But some residual feline instinct, long-removed from his ancestors' domination of the African plains, aroused Mr Jinks when the bricktop, Sookie Soo, sashayed into the yard, rolls of plans under her arm, and laid them out on the table; although Jinks had never met Sookie before, he did know something about her: previously a hello girl at the downtown telephone exchange, she had become a union organiser and was now the Ombudswoman for the Communications Department of Hanna Barbera Town Council—someone it could benefit him to become a friend of, quite apart from the fact that she was an absolute knockout, he thought, real eye-candy, a dish of fresh cream he'd love to lap up, so he held out the bowl of figs and invited her to take some, but: "not for me, Pussycat, I don't give a fig for figs, but if you wanna offer me a date, you'd find me willin!" and he could almost have swooned, but instead dashed into the house, found a bag of dates, rushed back with them and her smile was beatific.
"You were talkin about the meeces an then you tole me about meetin Schnozzle in Scranton. . . . ." which was as far as Mr Jinks got, because suddenly TC was pacing around the back-yard, snapping his fingers, talking jive 16 to the dozen, "you're one hot-diggity-dog, Jinksy," he said, jabbing a finger into Jinks' chest, "you're smart—hot, smart and don't give a fig for convention! you hit the nail on the head while other guys are lookin for their tool-boxes, dontcha see? the meeces is the Answer to the Great Riddle of the Myriad! and you're the one, the only one who knows what that means, aintcha just?" and Jinks felt a strange brew of pleasure and delight at being singled out for praise by TC, combined with confusion because he had no idea what the Cato of all Catos was talking about, but luckily TC provided an answer he could relate to: "what we need is a Scouthouse and surely the basement of your house will be ideal—safe, secure, and square, especially once we've corrected the orientation anomaly, which is where the meeces come in, isn't it?" and Jinks gulped, then said "it is?" with the inflexion adjusted so that it came out as, "it is!" at which TC swept aside the beer glasses, consigning them to the rubbish dump of history and pulling out a large, silver hip-flask, he unscrewed the cap and offered it to Jinks, who took a long draw and felt his head balloon as the alcohol hit his bloodstream, "fifty-year old Laphraoigh, old bean, 100% proof," said TC, taking a swig himself, as Jinks slumped into Goldilocks' rocking chair and began to snore, while the Boss strutted around the yard, tossing ideas, suggestions, plans, fantasies, directions, dreams and utter nonsense into the air, where Pixie and Dixie, fascinated, watched them drift like the mists of time until they evaporated and vanished.
"Wassup with the orientation?" asked Jinks, to TC's amusement, "well," he explained, "the sun shouldn't set in the East, everyone knows that, even the sprigger who re-studs Officer Dibble's boots knows that, and rife rumours to the contrary, even Officer Dibble hisself knows that, and that's just for starters, see, over there, that pair of meeces?" and following TC's pointing claw, Jinks spotted his two bêtes noir, and nodded, "yepp," he confirmed, "I hates 'em to peeces!" and his friend patted his knee affectionately, "as you should, Jinksy, cos you are a Cat, a superior species, and they are Meeces, an inferior species, which fact, once again, even Officer Dibble - who doesn't give a fig for many things - is aware of, but just suppose, they wasn't the colour of meeces, just suppose they was afflicted with a rare condition known to us cognoscenti as aposematism, what would you think?" but Jinks was horrified, "no! no!" he cried, jumping to his feet, "you ain't gonna tag me as a anti-semite, anti-meeces, yepp definately, but anti-semite, no never, my Babushka was a Jewish Moggavitch from Lvov, it's true, I got papers to prove it," by which time TC had risen too and was putting an arm round Jinks, "it's okay buddy, I'm talkin bout aposem-a-tism, got nuthin to do with bein Jewish, it's like Chameleon's got, they're born with it, let's em change colour whenever they're threatened, they can turn blue, which looks real poisonous, or the same colour as the red door they're standing beside, or the sand they're sunbathin on at the beach, which is why it's easy to trip over 'em, did I ever tell you bout the time I was in Scranton, PA? it was downtown, on Lackawanna Avenue, and I was lookin for the five-and-dime and there, across the street, I sees Woolworth and Kresge, right next door to each other, so I trots across and heads straight into Woolworth when I walks Slap! Bang! into Schnozzle, you remember Schnozzle? the Chameleon Monkey with the proboscis? course you do, well, apparently he's spotted a coupla loan sharks over the other side who was eye-ballin him so he did a ripple right along the street, lookin exactly like whatever was behind him, and when I got there he looked like the glass door, absolutely invisible, and we both fell down and then he scrambled me inside before those two guys clocked us, oh it was great to see him again, but in Scranton? you just never can tell!" so Jinks asked, "what's that got to do with the meeces?" but TC shook his head, "nope, I don't know, you tell me, is it a trick question or is it a secret?"
