THE MANLY ADVENTURES OF ABNER DEGGENT
Abner Deggent Goes Commando
Al Bruno III
“Keep low to the ground Brooks,” Deggent pushed my head down.
I had to spit out a mouthful of what I fervently prayed was mud, “Do you really mean to go through with this? We’re outnumbered and exhausted.”
“Exhausted? Tonight Brooks we will sleep the sleep of the valiant. Besides there’s barely twenty of them,” he offered me a smug grin, “I handled twice that many when we fought those communist guerillas.”
“That was a leper colony,” I corrected. My name is Ralph Brooks and it is my job as Abner Deggent’s personal biographer to make sure all his adventures are chronicled with the greatest of care.
“That was just a cover story,” he corrected, “they were a pack of agitators with psoriasis.”
“They were unarmed.”
“Only a few of them.”
The need to seek out adventure and escape extradition had led us here to Argentina. We were almost broke when we arrived but Abner Deggent’s mastery of the skills of combat, espionage and high speed house painting served us well.
It was during the painting of one particular home that we were approached by the lovely McDoland sisters. They had heard of Abner Deggent’s reputation for righting wrongs and avenging the innocent. I quietly congratulated myself at this, it had been my idea to print up those flyers and leave them around town.
The McDoland sisters explained that their father Brok McDoland was an eccentric scientist that had invented a new form of plastic explosive he called ‘Death Strudels’. They did not need blasting caps and they were edible but not digestible. Could you imagine what something like this could mean to the espionage world? If an agent needed to sneak an explosive into a foreign country all he would have to do is eat it, wait and, wipe it off.
Unfortunately Brok McDoland’s discovery had come to the attention of others and he had been kidnapped by a man called Colonel Wilhelm Screame.
Deggent and I had crossed paths with Colonel Wilhelm Screame before. He was an escaped Nazi war criminal with two mad obsessions- restoring the Third Reich and training goats for warfare.
The sisters admitted they didn’t have the money to pay our usual fee but they asked us to take pity on them. They were just a pair of nineteen year old twin girls alone in the world with no other marketable skills beyond being trained contortionists.
Abner Deggent listened to their story with growing interest and swiftly hardening resolve. We began our investigations that night leaving several houses unpainted and no stone unturned. Three sleepless days later we found Colonel Screame’s base of operations. It was just a few buildings, a generator and an impressive looking goat pen.
We skulked on the outskirts of the camp. I stole a container of petrol. Deggent stole a case full of Triumph of the Will commemorative soda bottles.
Abner Deggent had me keep watch while he made sloppy-looking Molotov cocktails. I watched the base through a pair of binoculars. There was no sign of McDoland so I turned my attention to the guards patrolling the camp. They were a shoddy looking bunch but the rifles they carried looked deadly enough. I observed one of the guards take time out from his duties to fill the goats’ feeding trough.
“I shouldn’t be long,” Deggent said. He had fashioned a clumsy bandolier out of my suspenders and secured three of the bottles to it. Leaks left his shirt damp with petrol.
Deggent gave me a thumbs up and made his way into the camp. I watched his progress through the binoculars. He crawled and ducked and rolled. None of the guards saw him.
Once he was close enough he lit one of the Molotov cocktails and hurled it at the generator. A sheet of flame erupted over it. He threw the second bottle at one of the cabins setting it ablaze.
The guards began to panic; one of them spotted Abner Deggent and raised his gun.
That was when the generator exploded sending a plume of flames up into the sky. The force of the blast knocked the guards to the ground. All the buildings were burning, the goat pen was burning and unfortunately Abner Deggent’s pants were burning.
The petrol and the heat had set Deggent’s pants on fire. He screamed and began to roll on the ground. Several of the guards had just gotten to their feet only to have Deggent roll into them and knock them over again.
A chorus of wet pops began to fill the air and I realized that Colonel Screame had been feeding the death strudels to his goats.
Flames were spreading throughout the camp. Deggent was no longer on fire but his clothes and burned away and his flesh was scorched. He turned in place trying to get his bearings only to be knocked unconscious by the dozens of bloody antlers and hooves that began to rain down everywhere.
Taking advantage of the chaos I ran down to the camp and carried my friend’s limp body to safety.
A short while later his eyes fluttered open, “D... d... d...”
“Don’t worry old man,” I said, “once I knew you were all right I found McDoland. I’ve sent him to get help.
He tried to speak again, “Do... do... do...”
“I don’t know where Colonel Screame is,” I said, “he must have escaped.”
Blackened fingers gripped the lapels of my jacket, Deggent pulled himself up and he asked, “Do I still have my dick?”
The question surprised me but I made sure to check. It was there, singed but there. “Of course you do old man.”
Smiling wearily Abner Deggent went limp and passed into what I can only hope was the sleep of the valiant.