Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Encounter at Giza (Part 2)

"Ich kann nicht glauben, dass es Sie ist!"

"I would appreciate it if you would stop brandishing that trowel at me, plebeian," Frank sneered.  He took a sip of his champagne and scowled.  "Or do you wish 'that [your] sword may pierce the shirt of Hector about his heart, and that full many of his comrades may bite the dust as they fall dying round him?'"

"Old man, you talk idly, as in time of peace, while war is at hand."

"War with you, Hiney?  I haven't the time to waste on fools, nor the inclination."

Suddenly, Polly yelped.  "Oh dear Apollo, what is that thing next to you?" he yelled, noticing at the small, uniformed figure standing next to Frank.  The creature was carrying a heavy backpack and bounced up and down slightly on its two spindly legs. 

"That 'thing,' as you so crudely put it, is my Gurhka boy, Buppa Rawal.  I found him under a pile of yak hides in Sri Lanka and he has since has taken to following me about.  I allow him to carry my meager belongings."

"B-b-but," Polly stuttered, "it's green."

I smiled comfortingly at my business partner.  "Of course he is, Polly.  That's the sort of uniform Gurkhas wear."

"NoI mean—jus' look at him!  Those eyes...that nose!  That thing isn't human!"

Buppa gurgled.

"Of course he's human, he's just Nepalese." I said, placing a hand on the child's shoulder.  "Now stop picking on the poor lad." 

Buppa mumbled something but, not being familiar with Nepali, I couldn't discern the meaning.

"स्लीप लिघ्त्ली एअर्थ्लिन्ग्स, फोर यौर तिमे ओफ रेच्कोनिंग इस अट हँद.  सून थे विल कमे.  यौ विल बे द फिर्स्त तो गो, फेलिने.  इ विल फले यौर हिडे एंड वेअर इत अस अ दिस्गुइसे."

Frank shook his head.  "Silence, Buppa.  'Hero though you be, you should not speak thus; taunting speeches, my good friend, will not make the Trojans draw away from the dead body; some of them must go under ground first; blows for battle, and words for council; fight, therefore, and say nothing.'"

"Why are you here, Frank?" I asked.  "I hope it isn't to look for anything of cultural significance, because you'll never find it even if you're standing right on top of it."

"Better to take time and care in discovering something, than to plow right through it when you do," he shot back.

We glowered at one another.

Polly broke the silence, "So, I take it you two have a history?"

"Oh, nothing much, Cat," my arch-nemesis responded.  "You are merely traveling with the man that stole Troy."

To be continued.

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