THE COURIER ... Issue Fourteen
Special Issue 14
Mohicanland's most popular & sole publication, "The Courier," has once again hit the stands while also hitting the nail right on the head. Following a very long dry spell, Issue 14 has come off the press retaining every bit of its high standard of objective journalism, well chosen gossip, & correct opinions it is famed & coveted for. Asked by one literate, if not hungry, Mohicanlander to explain the lengthy literary drought an Editor replied, "We finally got a shipment of fine Madiera & Rum. The dry spell is over & now we can think straight." While the sudden influx of "flowing refreshment" may be a contributing factor to the Return Of The Courier, there are some, including this reporter, who think other factors were equally at play.
The past several months have been wrought with war, dissension, snipers, extortionists, fraudulent Traders, tantrums, thievery, scams, con men, con women, con artists, beggars, borrowers, & stealers; pyromaniacs, pumpkin killers, saints & sinners; charlatans, effigy burners, the King's Men, illicit crookery, honest crooks, nomads, settlers, & interlopers; Dr. Mary fan clubs, mannerisms, immigration, emigration, bird migration, MIAs, POWs, casualties, victories, losses, Hapsburg descendants, Bonnie Prince James supporters, rebels, revolutionaries, scalawags, & dementia. That's how it should be ... Mohicanland at its finest. However, as if to cruelly throw everything off balance, there has been a recent trend towards loving thy neighbor developing. This sugary fad may have been too much for the Courier Editors to swallow. Asked to comment on the growing "Neighbor Movement," one Editor sentimentally replied, "In the old days, folks wouldn't have tolerated such rebels. They'd have thrown up a gallows & been done with it. Unfortunately, times have changed."
While the Neighbor Movement has gathered momentum & little moss, establishments favoring independent business management & the right to extract exact vengeance have seen a serious decline in membership. Several of these, including The Courier, simply refused to participate in Mohicanland's progressive trends & in stead went on strike. While the Courier Editors cursed Mohicanland's citizenry with discomforting silence, the opposition seized the opportunity & hurriedly went to work seducing the fence sitters. After first posting their 95 thesis against traditions & Courier policies entitled "No News Is Good News!" on every publick door, volunteers were sent out recruiting among the colony. Neighbor Movement's leaders armed the idealists with flowery propaganda pamphlets & urged them to distribute the bits of low-grade parchment drivel among every person found sitting on, or near, a fence within Mohicanland's borders.
According to one unidentified Neighbor proponent, the pamphlets were inked by an unemployed Boston dreamer named Thomas Payne. The rebel leaders reportedly paid Payne 50 pounds to pen his poisonous prose on popular New England flowers & the analogy to "neighborly living." One citizen, after reading Payne's prose over a Bumppo's House Special, offered his own philosophical perspective on Payne's "Common Scents." Gesturing as if to cut one's throat, he said, "He's nothing but a no-good payne in the arse." Reverend Wheelock then followed up with another brew & a quick summation of his planned sermon next Sunday to counter the propaganda & explain his own position.
Though the War of the Proses continues, the resumption of The Courier affords Mohicanland citizens a voice of reason as well as a party line. While we feel confident all literate people will applaud the Courier Editors' decision to end their strike & republish the stellar periodical, we also believe many will wonder what catalyst really resurrected The Courier. To find the answer we spoke off the record to an Editor. After vowing to keep every confidence in our privy conversation, we were told, "The truth is, the hecklers got to us. We couldn't take a quiet stroll along Mohicanland's Main Square without being pelleted, cursed, or shot at. Publick appearances were marred by mean dissenters & shouts of 'Where's our funnies?' It got so bad even our allies were taking shots at us. Casual conversations were peppered with allegations of abandonment & laziness. Can-Tuck-ee Victoria went so far as to say the Courier was "sporadic"! Needless to say, we couldn't handle the pressure & decided a Courier Free Zone was no longer an option. So, yes, they heckled us to death & now we're back in business."
With the strike now over & the printing press back in operation, it should be remembered that no one is immune from The Courier's investigative prowess. Say what you mean & mean what you say ... or you just might find yourself making headlines.
During the recent Courier shut down, an enterprising colonist recognized a window of opportunity and attempted to establish a competitor publication. Noting the "publick's right to know" & sensing the shilling potential, the upstart started up a Mohicanland Almanack. Intended as an informative journal of Mohicanland news, announcements, personals, & projections, the Almanack's writer, Richfed, gathered various facts & trivia to include in the publication. Before long he had accumulated interesting data & tidbits ranging from Hawkeye sightings to forecasting Mohicanland weather conditions (a nice perk for all the gentleman farmers of the colony!), prompting him to consider an annual projection journal. Based on some obscure gathering ritual, Richfed decided upon the month of June as a starter period. Thus, he updated events & projections from June to June & the novel idea became Richard's Almanack.
