By Frank Maguire
THE EVENTS DESCRIBED IN THIS BOOK OCCURRED
IN AN ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE.
Andy Buggy was feeling lucky. He didn't often feel lucky although he was the seventh son of a seventh son. Today he was feeling his luck as he drove his ten year old Volkswagen, christened Molly, up the forward slopes of the Gorney Blade. This would take him to his fourteenth posting in 24 years, as a member of the Garda Siochana, the Irish police force. And incidentally save him for the seventh time from matrimony. He didn’t know that he would be the first cop of any nationality to travel to the moon and back in a twelve year old Volkswagen, not once but several times too many for his own peace of mind. But he knew nothing of this and so he was a very happy man. He couldn't sing, not having the voice for it but he chortled and burbled merrily to himself as he drove along the narrow road that negotiated the precipitous ridge of the Gorney Blade. Two thousand and odd feet below in the shimmering blue sea, fishing boats like toys floating in a large bath, went about their grisly business but Andy paid them no notice. He knew they were there, he was a trained Guard after all, trained to notice details. If he was put to the pinch he could, very likely, have described them by their color and recited the numbers written on their sides. But his mind was seething with the intense joy of his release from Rita Heneghan, the fine fresh widow who had looked after him like a faithful wife for the last four years in hopes of another match. A lovely woman too, red-headed and buxom just like every other one of his romances since he had joined the force on his eighteenth birthday. Seven beauties all redheaded, every one of them with the same form of name, stemming from Margaret. The very first of them was Molly, back in the fifties and it was she who had owned the car he was presently driving, very much renovated. Molly was herself long past renovating, because she had broken her neck falling off the roof of her two storied cottage and died right there in the front garden. He had found her there when he arrived home. The sun was setting on an almost perfect summer’s day. He saw the ladder leaning against the house and her sugan tool bag still perched on the ridgeline of the roof, there was the fresh seagull splatter across the tiles that drew his gaze inevitably on down into the paved Italian garden and found her there lying on her back. Suddenly, in spite of the sun's benedictions, the day became grey. He was looking on hideous death as it had claimed his love. Ugly asprawl, half in the pond water, red now with her life's blood. He might of gone mad then with the grief of his lost love but that the left-brain cop in him took over. Right away he phoned the police and called for an ambulance and when all the details had been cleared he had gone back to his father's farm up in the hills of south Kerry.
About 2 climbing miles from Killorglin, Andy Buggy's father had a hill farm where he kept a menagerie of farm animals, mainly goats and sheep with some of the strangest cows that could be found in the world. Andy's father Matthew was a real giant who stood 7 feet 3 inches in his bare feet. He was a man of very few words, not many of them complimentary. He interested himself in animal husbandry and religious dogma and kept an inhospitable house. He lived there alone, ever since Maeve, his wife for 28 childbearing years, had run away with a Latvian dwarf the day after Andy had turned 14. This dwarf, who went by the name of Vlad, something unpronounceable, was a wonderful musician. His instrument of choice was his dwarf orchestra, the Chromatic Harmonica, known to most people as a button mouthorgan. Vlad could get more music out of that instrument than Andy's mother had ever heard, easily done as there never was music heard in the house she had shared with Matthew, probably because he was tone-deaf and all music was noise to his ears. Matthew was Spartan by nature, not to say downright mean in every sense of that word and so when all 6 of his boys left and then finally his wife, it might have dawned on his Spartan consciousness that he could have been doing something wrong. If that thought had ever occurred to him he hadn’t shared it.
Andy, his remaining son, had been homeschooled by Malackey Gropius, a defrocked priest who suffered from shellshock, drink and an inclination to rant about what he called “The Big Picture”. The big picture as Gropius saw it was a too great dependence on God with whom, he averred, we were never likely to meet. “God is an artifact designed by mankind to lead us onward and up to our completion.” The Bishops did not take his remarks kindly and so he lost his frock. He taught Andy well in all the school subjects and he also gave him Banjo lessons designed to prevent undue masturbation. "Almost the same hand movement for a different kind of music," he told Andy, who nevertheless continued his daily parallel practice in both these disciplines, in spite of the danger of hellfire. Andy never became a great banjo player, he was proficient but he played without glamour. Apparently all of his glamour was used up with the ladies who doted upon him, especially buxom redheads who had left or lost their husbands.