And, meanwhile, just around the block, Pixie and Dixie stared at the tajine Goldilocks, the Housekeeper, had proudly placed in the centre of the back yard; she had paid two lumberjacks five dollars each to cut down the birch tree which had always been the yard's finest adornment, and haul it away with their truck, and now the tajine stood on a firepit where the tree had previously grown; the two mice were aghast: "it's a catastrophe," cried Pixie, while Dixie could only mutter: "a fakement, a fakement, a fakement of her imagination, she's lost her marbles and now we've lost our tree!" which was when Mr Jinks jumped up from behind the cooking pot, a butterfly net in each paw and started chasing the mice around the yard, yelling: "come here, meeces, I want you as the signature ingredients for Mr Jinks Meece Stew, Top Cat and the Boys're coming over and I've promised them a Feast!" but the mice were too fast for him and he ended tied up in knots, with one net over his head and his feet in the other, which was how the Alley Cat Gang found him when they arrived: "not to worry," said TC, sending off a couple of the guys to fetch Fish Suppers from the Luncheonette, "to be honest with you, Jinksy, Meece Stew is now so passé, and a fashionista can't be seen to be behind the culinary times," pouring them each a beer as they sat on the verandah and watched the setting sun sink slowly in the East, "beside which, there's something wrong with the orientation of this house, the Feng Shui is all wrong, I'm gonna get Sookie Soo to come over and sort it out for you."
The willowy Olive Oyl half-opened her right eye and dreamily noticed that the snoring customer beside her was the Ghost Clown, and her right ear drowsily half-understood that the mumblings were pejoratives about skinny broads in peasant-smocked tops and saggy sacking skirts and these garbled messages coalesced in her mesmerised mind into an image which triggered instant alarm in someone with a bad case of coulrophobia—Morbid Fear of Clowns = PANIC!—and her screams not only woke herself, but broke Charlie's hold over all the occupants of the Luncheonette and in just a couple of seconds howling, wailing, roaring, screaming cartoons were squeezing out the door, windows, cracks between bodywork panels, even the ventilator in the kitchen and soon the only ones left were Charlie Chan, Huckleberry Hound, Boo Boo and Dominic Doubleday so, in the absence of Sleeping Beauty, Boo Boo—apparently a trained barista—fetched coffee for each of them and they began to talk.
