole's helm rounded to and backed in with hardly a pause. While the gates were closing a burly man in US Marine utilities made his way across a narrow gangplank and up to the bridge. He saluted the captain. Lt. Cobra came up from below and took a position at the aft rail.

"Gunnery Sergeant Thrift, reporting aboard, sir."

Archie returned the salute. "You don't look well, sergeant. Are you ill?"

The Marine managed a weak smile. "We -- my squad and I -- we're Recon Marines, sir. We were recruited out of a waterfront bar in Alexandria. Our ship broke down and had to dock at Alex for repairs. That's how we came to be here at all. Sir."

"On your way somewhere in the Pacific, I imagine, sergeant?"

"Australia, sir. We were all wounded on the 'Canal. Returning to duty."

"By way of the Med? Seems a trifle out of the way."

The sergeant shrugged. "We were in hospitals on the East coast, sir. Still -- I don't know why we were shipped in this direction. I've been in the Corps long enough to not be surprised at such things. Anyway, sir, here we are."

Cobra could restrain himself no longer. "You have orders, sergeant?"

Gunny produced a folder. "In here, sir. My squad and I are to take over a little island in the Aegean. Name of Abalone. That's all I know. I'm surprised they grabbed us for the job."

"That makes two of us," said Archie. "How many men in your squad?"

"Ten total, sir. But -- ah -- only six are mine -- that is, members of my Recon squad. The others are Royal Marines, sir."

"Royal Marines?" Archie flipped through the orders. "There is no mention of using any British troops for this operation. How did they wind up with you? Who is in charge of them?"

Gunny coughed and glanced down at the landing craft. "Well, sir. When the MPs pulled us out of that bar in Alex, we was kind of mixing it up with a few Royal Marines."

"Mixing it up?"

"Fighting, sir."

"That doesn't explain how four Royal Marines ended here with you."

"The MPs were just looking for marines, sir. Most of us weren't in any condition to -- ah -- tell them what kind of marine we were."

"You were drunk, sergeant?" Archie grinned. "Drunk and fighting?"

"That about covers it, sir. Some of the men didn't recover until we were on the landing craft."

"Marines!" Cobra spat the word. "We ought to keep them in cages between battles."

Archie looked down at the men gathered in the landing craft. "Will there be any more fighting between cousins?"

"Oh, no, sir. We're all good buddies now. Stag and me had to -- uh -- counsel a couple of the guys. But they're mostly sober now and ready for duty."

"Who is this Stag fellow?"

"Oh. Corporal Stag, sir. He's the ranking Royal Marine."

Archie extended his hand. "Bring the corporal along when we meet -- probably tomorrow -- to discuss the invasion of Abalone Island."

Gunny shook hands and saluted. He started to leave, then turned back. "Sir. I know ranks are different in the Limey -- er -- British Navy, but you can just call me gunny."

Cobra snorted. "The Captain will call you whatever he likes, sergeant!"

Archie took Gunny by the arm and led him off the bridge. "The Lieutenant means well. He just doesn't like Americans. Family were Loyalists, you know."


"Yes. Back during that little dust-up when our two countries went our separate ways."

"Jeez, sir. That was, what? 160 years ago?"

"A little more than that, I think. Long time to bear a grudge, what?"

"Yes, sir. Hell, before he died even my great-uncle Darley gave up snarling 'Yankee' and 'bastard' like they was one word. Musta done it two -- three weeks before he passed on."

"There you go." Archie handed Gunny over to his senior petty officer. "The Chief will show you to your quarters and answer any questions."

As the Captain started back to the bridge, he heard the Chief say, "You look like you could bloody well use a drink, mate."

"You got that right, Chief. Talkin' to officers always makes me thirsty."


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"Oberst Rommel. Unt -- And this is my driver, Gefreiter Schlutz." The Colonel gazed toward the concrete fortress at the far end of the island. "We have come to inspect the flak tower and the big guns."

"Guns?" Heinkill glanced at The Camel, who merely shook his head. "The flak tower you can see from here, Colonel, and the main gun positions are completed. You have to enter the fortress to see them, though. They face the open sea."

"Ah, yes." Rommel rubbed his hands together. "300mm superguns. Soon we will sweep this part of the Aegean clear of Allied shipping."

"Are the guns on the way?" asked Heinkill.

Rommel eyed him suspiciously. "The superguns are not here?"

