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THE COURIER ... Issue Seven


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The Courier

Gold Star Gold Star The Mohican Press Courier Gold Star Gold Star

All the news that's fit to print ... and then some. Pen and Ink

Established 1757

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Issue 7

RENT TO KILL GROUP TREAD DANGEROUS WATERS

{Part Two}

- by She-Who-Tracks-La Longue Carabine

An ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Insinuation has uncovered a Machiavellian pact among the former Colonial Masters, an agency of the new Colonial Government and a rapidly burgeoning cadre of Colonial land speculators, both British and American.

In the first segment of this investigative reporting series, it was noted that the Federal Bureau of Insinuation had issued a warrant for the arrest of a shady character known as Colonial Joe, who was suspected of collaborating with the above-mentioned cabal. Although Colonial Joe has not yet been apprehended, this reporter interviewed several of his former comrades, as well as a number of Indians who were being treated to an evening of entertainment at the famous watering hole, Bumppo's Tavern. Several rounds of beer loosened tongues and although the initially congenial traditional dart game eventually ended in a ferocious rain of sharp pointed objects and flying epithets, enough information was gathered to begin to fill out the picture of the devilish plot now threatening our fair Colonies.

According to part-time bartender Dweebie Day-Lewis (who, incidentally, mixes a lovely Pink Lady), word has it that Bumppo's Tavern owner Colonial Joe is suspected of having been a spy for the French in the recent unpleasantness in the Colonies. Due to his unusual wealth, it was also opined by local settlers that he engaged in black market activities involving English tea, French gunpowder and unspecified articles of Huron Handicrafts manufacture.

On a recent hunting trip, Colonial Joe allegedly captured and scalped an Indian runner, who was carrying a letter from some simple fool to a friend in North Carolina by the name of E. Lane. The letter made reference to an obscure creatur' known as a Three Whiskered Spotted Toed Icelandic Amoeba and suggested that it would be unfortunate if the creatur' were to be found in the ponds on E. Lane's property. Colonial Joe, nursing a long-standing grudge against E. Lane for disrupting his budding courtship with a frontier belle, believed that a benevolent Providence had placed vengeance within his grasp. With a gleeful snarl (unsubstantiated speculation by another totally unreliable paid informer), Colonial Joe forwarded the letter by an unscalped Indian runner to the fledgling Environmental Perfection Agency.

Shortly thereafter, Colonial Joe was lurking around the Camerons' cabin in Upcolony New York on the pretense of providing venison for their table, when in fact he was substituting horsemeat for deermeat and claiming the venison was just a little more gamey this season. While attending to some personal business out behind the cabin, he spotted a silver bus parked in the area and saw a way to involve himself firsthand in the downfall of E. Lane. Pushing the bus to the riverbank, he loaded it on a very large raft and used branches and birchbark to disguise it as a floating wigwam. (Thus was born the concept of the wigwamboat, often used on lakes and rivers for uproarious weekend office parties.) Colonial Joe then made his way to Albany, where he encountered an agent of the Rent To Kill Group. After selling the Group the bus, from which he realized a tidy profit in parched corn and blankets, Colonial Joe hired on as a driver and expressed a desire to be assigned to projects in the Carolinas. Rent To Kill Group initially sent Colonial Joe to Texas, where a wink and a Texas Handshake will get you anything. There the bus was remodeled and repainted to look like a Rent To Kill Truck and the de rigeur gun rack was installed. Colonial Joe was last seen heading east on I30 on his way to Arkansas, where he understands the hunting is good and the State Troopers will help bring in the game. He has not been heard from since.

In the meantime, howsever, according to a Federal Bureau of Insinuation report, an Indian tribe showed up at the Treasury Department with several sacks of brightly shining British sterling, hoping to trade it for wampum. Treasury officials interrogated the Indians with the intention of finding out how they came to be in possession of real money. It seems the money was delivered to their reservation in a strangely elongated red and white truck, by one "Colonial Joe". He turned the money sacks over to the Indians with detailed instructions, but the Indians, not speaking the white man's tongue, understood only that they were being asked to wash the coins. When Colonial Joe did not return to claim the money, the Indians believed it was meant as a gift and if well cleaned, could be traded to the Government for wampum. As a reward for turning in the money, the Treasury Department arranged for an evening of free drinks and entertainment at Bumppo's Tavern.