And so he ran, he ran full tilt away from the Luncheonette, all the time feeling the eyes of the cartoons there burning into his back, like when as a boy he had used a magnifying glass to concentrate the rays of the sun into a tiny point on a sheet of paper and watched it, brown, darken, then burst into flames, and that spurred him on to dash pell-mell ever onwards towards. . . . .he stared ahead, he saw the Luncheonette as he ran closer, saw the faces of all the cartoons staring out of the windows at him and he skidded to a stop, turned right and ran, faster and faster, his feet barely touching the pavement as he put greater distance between himself and the Luncheonette and. . . . .there it was, ahead of him, growing larger and closer with every stride and there were the faces, all turned towards him, Pixie and Dixie, Huck, Yogi, Boo Boo, even Mark Twain, so he swung left and ran past giant Cactus, old adobe houses, front yards with picket fences, and on one of the porches he could have sworn it was his old pal Mary, what a gal she was, the best ever, absolutely the bees knees, with an innate dress sense who could wear a taffetine gown like any Princess, and her just a milkmaid, and he wondered whatever happened to Mary? what would my life have been like if I'd only had the gumption to settle down with her? but the porch, the house, the yard were gone and he was running past a used car lot full of long Studebakers in primary colors, and ahead of him. . . . .the Luncheonette, and outside the throng he knew so well, many of them waving to him, trying to get him to stop, but he couldn't, his life depended on escaping from this cartoon town, with it's cartoon Luncheonette and cartoon inhabitants so, spotting a narrow alley over to his right, he swung into it and ran through the shadows, past dustbins and cats with fish-bones and dogs snoozing on back-stoops, windows affording him glances into rooms of cartoon normality, with cartoon residents sitting on cartoon sofas watching cartoon TVs and on every screen. . . . .himself running past the windows, flashing past, tearing past, as fast as the wind and he tore his eyes from those rooms and saw the far end of the alley and, blocking it off. . . . .the Luncheonette, he stopped, gasping for breath, looked over his shoulder and saw the Luncheonette, just a few yards behind him, and forwards, there it was, just a few steps, and at the door, beckoning him, Huckleberry Hound, with Pixie and Dixie on either side, applauding him, and at that very moment he realized that he was no longer flesh-and-blood, he was ink lines on paper and he resignedly mounted the steps and entered the Luncheonette, resumed his seat between Yogi and Boo Boo, or should it be just the one Boo now? and found that Charlie Chan had joined Huck on the other side of the table and Sleeping Beauty was delivering his breakfast, but before he could eat it, Charlie fixed him with a gimlet eye and said: "Mistah Dubbledy, you know me, we met in Beijing, in five years time, and you know I am a peaceful man, I prefer to mesmerise a suspect and persuade him to confess without recourse to brawling, I do not like brawling, it is not good for the clothes, so look into my eyes and begin to count from twenty, slowly, down to 19, breathe in, breathe out, 18, slowly, 17, breathe in, breathe out, 16," and all around him, Dom heard the gentle snoring of the other cartoons, whether customers, spectators, witnesses or the Judge and Jury, he saw that Huck's chin was resting on his chest, Pixie and Dixie were wrapped in each others' arms and legs, Boo Boo's head was resting on his forearms, Yogi was leaning back, his nose, aimed at the ceiling, was quivering, his mouth hung open, slack, and still the gentle voice, "9, breathe in, breathe out, 8, your eyes are tired and heavy, close them, 7, breathe in, breathe out, 6, slowly, 5, breathe in, breathe out, 4, slowly, 3, breathe in, breathe out, 2, slowly, 1, breathe in, breathe out, and stop!"
Which was when, pushing his way through the crowd which had gradually swollen as word got about that Dan Deaney, lead guitar and vocalist in The Woodentops, had dropped in en route to a gig in San Bernardino, came Charlie Chan, famous detective, accompanied, as always, by his No 3 son, insisting that a third-rate ryotei—by which he apparently insulted the Luncheonette, because it brought Big Bertie and Little Louie out from the kitchen, cleavers in hands as big as hams—was no place to attempt to corroborate the carrier-wave anomaly, causing Huckleberry to stop speaking in mid-sentence, Dominic Doubleday to duck under the table, squeeze through an air-vent and begin sprinting in the opposite direction, and Mark Twain to yawn, roll over on his bench and go back to sleep!