Andy did not stay long with his father because pretty soon he was off on another posting where he met another likely redhead and they would live together until he was moved yet again and the next redhead would come within his compass. So his life on gone on but now at last he was going to Chair Island, the posting of his dreams. He had read a history of the Island and the opening sentence had opened his mind to this magical place. It went:
In the beginning was the Shadowland, which lay under the stony gaze of Dorca, whose grinning muzzle and glaring gaze penetrated into all parts of the Shadowland. The people of that time lived high in the trees because the first descendants of Dorca roamed the land and woe betide the man, woman or child, caught by them. Great mouths would yawn teeth would flash and there would be a rending and gnashing at such a toothy morsel was consumed. But gradually, as men got wiser they learnt how to make Spears and slings and after a while bows and arrows. They fought with the Savage Dorcans and managed to repulse them not once, but many times. Later, the people of the shadows tilled the parts of the land that was free of trees and made wooden fences around their habitations to keep out the Dorcans, who never gave up the fight although steadily in retreat. Finally it Dorcans also known as An Mada were defeated and driven into the valley of the twin spires where they were fenced in and left to die. But the Mada found a cave which led them down into the bowels of the earth and there they could survive, because they found other exits from whence they would sortie into the shaded land and carry off a woman or a child left alone. But by and large the people of the shadows kept control over the lands and they called themselves Mac an Mhadaidh which means Sons of the Dog. These simple people lived under the shadow of Dorca in the land of the flowering furze and they all lived happily together for many years, honoring the stately trees which had always been their protectors in bygone times.
He had never been to Chair Island though it was near enough for him to have gone there whenever he had time off, but Andy was one of those people who never believed in spending money. Andy always wore his uniform or a version of it, even when off duty. Then he would leave off the tunic and wear one of the many sweaters his ladies had knitted for him. He might wear one of the hats he had acquired during the course of his duties, though this entailed the use of a lot of Newspaper to pad the insides, for Andy was known to have the smallest head ever seen on a policeman. He was known as Pinhead throughout the force. Finally, he got to the point on the Gorney Blade where it changed direction. Instead of heading due west as it had been, now the road headed northwest.
It was at this point that the traveler could get his first clear look at Chair Island and a scary time that was for some folk. Those who had perhaps a religious belief coupled with a dickey heart. Many people on seeing that dreadful image didn't go any further as living passengers. They died of heart attacks, brain seizures and whatever you were having yourself. Of course, Andy did not suffer any more than a mild frisson at the sight of the giant devil's head leering smugly at him across the drunken graveyard mountains of the island. It was a chaos of stone clad in an iridescent mantle of colorful trees. But these were trees such as you would find nowhere else in Ireland. Probably, nowhere else in the world was there such a collection; maple, oak, spruce, birch, Palo Verde, sequoias, redwood, lemon trees, Palm trees, apple and cherry trees, alder and many more that he could not put a name on. It was a riot of color and a sight for sore eyes. But Andy, who had lots of inside information, knew that the Devil's head was only a stone formation and his real test would be when he met his superior, the infamous sergeant Opus Day, a religious maniac, or to give him his real name and rank. Sergeant O'Day, the man who ran the police force in Bridgetown and all of Chair Island. But forewarned is forearmed and Andy had got the lowdown on how to appear before the Sainted sergeant. He had been told that to get on O'Day's good side he should be wearing a scapular, not just any scapular, but the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Then he had to have a missal in his left breast pocket, well-thumbed and finally a set of good rosary beads. Luckily Andy had had the foresight to acquire these very objects from the bedside of an old lady who had died during a break-in to her house and since she no longer had any use for them he had taken them away. Sergeant O'Day would not frighten Andy Buggy with the threat of a trip to the Cavan Border.
Everything went as planned for Andy Buggy. A tall man himself, he didn't mind being towered over by a superior officer. Sergeant O'Day was 6 foot 6 inches tall, the second biggest man in Chair Island. He must have weighed the better part of 400 pounds, but he carried it well. A stertorous breather, the sergeant gabbled in a light tenor voice that was almost a falsetto and then drew air in quickly for his next remark. It made for a disjointed conversation, but the sergeant was more into telling than listening. His big brown orbs roamed all over Andy Buggy's figure noting his extreme tidiness and the way his uniform was impeccably clean and well pressed. The Guards in his barracks tended to slovenliness except in matters of religion, where they had no choice.