This information appears to support evidence turned up by the Federal Bureau of Insinuation that, following an uproarious celebratory office party, the Environmental Perfection Agency sent out a proposal to the headquarters of Rent To Kill Group in Fullquart, England, proposing a cooperative venture that promised a transfer of property into the hands of the clever and greedy.

Your Investigative Reporter On The Spot is now paddling back to Albany to pursue the connection between the Environmental Perfection Agency and the Rent To Kill Group, and then will proceed to North Carolina to follow the fortunes of settler E. Lane in her stand against the Greedy Mob.

{Editors' Note: She-Who-Tracks Etc. is continuing this investigative report. Part Three will follow in another edition of The Courier.}

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FRENCH TRADER TRACKED TO MOHICANLAND

The Courier has learned of the dangerous presence of a French Trader in the shadows of Mohicanland forests. According to a trusted Mohawk runner, the Coureur de Bois has come to the colony in disguise and incognito seeking trade items and lucrative business ventures. Though unidentified, we believe the Frenchie is a close associate of the infamous Canadienne con man, St. Luc de la Corne, and that he traveled from Quebec by way of canoe to New York's frontier. From there, the enemy of England reportedly headed south on several stolen horses.

Our trusted Mohawk runner tracked the illegal trader to Bumppo's Tavern where he was observed drinking and engaging in suspiciously underhanded deals with the tavern's owner, Colonial Joe. Among the items offered on and under the table to Colonial Joe were French muskets, English scalps, a captive, Madiera, Rum, Huron booty, and trade beads. A deal was apparently struck to the satisfaction of both men.

Continuing to tail the Coureur de Bois after his negotiations were completed at Bumppo's, the Mohawk discovered the whereabouts of the trader's camp. Hidden deep in the forest, in the vicinity of Linville Gorge, the camp site had numerous trade items in stock and ready for sale. Among the items our Mohawk noticed on display for black market retail were the wampum sash of the famed hunter, Hawkeye, and the prized wampum choker of Hawkeye's adopted daddy, Chingachgook. Also observed were various blankets, trinket items, red coats, leatherstockings, powder, wampum strands, corn meal, venison jerky, English tea, Dutch silver, a fiddle, tricorn hats, silk, bogus Mohicanland vacation planners, fine European jewelry, a fresh batch of Fu-u-u-dge, Cherokee clothing articles, beaver pelts, three oxen, Col. Munro's powder wig, Dweebie Day-Lewis' chipmunk wounder, wounded chipmunks, and a visibly drunk Uncle Wiscone.

While perched in a tree above the trade camp, our Mohawk runner had the unfortunate misfortune of discovery when a twig suddenly snapped. The French Trader, having been alerted to the Mohawk's presence by the snapping twig, looked up at our informant hanging on to his branch and laughed. "Pshaw!!! Ha ha! That Cooper! He always gives me a snapping twig just when I need one!" With that hilarity and informal introduction to American literature, the French Trader shot down the Mohawk's branch with the chipmunk wounder. Crashing to the ground, our trusted man stumbled to his feet and begged pardon. "Bon jour, mon ami! Looks like business is booming." The Frenchie was amused by the Mohawk's welcome interruption and politely replied, "So glad you could drop in! How about some West Indies Rum?" After a few tin cups of the imported Rum and a full quart of very domestic Whisky, our Mohawk runner was in no condition to run anywhere so he decided to hang around and gather information. By evening, he was sobered enough to strike the trail once again and report what he had learned of this French alien. "Sure I can't interest you in some powder or meal? They're both fully dry," urged the northern tradesman. Our Mohawk declined and bid him adieu.

Upon his return to downtown Mohicanland, he related all he knew of the transaction transgressions between the French Trader and various Mohicanland residents. It appears that Colonial Joe is indeed involved in some high powered trade deals (which supports She-Who-Tracks' theory regarding the Rent To Kill group). Furthermore, our Mohawk has learned that E.Lane and Rich Fed are currently negotiating the purchase of Hawkeye's wampum sash and Chingachgook's wampum choker. How the Frenchie came by these precious commodities remains a mystery. Neither Ching nor Hawk can be reached for comment or revenge.