It was very shortly after that, that the strange man—Doubleday by name, according to his own testimony—found himself squeezed by the presence of Yogi Bear and Boo Boo on either side of him, although he couldn't for the life of him remember how the smaller bear had managed to get between himself and the window, either way, he was well and truly hemmed in and felt that he was being lectured by the Town Sage, Huck, sitting opposite him, dissecting—almost as a lawyer might for the Judge and Jury—what he, Doubleday, had told him, with the exactitude and fastidiousness of a lexicographer, deciding which word should—or should not—be included in the new dictionary he was compiling, and to Doubleday's angst, Huck referred several times to Sir Parlane as Prince Charming and Doubleday, himself, as Dandini, which—because he had never heard the name before—caused Doubleday no end of anxiety, for he was beginning to sense that he was being set up, or framed, for whatever this Dandini guy may have been involved in, and the whole story had a weird epistolary tone about it, as if Huck was dictating a series of letters, addressed to a distant—quite literally—relative, an elderly aunt, say, resident on the Island of Muckle Flugga, who seemed to have some peculiar—and this thought worried Doubleday more than some of his others—interest in the sayings or doings of the Dandini guy, and for his own part, Doubleday was beginning to suspect that Dandini—and by some kind of corollary—Prince Charming, was on a Most Wanted list, although nothing quite so specific as an actual crime was ever mentioned, or even hinted at, it was all in the tone, the inflexion, the nuance, the eyes, which at one moment seemed friendly and warm, but then, just a moment later, had about them a cold and calculating sheen, as Doubleday imagined a professional killer's might, but throughout this quasi-judicial process, Yogi and Boo Boo maintained an air of utter don't-carishness, of insouciance, making asides to Doubleday, to Pixie and Dixie, to Mendelsohn, Lenya, Rockwell and Twain, and even to the waitress, Miss Montecello—otherwise, Sleeping Beauty—seeming to comprise the Jury, along with several other habitués of the Luncheonette who appeared to have been hastily summoned to make up the numbers—and among their names, the two which struck him most forcibly were Butch and Sundance, not because they were names he remembered from his previous life, but because they seemed to carry some degree of wariness, of respect tinged with fear, of threat even, and he thought that he had identified, out of the bloodshot corners of his eyes, the two figures he believed belonged to those names, and he didn't want to find himself messing with either—or both—in a dark alley in the wee small hours when no civil soul should be out and about, oh no sirree!
"So, tell me, pardner, is Prince Charming here too?" enquired Huck, affably enough, but Doubleday scowled, then grunted, sighed, and eventually said: "quite frankly, buddy, Ah've nae idea, no a scoobie, when Ah wis scooped up by thon tornado, a'thing wis total confusion, oh an his name's nae Prince Charmin, ye must be gettin him an me confused wi some ither chiels, the Laird's name's Sir Parlane MacFarlane, an Ah wis christened Dominic, bit ye kin cry me Dom fer short," and Huck mused, "a rhyming name, Sir Parlane MacFarlane, how I used to long for one of those, thought of changing my surname to Merry, Kerry, Terry, or even Confectionery, but then realised the name isn't just about me, it's about the history of the family, and it wouldn't be right and proper to go cutting it off like a broken toe-nail, d'you understand Dom? our family name bestows responsibility on us, a kinda noblesse oblige, even if we ain't noble in this democratic and republican age, nevertheless we represent our forefathers and upholding the honour of the family is more important than indulging a whim, I trust I don't sound overly abrodietical, but if I enjoy, just occasionally, chawin on a shin-bone to get a taste of the marrow, it's not just because I like that taste, ye see? it's cause my old grand-pappy and his old grand-pappy did it too, and it's a habit and a pleasure that's been handed down through the generations, until it came to me and so it's become a family tradition, and those are things that we should cherish, don't ya think? ah, look over there," he said, pointing out of the window, where two figures, one tall, the other short, both rather tubby, silhouetted against the sunlight, came ambling towards the Luncheonette, "it's Yogi and Boo Boo, you're gonna like them, Son, I jest know it!"
