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THE COURIER ... Issue Eleven


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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 11

ANOTHER YEAR PASSES IN MOHICANLAND

With eerie coincidence, yet another Mohicanland year has passed away following the arrival of the thirty-first day of December. The passage took place despite heroic efforts to preserve time by town watchmakers, silly sentimentalists, and several GGGG Factors (who reportedly stood to earn hefty commissions from the geritol group had they successfully prevented the "time bomb" from arriving). According to local calendar makers, the strange phenomenon has occurred year after year for years. "It's like clockwork," said one calends keeper. "No sooner does the thirty-first day of December finish off than 'BANG!' ... in comes a new year to take over. We don't understand what is happening here, nor have we been able to prevent the herald of Janus from arriving! We even printed our calendars without the thirty-first day of December. Still he came!" When asked what year we now live within, the calendar makers could not agree. Some thought it to still be 1757 while others claimed it to be much later. "All we know for sure is that the two-faced Janus has continually beaten us at our own game," chimed one watchmaker.

The unpleasant task of breaking the timely news to the citizenry fell to the ever watchful Towne Cryer. With dread and a cracking voice, the faithful servant of public announcements could be heard crying in the streets as soon as the clock struck twelve. "Hear ye! Hear ye! A new year has been ushered in! Janus has arrived to take his place in Mohicanland's annals! All is not well ... Where is my gold braid?!!! Where is Miss Claire Awl?!!!" sobbed the Towne Crier. Several GGGGs were heard screaming in their beds as the news reached their straining ears. "Nooooooooo!!! I'm melting!" cried one vain, if not melodramatic GGGG. Another was seen frantically running through the streets of Mohicanland in her nightdress, pulling out her sparse hair, yelling; "Nay! Nay! Turn back the clocks! Turn back the clocks!" The pathetically disturbed dame was last seen limping southward along the river bank, purportedly headed for the Spanish territories in search of a magical "Fountain Of Youth." (The decrepit grey hair has tentatively been identified as Sassy Soothsayer's pessimist twin sister, Sissy Doomsayer. Unlike her forward looking sister Sassy, Miss Sissy is known as a backward oriented loonie who clings desperately to her "gilded" past.)

Not all Mohicanland citizens received the news of Janus' arrival with panic and fits of hysterics. A large, rowdy crowd of Dutchies and Scotsmen gathered at Bumppo's Tavern where they were joined in drink, song, and revelry by none other than the Dutch Trader and some upstart Scots poet by the name of Master Robert Burns. The Dutch Trader initiated a high stakes card game and instructed the revelers in some scandalous salty sea tunes while Master Burns led the crowd in a Scottish pop ballad called "Auld Lang Syne", the words to which will no doubt soon be forgotten. According to a one-eyed witness, a poorly disguised Dr. Mary was present at Bumppo's during the drunken festivities. When asked how he could be sure it was the good doctor behind the masque, the witness replied; "Any fool could recognize the Quack Queen right off, even with one eye shut. Her signature leatherstockings, greased buckskin & horsewhips were a dead give-away!" The doctor was reportedly engaged in the selling of "oriental aphrodisiacs" to the smashed patrons while an accomplice picked the pockets of unsuspecting 'gentlemen' who wouldn't "pay up." We imagine the ever resourceful Dr. Mary will make another killing by selling headache powders to these same 'gentlemen' this morning after.

Meanwhile, as time ticks away, we are launching a Courier investigation of this Mr. Janus. We hope to discover his original origins as well as uncover his timeless secrets for successful management of the annual coup de grace. We will publish our report in our own good time.

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MOHICANLAND CITIZEN LOST IN THE WILDERNESS

In a bizarre twist of irony, long time Mohicanland citizen and renowned hobbyist tracker, She-Who-Tracks-La Longue Carabine, has reportedly wandered into unknown western territories where She has become lost in the wilderness. According to several unnamed sources, She was last seen following a trail of crumbs into the setting sun. These unnamed sources claim the crumbs were carefully planted by the Dutch Trader as a means of luring the frontier tracker into the "Black Forest" beyond Mohicanland. Believing the Prussian styled Dutchie's claim that all "trails lead to home", She followed & tracked the crumbling trail in the hopes of finally discovering the hitherto unknown hide-away of one Mr. Natty Bumppo. When asked why the Dutch Trader would undertake such a sinister plot, one unnamed source explained; "Why not? Besides, rumor has it that She-Who-Tracks was planning to peddle moonshine, which really irked the Lowlander Merchant. Everybody knows how much the Dutchie detests competition." Another source added; "Let's not rule out cabin fever. Dutchie was bored and figgered this could be fun. We all know DT gets a kick out of mischief and mayhem, not to mention chaos and confusion." Yet another unnamed source threw in; "I heard the Dutchie has an innovative enterprise started since She's disappearance. DT's taking bets on how long She-Who-Tracks will remain lost. She calls it "Off Track Betting" and is claiming it rivals the popularity of the fox hunt. You gotta admit, Dutchie is very creative with her economic schemes."

