All Things Mysterious Volume Forty
Harold Who's Revenge Part Two
Avery looked incredulously at the plank, then back at Harold Who.
‘Are you nuts? I’m not walking on that thing, and neither is anyone else!’
He looked over at Ms. Slidell. ‘At least you’re dressed for it.’ Avery turned back to Harold Who. ‘Why don’t you have her go first, then we can see what we’re getting into.’
Harold Who guffawed. ‘You’ll be getting into Davy Jones’ locker!’
Missy What said, ‘Davy Jones? Who is Davy Jones?’
Harold Who was instantly at her side. ‘Don’t worry, fair one, I’ll protect you from these scurvy knaves!’
Missy What said, ‘Scurvy?’
Brand was getting mad. How often did he get a chance for a leisurely boat ride on a nice warm day? ‘Listen, buster, I don’t know about these other folks, but I’m not a scurvy anything and I’m staying right here!’
Harold Who pointed the spear gun at Brand’s midriff. ‘What did you say?’
Brand caved. ‘I don’t remember.’
Smug, Harold Who next turned his attention to Ms. Slidell, who was standing apart from the rest of the group and still looking good in her wetsuit. He walked right up to her, intent upon keeping eye contact with her eyes and nowhere else. Still brandishing the spear gun, he said, ‘You’re dressed for it, baby doll, why don’t you go over the side and look for that pirate’s treasure? Maybe you can even make sure none of our plank-walkers swim away!’ And Harold Who guffawed again, which was a noise somewhere in between a motor with a leaky valve and a braying donkey. Ms. Slidell glared daggers at Harold Who before she said, ‘I’m not your baby doll! Why don’t you get your little tour guide to look for your treasure, you fat yutz!’
At this, Costello and Avery couldn’t help laughing. The situation was absurd in the extreme, and both detectives were convinced that Harold Who did not have the guts to fire off a spear at anyone. Indeed, the youth had a lot of guts, but only the physical variety. He didn’t know how to handle the open defiance of Ms. Slidell, and seeing this, Avery and Costello used their secret signal, honed over many years of danger situations, and separated, each moving to one side of Harold Who.
The fat yutz’s voice was getting downright whiny. ‘You promised to dive for the treasure. You promised! Now get over the side, and hold the plank up while you’re at it!’
‘Nuts to you! Why don’t you do it yourself? You sure won’t sink!’
And Missy What said, ‘Yeah!’
Incredibly, Brand was falling asleep in the hot sun. It seems that eleven beers outweighed having a spear gun pointed at you. Shaking himself awake, he realized he’d better get some food in him, and soon. He sauntered over to the cooler with a insouciance he didn’t feel, and peered at the contents. The Old Salt handed him a banana and Brand stuffed it into his mouth whole, leaving only the peel on the deck.
Missy What tried to reason with Harold Who. ‘Why don’t you just tell the Coast Guard about the map you found and they will look for the treasure?’
‘And lose my share to those crooks? Never!’
Costello gave it a try. ‘You’ve got some opinion of the Coast Guard, Harold Who! You know one person won’t find anything at this depth. Give me the spear gun and let’s head to shore, what do you say?’
Harold Who was backed against the gunwale. He brandished the spear gun and cried, ‘Everybody back off! Stay where you are!’
Costello: ‘So which is it? Should we back off or stay where we are?’
Avery: ‘Make up your mind, Harold Who? Should we stay or should we go?’
As the detectives approached from either direction, Harold Who panicked and the spear gun went off, whistling past Ms. Slidell’s ear before disappearing beneath the waves. For some reason, cheating death by inches infuriated Ms. Slidell, and she ran to Harold Who as fast as her swim fins would allow, and head-butted him in his ample belly. He fell over backwards, as Costello raced in to grab the spear gun before he could reload it and harpoon someone. Missy What and the Old Salt ran back up to the bridge and started the engine. Avery grabbed Harold Who and hauled him to his feet, as Ms. Slidell kicked Harold Who in the shins. Brand was still hungry and looked for a sandwich but found the Old Salt sitting on the cooler, laughing.
But Harold Who sweated a lot, since he was fat, and he slipped from Avery’s grasp and started to run. Since they were on a boat, there wasn’t much room to run and he found himself running in circles. He backed into the ladder to the bridge and grabbed the fire extinguisher from the rack beneath.
‘Don’t make me extinguish you!’ he screamed.
Avery heaved a sigh. ‘Harold Who, why are you doing this? Come along quietly, why don’t you?’
‘Never!’ As Costello and Avery approached him, Harold Who’s eyes darted around wildly. He broke past them and ran to the stern of the boat, but slipped on one of Brand’s discarded banana peels and over the side he went! Since round people are buoyant, no one was particularly concerned that Harold Who would drown, but, strangely, there was no sign of him bobbing on the waves. Ms. Slidell even grudgingly went into the drink in her wetsuit to look, but there was no sign of the teenaged expert on everything. When would Harold Who bounce back to exact revenge on Costello, Avery, and even Brand, not to mention Ms. Slidell and Missy What? Only time will tell…...
Going on a pleasure cruise this summer? Watch your back! And learn to swim!
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