CHAPTER THIRTEEN: THE TROUT OF FIERCE
INTELLIGENCE AND OTHER ADVENTURES (PART FIVE)
Continued from Chapter 13 Part 4.
The following morning, at five minutes to midday, Tancred Moorphy M’Nally was led out of the gaol and into the courtyard of the mayor’s townhouse where hundreds of people had gathered to watch the execution, including a regiment of British soldiers with Colonel Tiptoft at its head.
The executioner, a man in a hood, stood with an axe at the ready while Tancred was placed in the block of the guillotine. The executioner raised his axe on the order of Colonel Tiptoft who held his arm aloft and the executioner awaited the Colonel’s signal to cut the rope that held up the blade. The Colonel’s arm came down and with it came the axe, neatly cleaving the rope apart. The blade swung downwards and the executioner slammed the axe into the side of the guillotine. The blade of the guillotine struck the axehead just inches from Tancred’s neck and I undid the block to release Tancred while at the same time removing the hood from my head. I then drew my Colt 45 from its holster and fired three shots into the British regiment watching the unexpected proceedings.
Colonel Sir Edward Tiptoft pointed at me.
“The executioner is Paddy Flanagan!” he shouted.
“What is the meaning of this attack?!?”
Everyone looked up. A huge pale-skinned Goth of a giant of a man stood on the wall of the courtyard as he ululated the question in a most unhuman manner. He had fangs protruding from his mouth, a large cape flapped behind him, he stood eight foot tall if he was an inch and he was dressed all in black. It was Floudh Rak, and after having eaten the Trout of Fierce Intelligence, I knew how to deal with him. The townspeople and the British officers fell to their knees in front of the evil creature before I pointed my finger at him and incanted the spell that I knew would put a stop to his gallop.
“By Benedict and Swithin
By Martin Bullion and by Godelieve too
Send this warlock injury
Out of the blue!”
Now I realise the rhyme scheme wasn’t the best in the world, or the material, but I’ve been told by those in the know that that’s what real spells are supposed to be like.
No sooner had I finished the incantation than a huge bolt of lightning came out of the sky and struck the weatherlock square in the chest.
He fell from the rampart in shock and landed in the middle of the courtyard. He picked himself up, brushed himself down, and fled, a gaping hole penetrating his chest which no mortal man would have been able to survive if encumbered with such a wound he was.
I turned to the people who had gathered to watch the executions.
“People of Aigeanta!” I roared (Aigeanta being the sometime name of my hometown, changing as it would with a capricious frequency). “I have shown you that the evil Weatherlock can in fact be defeated! Join me in attempting to destroy him and rise up against your true enemy – the ‘I’ll sort that out for ya’, ‘No need for the paperwork’, ‘Sure that'll sort itself out!' attitude of the Irish people!”
There were a couple of seconds of silence, then a roar of agreement went up.
“Retreat!” Tiptoft screamed to his men, and the British regiment, led by the Colonel and followed by Mayor Tully, Jarlath O’Halloran, Bishop O’Brien, and fifty or more fellow dignitaries and conspirators including the pat rafters fled from the courtyard in fright, a number of them being assaulted by the townspeople as they went.
Tiptoft’s henchmen – Big Burper and Little Eaglekins – were beaten so badly that they were knocked unconscious.
It was days before the Brithish retook the village – by which time our band of men had retreated ourselves up and away to a safehouse in the foothills, where we continued to hold Burper and Eaglekins captive.