A further cause of Dutchie's bizarre action was offered by Mohicanland's book keeper, Miss Sarah Reade. "The Dutch Trader has an insatiable appetite for grim tales and a rather macabre imagination. Perhaps this is an ill-suited personality combination. Dutchie has been borrowing odd books from my collection as of late. Her most recent literary acquisition was an obscure title from Germany, "Hansel and Gretel", which, if my memory serves me, contains a scene where a trail of crumbs is laid out that leads directly into the Black Forest. In my learned opinion, Dutchie got her sick idea to lure She-Who-Tracks from this twisted little tale." When asked to comment on the allegations of her complicity in She's disappearance, DT laughed and said; "Well ... let's just hope She doesn't come upon any candy coated cabins!"

Despite DT's possible treachery, we at the Courier know all Mohicanland citizens will join us in wishing She-Who-Tracks Godspeed. We feel confident that She will soon find her way out of the forest and back here in Mohicanland ... where She belongs.

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{Editors' Note: The following report was inked by She-Who-Tracks just prior to her ill-fated foray into the trackless forest.}

UNBEELIEVABLE BEE VOYAGE BEECOMES STICKY SITUATION

There has been a slight mishap with the Covered Wagon taking the Bee Holder's Swarm to Florida. It appears that, the Swarm, being in a hearty party mood for the trip, got to singing camp songs and swaying to the rhythm. The Swarm swayed back and forth, back and forth, until the wagon, for some reason seeming much heavier than when it was originally loaded, tipped over on Trail 95 just as they reached that unmatchable tourist attraction South of the Border. Hives spilled onto the trail, and bees flew everywhere. By the time The Bee Holder and his brother The Bee Hunter brought the horses under control, the entire swarm had decamped into South of the Border and were swamping the gift shops looking for tiny Mexican hats and postcards.

Not beeing particularly comfortable with the friendly approaches of a massive bee swarm, tourists flooded out of the grounds and onto Trail 95 causing a traffic jam and backup and resulting in the call-up of Rogers Rangers and the Colony militia to chase stampeding horses and rescue distressed maidens trying to transit the Colony to seek safety in the local forts from predicted Indian raids.

The Bee Hunter and The Bee Holder quickly called the Swarm to order and made it clear that they needed to ask permission for diversionary sightseeing, or their privileges would be lifted for the remainder of the trip! Upon attempting to reload the Swarm into the Covered Wagon, it was discovered that, mysteriously, there appeared to bee far more bees than had signed up for the vacation originally. Most of the new bees appeared to bee newborns, necessitating the addition of a Nursery Wagon. The second Wagon was procured from a local farmer and attached to the original Covered Wagon, which had sustained minimal damage in the accident and was still fit for service. The convoy then proceeded onward toward Florida and is expected to arrive at Miss Marcia's home early this afternoon, if all goes well.

{Editors' Note: We received confirmation from Miss Marcia that the Bee Swarm did indeed arrive safely. Also, the appearance of the Bee Newborns in the Covered Wagon gives new meaning to the old term "newbees"!}

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LOCAL HAPPENINGS

NIEUW BODEGRAVEN, AMERICAN COLONIES -- A tardy manager of a Dutch fast food outlet sparked a militia siege in Mohicanland on Monday after the eatery failed to open on time.

A MP news agency said the JFC's chain headquarters raised the alarm after the manager of its Nieuw Bodegraven outlet, retired General Webb, failed to open for business and could not be traced. The Cooper company apparently feared that a captive-taking situation was in progress.

Several dozen militiamen staked out the establishment for nearly an hour before a special LOTM-SWAT team (the highly skilled members of the SWAT team were identified as Hawkeye, Ching, and Uncas) was chosen to storm the building, at which point the local manager turned up, saying he thought he had the late shift.

