Chapter Fifty-Three: Damon and Pythias.
"She's reading AGAIN." Charlie rubbed his temples.
"Your best friend has a hobby. Big deal." Sunny shrugged, sitting at Bills resturant trying in vain to feed Melody without a major mess.
"What's she researching this time?" Tammy asked, sipping her thickshake.
"She's found out that the two ringleaders of the protestors who were slaughtered 93 years ago were none other than James Masters and Frank Begly." Charlie slumped down next to Sammy, who offered him some chips. "So now she's wondering what else our family has been involved in."
"Sounds interesting." Webster said, taking a mouthful of beer. Sunny frowned at him.
"Where's Maddy and Tate?" She asked.
"At home." Webster replied shortly.
"Why aren't they hanging out with us?" Sunny pressed.
"Because they're at home." Webster scowled.
"Shouldn't you be at home with them?" Sunny continued her onslaught.
"I'm a Knight of the Last Order as much as you are. Where's Patrick then if you're being so high-and-mighty?" Webster shot back, annoyed.
"At work, he's been putting in extra hours due to the destruction wrought by the DVM." Sunny replied triumphantly. "We're going out for a family dinner tonight when he gets home."
Webster didn't reply, he just glared at his beer like he wanted to kill it.
"Is there something up with you and Maddy?" Sam asked innocently, earning a thwack over the head from Tammy and a kick in the shins from Sunny.
"It's nothing." Webster got up. "But if you guys don't want me around, I'll piss off."
"Webster, don't be like that!" Tammy tried as Webster stormed off. On his way out, he shoved past Belle, who looked super-hyper-mega affronted.
"What happened?" She sat down next to Sunny, dropping a small mountain range of books on the table.
"We were just wondering why Webster isn't spending much time with Maddy and Tate." Sammy said, rubbing his sore shin and head.
"Oh, that'd be because it's coming up to the anniversary of when his friend Tate offed herself." Belle said with all the sensitivity of a dead cod fish. "Plus Maddy's been a doing a bit of a Mobster Marion and started talking about marriage."
"And you know all of this how?" Charlie looked sceptical.
"Because I talk to people and do my research, dumb-dumb." Belle smirked back.
"I thought Webster adored Maddy?" Tammy asked.
"He does. But he misses Tate too, especially around this time of year." Belle sighed, thinking back to her own part in the whole affair, nearly getting herself killed out of pride.
"What's with the books?" Sunny asked, remembering her own part in what had happened and feeling awkward.
"I've been looking up James Masters and Frank Begly." Belle replied brightly, making Charlie groan.
"You're not going to make me hear this story AGAIN are you?" He whined.
"Stick a cork in that whine, this is our family history we're talking about!" Belle snapped.
"I wanna hear the story!" Sam decided.
"I do too!" Tammy grinned.
"Why don't we all go back to my place? The others can meet us there and we can all hear it!" Sunny beamed, cleaning up Melody.
"Swell." Charlie muttered.
"So, we all ready?" Daniel asked the next night.
The group were all sprawled out over Sunnys lounge room, all in their pyjamas, some wrapped in blankets, the lights low.
"This will be interesting." Maddy snuggled into Webster, who smiled weakly.
"Only the first sixty-nine times." Charlie scowled, sitting in the window frame, looking out over the creek.
"Let's get started!" TJ grinned, sharing his popcorn with Petunia.
Belle felt important.
"It was 93 years ago, when the DVG didn't exist and the Mobsters of Misneach were only a very minor player in Pleasantvilles growing underbelly…"
Pleasantville had just celebrated her 100th birthday. To celebrate, Crusader Roger of the March Hill Crusaders had decided the time was ripe for a heist. A small convoy of wagons carrying gold from the mines that lay north of the city was heading that way, and the March Hill Crusaders wanted to get in first before the Mobsters of Misneach, the Silent Lake Gang, the Light Reach Gang or the Hidden Fear Crew heard about it.
It was early one Monday morning when the convoy was meant to shuffle through. They were going to stop to refresh their horses and supplies before heading off again. The plan was to steal the booty while the drivers were busy.
Alas, the March Hill Crusaders hadn't planned on the crime-fighting hero duo Damon and Pythias coming to spoil the party.
"Hi Roger! Why are you hanging around those wagons for?" Damon asked as Roger approached the stationery wagons, ready to call his men over.
"YOU!" Crusader Roger growled. He glared at the cowboy in front of him, who wore a black hat, a red scarf over his face, a red flannel shirt, black pants and carried a very strange-looking gun that he dubbed the Lucky Seven Gun.
"Yes, me. Me Damon." The cheeky hero replied. "You wouldn't be after the cargo of these here wagons would you?"
