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A Satisfactory Denouement

Last week, I described how, upon losing my stolen fortune in an ambush, I was kidnapped by the villainous Black Scarlet, who spirited me off to an abandoned granary to await the dispatchment of a great deal of ransom-money. I asked Black Scarlet if he would set me free upon receipt of the money. "Set you free? Never!" he exclaimed with a bitter laugh. "You shall for-ever remain my captive and be as free as those you have kept in shackles for so long!" Curse the cheeky scoundrel! I have never once kept any-one in shackles, excepting a few of my servants and the wife.

Some time later, Black Scarlet emerged from the granary to meet those who were assigned to drop off the bundle. Suddenly, the sound of gun-shots rang forth, and Black Scarlet dove back into the granary. The villain had not counted on a posse of law-men accompanying the ransom!

But my glee was soon squelched when Black Scarlet snatched me and held his duelling epee to my throat. "I've got Old Man Zweibel in here with me," he shouted to the law-men. "Hold your fire, or I'll run him through with my gay blade."

The stand-off lasted days. We were running out of food and water, but Black Scarlet grimly refused to surrender. Then, some-thing extra-ordinary happened.

Several weeks prior, Black Scarlet's real identity, "Freddie Mercury," had been publicly exposed through this very column. As a result, every-one knew who Black Scarlet was, including his old band-mates in the orchestra he had once conducted, called I believe "The Queens-men." Any-way, the band-mates had traveled to the scene of the stand-off to try to persuade Black Scarlet to renounce his mad ways, reminding him how much fun they once had performing in the Queens-men orchestra. Deeply moved, Black Scarlet began to weep like a little girl and eventually emerged from the granary, dropping his epee and howling some-thing about missing all those "fat-bottomed girls." It was all very distasteful to me.

But my disgust quickly turned to joy when Black Scarlet was clapped into irons and carried off in a paddy-wagon, and I was tearfully reunited with dear Standish, Nurse Pin-head, Doc McGillicuddy, Augustus the stable-boy, and the 652-room mansion I could call home once again.

In short order, I was back safe in my cozy death-bed before a roaring heart

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Nation Leery Of Very Odd Little Boy

WASHINGTON—Noting that there was something distinctly unnerving about his mannerisms, physical appearance, and overall demeanor, the nation confirmed Friday that it was leery of very odd 8-year-old Brendan Nault.

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