Spontoon Island
home - contact - credits - new - links - history - maps - art - story
6 November 2005

Let's Doe It [Lets Fall In Love]
Willow Fawnsworthy created by M. Mitchell Marmel
Reggie Buckhorn created by EOCostello

"Let's Not Duello On The Subject"
by E. O. Costello & M. Mitchell Marmel

"Let's Not Duello On The Subject"
by E.O. Costello &  M. Mitchell Marmel

Reggie Buckhorn, Lodge, Inspector Stagg, Baron and Baronin von Kojote, Senor, Senora and Senorita de Ciervos, Po'na (c) E.O. Costello
Willow Fawnsworthy, Rosie Baumgartner (c) M. Mitchell Marmel

Part 5



No more Miss Nice Cheetah.

I've HAD IT with screaming deer, I've HAD IT with honking deer, I've HAD IT with deer with bright ideas about dueling, and I've HAD IT with stupid &*^%$# deer that can't understand a simple *&^%$ thing like lying low for six weeks.

 No more sneaking around, no more trying to get something out of a stupid pair of canines that couldn't think their way out of a laundry bag. No, no. This cheetah is going on the offensive. And speaking of offensive, if Nimrod so much as splutters at me and won't give up his STUPID boxer shorts, I'm gonna arrange a little accident for him. Yeah, a nice little accident...

Steady, steady. Breathe in deep, Rosie. Fooooocus. Right. OK. Slide on the hood, that's riiiight. There. Mask, fine. Yeah. Ninja cheetah. And *damn*, I look good. Yup, basic black, furtight, front and back. Better not let Willow see me like this. Hm. Shouldn't have had that last blini. Oh, well, more of me to love.

OK, where's that picture post-card...there. OK. "View from the garden of the new SHEPHERD'S HOTEL, Casino I., Spontoon Islands." Well, it's no blueprint, but it'll do. Now, let's see, Lover Boy's penthouse suite should be just there, to the left of the clock tower and below, as I'm looking at it here. Yeah, that's right. That stupid Randolph's got the suite facing the street, not the ocean. Wonder how much Lover Boy is paying for the joint. Probably more than I earn in a week...good thing it's the slack season. Toni can handle things for the most part.

Hell! No trellis. What kind of stupid de luxe hotel doesn't have a trellis? Elevators, four-star restaurant, air conditioning, but no trellis. Feh. Must be afraid of cat-burglars. Heh, heh, heh.

All right, up the brickwork on the side of the building. Climb to the clock-tower. Where's that magnifying...yep, there's a ledge under that clockface. Across the ledge, then drop down to Lover Boy's suite. Grab the unmentionables and skedaddle through the front door, and down the service stairs, and out into the garden. If Lover Boy has a problem, well, there's bound to be something hard and dense I can hit him with. Too bad I can't use his skull, that qualifies.

Figure I'll do it a little after midnight. Lover Boy hasn't been carousing of late. Probably Papa Sangria has got him in training or something. Yeah, well, we'll see how well he trains with a knot on his noggin, right between the antlers. OK, synchronize watch to LONO...there, 11:00, on the nose...


OK, no one around and about...guess Po'na's gone home, I don't see him near the Grand. I wonder where he lives, anyway. Don't suppose he snoozes in his ricksha...

Okay, hood back down, trenchcoat on, casually walk down the street. Keep to the shadows, Rosie...no cops around, they're probably all home, nice and safe in their warm little...

"Excuse me, miss?"


"Oh, sorry..."

Whothe whatthe wherethe haminah haminah...oh. Aw, fer the love of...

 "Can you tell us if the soda fountain is closed, miss?"

Soda fountain? SODA FOUNTAIN?!? Who the hell goes to a soda fountain at oh*&^%$#-dark-hundred in the morning? Well, here's one answer. Dopey looking golden retriever in a polo shirt and ascot, four-eyed tabby cat (didn't I see her at the Lotus a coupla times?), minkess in a short skirt, and some scraggly looking...whatever that breed of dog is...stuffing his face. Sheesh, there oughta be a law...