"No, sir. No guns. And even if we had the guns, there is no ammunition."

The Camel nodded gravely. "No bullets."

"Mein -- My God!" Rommel sank down beside Schultz. He seemed entirely demoralized.

"It doesn't matter," said Heinkill.

Rommel stared at the Luftwaffe officer. "Doesn't matter? Are you mad? Without guns and bullets we can't smash the British ships! We can't blow holes in American vessels." Spittle ran down his chin. He quite forgot himself as he raged. "Smash them! Blow up all their razor blades and refrigerators!" Suddenly he stopped and drew himself erect. "It matters!"

Sounds like the Obama Administration. Less the Germlish of course. :lol:

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Abalone Island

December 20, 1943

"Of course the island is sinking," said Dark Helmet. "That was part of my cunning plan from the beginning. Naturally, that information was secret. Junior officers could not be told."

"Junior -- ." Hienkill counted to ten slowly. "Vat -- er -- what is the purpose? Why was the island here in the first place?"

"More to the point," said The Camel. "Where are the boats? I assume your cunning plan included the escape of Axis personnel."

Dark Helmet waved away their comments. "High strategy is too complex for fighter pilots and animals. Boats have been provided for. The withdrawal plan even included some E-boats. Is it my fault the Allies sank everything in the Aegean, including a few of their own vessels?"

Heinkill slumped into a snazzy director's chair. "How will we get away?"

"There will be a trireme," said Dark Helmet. "Large enough for all personnel -- except for the beasts, of course. They must be left behind."

The Camel sidled close to the Commandant. "I bit the ear off one Nazi idiot and pounded one of your thugs to paste. As the sole representative of Beasts of Burden Local 501, I demand transport off this island."

Dark Helmet scrambled clear of The Camel's menacing hooves. "Room can be found! Room can be found for one camel."

"Who did you pound to paste?" asked Heinkill.

"That Japanese clod. He was a bit too free with his hands."

"Oh, him." Heinkill shrugged. "His uniform was like a burlap bag and I never understood a word of his boasting."

Rommel entered the Operations hut with Schultz in trail. "A strange ship has been spotted," said the Colonel. "It flies the British ensign. Unless you have a method for getting off this island paradise, I suggest we get ready to surrender."

"The Commandant says he has arranged for our escape," said Heinkill. He glanced at The Camel. "A trireme, he says."

"Trireme?" Rommel nodded. "A good plan, Commandant. Any Allied pilot seeing a trireme in these waters would immediately assume he was imagining things. Possibly, he would not blast it to kindling."

"Assuming," said The Camel, "that the pilot in question had been exposed to at least a smattering of the classics."

"There is that to consider," admitted Rommel. "The Ami have many fighter-bomber pilots and ship commanders, for that matter, who think Greek and Roman classics are kinds of pizza."

Dark Helmet stepped forward, rubbing his gloved hands together. "These are but trifling problems. Let us step down to the shore and await our evacuation craft."

They were all out of schnapps and not a single sausage remained on Abalone, so the dispirited leaders of the island defense force headed for the beach. Singly and in small groups, their fighting force trudged along behind. None kept their weapons. Most expected to be rounded up by Allied troops within the hour.

At the top of the steep slope leading down to the sea, Dark Helmet scrambled atop a pile of sandbags. "You will see!" he cried. "This is but a minor setback on the way to the New World Order. Rescue is at hand!" He pointed dramatically out to sea.

No craft of any kind floated on the water. Abalone Island gave a sudden lurch and began to settle much faster than before.

"Blast," whined Heinkill. He shaded his eyes and tried to see what was happening aboard the odd looking British ship. "Come on, you sluggards. We're sinking."

Aboard the Pequod, Archie and Cobra stood on the bridge, studying Abalone Island. "You know," said the Captain. "That damn island looks to be sinking."

"Impossible!" snorted Cobra. "Some illusion caused by wind and wave."

"I have to agree with the Lieutenant," said Gunny. He lowered the binoculars lent to him by one of the lookouts. "Since the Med has no tides, it can't be that."

Cobra, startled by the sergeant's agreement nearly as much as he was by the fact that the man knew about the lack of tides, forgot his usual sneer as he spoke, "Have you been in the Med before, Gunny?"

"Yes, sir. I was stationed on a cruiser, before the war. We participated in maneuvers with the Royal Navy."

