Traverse City Record-Eagle


Story Endings

Here are several denouements you are unlikely to find anywhere in literature … and that’s a good thing too!

This is a Western. Billy Goodheart and Black Bart have been rivals for the hand of Little Nell. A duel on Main Street is imminent. As Billy and Bart walk toward each other Little Nell notices a rifle barrel extend from a store window and aimed at Billy’s back. She quickly seizes a pistol and fires at the shadowy form by the window. Bart is distracted but Billy is hard of hearing so he maintains his composure and shoots the pistol out of Bart’s hand.

Nell is arrested and sentenced to hang. Billy tells her not to worry because he has a plan to save her. She puts on her snow-white wedding gown so that she will look her best for the big event. Billy is on a rooftop and plans to shoot the rope as soon as the trap door is sprung. He shoots and misses but the rope breaks as this is the 429th time it has been used to hang someone and is badly frayed. Nell is dumped in the dirt beneath the scaffold. Her bridal gown is ruined. We see her in hot pursuit of Billy who got a head start and is riding out of town on his beautiful white horse.  (Fade and out …)

This is a sea story. Sarah Jane plans to sail solo around the world leaving from New York harbor. A problem arises because Sarah Jane is only twelve years old. Even though she has been sailing since she was three and is an honorary Admiral in the Paraguayan Navy, the New York authorities take a dim view of these shenanigans and impound her boat. They accuse her parents of child endangerment. The parents very much want her to go; it is a two-year voyage and Sarah Jane, like most twelve-year-old girls, is making her parent’s life an unholy hell.

They surreptitiously stock the boat, tell a few reporters and Sarah Jane sails out of the harbor at noon the next day. Well-wishers in their sailboats accompany her and the harbor is full of jockeying sailboats, few captains of which understand who has the right-of-way. Sara Jane knows of course but she is so busy watching out for those who don’t know that she fails to see a substantial landmark and puts the boat aground on Liberty Island which contains the Statue of Liberty. She discovers that Liberty Island, although in New York harbor, is actually part of New Jersey. So although Sarah Jane sailed only a few miles she learned a great deal.

Her parents are thinking of suggesting free ballooning as her next hobby.

This is another sea story. It is honeymoon time for Jim and Jeannie. It is Jeannie’s second marriage. She is now 50.They are in Florida and decide to go deep-sea fishing. They find a charter boat and early one morning set off. A violent storm comes up. The skipper radios a mayday and a Coast Guard chopper is dispatched just as the boat begins to sink. The chopper lowers a basket with a swimmer to help them get in but as they do and the basket begins to lift the cable snaps. (Jeannie and her new husband are both quite stout.) They land back in the water.

Suddenly, up from the depths comes an enormous object. They are sure they will be swallowed by a whale! Not so. Surfacing directly beneath them is a Chinese submarine whose skipper heard their mayday calls. They are taken aboard and Jeannie finds that Captain Wu Han Ming was her pen pal way back in the fourth grade during the Nixon-China thaw. Jim does not survive the shock but Jeannie finds true happiness with Captain Wu.

  • Bobdisqus


    This one never got any comments so I thought I would hijack
    it to talk about the upcoming TC Beer Week.

    These are some of the TCBW2013 brews I am hoping to try:
    Drunken Mayor Pale Ale
    Impaired Mayor White Top Stout
    Splash Pad Skunk Extra Special Bitter
    Bay Bijou Yellow Brick Bock

    Everyone please add the favorites they hope to see.

    • Henry klugh

      Yes Bob, I do, or rather did, have a favorite beer. It was a
      Dopplebock and very tasty but with a 9.5 ABV%. I don’t recall its name but when
      I was an undergraduate we called it “Old Kidney Flusher.” The curious thing
      about this particular beer was that the foam was on the bottom. (Actually, Sam
      Adams now sells a Dopplebock with the foam on top. The name is not a prank!)

      We also had a cocktail made from lab alcohol and orange
      juice (20% alcohol and 80% orange juice). This was thus about 40 proof and
      after a few of these we could stand on our heads so that the foam on “Old
      Kidney Flusher” was now where it belonged. Of course that was back in 1947 when
      I was much younger and took many foolish chances.

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