Asked if any Huron, Abenaki, or Ottawa were observed at the Trader's camp, our Mohawk replied in the negative. "However, " he warned, "you can be sure that where there are French interests at play, the others will surely follow. I did notice some confusing tracks leading to and from Can-Tuck-ee Victoria's law shoppe though. Could be enemy moccasins."

Our own Dutch Trader is reportedly outraged that a "Frenchie in furs" would dare to cut into her territory. A Flemish style Dutch/Franco war threatens to break out with William of Orange leading the vanguard. One Mohicanland consumer commented, "Ya know. Competition's a good thing." We will carefully watch for any further developments in this illegal trade business and War of the Merchants and report them here. If we hear of any good deals we'll inform our readership of that as well.

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CLIFF SURVIVORS CLAIM: A HOAX

Last week we reported on the sudden epidemic of Alice/Uncas sightings claimed to have been witnessed in greater Mohicanland. Though we doubted the veracity of these alledged apparitions, we, in true journalistic spirit, nonetheless investigated every claim proffered by Katherine-Stakes-Claim and other Schweiggerites . Sending our hired musket sleuths, Marcia Marple and Rebecca Holmes, to inspect, examine, question, hypothesize, test, evaluate, perform experimental research with known variables, collect data, draw conclusions, and finally present conclusive evidence one way or another by the fail-proof Holmes method (toss out every impossibility and what remains is the truth), we now report their findings. Both frontier sleuths have conclusively proven that all claims of Uncas and Alice incarnate are false. "We have applied every means possible to draw out the facts. There was no stone left unturned, nor any witness left unquestioned or unmolested. Tracking, DNA testing, audio recordings of Papa, council fires, spiffy Narragansetts, ... we did it all. We even set out bait for the lost souls. It was a complete no show," said Marcia Marple. Her colleague agreed. "We categorically deny the existence of any cliff survivors. It simply isn't true. We hope this puts the matter and the deceased to rest back at the foot of the cliffs."

In light of the evidence gathered by our fact finding team, a grand juress has been called to consider charges of unlawful false spirit reports. She will hear the evidence at the make-shift court house when she has nothing better to do and something grand to wear. Additionally, Dr. Mary is currently conducting psychiatric examinations of the Schweiggerite bunch who were involved in the false reports. "Much like those evil little brats in Salem, I suspect ergot poisoning, though I can't yet be sure," said the Quack Queen. "Either that or these victims are seriously troubled by delusional bouts and severe hallucinations brought on by their collective Uncas craving."

If any further sightings are claimed, or any overnight scaffolds are erected with reservations for Goody Nurses, the Courier will have the scoop. Meanwhile, all Mohicanland residents can sleep soundly knowing Alice and Uncas are truly goners.

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Local Happenings

Mohicanland's Sachem and Sachemess attempted to self-exile themselves from public life this past week. Claiming their right as head honchos to retreat to higher ground , the two posted a public notice stating their intention to, "withdraw, disassociate, seek quiet, and ignore the common citizenry" on the door of Bumppo's Tavern. The reaction to the unexpected announcement was swift, immediate, and generally hostile. "They can't do this!" cried one outraged colonial. "They have sworn an oath to serve the public good. Hiding out won't cut it. Those imperialist pigs!" Another angered citizen added, "Who do they think they are? We put our necks out on the line here everyday. Why should they be afforded the luxury of anonymity and protection whilst we stand and fight in the trenches?" Apparently unprepared for the riotous reaction such a move would spark, the Sachem and Sachemess have since reconsidered their well intended decision and have decided to jump back into the fray. "It was not our intention to set off lantern toting night riders, public clamoring, or alarms of sedition in Mohicanland," read the retraction also posted on Bumppo's Tavern door. "We were acting for your benefit and we apologize." Carol, who rarely believes a word spoken nor statement written cooly added, "Puleeeze!!! Gimme a break! This is nothing more than yet another cheap publicity stunt by Mohicanland's twisted couple." No response was posted to Carol's cynical observation, though all children's books and private letters authored by her have been ordered burned.

