#787 JUNE 6, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
“There is something about a closet that makes a skeleton terribly restless.” –John Barrymore
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER NINE: PART THIRTEEEN: THE MAYOR OF HELL
It is here that Count “No-Count” O’Day re-enters my story. Ye knew
him, Yob, as the kind who fancied himself a kind of an Irish
storyteller, but really he was a low drunk. Bad whiskey and other
vices had so scrambled his brains that most of what he had to say was
as indeciperable as the Rosetta Stone to a Chinaman. (Not to cast no
aspersions on our yellow brethren. They loves they children just the
same as anybody else.)
Anyway, you’d hear him retail wholesale nonsense as though it was the
Lord’s honest truth. One day, however, a Dago Prince–masquerading
as a wine merchant–stood the whole gang to an extra round or
three–drinksa on me–and Count O’Day got even more sozzled than was his wont.
Well, Sir, I saw my chances and I took ’em. Started in to ask the old lush
about his dealings with Cokey Stolas. And he told me an earful, in
between his bosh and tosh. Here is what he had to say about The Big
“Ain’t that an awful feeling? Ain’t that scandalous? You got me in my
cups, and ye be pumpin’ me all about the Big Man. Well, I ain’t built
that way. You’re in the right church but the wrong pew. Not a word of
it you’ll be hearin’ from me. I’m scairt of that Loocher. I didn’t
ask, he didn’t say, so I don’t know. If he comes in then I am going
out. By the bye–did ye know about his magic tattoos? Humph.
Pictures of an eagle and a snake and a skull, and like
that. Gabriel climbing up the golden stairs. And when he
wants something, all he has to do is rub up that tattoo and he gets
it. Like, if he wanted to be President of the whole United States,
I’ll bet he could. He’s smart enough. Only jus’ a bit of a scoundrel.
Loves money just a little too much. Stand a fella ‘nother drink?
Thank ‘ee. Any old port in a storm. All I get here is much obliged.
Do ye want to know the story about how Cokey made all his money? Sh!
Sh! It’s ve-r-y con-fi-den-tial.” At which point he put his fingers
under his braces and looked well-chuffed.
“Have you got time to listen to a hard luck tale? No? That’s good,
’cause I ain’t a-gonna tell ye one. But if time was money I’d be a
millionaire. Yass, I knowed Cokey Stolas a long time. He’s a devil in
his own home town. I knowed him a way back to when he was called
‘Dollar’ Stolas. That was his nickname as a weenchy tad–
two little eyes of blue– because that was the first word out’n
his gob when he crawled out of the cradle, rose forth, and
walked. Seems as though a local copper was visiting his Nanny and a
sparkin’; with the young hussy and Stolas, the little Babbu, the Baby Prince,
toddled over to the Flattie and burbled ‘Dollar’–and held out his
hand! Sounds too good to be true, but that was his nickname. I was
there but I had no business to be there.
“Stolas was never all in, or down and out, as he would have you think.
His folks came from money–sh! sh! Con-fi-den-tial! Humph! It suited
him well because all he ever cared about was ner man ner beast–though
he has a soft spot for race hosses–nothing, other than the Almighty Dollar. I
guess the name also suits him because to this very day if you get into
a palaver with him–not that I would ever dare to–my place is in the
barroom, not amongst the swell gentry and high much-a-mucks–all
you’ll hear floating from that man’s fat lips is the world dollar
dollar dollar. Nowadays he has a line to pharmacies in a small
way–sells oil of pennyroyal to the soiled doves, and you’re too young
to know what that signifies. Listen Yob–I’m no lamb–Chicken can’t
roost too high for me. Come after breakfast, bring your lunch, and leave before
dinnertime–that’s MY advice to you when dealing with the likes of
Cokey Stolas. His motto: Pay me, pay me, pay me my money down.
“Stolas comes from a whole family of Rotters. Hail to thee, departed
spirits! His father, Dinky Stolas, was a ward-heeler of long standing
and it is said he would steal the dowels from out’n a wooden filing cabinet.