"Never you mind that!" Crusader Roger felt for his own pistol. He wanted to get this over quickly before any of the other crime groups showed up. "You get out of here before I call my men."
"Oh wow, like THEY'LL do anything." Damon rolled his eyes.
"Especially if I have anything to do with it." Said a voice from behind Crusader Roger. Suddenly, he felt his pistol fall to the ground, still in its holster.
"Pythias! So glad you could be bothered to join us!" Damon grinned at his best friend.
Pythias smirked. "Why would I let you have all the fun?" Pythias was dressed almost identical to Damon, only in blue and white instead of red and black. Instead of a gun, he held a long, five-foot blade that was called the Lions Claw Blade.
"I am warning you two. Let me go and get out of here. You wouldn't want to be here when everyone else gets here." Crusader Roger warned.
"Well, you can discount the Light Reach Gang, Gangster Steven is still out with a broken jaw." Pythias pointed out.
"I really should apologise for that." Damon mused.
"Yes, you should." Pythias agreed.
"That still leaves the Mob, the Silent Lakers and the Crew." Crusader Roger grimaced. Why oh WHY did these two INSIST on incessant babbling?
"Well, I dealt with Mobster Michael on the way here, so he won't be showing up." Pythias said. "By the way Damon I wouldn't go near Misneach Manor anytime soon if I were you."
"Why?" Asked Damon.
"I might have insinuated a few things about you and Michaels wife."
"For the love of-! Will you two can it already?!" Crusader Roger roared furiously.
"Are you going to leave these wagons and their cargo alone?" Asked Pythias.
"Nope." Was the snappish reply.
"Then we're not leaving until you've been brought to justice." Damon replied with a nod.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't the March Hill Crusaders. Looks like you've got your hands full there Roger."
Damon grabbed his gun. Crewmate Theodore and his men had arrived to claim their share of the booty.
"Damn this! Where are my men?! They should have stopped you!" Crusader Roger roared in fury.
"They're busy dealing with the Silent Lakers. So we thought we'd bypass the crap and get straight to the treasure." Crewmate Theodore casually explained. "Now move."
"Nope." Damon and Pythias replied together.
"Then so be it." Crewmate Theodore growled. "FIRE!"
Crusader Roger fled the scene in a rage while Damon and Pythias hid behind the wagons.
"Get out here you little cowards!" Crewmate Theodore cried.
"Well, this has gone well." Damon sighed as Pythias quickly poked his head out from behind one of the wagons, nearly getting it blown off.
"No big deal, we just wait here until the drivers come back and then we help them escape." Pythias brushed his best friend off.
"Pythias, the Crew are advancing on us, we have NO way of holding them off, the drivers are probably inside scared stiff after hearing the noise and you want to – PYTHIAS!" Damon cried in exasperation. He grabbed the Lucky Seven Gun and fired at the feet of the Crew while Pythias opened the gate of a nearby cattlepen. The beasts, happy to have some room to move, stampeded out towards the Crew.
"Oh I am going to SLAUGHTER him when this is over!" Damon growled to himself, eye twitching. He quickly ran into the saloon where the drivers were hiding.
"Here's our chance to get out of here, let's go!" He beckoned for them to follow him. Keeping an eye out for any criminals, Damon led the drivers back to their belongings and went with them to the city boundaries.
"You're safe now. Whatever you do, don't come back here!" Damon warned as the last wagon made its way over the ridge.
"Trust me, we won't!" The driver of the wagon assured the young cowboy. With a flick of his whip, he set his horse to a trot and it wasn't long before all Damon could see of the convoy was a trail of dust.
Sighing, Damon made his way back to the scrapyard, where he knew Pythias would be waiting. Sure enough, when he got there Pythias had already shed his disguise and emerged as Frank Begly.
"Before you yell at me, I managed to get all the cattle back into the pen, so no one is losing out." Frank chuckled at the look on his friends face.
"You could have been killed – AGAIN." Damon pulled off his disguise to reveal James Masters.
"I swear Jimmy, I'll never get myself killed. In fact, it'll probably be you who gets me killed!" Frank laughed. "How would that be for irony?"
"Irony and coincidence are not the same thing." James scowled.
"Oh, sorry, I forgot you're all educated now." Frank teased. James couldn't help but grin back.
"You're an idiot." He punched his friends shoulder.
"How are the plans for tomorrow anyway?"
"Ready to go." Frank replied. "Graham and Jack have managed to get about 20 people who are sick of the direction this city is going in. They've all agreed to a sit-down protest outside of City Hall."
"Perfect." James replied. "If we include the 60 people that I managed to muster, that's 80 people who will be protesting with us."
"You really think this is going to work?" Frank asked as the pair headed home.
"I know it will." James smirked.