"I think now,” he fluted, “that you should go out to the country for us Buggy and look after them bucolic’s that does be up all sorts and shapes of divilment. The lasht man I sent to Knuckle, that's the name of the place where we keeps a small housheen of a barracks, he went missing, so he did five weeks ago. Aye! That's right him and his Rudge bicycle, a great man for the pedals, so he was, out and about in all weathers and a fine big fella, almost up to my ear. Lemass. That was his name and him down from Cavan for they say his nerves were gone, what with all the violence that does go on up around the border. I gev a fortnight searching for him, out with dogs and men but never a sight nor a hair of him was found and we had to get another set of keys med for the barracks."
The sergeant stopped here for breath and his eyes, vacant brown pools of puzzlement still resting on Andy standing in a kind of deferential parade rest, hoping the interview was going well. The religious artifacts had been well received and it only remained for him to be told what his duty was to be.
"So then," the sergeant suddenly shrieked, “Go you down to the office and see sergeant Pearse and he will give over the keys of the small barracks in Knuckle and he'll say a few words to you about the place and what to do there. Watch out for yourself that we don't have to go getting another set of keys med.” So Andy Buggy shortly, after a few terse words from Sergeant Pearse motored out to Knuckle over very bad roads but in fine form,
He found the barracks sandwiched between the post office and a private house. It smelt of mice and the kitchen was dirty so Andy decided to eat out and no better place than the pub across the road. The name over the pub door was HOLY BROWN. It had a thatched roof, mullioned windows and a half door through which Andy made his way into a low-ceilinged bar. It looked, to Andy's uneducated eye, like a real Tudor bar and was complete with whitewashed walls and brass trinkets adorning them along with the usual pub notices of coming events.
The bar appeared to be empty both in front and behind the bar, but then a furtive movement caught his gimlet eye and on closer inspection he spied a man's head, chin just level with bar counter. He put his two hands on the bar top and looked down over the beer pumps at the head. It smiled back up at him out of an oafish face lit by blue cunning eyes.
"Hello then! Great weather?" the head said. “Did 'oo see any rain?" The eyes narrowed nervously, "We don't want no rain."
"What's for dinner to-day? I'm fair famished with the hunger."
The head roared "Eileen!! Come out, come out.” A door opened at the end of the interior bar and a dark haired blousy woman came out. She looked at Andy out of eyes that resembled steel ball bearings, incapable of expression.
"What do the Guard want?" she asked the Head.
"He wants atin' is what he want, give him some of that wild salmon that jumped up on the quay and some of them lovely pertaters with some greens, Aye and mek him a pot of strong tay that’ll remind him of God and his holy saints."
"You must be Holy Brown?" Andy asked the head.
It moved deftly silently down the bar as if on wheels and it came to Andy in a flash that ithad no legs. It was a head, torso and two long arms. "That was me grandfather long gone."
"Why was he called Holy Brown?" Andy couldn't help but ask.
"He preached at the bar. Thought he was in a pulpit, so he did. But it didn't make us rich."
"What did make ye rich?"
"What rich?" The head looked shocked. "Poor we are, like mice in a church and yeh don't get fat ating communion wafers."
"What about your father?”
"Slow Brown?" The head shook slowly, ponderously. "Not a man to make money, he made Sloe gin the most of his life and he sold it but mostly he drank it and he died young and I was born without legs and I has to sit here talking and listening to every gomerune that has the price of a drink." The Head uttered a deep sigh and zoomed down along the bar to attend to some detail, more or less indicating that the conversation was over. Left to his own devices Andy directed his attention to the view in the large gable window at the end of the bar, it was a fine picture of Chair Mountain which, from this vantage did not show the Devil's head but an empty throne. His trained eye travelled across the waters of Knuckle Harbor to the village on the other side that he knew was Nail and it was plain to be seen why it had that name. There was a huge rock, slate-colored sloping down into the water like a huge slate colored jetty and the sun shining on its wet surface gave it the appearance of a nail. Then his gaze followed on up to the towering rocks that guarded the portals of The Devil's Parlor. He knew that he would be required to visit the village whose white walls could barely be seen, blocked as they were even from the morning sun's rays by other mountains. He was looking at "Ait na Madra. " Better known in the English version, as Oughtnamadra. He looked at the road crossing the beach on the inner shore of Knuckle Harbor, it was mired with brown sand and clay from the dunes behind it.
"You'll find no welcome up there boyeen," it was Eileen of the ball bearing eyes, standing behind him with his dinner in her hand. She put it down on a table and asked what he would drink?
"Tay," he replied. " A nice big mug of it, with milk and sugar.
