THE COURIER ... Issue Nine
In a shocking development to the ongoing investigations into Trade Wars, Delaware uprisings, and Hawkeye scandals, Associated Mohican Press reporter, She-Who-Tracks-La Longue Carabine, was abducted while on a Courier assignment to track the troubles in Gnadenhutten. She's last known whereabouts were in the vicinity of New York Colony's Mohawk Valley where She had intended to, real subtle-like, turn west. Somewhere along the trail, She sent out a smoke signal to the Courier Editors stating She had run into a large Iroquois war party. This smoke signal was followed by the partially smoked word "HE.." There have been no further clues or news of tracks of She's shoes since then.
In our efforts to track, locate, barter for, or recapture She-Who-Tracks-La Longue Carabine, we have posted a Mohicaan Bounty of 50 pound parched blue corn (sweetened with maple if preferred), Uncle Wiscone's used blue Match Coat, 3 kegs of West Indies Rum, the finest Black Tea imported from England, 2 Dutch clay pipes, 10 beaver pelts from the French colony of Canada, 1 hat of wrapped sugar, tobacco, 2 sacks of Mohicaan Bounty Dried Berries, or 1 copy of "On The Trail Of The Last Of The Mohicans." The reward will be given to anyone who provides verifiable information leading to the rescue of She, or to anyone who recaptures She herself (excepting She herself, of course).
We will enthusiastically, relentlessly, and tirelessly follow all leads on the whereabouts of the missing She and will keep our readership informed of all developments. If you have seen She-etc, please contact the Courier Editors or your local up to the minute man militia.
The recent outbreak of Trade Wars and ruthless competition has continued to mar Mohicanland with its casualties and confuse the public with alliances and war declarations that appear to change every day. It has become increasingly difficult, and nearly impossible, to keep abreast of who's trading with whom and who's a traitor to whom. Just when we at the Courier think we've cornered the market on the Trading shenanigans, the entire alliance appears to flip flop.
Only two nights and a bit ago, the only known Traders engaged in illegal trafficking of sundry wares within Mohicanland's borders were E. Lane, the Dutch Trader, and the French Trader. Suddenly, a Canadian Trader appeared on the scene looking to barter for northern beaver pelts. It would appear the Dutch Trader had already been familiar with the Canadian as the two immediately launched into chivalric chevrelic action. An English Trader then entered Mohicanland, posting a list of English wares, including Cooperisms and the King's tea, that were available for procurement. E. Lane's reaction to the trading intruder was immediate and harsh. A warning of "death" was sent, seconded by the Dutch Trader, followed by the Canadian Trader, and poignantly, if not pointedly, affirmed by the French Trader. Both the English and the French merchants are currently engaged in a bitter battle of wits and verbal bestings.
As if this trade chaos is not yet dangerously chaotic enough, the Towne Crier and Pilgrim Penny have raised their voices to all Mohicanland citizens with a call to arms. Apparently, the citizenry still sleeps as no recruits have yet stepped forward. While the Call To Arms was raised, the Leatherstocking Lady snuck in a bold offer to the English Trader, stating her "desire to procure some in'nerestin Cooper wares" even if it "brings about yet more war" in Mohicanland. She added; "Anythin' concernin' Natty is concernin' me." The merchant melees and Cries of danger rage on whilst the Legend of Sleepy Hollow is reclassified as a non-fictional work.
The latest phase of the Trade Wars has come under the banner of Free Tea. While the English Trader graciously offered to procure some of England's finest as a token of friendship and amends, the French Trader quickly stepped out from the forest and warned E. Lane to not " be fooled by English trickery or shiny trinkets." Adding that the King's tea is mere "rancid weed", the French Trader promised to send post haste his own supply of Black Tea from China. E. Lane awaits the tea and will no doubt strike up her own deal with the Mohicaan Bounty Mercantile Company.
We will continue to report and attempt to sort out the ugly Trade War that has steeped Mohicanland in its scandalous tea-tease.
