CHAPTER TWENTY TWO: A WHOLE RAFT OF ADVENTURE (PART ONE)
I put an ad in the Aigeanta Crier seeking help in chasing the British and their fellow contrivers – and indeed help came from far and wide, including from my pack of Boy Cub Scrouts. The kinds of anti British sentiment rife at the time meant that if people had seen an image of a Brithisher, they would’ve happily shaken their fist at it while grunting. Today, such images are frequently found on Page Three of a certain British tabbly.
Anyyyyyway, the 37th Boy Scout Brigade, my former half-shtarved Runt Pack, volunteered its services, and fifty boys accepted the call to hunt the British. Old Man Phelps and Uncle Gunka arrived and offered their services. Even Mad Leopold Cassidy showed up to wish me all the best, returning to me the gold banshee comb, with which I had presented him some sixty years later to get back to the Twenties.
Hundreds of people set to building makeshift rafts which they intended to take down the River Shandy chasing the British and those Irishmen in league with them. Old Man Phelps and I, now both of the same age after Old Man had had spells reversed on him that had caused his Premature Geriatric Disorder, were accustomed to working together, so we built a raft.
John Fisherman-O’Reilly, Sean Tubridy-O’Reilly (related by marriage), Tancred Moorphy M’Nally and Fletch Curtis built themselves a craft in record time and were the first British hunters* to set off downriver.
*When I say they were British hunters what I mean is that they were hunting British soldiers. I mean a fox hunter isn’t a fox, is he? So don’t be silly. In the final analysis, all of our wounds had healed after our recent squirmish with Floudh Rak the Weatherlock, so I granted them permission to embark on their adventure in pursuit of him, telling them I’d follow with Old Man Phelps.
The 37th Brigade built a massive raft to fit all of their boys on it. Their troop leader was Eugene Mitchell D’Arcy, son of Arcy Chapman, and his deputy leaders were Eugene O’Hara and Eugene Timmons. Eugene “Piggy Porkins” Bancroft was the largest child among the group, so he sat in the very middle of the raft to lower its centre of gravity, where he remained for most of the voyage sucking on his little inhaler, which he required on account of his azzzmarrrhhh. At any rate, the scouts launched their vessel a day after John, Sean, Tancred and Fletch had set off, and Old Man Phelps and I left the quay a few hours after that.
Old Man and myself loaded the raft with supplies and raised anchor.
Melanie Tiptoft stood on the bank, pacing in anxiety before we left.
“Don’t get yourself feckin’ killed, Paddy Flanagan!” she instructed. “Nake sure you get a cure for me!” she added, sometimes struggling with her Ms as she did due to the inverted cupping of her mouth that had started in her becoming a damn dirty ape.
Continued in Part 2.