"Yeh will need more than that if you go up there next Tuesday" she replied with a grim pucker that might have been her version of a smile.
That was his first day in Chair Island.
Something unfortunate happened to Jake Thudd over in America. Jake Thudd had lived in Maine all his life but his parents were both Irish who had immigrated to the new world when they were young. They had done well and Jake Thudd their only child, had done even better, through the buying and selling of real estate, houses, factories and that sort of thing. Jake was a millionaire now several times over and at 52 had just managed to divest himself of his hated wife Eileen and his many kids. When it came to money, Jake was a wise old owl and he was in the position of being able to have his cake and eat it but like a lot of men who had made money, he never believed that he had any. The company he had built up through the years employed him now as manager though God knows he didn't need the salary. He was down on the books as MD, which more or less meant he could come in to work or take the day off if he felt like it.
Jake was a tall lanky guy with ratty features, which he decorated with a small Van dyke beard, both to hide his lack of chin and to conceal the unconcealable – his incorrigible rattyness. His worst feature was his long nose with the fat bulb on the end which went red when be lost his cool. But then his mean little gray eyes didn't help the picture either and his friends all called him Ratty so be might just as well have gone with the flow, shaved off the ridiculous beard and lived up to his nature.
But Jake felt the need to be loved. Not sexually, he'd tried that and all it got him was six awful kids, a hated wife and a drain on his purse. No, what Jake liked was the hearty companionship of men and that's what be spent his life cultivating.
Colonel Clayton Sauthor had been the lieutenant in charge of their troop when they'd gone out to Korea in 1949. They'd all been young then and Clayton Sauthor had turned them into one of the toughest commando units in the American Army of the time. Sauthor was a tough young man with a death wish who'd spent his life up until the Korean War arrived trying to kill himself by doing the seemingly impossible. He climbed mountains alone, lived off the land, trekked through the Matto Grosso in Brazil, canoed down the Amazon and so on.
Trained by Clayton Sauthor, Thudd and about 20 others learned to trek long distances, live off the land and kill silently. Now it must be said that Jake Thudd didn't really measure up to the stringent standards required by this group except in one regard. He could move like a wraith and read sign. That sounds like two things but they went hand in hand and they saved Jake's skinny little neck and those of his troop many, many times. The idea was that Sauthor's Angels' as they called themselves, after the hammy adolescent fashion of American Army Units, were supposed to steal in behind the enemy lines and take out, without commotion the operators of an artillery unit, a staff unit, or whatever the General Staff felt like removing on that particular day.
They did very well, amazingly well at first and without casualties until it was discovered, more or less by accident that, owing to a technical map-reading error, which could be blamed on no specific body, except HQ; that they had been, all this time raiding on friendly troops, none other than the Republic of Korea troops (R. O. K. ).
They didn't let this bother them for they were racists to a man and felt that one dead gook was just as good as another – “an' hell,” laughed Sauthor, - “it's all good practice.”
Things got a bit tougher after that. It turned out there was a difference between gooks after all and that difference turned out to be a matter of life and death. Sauthor's Angels were soon passing on to real angel status at a rate which was not strictly appreciated by that small and happy band.
By the time they were mustered out, Sauthor's Angels numbered no more than thirty live Angels and some of them were short an arm or a leg or a sanity. Certainly in the light of later decisions made by him it does seem as if Col. Sauthor had himself, blown a few inner fuses. When his father Augustus Henry Sauthor passed on, leaving Clayton as sole owner and M. D. of New Life Chemical Corp. with assets in the high billions, he took on the Job and made the company prosper. But it wasn't enough for him to run a huge company that had a turnover of Billions. He was bored he needed actual physical danger of an illicit nature in his life. So not too many years after they had all tried to sink back into civilian life, the Colonel came back to them again.
"How would they like," he asked, "to become members of Sauthor's Angels again but this time they would operate on the q.v.?" Sauthor's idea was that they would pick on some figure, someone who was getting too big for his britches, some liberal politician creep or maybe a Negro religious leader creep, or a Red Indian. Hell, it didn't really matter the world was their oyster and they could have some fun offing a few liberals. They could travel abroad as a party of this or that. He asked for ideas from the floor.
'Maine society of Free Clerics,' shouted Jake.
'I like that.' Sauthor agreed.
'Rashers of the Ash,' offered Big Bill Trollope.
'The Dolphin Friendly Society,' said Melford Cooke.
'Runners of the Bull,' called Chuck Aalkton.