"Very succinctly put, neighbour," said Huckleberry, "but I suppose it rather begs the question of how you came to be here in the first place, if your identity is so precious to you, can you bear to part with the facts regarding your arrival in our beloved Burg?" and the man sat back on his bench, possibly thinking, possibly losing interest in living, then nodded, just once, but it was enough, so "do tell, pray," said the Town Sage, and the man spoke: "ma name's Doubleday an Ah'm fae a wee place in the Highlands o Scotland, cried Brigadoon, Ah divnae suppose ye'll hae heard tell on't?" but the Hound was apparently smiling with some sense of fond reminiscence, for he replied: "oh, but I do have, dear fellow, indeedy I do, why, it's a most enchanting hamlet, set in a distant glen, surrounded by inspiring mountains and bens, and peopled by good decent folk who farm the land, fish the burns, distil the finest nectar a body could taste and wear the most varied and distinctive colours and shades of tartan ever seen this side of the Rockies, so why—or indeed, how—came you hence?" and Doubleday, perhaps surprised that the Sage should have such clear memories of his distant home, told of the awful, stormy, fateful night, when he and the laird set out to climb Ben Dover in a fearfully wild and windy gale, "aye, mon, a tornado it wis, an jist as we reached the peak, a great twister plucked me aff the livin rock an whurled an whurled me aroon an aboot until Ah fair lost aw sense o whit wis up and whit wis doon an whit wis past an whit wis future an all o a sudden whamped me doon sae hard Ah thocht every bane in ma boady must be shattered, an when Ah opened ma een, Ah fund masel starin towards the openin tae some kind o shelter an Ah tried tae crawl in bit Ah got stuck, fer ma shooders couldna squeeze through, an Ah wis minded aboot auld Lemuel Gulliver meetin the Little People an thocht Ah must've bin deposited in Lilliput, an then Ah woke tae find twa cartoon meeces pullin me oot o a dug's kennel an tellin me am in some place they said wis cried Hannah Barbara, Ah mean, hoo kin a toon be named efter twa Wummin?" and Huckleberry stroked his chin thoughtfully, "that's quite a conundrum," he said, "and I rather imagine you must have bowdlerized your account on account of the children," he glanced towards Pixie and Dixie who were avidly listening to the conversation, "and I daresay your Laird is Prince Charming and you, Mr Doubleday are his Dandini, and this epic struggle agin the mountain at such a time of bombogenesis, with truly elemental storms and floods, no doubt involved a fair maiden, but fear not, I am not trying to interrogate you, nor doubt the veracity of your tale, just musing, as I do, to amuse myself, but you are certainly no quakebuttock to attempt such a desperate climb, and I think you should meet my dear friend and associate, Yogi Bear," at which Doubleday asked, "he's a Swami? you got Gurus in this toon Maister Huckleberry?" at which the other said, "just call me Huck, friend, it's less of a mouthful, but yes, we do have rather more than our fair share of enlightened ones and twos, even threes, and in Yogi's case," he paused a couple of beats, "we got Boo Boo!"
"Take a seat, neighbour," said Huckleberry, quite affably, while pointedly ignoring the fact that the other had joined him without waiting to be invited, "but please refrain from that vulgarity, there are women and children within earshot, come now, tell me what troubles you," and the man, after just the briefest smidgeon of a hesitation, put his elbows on the table and placed his hands together in an almost churchical semblance of praying, just as the waitress approached carrying her order-pad, and Huckleberry introduced her: "this, brother, is Miss Lollobello Montecello, famed through fourteen States as Sleeping Beauty, after she was discovered on a bed of roses in her father, the King of Monty Woolley's castle, fast asleep after a hundred years and all from pricking her finger on a spinning wheel, a fiendish spell cast by the Wicked Witch of the North, or so the strolling players tell it, as they wend and weave their way hither and yonder, gyring and gimbling without a care in the world, ah, to be a simplicitarian, that was all my dear departed papa left me, when he walked out the door, stepping over my sainted mother as she begged him to remember his children, 'how kin I forgit em?' he asked, 'forever barkin, bleatin, mewlin, roarin, quackin, mooin, an generally raisin a ruckus, whene'er I lay me down for a nap,' and then he said, 'keep em, iffen ye want em, ye'r welcome to the whole kit an caboodle,' and I never set eyes on him again, from that day to this, but you were saying, friend?" and the man's eyes flicked across the menu card, which Miss Montecello waggled in front of his face, "a large black coffee," he said, "and two pancakes with bacon and eggs over easy," and the waitress winked, "natch!" she said, turning on her heel and swaying towards the counter, as Huckleberry eyed his visitor and coughed, "how d'you spell that name, compadre?" he tried, but the man looked over his right shoulder, then his left, placed his hands palms down on the table, leaned forward, his face just inches from Huckleberry's, "I never told you my name," he said in a voice so cold that the hair on the back of Huckleberry's neck rose like a porcupine's spines, and he nodded, "just so, old chum, just so."