 "Errr, um. I think everything is pretty much locked up tight this time of night, guys."

 "Oh. Okeh. Sorry to bother you, miss."

 "Not a problem." Like hell it ain't. And what's with that funny way of walking, too?


All right, breathe in, breathe out. Nobody else in sight. Everything's locked down nice and tight, like the cheetah said. No one's gonna go boogie-boogie-boogie at me. Right. Focus. Fooooocus.

All right, here's Shepherd's. There's the clock tower. Trenchcoat off, hood up. Okeh, here's a nice, handy tree, that'll get me up about three of the four stories...and what I don't know about climbing trees ain't worth knowin'... g'way, ya damn bird...shoo, scat...whatthe...? Aw, now I gotta get this laundered. Stupid bird. Wait'll I get my paws...

OK, top of the tree. Lean over, wait for a breeze...lean over....THERE! Aaaaah. Don't look down, Rosie, don't look down. Right. Use the joints in the bricks, girl, that's right. Slowly, slowly. Bit by bit....slowly...

Got it! There's the ledge. What time is it? Hell, I'm asking this question and I'm a foot under a huge clock. What am I, nuts? Lessee, 12:37. Yeah, I figger Lover Boy's asleep, and probably Lodge. I hope. That little guy's scary. Glad I'm not on his wrong side...

OK, now. Slowly, slowly. Nice and easy along the ledge. Look straight out, Rosie, don't look down, look straight out and...



Whothe whatthe holy*&^%$ whatthe howthe...?!?!


I don't *&^%$ well...hissssssssss!  "Randolph, ain't it?"


Wait for it.


"Do you know how late it is?!"

 "Actually, I don't think he can tell time."


Ohmigod, ohmigod, I jumped. I jumped. Grab on, girl, grab on, grab on...ohmigod...

"Well, I see you've got some time on your paws."

Who the? Oh...fer pity's sake, it's that stupid duck from the cigar stand. All I need now is...


Hail, hail, the gang's all here.

 "Lookit, boss, now the hotel's gotta one of them there watches, you know, with Mi..."

"Don't bother, Benelli. The guy that runs this website gets enough cease and desist letters as it is. And we're not helping."

Paschudnyaks. Happy as pigs in poop, looking at me from the ledge and some stupid panel in the clockface. Oy. I'm glad it was 12:40...

"You idiots got any reason for being up here at this hour?"

"Oh, sure, miss. We-a justa killin' time, eh, Randolph?"

The reindeer pulls an alarm clock out of his overcoat, flings it out into the garden, and then pulls out a .45. Bang goes the gun and the clock. Great. That'll wake up anyone else who hasn't heard me screaming.

The duck passes down a cigar to the deer. What the....? Oh, no, he isn't gonna... "YEEEEEOW!"  Stupid reindeer lighting a match on my footpad?! Why, I oughta...just you get a little closer, you...and...wait...what are you doing...oh no, you're not going to do with that match what I think you're gonna. Oh, no, please...  "OWOWOWOWOWOWW...OOWWWWWW!"


"I'm disappointed in you, Randolph. Here you come up with something cruel to do to this cheetah...and you didn't let me do it. Things have come to a fine state of affairs, a fine state of affairs, indeed."



"No, it's no use looking like that. Look at that poor cheetah, twisting slowly in the wind. Aren't you going to do something?"



What the -? How the hell did he get a gallon bottle of seltzer in that overcoat?

 "Eeeeeey, atsa puttin' in your two cents' plain worth, Randolph. Eeeey, get it, boss, two cents..."

"Benelli, it's clear to me you don't have two cents. In fact, you have no cents at all. If you had any sense at all, you'd come inside. It's about to rain cats and dogs. Or cats, anyway."

"Whaaat, it'sa squall?"

 "Oh, there'll be a squall, all right. Mezzo-soprano, if I'm not mistaken."

 Hunh? What...aw crap, why don't they build these clocks better...


Definitely shouldn't have had that last blini.


Yeah, like I need my attention drawn to this.

