Message-ID: <thomas.944166988@bubba>
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: FTSD (Belated): 2.
From: (Rollin Thomas)
Lines: 73
Date: 2 Dec 99 20:36:28 GMT
X-Trace: 944167008 (Thu, 02 Dec 1999 14:36:48 CST)
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 14:36:48 CST
Organization: The University of Oklahoma

Deep in the snows of winter while the coyotes frequently made their 
presence known through fresh pawprints in the powder, while the 
telegraph line was down and mail service interrupted, the days of the 
whores consisted of torpid waiting.  The occasional traveller would 
appear at their door, receive service and move on while the ladies lived 
off rations, collecting firewood only in full daylight, and always in 
groups with sadly improvised weaponry.

In these deep winter days, a sphinxian gentleman with a snow-white beard 
and thick, manicured eyebrows concealing a dubious countenance knocked 
on the door of the hotel, a Professor Xerxes at their service, 
purveyor of cures and medicines, communicator with the afterlife and 
champion of prestidigitation (et cetera, et cetera.)  Seeking brief 
respite on his way from California on the back of a nameless black 
horse, Professor Xerxes had underestimated the snowfall at these higher 
elevations and thus decided to wait out the winter months in the company 
of these fair maidens.  During his stay he never approached the 
prostitutes for their expertise in the carnal arts.  In fact it was the 
prostitutes which sought his services in the form of magical 
entertainment, who partook of his fiery tonics and enigmatic lotions, 
who enjoyed his fortnightly seances (et cetera, et cetera.)

It was during one of these seances (in particular one executed to rouse 
the wandering spirit of one Edgar Allan Poe) that a coyote snatched 
up a wayward kitten from the porch.  As Professor Xerxes asked the 
spirit of Poe to identify itself, the kitten let out a mind-cracking 
death screech that momentarily startled even the stony professor 
himself.  Immediately aware of the situation, the protitutes looked at 
one another as though guarding some more fearsome secret than their 
latent suspicions that Xerxes was merely a delightful charlatan.

Upon discerning the trail of blood in the snow, Professor Xerxes inquired 
about the coyote matter and was informed, including the brief hunt that 
ended in the deaths of several prostitutes as retribution.  After several 
long moments of seemingly inappropriate and pensive silence on his part 
(for the prostitutes could never suspect what he proposed next) the 
professor stroked his beard and began to make a suggestion in his 
typical equivocating manner.

Now while it is true that only one poor Javanese girl was taken by the 
coyotes during late night relief, the prostitutes chose to exaggerate 
the incident.  Perhaps they sought to emphasize to the professor the 
perpetual hazard of frontier life, for such embellishment seemed to 
impress him.  Perhaps they truly believed that more of their number had 
fallen victim to these wild beasts and they were simply mistaken.  
Perhaps each of them remembered a different girl.  Despite the somewhat 
outlandish exaggeration on their part, the professor remained credulous.

The professor suggested to Madam that, in exchange for assurance that 
none of them would die and for a share of the coyotes' rabbit kill,
the prostitutes would sacrifice some cats to the coyotes per winter
month.  Unable to believe that he could broker such an agreement with 
the wild forest creatures and shocked at his suggestion that the cats 
be given in exchange, the trollops stared at him in silence.

Incredulous, Madam asked him why the coyotes had need of cats if they 
could kill jackrabbits and the like anyway.  Professor Xerxes stared at
the waning embers of the evening's fire in the stove and informed her that 
the way of the coyote was a foreign one, and that he himself could not 
understand the peculiarities of their hunger.  Perhaps in jest but 
perhaps with utmost sincerity he suggested that it was simply a matter
of the palate.

Without the permission of Madam, Professor Xerxes wandered to the edge 
of the woods that night and the deal was made.  The next morning, a 
freshly killed rabbit lay at the door of the hotel.  Professor Xerxes, 
guest of honor at the hall of delight, entertainer through illusion and 
suspense, host of possibly effective seances and incalculable 
prevaricator (et cetera, et cetera) had departed on his dark, black
horse for Texas.
  Rollin C. Thomas - -
               "Good job, You.  Now back to work."