Dr. Mary has been vacationing aboard a luxury canoe in the Hudson River this past week. Prior to her departure, she issued the following public service announcement:
"To all Mohicaan neurotics; Dr. Mary will be away for six nights and a bit. While I'm gone, do try to control your baser urges and crazy impulses. If need be, lock yourselves up in the cabin awhile. Try to relax; have a hot cup of ... TEA! Ha ha! See you wretched souls when I get back. Have plenty of currency ready. XXXOOO Dr. Mary"
Mohicanland, long overdue for that mark of civilization known as "the wake up call", finally has a Towne Crier. Among the Towne Crier's official duties are alarming the citizenry to any and all danger ... be it real or imaginary, proclaiming any worthwhile gossip for all to hear, announcing goods for sale at the Mohicanland Trading Post, publicly scandalizing all Frenchmen, and updating the public daily from "Poor Richard's Almanac." Happily accepting the honor of such a title, the Towne Crier has thus far cried loudly throughout Mohicanland. "I will do my duty no matter the danger or how late the hour," cried the Towne Crier, "and I promise to cry out loud for all to hear." After two nights and a bit on the job however, the Towne Crier cried out that she needed the proper accoutrements for such a task. "For crying out loud!" she cried, "I need a gold braid, a punched tin lantern, and a goodly supply of beeswax if I am to perform my duty properly." She then accused the Mohicanland citizenry of being "a bit tight with their shillings" for failing to supply these "necessaries" and threatened to cry even louder to get their attention. Most Mohicanland citizens expressed their approval of the Towne Crier and agreed she should have her braid and tin lantern. The Traders however, annoyed with the Crier's persistent crying about their "dirty shenanigans" have threatened to "silence the crier" or "really give her something to cry about." Meanwhile, the Towne Crier continues to cry throughout the town about all things worth crying out for and has not allowed the Traders' threats to silence her.
The group of mail order brides recently deposited upon Mohicanland's shores have formed a strange little club called "Eric's Angels." Asked what purpose such a club has, several members of the organization explained the "merit" of their group. "Our goal is to provide support services, sisterhood, and sharing among all the Schweiggers of Mohicanland," said one Ericite. Another member added; "It is important that we proclaim to one and all the admirable qualities Eric possesses as well as our eternal devotion to him." The ringleader of the Angel group, Mohicanland's own Towne Crier stated; "We will sing Eric's praises and share our possessions in a show of Schweigger solidarity." This mission statement apparently annoyed one immigrant Mohicanland colonial, Palatinate Petra, who stomped her foot and yelled; " I don't know what an Eric is but "Schweigger" means silence, so shut up!" The Towne Crier and her sisters booed Palatinate Petra and vowed to continue their loud campaign. When asked if the Angel sisterhood would be willing to share Eric himself, the angelic smiles departed, a silence befell the group, and each looked suspiciously at the others. "Maybe not," said the Towne Crier.
Mohicanland citizens have been curiously killing off all strange looking creatures found near their ponds or in their wash basins lately. In an attempt to understand the sudden flurry of stomping, squashing, and smothering activity, the Courier created a fact finding task force and sent them on a polling mission. According to the responses received, the creature killing was set off by the recent invasion and attempted seizure of Sachemess E. Lane's property by the terrorist Rent To Kill group. "After seeing what they done over that three-whiskered slime, I aint takin' any chances," said one gentleman farmer. "I drained my ponds and got rid of all amoebic looking things, great and small, even the fish, jist to be sure. Dang if I let them extremists take my land!" Another townsperson, Miss Gaylee Cooper, has taken to dumping her wash water in her neighbor's creek. "In case there's anything in there, I'd just as soon have them seize Miss Marcia's plot. She's mouthed off against my kin, JF Cooper, one too many times. It'd serve her right to get evicted." When Miss Marcia caught wind of the dirty white wash she retaliated by placing hand painted slates in strategic locations along Miss Gaylee Cooper's garden paths. The slates, painted with faded images of whiskered bugs, were intended to appear as fossilized specimens of the troublesome Three-Whiskered Icelandic Amoebas. "Of course, ah don't really know what they all look lahk, as the only ones known to exist were found in the Mary Land Colony, but it'll do!" laughed the contented Miss Marcia. The Whisker Rebellion has become widespread according to one militia source. "Even the spineless men of Mohicanland have taken to shaving." In a strange, perhaps coincidental discovery, a pile of rotting catfish was found dumped along the banks of several Mohicanland rivers.
The Frontier Female Freedom Fighters have scheduled their next meeting at JFC's Fast Food Dutch Eatery. Asked why they have forsaken Bumppo's Tavern in favor of JFC's, fearless club presidentess Can-Tuc-Kee Victoria explained; "At JFC's the food is better, the service is faster, and the proprietors don't require that we wash the dinnerware before we leave. Besides, we females are boycotting Bumppo's until they agree to pay Mrs. O'Reilly better wages." Another female member of the FFFF club added; "And we're getting tired of Bumppo's tin ware. JFC's has more variety."