He was born to get out and get under. He made his fortune when young–he
was a Copper on the beat–called his daystick his “bee” and his
nightstick his “hornet”–would work a 24 hour shift as though it were
nothing–on account of the asthma powders–learned well how to
steal–Pumph–had a key for every lock in town and would rent it to
burglars on his beat for a cut of the swag, and the money just
came pourin’ in. His wife was a bad ‘un–any little girl can make a good
man bad and a bad man good and vice versa–they called her Knitting
Needle Mag, and you’re too young to know what that signifies.
“His grandfather, Butcher Stolas–he was a brutal man–who’d a
thinked it?–with a name like ‘Butcher’ ye didn’t want to get in a
knife fight with the likes of him–‘less you was totin’ a gun–
made his big money supplyin’ rotten eggs to the ’49ers–
that’s the way to spell chicken– sure and it warn’t the
same grub they was gettin’ down home on th’ farm–and
also all kinds of other fripperies, too–like coffee and tea and hemp–all
at a huge markup. He later had a big contract to sell meat to the U.S.
Army–the hosses was scared, and some say, any stray dogs or cats.
Some say his so-called beef kilt more soldiers than Injuns or Rebels
ever did. Later on he made his money out west, fightin’ Injuns,
killin’ papooses by swingin’ em by their heels–nits make lice, says
he–and later on he turned around and commenced to sellin’ firewater
and defective rifles to the same savages. Their snakeskins are as
green as any white man’s, says he. He learned how to be a root doctor
from the Injuns, they say. They also say that’s how Cokey Stolas
learned all he knowed about poisons and such. Skin of an alligator and
the tears of a crocodile. All in all, home sweet home sounds mighty
good to ME.
“Now, his great-grandfather, ‘Colonel’ Stolas–he took the
prize–Southern gentleman–would steal the cracklins from his own
Mammy’s fat gourd, or so they’d say–he was a big slave seller and an
even bigger slave stealer–never owned a plantation–too busy for any
of that–too busy tearing children apart from their Mammies and womenfolk
from their husbands–sometimes, it seemed, for the sheer joy of
causing a misery. It’s enough to make a preacher lay his Bible down.
There’s a warm place in hell for that sinner. Pumph. Serpents rising
out of the ground! Just goes to show you–cows may come and cows may
go but the bull goes on forever. He was the real thing–the king of
“If rumor serves, the Stolas clan going way back was into all sorts of
devilment. It’s hard to keep a good man down, but it’s even harder to
put a bad man in his place. Tory spies, Injun killers, kidnappers,
slavers, priviteers, roost inspector men–the green grass is all
around and round–if there was some wickedness afoot, sure and they
had a hand in it. Ye would think that ten generations of scoundrels
and scamps was enough, but the Stolas clan enjoyed the blessings of be
fruitful and multiply–and did they ever. I’ll be back in a minute,
but I’ve got to go now. I may be crazy but I’m no fool. If Stolas
knowed I told you all about his kin, my life wouldn’t be worth a
wooden nutmeg. But no matter. I’m on my last go round. I’ve said my
last farewell. I’m going to live anyhow until I die. And then–and
then I’ll jazz my way through paradise.”
Thus spake Count O’Day!
JOIN THE BAND
WHICH STATES GOOGLE WHICH TERMS THE MOST?
MISLEADING MAPS OF THE UNITED STATES
WHY DO YOU LOVE THE DEVIL?
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
BIGGEST IMMIGRANT GROUPS IN YOUR STATE
6* DAILY UTILITY
HAS ANYONE SEEN THIS CAT?
NOT RECOMMENDED MUSIC
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SINGERS WITH THE LARGEST VOCAL RANGE
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
Supplants the former occupation of throwing cow shit at the village idiot.
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
745.LEFT AND RIGHT
When a leftist has a questionable past, it is assumed to be indicative
of present-day deviance. When a right-winger has a questionable past,
these are merely the foibles of a “wild youth”.