Posted by Seamus on August 21, 2000 at 20:41:39:
Cpl. Malcolm MacWilliam
Pvt. Davey Gunn
77th Highlanders, Montgomery’s
Cousins Malcolm and Davey Gunn,
Well, you probably will not believe this, but then again, maybe you will...........but allow me to start at the beginning.
After taking leave from our friends, Major Rogers and his Rangers, and especially our new comrade, Pvt. Chauncey Goodrich, whom we will miss tremendously, Timothy and I started for home. We passed through Albany and since the clock was nearing the noon hour, we decided to stop into a small Inn for something to eat, and to rest a bit before resuming our journey.
At the next table were two of the King’s officers...Captains, I believe...and they were discussing a bizarre incident which had apparently taken place a week or so previous. It involved a hunchbacked man and the wife of their Colonel. The Captains were well into their cups and were laughing so hard it was difficult to understand all of it, but the gist of it was that this hunchback had been found in a stable loft with the lady, who turned out to be Mrs. Colonel Haviland, and was promptly arrested and thrown into the local Gaol to await trial and sentencing on charges.
Well, dear Cousins, there is no hunchback I know of who might qualify for such shenanigans other than dear old Quasi, my father. After we finished our lunch, we went to seek the Gaol and find out if this, indeed, was Quasi whom the Captains were making sport of, or if it might be some other soul.
After making some inquiries as to its location we were successful in finding the Gaol. As we approached it, there was the unmistakable figure of, yes, you guessed it...Quasi...with his head and hands stuck through the stocks and facing a crowd of what appeared to be hecklers. The closer we got, however, revealed that it was not a crowd of hecklers, but of young ladies, most of whom were indignant that Quasi was being treated in this manner, and were demanding that he be released at once.
What a sight! Timothy and I worked our way toward the “imprisoned” figure and made ourselves to be seen by him. When he saw us, he cried aloud, ”Seamus!! My son!! Timothy!! Get me out of this ridiculous predicament and get me home!” The ladies in the crowd fell silent as we approached the guard, a rather frightened looking young pimply-faced urchin, who seemed to be in the wrong place and wanted desperately to be elsewhere. I nearly laughed at him, but remembering my manners, asked him to take me to the Gaoler. He was reluctant to leave his post for fear the ladies would release his charge, but I reminded him that Quasi was securely locked in and that escape was quite unlikely. At that the lad took us to the Sheriff, inside the Gaol.
The Sheriff, a rather disgusting-looking corpulent Toad, sat at a large table, and was stuffing his fat face with a large greasy chicken carcass, and as we approached, he looked at us with a scornful eye, and with a mouth overflowing with chicken meat asked us what we wanted. I told him we had come to get his prisoner, the hunchback, and would pay any fines which were owed to secure his release. He looked at me with a squinty, dark little pig-eye, and took a generous swig of wine from a pewter goblet, and, wiping his greasy mouth on his sleeve, inquired as to my interest in this hunchback. I replied that he was my father and I had come to take him home to Pennsylvania and out of his hair. The Sheriff replied with a belch that shook the walls, and guffawed. He then tore a leg of the carcass and stuffed it into his mouth and withdrew the bone, cleaned of every speck of meat, which he tossed at the fireplace, missing it, and the bone joined several others beside the fireplace. He then farted in a manner to equal his belch.
I was rapidly losing my patience, and Timothy was staring at this spectacle as if it was the first time he had ever seen anything like it...and it was! I dropped a bag of coins onto the table and said it was all I had, and would like to be on my way. The Sheriff picked up the bag, dumped the coins into his fat hand, and looked at them for a moment, slid them inside his shirt, then looked to the pimply-faced lad and nodded. I thanked him and we left him to his belching, farting and chicken, and went with the lad to release Quasi.
Once we had him in our possession, we took Quasi, followed by his lady friends, and left Albany as quickly as we could, fearful that His Honour, the Sheriff, might sic his dogs on us all and put the lot of us in his Gaol. As we made progress toward Pennsylvania, one by one the lassies dropped away, and by nightfall we were just three.
It being a long, tiresome day, we left the road and encamped some distance away from it, so as to avoid any contact from anyone looking for us.
We told Quasi what we had overheard, and that the lady he had chosen for frolic was the wife of the Colonel, and that was why he had been arrested. He said he had been in the Inn, quaffing a few ales, as is his custom, when this lady approached him, and after a few more ales, she invited him for a walk along the river. It was a nice evening, he said, and there was no harm, he thought, in a stroll. Well, you know Quasi! One thing led to another and before long he was turning on all his charm. The lady was quite interested and willing to share her charms, too, and they decided to go up to a stable loft and continue the game. He swears he had no idea who this lady was, and that he found out only when the patrol found them. And the next thing he knew was that he was in the Gaol. He feels he is not to blame. He says that if the good Colonel paid more attention to the cat, it wouldn’t be seeking mice on someone else‘s farm.
We will continue our journey early in the morning, Cousins, and should be back to Ft. Augusta within a few days. After we look after Nancy, the dark-haired lass and young Gloria, who should very soon be birthing her child, Timothy and I will join you for the remainder of the journey to Ligonier. We will probably chain Quasi to a tree at Augusta!
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