[This is the beginning of “The Pitch”, which is part of “First Loves”, available on this site for $2.99 (see “Buy the Books”). So, yeah: basically free. The effort is clicking into your Amazon or B&N account, and then taking the time to read it. We’re not saying you should. We’re just saying it’s here if you feel so moved.]
A Note on the Text:
This story is one of several dozen Olden Times IIVa1 (OT IIVa1) Skullvalley After Whistletown Booksellers (SAWB) texts, written with gritty charcoal ink on supple papyrus parchment and preserved in near mint condition by the brittle air of the Relatively Great Desert in what is now The Old West, USA.
Through how many world-cycles these wonderful tales slumbered, resting in oblivion as only decoderless information can! But then suddenly in 1832, for no apparent reason (though most commentators agree some peeved god or goddess must surely have been involved), the rich soft silky-smooth silence was shattered when self-celebrated mountainman Constantine Clement George, while recreationally blasting a mile or so outside the small tumbleweed town of Gull’s Gulch, unearthed three long tunnels burrowed into sandstone cliffs 150 feet above the desert floor. Investigating, George discovered—in chambers decorated with all the antiquated pomp of a pharaoh’s tomb—six slender clay jars stuffed with tightly rolled parchments.
George, a self-described “romantic robin a pecking at the egg forever and evermore”, initially used the priceless archaeological find as a rendezvous for “the more hightided, and of sorts cultured ladies”. But, despite one and all pledging “to herefore in the future not now nor never reveal nor hint upon nor never ever so much as wink coy as respecting the whereabouts of this sacred and holy alcove where the spirit of knowing and the dove of roosting do together combine to one another; and for if I do divulge whatsoever of these exalted hollows or their indubitous inhabitants, I pray that God may in holy and righteous vengeance strike me dead, having first, by especial intervention of the Holy Spirit — which I understand to be, by miraculous divinity, in indubitabilty no other than, but yet also in that same authenticated indubulation other than, God the Father ‘Ol Pops — ripped forthwith out my tongue and eyes, and, in due salutation of my abjection, flung them onto the floor, be it ever so becrudded”, at least some of the chorus girls, prostitutes, and — if Constantine’s braggadocio can be trusted — “some goodly count of respectable damatsells of white and blameless knickers” began to talk. And so, after Clement had enjoyed almost six months of “blameless spirituous joy”, the local authorities confiscated the site and strictly forbade “all antenuptial cavortations in and around but not limited to caves of ancient learning”.
But strange and heart-rending to report, the Gull’s Gulch authorities proved singularly incapable of grasping the value of the find or their duty to human knowledge (it is beneath me as a man of science to dwell on the incompetence of others, but it is outside me as a man of conscious to not cry a loud and forceful “Foul!!!!!” on the clearly willful ignorance and grubby-mindedness of the ruling elite [such as they were] of Gull’s Gulch throughout the entire 19th Century: !!IDIOTS!!). Things went terribly wrong and the precious documents entered a dark and dangerous time. The details so sicken my educated gut and tremble my scholarly fingers that I cannot bear relate the shameful mishandling of the single most important source of Olden Times SAWB cultural history.
The scholarly intro goes on in this vein for a while, and then it is signed by:
Bartholomew von Ooblichstein,
WAP Studies, Didd State University
Summer Break (hooray!) 2015
And then the Text proper begins.}
The whole thing is always copyright by AMW, whatever that is.