Archie and Cobra exchanged a pained glance. The sergeant probably had more time afloat then the two of them together. The Captain recovered himself first. "The flooding is almost complete, Gunny. We'll launch your landing craft in a few minutes." He offered his hand. "We'll approach as near as possible. Our 20mm popguns aren't much for support, but they're all we have. Good luck."

Gunny saluted and left the bridge. Ten minutes later, Tadpole motored out of the docking area and headed for Abalone Island.

"I tell you," murmured Archie. "That damn island is sinking."

"Look!" cried Dark Helmet. "The trireme!"

Breaking clear of drifting mist, a high-prowed vessel rounded the north end of Abalone Island and steered toward the waiting troops. A light rain began to fall.

"Only about half the oars look to be in use," muttered The Camel.

Heinkill watched as the trireme approached. The movement of the oars reminded him of bird wings. But The Camel was right. Not all the oars were manned.

"I believe I'll seek other transport," said the talking dromedary. "Or swim." He raised a hoof in salute. "Take care, Major. Watch your ass around the Dark Helmet chap."

"Good luck," replied Heinkill. He almost went along with the beast, but with the rescue craft so close, he elected to stay. While being a POW in America had it's advantages, the ex-Bulgarian triggerman decided he'd like one more chance at commanding a fighter squadron. He might even forgive his Greek mistress, if she proved willing.

Officers edged down to the shrinking shoreline. Feldwebels began organizing men for boarding. The trireme angled in toward the beach, oars drawn in.

"Achmed!" yelled Dark Helmet. "You're late!"

A robed figure on the prow waved back. "I had trouble finding enough infidels to row this thing."

Moments later a gangplank thudded to the sand. A muscular sailor began to direct traffic. "No crowding. Keep in a single line. Leave your baggage with the thug -- er -- sailor at the top of the ramp. It will be stowed in the hold. Keep moving. Keep moving."

Heinkill had no bag. Behind him, Herr Fick carried a large valise. As he stepped off the gangplank a hairy specimen grabbed the bag and flung it over the opposite side. His snarling response to Fick's whining objection stilled further complaint.

Achmed led the way aft along a raised platform. "Come, my Axis friends. Come along quickly now. The Allies are not far off."

As Dark Helmet neared the stern a man clad only in a singlet grabbed him off the platform and tossed him down to other similarly attired thugs. The Commandant's muffled cries drew Achmed's attention.

"Never mind, DH. The lads are a trifle anxious. Don't mind the leg and arm shackles! Those will keep you from falling out of the boat." Achmed shoved Heinkill off the platform. "A place for everyone and everyone in his place."

"I don't know how to pull an oar," sniveled Herr Fick. "My hands will get blisters."

"Blisters!" roared Singlet Man. "Your blisters will have calluses by the time we reach port!"

Heinkill stared at the rusty manacles on his wrists. A foul-smelling brute shoved an oar into his hands. He tinkled on himself. The prospect of being a POW seemed more desirable than before. Someone cracked a whip.

"Row, you carrion!" shouted a man standing on a platform near the stern. "Row to the drum. Row, my lovelies. Row until your back breaks and your puny guts spew from your ass! Row!"

After much fouling of oars and a plethora of cursing, the trireme was backed clear of the beach. Slowly, she gathered way. A low moan lingered in her wake. The crack of whips echoed along the sinking cliffs. Achmed capered along the platform.

"We're off, my infidel friends! Off to the New World Order! Someday my fellow tribesmen and I will gaze on your bleaching bones and rejoice. We'll remember how it all started -- with a load of Nazi goons working the tribal lead mine in darkest Wackistan."

The moan grew to a horrified screeching. A few brave souls leaped up and tried to signal the distant Allied ship. They were beaten back to their benches. Heinkill wet himself again and pulled his oar. Fick fainted, but recovered when Achmed announced that anyone too sick to row would be towed behind as shark bait.

"Shark is good!" he cried. "You cringe at the thought of eating shark, but the day will come when you will sell your slimy soul for a spoonful of shark gut stew."

The man beating the drum increased his tempo. "Pull!"

Heinkill appeared to pull vigorously, while doing as little as possible. He wondered what the qualifications were for drum thug. He once received a toy drum for Christmas. His father had smashed it before New Years, but a little experience was better than none.

Gunny halted the squad at what looked to be an operations hut. A solitary camel stood nearby. "What the hell is going on? There ain't a kraut in sight."