As a conciliatory gesture and possible bribe, Mr. Webb offered coffee and Duncan Donuts to the weary militiamen. The famished heroes accepted the offer and were treated to the Dutch Treat for free.

We've no information yet on how Mohicanland's name was changed to 'Nieuw Bodegraven' though it is widely suspected that the Mohicanland Traders Guild had a hand in the 'nieuw' name. We will keep our readers informed of any nieuw developments with this story.

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Courtesy of the esteemed English Trader, E. Lane and Rich Fed have been enjoying the finest teas to be found this side, or the other side, of the Atlantic Ocean. So fine are these teas that E. Lane has suggested a waterside community Tea Party be held so all citizens may enjoy the exquisite brew. After a brief consultation with Mmme. Claire Voyant and her own tea leaves, E. Lane came up with the Tea Party idea. "According to Mmme. Claire, Tea Parties on the harbor are to be all the rage in the future. She said there was to be one in Boston that would be such a splash it will be recorded as a great event in our colonies. Can you imagine? Mohicanland will be first! What an adventure!" Rich Fed was said to be less enthusiastic about sharing his tea and reportedly suggested; "Let them eat cake."

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Pilgrim Penny has apparently run out of ink and misplaced her quill pen leaving Poor Penny penless and non-communique. "I am an avid writer of letters and have a strong need to correspond frequently," explained the saddened Pilgrim Penny. "With no quill nor ink, how can I communicate with my dear friends in Mohicanland or pen my po-ems?" A perplexing problem, to be sure, but one which can be resolved, according to Penny's neighbor Miss Gaylee Cooper. "Though I will be away for six nights and a bit I'm quite sure Miss Penny will be able to obtain some ink and a quill on loan from some good citizen. Then she can write me!" Another neighbor, the Old Crone, suggested; "If Pilgrim Penny turns her wattle, I mean, cabin, upside down and finds her missing quill I will loan her some ink." Then the English Trader offered to post some ink from India, IF Poor Penny would first locate her missing quill. "After all, tidiness and organization are the marks of a good writer." Next, Miss Marcia suggested a receipt for home brewed ink ("not quite black, more of a mauve") but said she had no spare quill. On and on, one after the other, townsfolk offered Poor Pilgrim Penny ink, but no quill. Frustrated with her inability to pen her po-ems and ink her letters, and annoyed at her neighbors' unwillingness to help, Penless Penny decided to teach them all a lesson. Recounting the story of Henny Penny ... (to be continued)

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In a shocking violation of accepted colonial decorum, Ye Olde Towne Crier traded in her britches and leggings for something a "bit more flashy." According to numerous accounts, all of which can be verified, on the evening of the twenty-first of December, Ye Olde Towne Crier took to the streets of Mohicanland in preparation for her Crying Out Loud duties carrying her punched tin lantern and shiny bell. She slowly made her way to the Main Square where she planned this night on not only crying the news, but making it as well. "Hear Ye! Hear Ye!" began the familiar cry. "Ye Olde Towne Crier is weary of them britches! Ring! Ring! All's well! News flash or flashy news?! Ring! Ring! See the new treads for Crying Out Loud!" Curious Mohicanland citizens began peering from their doors and peeking out their windows to see Ye Olde Towne Crier's new robe. There stood their faithful servant, ringing her bell and waving her lantern, attired in something too daring even for the French ladies. Ye Olde Towne Crier held her breath and silenced her bell as she awaited the verdict of public opinion. The startled citizenry remained silent, unwilling to voice their thoughts on this obvious scandal. A few more "Ring! Ring!s" from the bell, then finally ... a child yelled out; "She's not wearing a robe! She's wearing BLACK SATIN evening wear!" From what we have heard on the streets of Mohicanland, it appears most citizens find the BLACK SATIN uniform inappropriate and scandalous. "Outrageous! What next? Bare back horse riding?" exclaimed Jo, of The Three Little Piggies fame. "The harlot!" yelled Miss Marcia. A few have expressed their approval, however. "I think it's quite suitable for evening duties," opined Sassy Soothsayer. Dr. Mary added her professional judgment on the matter; "Yes, it works. Working girl, evening shift ... definitely BLACK SATIN!"

Though the court of public opinion is out, an official inquiry in Mohicanland's make-shift court house will be undertaken to explore whether or not Ye Olde Towne Crier has violated more than colonial decorum, but also laws against indecency and trade prohibitions against France.