A potluck supper was held at the patroon's manor house last Friday evening. The supper was organized by Mrs. Van Schuylerville to benefit widows of deceased Dutchmen in Nieuw Amsterdam. Many Mohicanland residents attended the social event bringing with them assorted meat dishes, stewed fruits, steamed squash, and pies. Entertainment was provided by the "Flying Dutch Ghostrijders", a popular ballad singing trio from the Lowlands. The festivities were slightly marred when one drunken Englishman showed up at the patroon's house bearing a dispatch from His Majesty, the King. Upon reading the document, Mrs. Van Schuylerville took a broom to the Brit's backside and said; "Out vit ya, ya dirty poltroon! Ya not velcome in this patroonship!" The Englishman then tipped his tricorn, tripped his footing, and fell off the manor house stoop. "G'day, m'lady," he slurred as he laughed and fumbled his way down the lane. When asked why she reacted so angrily to the Englishman's presence, Mrs. Van Schuylerville said; "That veren't no letter from the English king. It vere a nasty paper stating the Brit's right to attend the potluck seeing as he was responsible for making our Dutch vomen vidows in the first place. And he even thought that he should be the guest of honor!" Aside from the poltroon's appearance at the patroon's manor house, the potluck supper was enjoyed by all. "We ought to have more widows in Mohicanland," commented one thoughtless, if not satisfied, gentleman.
Long time residents of Mohicanland Carol, Jo, and Chris, known for their founding of and publications by "The Three Little Piggies Productions", have apparently gone into hibernation. The unexplained retreat and reclusive behavior of the Three Little Piggies has left many Mohicanland residents baffled and lonely. Seeking an answer to the sudden silence of the Mohicanland trio, the Courier Editors set off to locate the AWOL citizens. When finally reached for comment, Jo said; "I speak for all of us when I say this ... until Mohicanland returns to its former vile self, lacking this new flavor of civility and regaining its status as a haven for ruffians, we three will shun the Mohicanland community. What good is our colony if there are no factions or wars? No hostility or bloodbaths?" While there may be a few citizens who disagree, our sense of it is that most Mohicanland residents would welcome such a return to the good old days of warfare and scalping, treachery and thievery. Ask yourselves; "What can I do to aid Mohicanland's community?" Perhaps start a feud with your neighbor? Maybe steal a few oxen? Be creative! If we all put our efforts into this worthy cause, perhaps we can lure the Three Little Piggies back into public life!
The Colony's Towne Crier has pressed charges of harassment against members of Mohicanland's Trading Monopoly. Claiming the Traders are trying to "shut her up", the Towne Crier is seeking official sanctions against the Trading Trio. According to Esquire David Gamut, there is little the court can do in the matter of harassment. "We can tar and feather only if they actually scalp or abduct the Towne Crier. Short of that, I can only suggest the Towne Crier stay clear of the forest and carry a musket." Following dismissal of the charges, the Towne Crier reportedly received yet another threat. It came in the form of a scalp on a pole with a dispatch attached that read: "Hear ye! Hear ye! Beware the shadows that move about Mohicanland!" The Towne Crier has declared her determination to "stand fast and cry loudly against the dirty Traders!"
An unknown person, identified only as Johann Doe, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct unbecoming a gentleman of the colonies. The arrest was made after several Mohicanland citizens complained of a suspicious, well dressed man seen lurking about private cabins. When asked where he was from and what he was doing, Johann Doe said; "I have come from Gnadenhutten in search of the scoundrel Hawkeye. When the Delaware get hold of him, he'll be one sorry scout." After further questioning, Johann Doe explained to one militia official why he came to Mohicanland under cover of darkness. "Moravians are not welcome in English colonial settlements." The suspect posted a bond of 5 wampum strands and was released with an order to return in a fortnight. After his departure several moccasin tracks were discovered near the frontier border of Mohicanland. They have only been identified as "the marks of hostiles", according to a militia official. Speculations have arisen that they are either Mingoes' or Hawkeye's tracks.
WORDS OF WISDOM OF THE WEEK: A fool and his money are soon parted; Better to give it up freely and call yourself wise.
From the Editors' Desk: We are disturbed by the Trade wars that have infected our colony with unfair trade practices, illegal activities, and exorbitant prices. Things appear to be getting worse by the day. One can no longer procure the basic necessities without having to sign over a month's wages. Tea, Sugar, Flour, Pork ... it has all nearly tripled in price since this war began. As if this scandalous activity is not bad enough, average common citizens are now turning toward the blackmarket market in order to either obtain goods or sell them to the highest bidder. Everywhere one looks there will be found some upstart merchant peddling wares to desperate townspeople. What does one do? Steal? Strike a better deal in New France? Seize the merchant ships? Or should all Mohicanland citizens band together and declare our colony free from extortionists?
We believe it is time to strike back and deal a blow to these trade extortionists. If they won't sell parched corn at a fair price, burn their cabins. If they refuse to deal honestly in the tea market, dump their tea bricks in the river. Whenever they quote high prices for sugar, sweeten the deal by threatening to lift their scalps. Sooner or later, the Traders are bound to get the message and cease their abuse of mercantile power. Surely it's worth a try!
Please consider this ... before it's too late and we are all forced to eat French cake.