Monday, April 25, 2011


The Captain waved at the two guards lounging at the Border Station compound as soon as he came into their line of vision. He knew they were suspicious of strangers and figured there was no point in putting them more on edge while they were already concerned about shady activities in the area.

“Hey y’all! I’m Willie James, captain of the Sandflea airship. I’m here to catch-up on news with y’all.”

Two men stood outside the fort’s front gate with the shorter one leaning against the left-side gatepost. Both men were dressed similarly in long cotton-print shirts belted at the waistline, bandoleers and gaiter-leggings. One wore red leggings and the other brown, each fastened with colourful woven bands.

As he came closer one of the guards looked at Captain Willie and then silently turned on his heel and entered the compound . The other, shorter man continued standing where he was without offering any particular greeting as Captain Willie approached.

“We’ve been expecting you, “ he said.
“Yeah, well we a bit delayed so to speak. That’s what I need to talk to y’all about. There’s some weird shit goin’ on and I reckon y’all know more about it than I do.”
“Why’s that? You’re the one with that fancy airship. Why don’t ya just fly-up real high and check things out from above?”
“Not a bad idea at all except that all we’d see around here is treetops. Besides the air currents aren’t too friendly in these mountains.”
“When’s your friend comin’ back and lettin’ me in the fort?”
“What’s your name anyway?”
“Little John.”
“Nah, really. Like in Robin Hood?”
“Yes, really. And no, nothing to do with Robin Hood. Do I look like a Merry Man to you?” The Captain was forced to agree that he didn’t and they waited in silence for a while.

“Nice turban,” he said to break the silence and pointed at the aforementioned headgear. That prompted a smile from Little John.
The shorter man nodded at Captain Willie’s moccasins. “You tryin’ to play Indian or somethin’?”
“Naw, you try climbing up and down a rope ladder in hard-soled shoes!”

At that point the second Indian returned.