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Miss Marcia has reportedly resigned once again from her duties on the Mohicanland Welcoming Committee. Citing "personal trauma and poor humor" as reasons for the unexpected resignation, Miss Marcia has left the committee with no hostess for the Welcoming luncheons held in honor of new citizens. "What cain't be helped must be endu-red," commented Miss Marcia when confronted with the Committee's dilemma. "Surely y'all can find anuthah hostess!" The visibly irritated Fu-uudge maker then departed for a "vacation" in one of Dr. Mary's insane "hotels." According to the doctor, Miss Marcia is suffering a "temporary moodiness" that has been brought on by the recent jilting by Sheriff Bent Twigg. It is widely known around Mohicanland that the sheriff had been carrying on with Miss Marcia and had even proposed marriage. Despite being warned by some concerned citizens that Sheriff Bent Twigg had a predisposition to snapping, Miss Marcia allowed herself to be swayed by the lawman's charming personality and seemingly strong roots. All was well between the two until the sheriff suddenly left town, leaving no word or explanation for the sudden departure. Some of Mohicanland's more cynical citizens suspect the sheriff's sudden uprooting is somehow connected to the disappearance of She-Who-Tracks. (We reported earlier on She being lost in the wilderness.) This has not been confirmed though the timing of both disappearances does cast some suspicions of a possible connection.

Meanwhile, Miss Marcia will be "resting" and living the life of a recluse as long as Dr. Mary feels it necessary, or until Miss Marcia's unused dowry can no longer support the doctor's fees.

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MILITIA BLOTTER

Three Mohicanland citizens were arrested for disorderly conduct last week. According to a Militia spokesman, the three have been identified as Esq. David Gamut, the Reverend Wheelock, and the proprietor of Bumppo's Tavern, Mr. Bumppo. It is alleged the three men got into an argument after the Esquire and the Reverend complained about Bumppo's "shoddy rum." The tavern keeper took offense at the complaint and threatened to "kick the stuffing out" of the two patrons. Having had a few rounds prior to the argument, both men began hurling insults and chairs at Mr. Bumppo who responded with a generous delivery of grape shot. Reverend Wheelock then called Mr. Bumppo "a tinker" and a "cheat" which so outraged the tavern keeper he grew red in the face and responded with; "This is war, boys!." At that point things began to get very heated and the three men were soon tumbling about Mohicanland's Main Square, throwing punches and cussing "like the devil." The Militia were called and the three "disturbers of the peace" were arrested and locked in the ice house where they were advised to "chill out." The three are scheduled to appear before a visiting magistrate next week. Heavy fines and a good horse-whipping are expected to be handed out.

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Rich Fed was arrested for "illegally expanding the frontier boundaries of Mohicanland" in his self serving objective to "visit the western lands." According to official documents, the suspect initiated an "independent campaign to solicit support and interest from the citizenry" in his expansionist scheme. When confronted with the facts of his territorial violations Rich Fed responded sarcastically with; "I thought LOTM policy was to make the world Mohicanland ... Sir." At that point, Rich Fed signaled to some rag-tag band who then broke into their own pathetic rendition of "Gary Owen." Pending completion of an investigation, Rich Fed has been ordered not to leave "Mohicanland's established boundaries."

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NEWS FLASH(S)

In an unprecedented move a colonial entertainment organization called 18th Century Fox has announced plans to release what they are calling "a Dictator's Cut" of their recent stage production of "Last Of The Mohicans." Claiming themselves to be "independent from British rule", the entertainment organization asserts sovereignty in "show biz matters" and is aggressively promoting their "Mann's" production. According to inside sources, 18th Century Fox will release a lengthy version of LOTM "sometime this century" which will include scenes of an "illicit love affair" between Mohicanland residents Miss Alice Munro and Uncas Mohican. Mr. Uncas Mohican could not be reached for comment but Miss Munro had this to say; "Have you SEEN the red man?" Miss Munro's elder sister, Miss Cora Munro, is reportedly "very disturbed" about the planned release and has filed a lawsuit to prevent 18th Century Fox from "scandalizing and trashing the good name of the Munro family." Anonymous sources have told the Courier they believe Miss Munro's actions to be nothing more than a "cheap publicity stunt" to "seek attention and recapture the limelight." We will post further developments in this ongoing action adventure as they occur.

WARNING! ... Bizarre group calling themselves, "The Mohican Maniacs", plan to congregate in our midst - in the very center of MohicanLand! Be forewarned! More as details become available.

Next Issue: THE COURIER ... Issue Twelve

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