There were no shortage of suggestions and it was plain that the guys had the idea. So they quickly proposed and seconded Clayton Sauthor as Archangel and voted that they should never be more than ten killers, from the point of view of security; but that they would have a larger group of non-contributing (meaning no share in the action) members to act as camouflage.
It made Jake Thudd feel real good to be one of the guys again. Jake Thudd was a pretty smart cookie, good at checking out a situation, nobody’s fool; except in one respect. The guys he thought of as his buddies weren’t. They tolerated him and made use of him, hell, they even did favors for him, but in their company he was strictly a second-hand guy, too spindly and chicken livered to be a real man. But even so, pretty soon he was entertaining the guys he considered to be his buddies in the glassed in patio at the back of his house in Walnut Grove or even out in the yard when the sun was high. They had some real good times together there whooping it up, and then Dominic Binchy, a relative from the old country came to Jake looking for a job.
This Binchy didn't look anything like an Irishman, an Italian maybe or a Spaniard, but Irish definitely not. He was tall and sparse with lots of black hair and a deep authoritative voice. He dressed well in dark suits with good clothes sense, so Jake started him off in the office taking customers around showing them the real estate. It was amazing how quickly this took off for Binchy, maybe it was his Irish accent, maybe it was his Mediterranean good looks, it could have been sheer good luck that the market picked up right then, but it wasn't too long before Dominic Binchy was getting to be someone to look out for in Thudd Realty Inc. Jake didn't know whether to be pleased for the guy or jealous. Never had he seen properties go so quickly, certainly he'd never, even in his best moments equaled Binchy's record. He took to inviting him along to the house in the evenings to meet the guys. Binchy came along to the sessions for a while but somehow he didn’t gel with the guys and even Jake found him hard to take.
There was that something indefinable about his manner, a disagreeable sensation of having a very thin blade into your zone of irritation and he didn’t last with the sessions though he continued in the job with great success.
The entrance fee was a case of beer. Usually you'd find Milford Cooke; the morbidly obese local police chief, and Big Bill Trollope who owned the boat yard where they built world-class yachts for world-class millionaires. Then maybe Crawford Engelhardt, who owned three law firms, two of them in Boston, would turn up and now and then, one or both of them surly Churley's would grumble in for a while. They were as near as dammit twins, although Gifford was said to be older than Milman. It didn't matter much, you could always tell them apart because Gifford wore dark clothes and had a scar down his nose where some brave felon had tried to mug him. The mugger was either brave or demented because Gifford, like his brother was a man mountain nearly as big as Bill Trollope who was bigger than God, and twice as ugly with a mean temperament that made a rhino seem positively friendly. A few of the others came now and then, but these were the regulars.
When Clayton Sauthor inherited New Life Chemicals, he immediately set about getting rid of all the colored staff employed by them on the basis that they were unreliable. But a meeting with his German executive swiftly cured him of this idea. The German whose name was Karl Koch pointed out to Sauthor that he was making the same fundamental mistake that Hitler had made by gassing the Jews.
'It is a painful thing, that we have to admit but it nevertheless true that if Der Fuhrer had mobilized the Jews, given them good jobs and kept them in the positions they already had, or even promoted them. Then the Third Reich would have lasted for a thousand years or forever.
Col Sauthor could hardly believe what he was hearing from the Chief Executive of his German holdings.
- 'Are you tryin' to tell me that they are - - -,'he could hardly muster the phrase,'- as good as us!?'
'Koch nodded sadly. - 'That is exactly vot I am sayink. The Negro, from whom we are descended, is or has the potential to be as good as and better than us. The Jew by virtue of his training from childhood on is better already, if they were to discard some of the more noticeable elements of their religion they would quickly become a master race. It is all there to be seen my friend, and of course, it has been seen for hundreds of years. We keep them down from fear of their potential and for no other reason.'
This was something Clayton Sauthor could not digest all in one go. But his deep respect for Karl Koch sent him to check the facts out for himself and over a number of investigations, they were borne out. In all sorts of tests it was proved that given equal footing there was absolutely no difference between white, black, yellow, brown and red races. Given the same opportunities they were all equal in potential. And then the age of political correctness dawned brought on by one of the most downtrodden of human groupings, women. Suddenly it was impossible to fire a black man without having a damn good reason and women were looking for equal wages and breaking down glass ceilings.
The courts were full of cases where white lawyers who didn't care where their money came from; freely represented people from all walks of life and of every creed and color and won some amazing decisions. The bell was tolling for equality and Clayton Sauthor heard it loud and clear.