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An ugly brawl broke out last week in the Mohicanland commons between Kathy Hatfield and Marcia McCoy. Apparently the violent eruption was the culmination of a long standing feud between the two backwoods natives. The trouble appears to have started awhile back when Kathy Hatfield proposed several theories concerning cold friction and the origins of Mohicanland's earliest known inhabitants. Marcia McCoy thought the proposals were scientifically unfounded and coyly threatened to "expose the mad theorist." A heated debate followed with both rhetoricists positioning themselves to receive both favorable public opinion and profitable federal grants. Things were done, no one was spared. Then the argument began. After a particularly lively exchange between the opponents, the tone of the debate grew openly hostile. "Take your cold friction and drown it in hot soothing water!" screamed Miss McCoy. "Look, you bigamist dame! Jist 'cause you don't believe doesn't make it untrue," retorted Miss Hatfield. Mud was thrown, hair was pulled, lines were drawn, and verbosity ruled. Though no scalps were actually lifted, the incident was hair raising. Then, as if day suddenly entered their world, the feuding females ceased fighting. A parley was held and an agreement reached. No one knows for sure what happened but whatever it was, it had a calming effect upon the warrioresses. "It wasn't a real fight," said Miss McCoy, "jist a little misunderstanding and a bit of a spill over from the late Foo-Foo Doper War." The two then sat down and planned a "friend's feast for forgiving foe's foolish fighting from feuding follies." Invitations were promptly sent out and menus planned. Many innocent bystanders RSVPed they would attend the festivities. Even Can-Tuck-ee Victoria accepted and offered her garden's bounty. Though the feuding hatchet is buried, trouble has not yet passed. Rumor has it that Magua is furious over the peace accord and promised to tan Victoria's hide for her "treacherous" participation. "Good," said the famed criminal defense attorney, "that old elk skin's been hanging in my root cellar long enough. 'Bout time he brained something other than yangeese."

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There has been a sudden influx of mail order brides in Mohicanland recently. Unhitched persons of the female gendre have been arriving by the canoe load looking for husbands. The Dutch Trader, owner of Mohicanland's Trading Post is baffled. "I don't understand where they're coming from. These styles were not in our catalog and no one ordered them!" One anonymous person speculated the wannabee brides came to Mohicanland in search of the legendary Mohicaan bachelor Uncas. Another citizen named Concerned claimed the unwed others are a portion of Colonial Joe's black market inventory. No confirmation, nor engagements have been announced.

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Esq. David Gamut has returned from his trip to the New York colony, formerly known as New Amsterdam. Feeling refreshed and ready for business, the part time singing master headed to Bumppo's for some "more refreshment." After chugging down a few ales, the esquire was given the unhappy news of the recent death of Miss Anne T. "So," shrugged the slushed singer, "what do you want me to do? Go back and dig her grave o'er the ramparts? Sing some psalmody or something?" Obviously a bit full of ale, Esq. Gamut was kindly escorted home by an unidentified female "scout", where he was put to bed and promptly robbed of his currency. No charges have been pressed as Esq. Gamut does not "wish to relive or discuss this unfortunate affair in public." A collection will be taken up at Sunday's service in Mr. Gamut's behalf. The charitable action was requested by Gamut himself.

