Chapter Three - The Disruptor* Enters The Fray (conclusion)
The atmosphere in the bar was already pretty rough and tumble, with a boatload of Fitzies and Sullys testing their sloppy moves out on the distaff clientele. But the eruption outside caught everyone's attention, as the otherwise genteel, collars-up crowd was caught by surprise by the entrance of a hard-scrabble outsider with abundant facial hair, having left a collection of his captors in a steaming heap outside the main entry. The Disruptor* staggered warily past scads of disbelieving onlookers, towards the main bar where both Richie and Pat shrank quietly aside. As for Lamorella … well, this man from the north was another of her past suitors, and he casually tipped his hat knowingly in her direction, as he asked the barkeep for some moonshine. The mook - having had his amorous advances with Lamorella perhaps temporarily halted - reached under the bar and produced a crude looking jug, and The Disruptor* - having been on the road against his will for days now - grabbed it quickly and took a parched swig, and in doing so exposed the manacles still restricting his hand movements. But just as things were beginning to settle down for the interloper, a strange sound emanated from the rear of the bar. That strange kazoo sound again, from the depot earlier, and coming from the shrouded figure of The Prodigal, nursing a wound and a glass of chocolate milk in the shadows at the far end of the bar.
The former captive put the jug down and eased past the gawking crowd of yuppies towards the strange man and his kazoo at the back of the room. In doing so, he was stalking past the withdrawn figure of Pauley to his right, who was starting to reach for his pistol when The Disruptor* caught the movement out of the corner of his eye, spun and drew his own pistol, and pointed it right between Pauley's eyes. Busted and flushed, Pat dropped his hands by his side, and a puddle quickly formed at the base of his boots. The Disruptor* quickly hatched a plan - he was very nimble and quick on his feet with thinking outside of the box ideas - and realizing he was still one gun short of a safe road to his total freedom, he made eye contact with the strange wounded figure at the back, who surprisingly slid his own pistol down the bar to the ominous visitor.
The Disruptor* turned towards Pauley, and demanded that he reach for the gun currently tucked under the interloper's belt. As he did, Pauley was slowly confronted by the focus of his tormentor's own gun, which for collateral purposes was shifted towards Pat's temple as Pat took the gun from The Disruptor's belt. The man from the north motioned the fading man from the south to point the borrowed gun towards the chain connecting the former captive's manacles, and slowly the purpose of this dance became clear to Pauley, who steadied his nerves momentarily to blast the chain in half.
The Disruptor* - now freed from captivity, except for two residual "bracelets" around his wrists - abruptly grabbed back the gun, shot Pauley in the foot for his troubles, and made his way back towards the front of the bar, where Lamorella looked on in disdain, and Richie was frozen in place, after having nipped at the jug of moonshine left behind by the former captive moments ago. Once again, there was a loud sound outside of the bar, and a group of men again clad in waist length hooded caribou skin parkas were next to stumble into the bar, as The Disruptor* again reached for his pistol. False alarm, as the leader of this group spoke …
GS: Hey Orono - we thought we'd never make it. Compliance officers thick on the ground, all around …
SW: It's OK, you're just in time … to bury my escort. If I waited for you, I'd be in Kansas by now.
The man called Orono* took one final swig from the jug of moonshine, belched quietly, leering dismissively towards Lamorella as he sized her up from head to toe, and turned towards his posse, while the leader draped Orono's* own parka around his now-free arms. But quietly, from the rear of the bar, The Prodigal had approached the area vacated by Orono*. put down his now-empty glass of chocolate milk, and spoke to the departing group from the north, who had something that belonged to him …
JY: Hey (motioning to Orono) … the gun.
Orono* smiled wanly and remembered the good turn this stranger had done for him … and gave the gun to his first-in-command, who handed the gun back to the wounded Prodigal. The Prodigal in turn grabbed loosely at the man's parka after the exchange, which seemed unusual. Orono* felt the need to engage …
SW: So … you interested in fashion, Kazoo?
JY: I saw twee of these pahkas at the depot the othah day … inside the pahkas were twee men.
SW: (shrugging) … and?
JY: Inside the twee men wuz twee buwwets.
Orono looked at his crew, who re-assured their leader no such event was known to them.
SW: That's a crazy story, Kazoo, for two reasons. One … no one else has got the guts to wear these parkas than Orono Little League. Two … Orono and his OLL posse don't get killed. Surprise you?
JY: Yeah, it does. (turns to play his kazoo)
Rather than engage their strange collaborator further, Orono beckoned his posse outside and they headed north for parts unknown, while the bar scene returned to normal in the aftermath. This would not be the last meeting of these two men, and only set the tenor for future engagements.
NEXT - CHAPTER FOUR - THE AFTERMATH OF THE MCBAIN SLAYINGS BEGIN TO UNFOLD ...