When New Life opened its clean plastic factory near Kingstown in Maine, Sauthor took the amazing step as head honcho to employ a black man as head chemist. He didn't tell his colleagues amongst the 'Angels' of his decision since, strictly speaking, it was none of their business. As it turned out this was a pity, as it would have saved both them and Washington R. Revels a lot of trouble. Wash Revels as he was familiarly known to his friends was not only a genius and a polymath; be was also an extremely handsome man by any standards. His skin was that deep black that shines out blue and translucent. His hair was thick and curly, he stood six foot three inches tall and he was a champion swimmer of the 1500 meters. When he appeared at the door of Jake’s rental house late one evening, looking to rent or buy a house, with his beautiful wife Laura on his arm and a top of the range BMW gleaming sleekly behind them at the curb, Jake hardly knew what to say. He knew what he wanted to say but he was alone in the house at the time and he felt more than a bit daunted by the big man's personality and obvious savoir faire. So he lied, he told him that he didn't have any time available at that moment but if they could call back say about eight o'clock they would be able to view. So Wash Revels and his beautiful wife drove off to waste a couple of hours. While Jake got on the blower to his cronies and filled them in on what had occurred?
There was an immediate scramble amongst the Angels and in no time at all Melford Cooke, Engelhardt the lawyer and Trollope the boat builder had congregated at Jake Thudd's house to decide what to do. It didn't take too long. Jake had a large container of molasses, about 5 liters' worth and Melford Cooke the cop came up with the fun idea of bursting a feather pillow into it plus more water, then more feathers. Jake lost three feather down pillows that evening. Then when they had the mixture just right, they opened the front door of no 12A Walnut and balanced the plastic container just so. Jake then had the idea that he would photograph the action so be set up his Hasselblad, fixed a remote lead and hid himself along with the others somewhere around the front hall. As a final touch Melford the cop switched a radio onto some talk station and set the sound low.
They were ready to roll.
Sharp on 8 pm the dusky couple pulled up to 12A in their red BMW got themselves out and walked arm in arm up the short drive. They hesitated when they reached the front door. It was open but dark in the hallway compared with the outside light. They knocked and waited, knocked again, waited and then called Hello! Hello, in through the door. They could bear the voices just about, of the radio playing in a back room. Wash knocked again and shouted hello and getting the same reaction pushed the door and stepped in and splash, down on their heads came the sticky clinging black mixture of watered molasses and then while they were dealing with that Cooke steps up close with a bag of feathers and empties the lot over their beads.
The flash had gone off, the picture was taken and now the perpetrators went out the back door and scampered across the back yards dividing them from Ron's yard where they broke out some drinks and made like they'd been there all evening.
All hell was let loose. Washington R. Revels was no man to be trifled with and after they'd cleaned themselves up enough to drive. They went back to their motel and phoned Clayton Sauthor. When he got through Washington told the Colonel what had befallen him and demanded satisfaction. He'd had a mean trick played on him and be wanted blood. Moreover, if blood wasn't forthcoming be would cause such a stink that New Life Chemicals Incorporated would pretty soon need a massive transfusion.
Sauthor was livid, he pacified the chemist as best he could over the phone and promised to get to the bottom of it, although he already knew in his heart just who had been concerned.
As it happened he owned a property not too far from Blunden Woods, which was his also. It was a large gothic wooden dwelling painted sparkling white, where he now and then installed favored customers for a few days or weeks. It was called Cornelia House for no particular reason and Sauthor realized that he would have to sacrifice this house to Washington R. Revel unless he wanted to lose Revel's services and get himself into one helluva big scandal.
That night he spent some time on the phone and later on four very chastened Angels called to his house, which they left, after a while, practically crawling along the ground.
The Colonel hadn't minced his words, he told them just exactly what they had done and what trouble they had got him into and he pointed out that it was one of the rules of Sauthor's Angels that they did not operate on home ground in any capacity, nor did they act without informing the other Angels and particularly the Archangel.
When they got back to Jake's house that night they were four very damp Angels indeed.
Of course Sauthor cleared everything up with Washington Revels. He explained that it had been a harmless jape, but in bad taste and that he had taken steps to punish the offenders. Then he showed Washington R. Revels Cornelia House and told them it was rent free. One look at Laura Revels beaming face told him that everything was going to be OK.
Everything was OK! But that Dominic Binchy got to hear what happened.
The whole episode had taken place in June 1984.