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Mohicanland was treated to a surprise visit by world renowned wit and silly man, Dr. Sues last week. Rolling into town on a contraption laden wagon, the strange looking guest caught the immediate attention of every man, woman, child, and cat in the colony. Other than his funny hat, Dr. Sues' attire was relatively normal (aside from the red and white striped socks and the "Thing One For President, Thing Two Too" campaign button on his buckskin lapel). Assuming the visit was purely for pleasure, Mohicanland residents were shocked to find otherwise. With his high priced shylock lawyer Sidney of Schuylerville by his side, Dr. Sues ascended the make-shift court house steps to "issue a coronation proclamation declaration." As soon as all citizens were forcibly gathered, the visitor pulled from his hat a parchment scroll bearing the seal of King George. With a snappy snap of his wrist, he unrolled the 3 leagues long declaration and proceeded to read its contents. "Hear ye! Hear ye! To all citizens of Mohicanland. Let it be known, by the authority of King George, that the following words and unwords, whether known or unknown, are the copyrighted possessions of His Majesty's servant, Dr. Theodore Sues. Let it further be known that any citizen of Mohicanland caught stealing, plagarizing, borrowing, trashing, mutilating, writing, uttering, or rephrasing said words or unwords is subject to military justice, prosecution, lawsuits, severe penalties, public humiliation, horse whipping, tar and feathering, or any other number of sadistic retaliation methods Dr. Sues should decide upon." A gasp and then a hush befell the crowd. Dr. Sues then read various samples of his literary license protected by absolutism and added, ... "Miss Marcia and Siberian Sam-I-Am, please step forward." What followed was a mean spirited verbal thrashing of Miss Marcia and her Siberian cohort for the "malicious, deliberate, cheap, amateurish, and mocking thievery of my words, phrases, and utterances, with no rhyme or reason!" Sam-I-Am alledged foul play and cheap shots and cried, "You speak falsely of what you heard!" Miss Marcia also protested the charges. "You don't own every letter combination, you old goat! So, why are you here?" The confident and quick witted Dr. Seus replied,

"Ah! You are mistaken, for indeed I do.

And that includes the name of Foo-Foo,

Schweiggerite, Sam, and Doper, too.

It appears, my dear lady, the joke's now on you!"

The crowd started hissing "Boo hoo hoo to you!", while Miss Marcia did add, " Nay, you think you can sue?"

"I've come for poetic justice to be served on my plate. Leave me, you word thief, before it's too late!"

With that, the word king stepped down from his stand

and headed to Bumppo's for green eggs and green ham.

The last word we heard is that Miss Marcia plans to fight Dr. Sues' lawsuit and beat him at his own game. The two were last seen engaged in a ruthless game of killer scrabble at Bumppo's Tavern.

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Though the revisionist movement appears to have subsided, the challenge to rewrite all world history has been taken up by several long-time Mohicanland residents. Several posted "Mohicaan Histories and other Musings" on Bumppo's over used door. Public reaction to the new facts has been positive. One woman even offered a custom fitted quill work loin cloth job to Guess Foo, one of the revisionists. The Courier Editors have recognized Guess Foo's talent for mimicking as well and have been discussing possible employment opportunities if Guess Foo can continue to manufacture libelous tales and slanderous gossip. Foo knows? Maybe the Courier will add to its overworked, underpaid, underappreciated, underhanded, overimaginative, overtly mischievous, understaffed staff.

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Miss Mary had a visitor at her Mohicanland Rest Home last Saturday. The gentleman caller was none other than Mr. Garrison Killer of the northern territories and Lake Woebegone fame. Apparently, Miss Mary was very impressed with Mr. Killer's uncontrollable urge to kill garrisons and thus invited him over for brunch before his departure from Mohicanland. Following their scrumptious meal of corn mush, creamed venison, applesauce, horse liver pate, and tomahawk shaped jello, the two took a stroll down the rest home wheel chair ramp. Ever the devilish one, Miss Mary had a surprise amusement planned for her guest. At the very bottom of the 36 inch long ramp was a posted guard. "Ha!" screamed Mr. Killer when he saw the sentry. He then proceeded to whack and scalp the poor fool while Miss Mary rolled down the ramp in stitches. "I knew you'd get a kick out of that one, you killer, you!" After disposing of the lone garrison, the two exchanged addresses and promised to "keep in touch." Mr. Killer commented to other rest home prisoners that he had a "swell time" and hopes to be able to revisit the "battlefield" next year.

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A seminar on the "Art of Gossip" will be held next week at Bumppo's Tavern. Key note speaker at the presentation will be Jo. Joining Jo in her lecture will be the remaining members of the Sweet Sweetser Gang. The four chatty ones plan to give tips and demonstrations on how to "gossip successfully while appearing to engage in meaningful conversation." Drinks will be served to loosen tongues and skits will be performed to facilitate personal openness. Do plan on attending this very important presentation on essential life skills!

