Academies

Oh My America! My Newfoundland!

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The reader will have the goodness to imagine the delicate frisson of the hunt, hunting is not a novel occupation by any means, no, this traditional practice has existed for centuries. It is depicted upon the interiors of the caves in which Neanderthal man is said to have dwelt, it is a part of the Native Indian’s intiation into manhood. To position one’s self in close proximity to one’s prey and from a very specific and precise vantage point. To observe one’s prey gently cantering to a spot nearby, to watch it  stop and ponder, to see a troubled look cross it’s brow. More extraordinary still, to watch as it cocks-a-swagger and struts abroad, parading the length and breadth of the docks with it’s red headed doxy! It takes a fastidious disposition to restrain any sudden impulse to throw one’s target to the ground, to take one’s game captive. To wait. To observe,then to move in steadily and with immediate effect and success, such was the inclination of the man Geraghty and such was his practice.

“Well and if it isn’t my Lord Grid-Iron! Gone to ground in a flop-house by the sea! And with his little red headed moxy too!” The men surrounding Seamus Geraghty laughed at that, their tanned and weathered visages crinkling with mirth at his humour. When Tobias tried to join in the joke all fell silent, their faces becoming mirthless and grim, their eyes ablaze with something that felt a bit like hate, except that Lord Grid-Iron had difficulty defining it quite so precisely. From his birth he’d known that there were those who would envy him his position in life and hate him for it, but he’d always managed to keep those people at arms length. “It’s Seamus isn’t it?” Tobias smiled tremulously, ” Seamus Geraghty? Mary Geraghty’s lad? How is Mary by the way?”

“Starved to death along with my Da, Mr Geraghty, her husband” Tobias Grid-Iron scratched his head, he glanced at the four burly men surrounding him, he gulped as they glared back at him “Oh” he spluttered, “I am sorry” Seamus Geraghty looked him up and down before giving his men a curt nod, “Into the carpet bag with him before I change me mind” Tobias screamed, he struggled, he bit, he swore and all to know avail. Flailing around like a done to death piece of Haddock,he was slung head first into the oversized carpet bag whose clasp was then firmly padlocked. Thrust into that cramped and stuffy cocoon of fabric he started to panic and then passed out. Just as well, for at the instant he was so imprisoned, the door to his lodgings were flung open and in piled three sabre wielding Indian Fakirs. Astonished by the dramatic entree of the three Indians the Molly Maguires retreated from the carpet bag which they had been about to boot and stomp upon.

The eldest of the Indian Fakirs lowered his sword and affected to bow deeply before the Molly Maguires, “You will please forgive us Sahib for stealing that which you have so recently acquired, our need is greater than yours” catching hold of the carpet bag he tugged it towards the door, “Says who?!” roared Geraghty, his face flushed a deep crimson, “Where it not for that Gombeen my Da and Ma would be alive still! Gabriel O’Hara would not be enslaved in the mines, he’d be working his own lands! And Cathy O’Houlihan’s brother would be alive still! Instead they hung him for preventing his family from being evicted! All the men that stand here alongside me, they and their families have suffered for the sake of that baggage! We want justice and we’ll not give it up!” he tugged the carpet bag back into the room.

Navendra Patel sighed, this whole business had become so very tiresome, that Lord Grid-Iron was a terrible man with a terrible reputation was a fact beyond disputing. Indeed so terrible was his reputation that one had to fight one’s way through the many just men who wanted to acquire him, in order to ensure that he faced…justice. “We too wish for retribution, we are the three Brahmin of the Banashankari Temple, he stole an artefact from our temple, this with the help of an associate we have retrieved. But it is our earnest desire that this devil, one of many who participated in the wholesale slaughter of the people of Jhansi, should face divine retribution!”

“We’ve no argument with ya there! If we cart this to the America’s he’ll be judged and hanged nice and swift, the best kind of divine retribution there is!!” the Fakir sighed, “That is almost what we had in mind but not quite, we had hoped to have him brought before the village elders in Jansi and then poisoned”

“Ye don’t happen to know Father Fitzpatrick d’yeah?” Navendra’s face lit up at the mention of the name, for everybody in Jhansi knew the name of the good father, if it were the same man. “The holy father I knew rescued many a wounded and starving villager from the hands of the Imperialist forces, may Krishna curse and ravage them!” Seamus nodded, “That’ll be the good father, forever sticking his nose in where the British didn’t want it! We’ll take this gift” he kicked at the carpet bag inside of which Lord Grid-Iron let out a hale and hearty shriek, “To the good father, he’ll know what we should do with it” the three Fakirs nodded earnestly in agreement but the eldest coughed politely and raised a slender wizened hand,

“May I ask why it is that you refer to Lord Tobias Grid-Iron as it?”

Seamus snorted, “What else d’ye call a man that treats other human beings as if their needs were of no consequence next to his own? To treat those you were called to serve as if they were little more than upright walking beasts. Why, such a man is a man no longer, he has become a beast himself!”

And so dear reader, we observe the first ever Indian-Irish treaty in action, a mutually agreed and agreeable determination to decide Lord Grid-Iron’s fate over tea and biscuits at Father Fitzpatrick’s asylum, prior to carting him off to America or if the fates decree India. And so these men of justice joined arms to haul the carpet bag and its contents down the stairs, out of the front door and round the corner to an alleyway where a horse and cart had been stationed, ready to cart Lord Grid Iron and his pursuers away. Night has not yet fallen dear reader, but there is a splendiforous sunset on the horizon and it is towards this that our vigilantes cheerily ride.

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