However, Richfed was in need of a printing press. The only one available belonged to The Courier & they were not about to loan it to a potential despot whose success could mean financial losses & an alternative voice. So ... what to do?!!! Not one to be deterred by the utter lack of everything required to publish the almanack, Richfed sought the advice & assistance of others. As luck would have it, a traveller to Mohicanland who was "in the business" heard of Richfed's dilemma & offered to lend a hand. The details from here on in are sketchy but as far as we can tell, this is what followed.
Richfed met the traveller, a fellow named Ben, at Bumppo's. They talked about Richfed's ideas & his need of a printing press. Ben looked over the Almanack & liked what he saw. Supposedly, Ben offered to sell Richfed a printer at a very fair price; pennies less than the market value. "Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned," opined Ben. After agreeing to meet in the morning, Ben "offered" to "look over" the almanack overnight to "share suggestions." So it was done. Richfed trusted his almanack to Ben & the two bade farewell.
The following morn, Richfed went calling at Bumppo's for Ben. Much to his dismay, Ben was gone. He had, according to the tavern mistress Peg O'Reilly, "departed for Philadelphia durin' the black of night."
Within a fortnight, a hot publication was in circulation in Philadelphia which had everyone talking. Called "Poor Richard's Almanack" as a sick joke by its cruel author, this was Richfed"s great American novel idea! Stolen by Ben something or other. Needless to say, Richfed was despondent over the manuscript theft, the lost journalistic opportunity, the insult, & the drinks he bought Ol' Ben at Bumppo's. He was last seen heading up to Chingachgook's favorite haunt, Table Rock Mt., shaking his fist & yelling, "I'm gonna clean Ol' Ben's clock for him!"
Thus did Poor Richard's Almanack receive its name.
Being a bit intrigued by this Ben fellow, this reporter decided to do a bit more investigating. It turns out there are men up & down the frontier claiming Ol' Ben similarly conned them. From stove makers to scientists, there are many tales concerning a "kindly old traveller named Ben" swindling good people of their inventions & ideas. There is even one gentleman who claims to have thought of a standardized pony express method that Ol' Ben copied! We doubt he's much to worry about. Can't imagine these colonies ever going postal.
Mohicanland�s neighbor women from the little known Algonquian Ascone tribe, mentioned word for word in a previous Courier edition, have decided to ally themselves with the famed, feared, & faithful Femme Fatale frontier freedom fighters corp, the Wah-Tah-Wah Warrioresses. This bold move by the Ascone women promises to be a major morale booster for the Warrioresses, while at the same time, a major blow to the enemy Serpentines.
The Ascone women, according to a clan mother, decided to make the move after witnessing the latest Serpentinian tactics. "The Serpentines have always disgusted us," said the clan mother. "Their recent ploy to bring war upon the heads of Mohicanlanders by attempting to deceive various Indian communities, including ours, about their litter campaign & masquerading as 'native' people was too much for us to take. We are offended by the Serpentines & wish to send them crawling back beneath their rocks. Or ... to put it otherwise, we're gonna kick their slithering bellies 'til we no longer hear their hissing."
The Ascone/Wah-Tah-Wah alliance was announced at an emergency meeting called by Commander Achillse. The news was enthusiastically received with wild applause & cheering breaking out amidst the assembly. The mass affirmation was followed with a rousing speech by guest speaker Ascone kin, Uncle Wiscone. Reminding the Warrioresses they were "too few to fight, too many to die," Uncle Wiscone added, "but who's counting? Ha ha! Kick tail!" The encouraging words of wisdom were met with a standing ovation & a plate of Jo's Horse meat.
Commander Achillse then gave a tactical brief before briefly, tactfully "stepping out for a Bloody Mary." Whether the Mary of which she spoke is of the refreshment or foe category remains unclear. What is known is Achillse returned after a few moments looking "refreshed" & humming an "original ditty dedicated to Miss Mary Bye."
The Canadian Trader then took the initiative & aggressively urged all "loyalists to adopt the beaver hat as a symbol of our resolve, integrity, & prowess." She happened to have a few dozen on hand & reportedly did a brisk business. Everyone appeared to be an eager beaver about the hats except She-Who-Tracks who decided to return her merchandise after discovering a beaver remained in the pelt. She chose the optional Hawk Eye medallion. Not to be outdone in the Trading potential, The Dutch Trader set out a blanket laden with wooden shoes & Delftware mugs. Not a few Warrioresses wondered aloud what tactical benefit such items offered. The ever ready Dutch Trader explained one must always be ready for all scenarios, including lowland skirmishes. Satisfied with her explanation, apparently no one noticed the little smiley stickers on the bottoms of her wares that read, "1-800-YOU'VE-BEEN-HAD."
The meeting concluded with some bawdy tunes & off-color jokes by the colorful frontier entertainer, Miss Mary Black, also known as Doctor Mary. A Slash & Burn Seminar is scheduled for next week, according to Commander Achillse. We'll report on any further developments or Trade Shows.