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There was no welcoming luncheon held this week. Mohicanland Welcoming Committee Chairperson, Miss Marcia, was "plain tuckered out after last week's cosmic event." New arrivals to the colony will have to be held in detention at Mohicanland's lock-up until Miss Marcia feels up to the celebratory task. We hope she re-energizes soon. We've heard the lock-up facility is scheduled for demolition, with or without guests.

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An emergency meeting of the Freedom Fighting Frontier Females Club will be held this Thursday evening at Bumppo's. The agenda has not been announced in order that rival members of the Boys' Club are denied their ammo. All females are urged to attend. Club Presidentess Victoria promises to bring up some hot issues.

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Militia Blotter

The Courier has learned that the local militia has successfully located several persons reported missing last week. According to our up to the minuteman, the remains of the woman found at the Bunk House have been identified as Magua's ex-wife. "We're pretty sure," said our source. "The 'I Will Find You, Magua' tattoo, as well as the pin studded Ros look alike doll are pretty powerful pieces of evidence." ... Colonial Joe, though not in custody, was seen around Sachemess E. Lane's ponds ... Hansel and Gretel Day-Lewis were discovered hiding out in a cave near Glenn's Falls with a haversack of candy. The missing children are believed to have been suffering from delirium as they reportedly claim to have witnessed three red men jump into the falls and an abduction of three yangeese by some Mingos. Authorities have dismissed their story as "the creative, though over-worked imaginings of scared children." One militiaman added, "Who'd believe such a tale as that?!" The two were turned over, kicking and screaming, to a local woman for foster care. Though she has not been identified, the Courier has learned she is a member of the Witch Brigade ... Uncle Wiscone was reportedly seen in the company of a French trapper. No word on the other MIA persons yet. Any info would be welcome.

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WISE WORDS OF WISDOM FOR THE WEEK: Remember ... the trouble with the reincarnation crowd is they always come back to haunt you.

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The Poetry Corner

{Editors' Note: There will be no poetic submissions accepted at this time. In light of the on-going litigation and cat fights over words, rhyme, and reason filed by Dr. Sues, we feel it would be better to refrain from printing material that may be seized upon by the word hungry author. We will hold to this self imposed ban until all wordy issues are resolved. We apologize and thank you for your patience.}

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From the Editors' Desk: We don't know what is happening to Mohicanland these days. Mohicanland Sachemess E. Lane's property under siege; hauntings by the cliff dwellers reported; intra-colonial civil war; dangerous invasions by wampum stealing Coureur de Bois; illegal trading and mail order smuggling: word games and lawsuits; poetry and revisionism; Mohicanland royalty attempting to flee as if the Bolsheviks were in town ... There's trouble in Mohicanland!

While we at the Courier remain baffled by the recent rise of evil and warfare, and are nauseated to the point of gagging, we feel every citizen can do their part to rid our peaceful colony of these pesky, annoying intruders. There are many creative ways to accomplish this goal. A few that have been recommended by our local exterminator, Chingachgook's Varmin 'n Critter Control, might be worth a try.

Ching says the first thing to do is, "Know your enemy. Once identified, the foe can be eradicated with no further trouble. Having fingered the undesirable, shoot 'em on sight. Or blow up their cabin. Take an iron ball war club and whack 'em but good. Poison is always a reliable option, as is a promise of booty to the first Ottawa who burns the devils out of hearth and home."

It seems to us that these methods are certainly worth a try. After all, why should we peaceable colonists suffer the presence of those we don't really like? It's our colony, fellow citizens! Take it back! Who will join in this fight?

Please send your sworn vow to fight, along with a bank draft drawn on the Bank of New Amsterdam to support the war efforts to the Courier Editors. We'll distribute all funds to various agencies best suited for the fight. Won't you do your part?

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QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Should Mohicaan revisionism be taught in little one-room school houses or be banned altogether? We'd like to hear your opinions. Send us your thoughts on this matter and we'll post all polling results in due time.

Next Issue: THE COURIER ... Issue Eight

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