Well, John Law had caught up with us at last. His gun drawn, the sheriff's deputy told us that a farmer had alerted him of our presence.

"Sir," the deputy asked Standish, "why are you carting a corpse across the county? It is in clear violation of health ordinances. And look how it's decomposing."

"Damn you, sir, I am not a corpse!" I screamed. "I am the celebrated T. Herman Zweibel, erstwhile plutocrat, and yonder lies my fortune! And there are the rogues who stole it! Seize them, before they escape!"

As I said this, Mr. Tin lifted a lever on his chest. Pipes emerged from the soles of his feet, ignited, and propelled the ro-bot up in the air and away from the clearing. The deputy fired his pistol several times at Mr. Tin, but the bullets only bounced off his impregnable torso as he disappeared into the inky night. I had no idea the metal bastard could fly!

This left only Black Scarlet, who had recovered from his initial shock. As the deputy fired his final shot, Black Scarlet tackled him and knocked away his pistol. The foul highwayman then pried me off my wheel-chair, tossed me over his steed Ganymede, and rode off into the darkness, dodging bullets along the way. Having lost his swag, the scoundrel would kidnap me in a last desperate stand!

This is where the plot thickens considerably. Suffice to say that it involves a lot of shooting, duelling and night-riding, as well as visits to road-side ale-houses filled with lusty wenches and repeated notes of ransom to The Onion offices, not to mention Black Scarlet saying such things as, "We are a lot alike, Zweibel, you and I," and me replying, "The only thing we have in common is our undying hatred for one another, Scarlet!" and so forth.

Nightly as we made our camp and sat around a roaring fire, Black Scarlet would prattle on about his once being some "rocking and rolling star" named "Freddie Mercury" or some such nonsense, and how he had staged his own demise to covertly wage a one-man war against me. But I do not care if he was once King of Belgium. To me, he will always be a dirty thief and a ruthless abductor!

We are now concealed in an abandoned granary some-where in the country-side, where we await a delivery of ransom money. I so hope that my ordeal shall soon end. Between you and me, this is all getting rather anti-climactic. Just when one thinks things have finally come to a head and are about to be resolved, some-thing else happens that throws it all off. Drat it all!