"Say, do you have any last words? Ones that can be printed in a family newspaper, that is. Of course, that depends on the family, and how influential they are. Some families like violent language. Some families like violence. Some families are even bullet-ridden, and as we all know, in Philadelphia, nearly everybody heeds the bullet-ridden."


"You're des-PICABLE," I hissed.

 "Say, that's good! Mind if I borrow that? That'd be perfect for a cousin of mine. You know, you oughta frame those words. You should try knitting a sampler, right after you knit your bones."

"Atsa no good, boss. Cats always land on their feet."


"Well, you have a point, there, Randolph. This cheetah will be able to land on three feet. Three feet of rose bushes, that is. They've got a few good points, too."

Oh, no.


"When you hear the sound of the screaming cheetah, the time will be exactly 12:44 and one-quarter."


One chance for Mrs. Baumgartner's little girl to avoid becoming a pavement latke. I coiled my legs and launched myself into space. "KREEEEEGAAAAAAAAAAH!"  Hey, if it's good enough for Lord Greystoat, King of the Apes, it's good enough for me.

I went down the tree considerably faster than I went up it. More of a semi-controlled crash than anything else. Between the tearing branches and flimsy seams on my catsuit (must have been Rigged that way), my descent to the ground wound up being "Mostly Nude Descending A Tree Trunk"... right into a strong pair of arms.

"Po'na!" My hero. Well, that explains where he was.

I noticed something. "Er, could you move your left paw just a little-?" The fox blushed crimson and set me on my feet.

"That's her, Inspector!"

"ACK!" I whirled and saw Inspector Stagg holding my trenchcoat, a look of mild amusement on his face and a quartet of brats behind him. "Pardon me, Madame Onca, but I believe this is yours..."

"Madam-?" I glanced down. Whups. Mostly random tatters from the neck down. I grabbed the trenchcoat. "Thank you."

An ironic bow from the deer detective. "Not at all. Now, would you mind unmasking? After all, Hallow'een was weeks ago."

With a wry grin, I pulled the hood and mask down, shaking my hair out. "Evening, Inspector."

For some reason, the Inspector seemed a bit surprised. "Miss Baumgartner?!"

I nodded.

"And you were..."

"Out for a bit of exercise," I said charmingly.

"Climbing on the Shepherd's clock tower after midnight."

I nodded. "During the day, people would notice."


"At night, too, apparently," Stagg said dryly. "And dressed...at least formerly... head to toe in black?"

"Well, it IS November. Chilly and all that. And basic black's good anytime."

Stagg sighed. "And someone dressed as a chambermaid answering your description was seen at Shepherd's earlier today..."

I nodded. "Lost a bar bet. Would you believe the Hamdrews Sisters aren't natural blondes?"

Stagg winced. He turned to the quartet behind him. "Thank you very much for calling this in," he told them. "I'll be taking Miss Baumgartner down to the station. No doubt, she'll have some cuts and bruises that need attention..."

"No problem, Inspector," Big, Dumb and Blonde said. "C'mon, Gang! I hear Song
Sodas may be open!"

They still walk funny, I think.

Stagg turned and put a paw on my shoulder. "Miss Baumgartner? Shall we?"

I nodded wryly. "But of course, Inspector. Ah, Po'na?"

Po'na nodded. "Po'na-self duty return," he said, heading back to the Grand for Willow Watch.

The Inspector and I both limped back towards the police station. I sighed to myself. Probably would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for those meddling kids...

As Shepherd's receded in the distance, I heard quite clearly from the clock tower, "See, Benelli? It's like I always say: Cheetahs never prosper!"



I dragged myself in the next morning, bedraggled, disgruntled and duly fined by the judge, who lectured me on clambering about buildings in the wee hours.

Willow was happily stitching up the plushie. "Got 'em!"

My jaw dropped. "How?!"

Willow shrugged. "Lodge never liked the boxers, so he swiped them, told Reggie the laundry lost them, and gave them to me. Rosie? Why are you crying, Rosie?"


A hot bath and a large brandy calmed me down somewhat, and I laid down to get a bit of shuteye.

Damn. Now *I* can't sleep.

Wonder where Stagg keeps his underwear?


Back to Let's Doe It