"I don't mind that," said Corporal Stag. "But I don't like this bloody cracking and heaving. Is the whole sodding island sinking?"

"Funny you should say that," said the camel. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is The Camel. And for your information, the island of Abalone is definitely sinking."

Stag's first impulse was to shoot the camel, but that would mean admitting to the hallucination. He slung his Enfield and waited for Authority to act.

Gunny shifted his Thompson to cover the critter if it suddenly went mad. Back home, he'd heard of a talking mule and a horse that couldn't talk but could add numbers and give the answer by thumping his hooves. His Uncle Joe had even seen a talking dog. The idea of a camel that could make conversation wasn't any stranger than Cousin Harley's run-in with those creatures from outer space that hijacked his load of 'shine and give me a handful of funny shaped coins in payment.

Since he'd already figured out that the damn island really was sinking, he didn't have to make any direct response to the camel. He told Stag to gather the squad and head for Tadpole. "We're getting out. Stands to reason you can't invade an island with no enemy on it."

"You're bloody well right," said Stag. "Besides, I think the camel's right. This damn thing is sinking."

Gunny led the way back to their landing craft. He wished Stag hadn't mentioned the damn camel. And he hoped the corporal had sense enough not to tell any of the officers that the critter could talk. Officers always got excited about crap like that.

Besides, once they got back to Alex, they could make a bundle with a talking camel.

Back on board the Pequod, he shrugged off Archie's questions about the animal. "Couldn't see leaving the poor beastie to drown, sir."

Later, as the entire crew watched Abalone Island slide beneath the waves, he had a little talk with The Camel. "You up for a business proposition?"

"Sure. As long as it doesn't involve having unnatural sex or anything like that."

Gunny hastened to assure The Camel that his intentions were much more pedestrian. "We got lots of Allied soldiers and airmen in the vicinity of Alexandria. Sailors too, but they ain't as apt to part with coin to see a talking camel. Booze and women -- that's all they want."

"Right. And Marines, of course, aren't interested in those things."

"Now don't get all sarcastic with me. What I got in mind is a straight business deal. We, that is me and Stag and our Marines, collect the money and you do the talking. Problem is, I don't know what a camel would do with money. And how would we pay you?"

"I'll give you my Swiss bank account number, Gunny. That part's easy. Later, I might have you purchase some land for me, maybe in Arizona. Land and a decent barn. That kind of thing is tough for an animal, even one that can talk."

Gunny readily agreed. Then he thought of a neat addition to the act. "How are you at math? Can you add?"

The Camel hung his head. "I'm lost after two plus two, Gunny. They booted me out of school after the second grade. I was doing better than the kids."

"Dang. Too bad." Gunny sighed. "I got throwed out in the middle of the third grade. They said a lad big as me ought to be working in the mines, not wasting his time in school."

"So you were big for a third grader, eh?"

"Well, not the first time. I was fifteen when they tossed me out."


So now you know the history of the famous Talking Camel act that blossomed in Egypt, toured various hotspots in the Pacific, then ended up as a roadside attraction along Route 66 in Arizona.

This historical information brought to you by the Old Guy Network. :D

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Me thinks you and I gonna have a long talk Jim. A long talk.

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And thus the beginnings of the "New World Order®" start to take root. Colonialism begins to die as the oppressed peoples begin to find their strength and soon start a Jihad against those who extort us!

We will let this western dog writer Old Guy live. For now.

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Sorry, Heinkill, Herr Fick, Rommel, Dork Helmet.

Old Achmed has decided that the jihad is best served by leaving you in chains.

Have fun in the lead mines! :)


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Ach! Himmel! Ich vill haf you know zhat Ich do nicht schnivel or vhine! Und hard vork ist gut for zhe zoul.

By zhe vay, vhat are zhe vrekuirementz to be ein drum beater?

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The Camel has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), being an animal and not being used to dieing so many times has made this disorder worse than in humans. Crazy Camels make excellent suicide bombers. We are working on teaching pigeons to carry enough explosive to blow up at least a half a bridge, or tunnel, or cell phone tower. Then after that, if successful, we will begin training rats and snakes. Completely unstoppable. The New World Order® is coming to your town! :lol:

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JA! Zhe kamel haz proven to be zuch ein gut kaboomenkarrier zhat ve are lookink mit ein keen eye tovards zhe entire animal kingdom az zhe new zoldiers of Zhe New Vorld Order®!

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