The Mohicanland Women�s Circle Coffee Club got off to a smashing success. According to Club President & Founder, Mrs. Mary Long Carabine, the "bored out of their minds housewives" got to butcher & smash pumpkins carved in the image of gnomes. Why gnomes? "I don't know, why not?" replied Mr. Long Carabine's philosophical little wife. One woman attendee said it "was the most fun I had in a long time. My husband don't like me to be too agressive at home so this was a nice little outing." Another coffee klatcher added, " This club is just what we women need. Miss Long Carabine was so gracious & thoughtful. She even wrote out her favorite burn 'em at the stake receipts! She's quite a cook you know."
The Coffee Club plans on meeting again in two weeks. Scheduled fun includes Cake Baking Surprise & Holiday Decorating with Simon Girty.
Anyone interested in joining this frontier home companion group should contact Mrs. Mary Long Carabine anytime her husband is out or highly intoxicated.
We wish to welcome the many recent immigrants to Mohicanland. Welcome, immigrants. We would also like to welcome back the many citizens who were away & whom have now returned. Welcome back, the many citizens who were away & whom have now returned.
Miss Marcia's Fu-uudge Contest was a great fun raising event. It would appear Miss Marcia herself had the most fun as she got to enter each category with no competition, win in each category with no runner up, & lick every spoon with no compulsive spoon lickers pestering her. Asked what qualities she was looking for when judging the Fu-uudge entries, the Judge said, "Fu-uudge taste." She then resumed licking her spoons.
Ye Olde Towne Crier has returned to Mohicanland to report back to duty. FINALLY. Asked to explain why she ran away & didn't cry, the Crier cried, "I was chasing a horseman & following Mr. Otto Mani." When asked why she was chasing a horseman & following Mr. Otto Mani she cried, "The revered horseman rode through Mohicanland crying about the British & swiped my lantern as he rode by. Mr. Otto Mani snatched my Black Satin duds & hid them in his caravan. I can't cry without my lantern & Black Satin duds."
While Ye Olde Towne Crier may be telling the truth, rumors are rampant she actually went off to read a good book called "The Horseman." When asked to verify or deny, she cried. Now, all is well in Mohicanland. Our Towne Crier is crying again.
The Traders' Guild held a session recently to debate the pros & cons of monopolies vs free markets. While all Traders present agreed there can be found some merit in free markets, they were unanimous in their opinion that monopolies offer a far greater economical opportunity to Tradesmen. Therefore, it was decided that no trade goods not first approved by the Guild members be permitted to pass through Mohicanland. This includes scalps, captives, the King's Stamps, armies, war parties, thieves, soap, & lost travellers.
In a gesture of good will however, and perhaps in an effort to appease the masses, the Traders offered free admission to a finely manipulated show. Besides entertainment by a dancing bear (really Hawkeye in a costume), the Traders arrogantly pranced through the arena on their high horses before coming to a halt, dismounting briefly, & permitting the Rookie Trader Gunsmith to become a junior member of the Guild. They then departed abruptly.
The crowd, though happy to receive free admission, was surprised to discover the Traders required a fee to exit the arena. Other than that, it appears to have been a benevolent event & successful PR.
The following are rumored to be dead;
Old Crone ... wattle hut seen floating down the Hudson River. Old Crone not seen since.
Sassy Soothsayer ... claims to have foreseen her demise but may have soothsayed the wrong Sassy or mixed up the years. Hasn't been heard from in days & days. Her purple paisley carpet seen in Doctor Mary's office being used as a "therapy prop."
She-Who-Tracks-Le Longue Carabine ... disappeared without a trace. May have kicked the bucket but may also have tired of buckskin living.
Uncas Myson ... no one REALLY saw the body. Could have staged his own death to lose the Munro girl.
Alice Munro ... confirmed dead. No semi-comatose wanderers reported in the Huron camps.
Col. Munro ... confirmed dead.
Hawkeye Poe ... prematurely reported deceased. Believed to be alive & held in captivity by either The Three Little Piggies or Doctor Mary.
Major Heyward ... confirmed dead. He's toast.
Magua aka Youthere ... can't confirm. Speculation of a staged death with big pay off to Chingachgook a possibility.
E. Lane ... can't confirm. Sick sense of humor. Anything's possible.
Soldier #2 ... Definitely. Over 50 deaths & still counting.
An APB has been issued for several Mohicanland residents not seen nor heard from in two nights and a bit. We won't print their names. They know who they are already.
Goody Sandy was arrested while in the New York Colony for wearing outlawed Red Sox & inciting riots against the Yengeese. When asked to plead to the charges, Goody Sandy replied, " These Red Sox are cursed, I tell you! Guilty as chahged." Goody Sandy was released with the promise to go & wear no Red Sox no more.
WISE WORDS OF WISDOM FOR THE WEEK: If you can't beat 'em ... cheat 'em.
EDITORS' NOTE: We wish to express our sincerest thanks to our readership for their patience during our long strike, or vacation. Thanks to your persistent nagging, we've managed to get another Courier edition off the press. We are currently investigating some important developments & hope to have full details to report soon. Meanwhile, thanks for your support!
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Should women be permitted to have their heads uncovered in publick? Let us know your thoughts.