When he stopped laughing, the man stood, bent over, hands on his knees, coughing and taking deep breaths, as if trying to regain some semblance of self-control, until at last, he looked up and peered closely at Pixie and Dixie: "damn me! ye'r Cartoons, what in tarnation am I daen here, talking tae Cartoon Meece? whauraboots is this place onywey? whit's the name o yer toon?" and when they looked blankly at him, he amended it, "town then, whit's it cried?" and Dixie cottoned on: "oh it's Hana-Barbera," so the man asked: "is it near Santa Barbara?" but the mice looked confused, and he figured they were pretty dumb, as well as being Cartoons, so asked: "is there anybody might be able to tell me how to get out of here?" and Pixie suggested: "Huckleberry, he's the Town Sage, he knows everything about, well, lots of things, Huckleberry Hound, he's your dog," but the man was thinking and said nothing for a few moments, then asked: "do you have an Ugly Duckling? a Wicked Witch? or how about a Giant?" at which Pixie and Dixie laughed, and Dixie said: "there's no such things, you're just pulling our legs, ain'tcha?" and the man looked slightly shame-faced but then asked where he could find Huckleberry and the two friends said they would take him, it would be easier than trying to find his own way around the town, which is how come they were walking around the block, clockwise, until they came to the Luncheonette which stood just to the right of their own house on Mulberry Road and when the stranger realised this, he asked, in all seriousness, "why did we walk right round the block and not just the few yards to the Luncheonette next door?" Pixie looked thoughtful and then said, "cause that's the way, that's always the way, it's the only requisite way there is, we always walk that way, even to the Library or the Railroad Station," at which the man asked about the Station, "could I get a train to somewhere?" but the mice weren't too sure, and Dixie reminded the man that they had come so he could ask Huckleberry for help, so, with a few mutter obscenities, the man pushed open the door and the three of them walked in, and Pixie pointed to an elegant figure seated alone in a nearby booth, drinking a strawberry milk-shake, and said: "that's Felix Mendelsohn, the composer, and behind him, that's Lotte Lenya, the singer, and over there, that's Norman Rockwell, the painter, and see, in the corner, Mark Twain, I think he's got something to do with the Riverboat," but the stranger walked past all of them and sat down in a booth at the far end, face to face with a lugubrious-looking canine, wearing a straw boater and a bow-tie and sipping a frozen daiquiri, and asked, outright: "are you Maister Huckleberry Hoond, the Toon Sage?" and the hound looked him in the eye and said: "suppose you bin talkin with them meeces? they tend to over-rate my undoubted talents, but they're good kids, can I get you an order? put in a request for a sentimental tune on the radiole?—they play a lot of those ear-worms, once you hear one, get it into your head, it just goes round 'n' round all day long—are you a tourist, just travellin around, or someone on a staycation, exploring those parts of the County you usually miss out on? what did you say your name was?" and the stranger said: "well, Pal, Ah spose ye micht say Ah'm the victim o Extraordinary Rendition, brocht here aginst ma will an wi'oot ma knowledge, an Ah just want tae get the fuck oot!"
"Who are you?" asked Pixie, of the drunken derelict,
"I am a man, I'm just a man," said he,
"Why are you here?" asked Dixie, of the anciént relict,
"I'm the future, I'm the past," said he,
and then he launched into a rambling account of his "aventurine an travertine on the seventeen seas, across galaxies o time an past aeons o space, oh what wurls I hae seen an what scenes I hae furled ye wudnae believe, yer mines hu'nae the capacity tae comperihend, an iffen I managed tae inculcate ye intae the maist mysterious o mysteries ye coodnae tell a wurd o it tae ony livin sowel fer all the tease in chiny cups or coffy grunds in sauces. . . . ." and then he broke off, threw himself onto the ground and began to beat it with his fists, while Pixie and Dixie whispered to each other: "it's probably the DTs," said Pixie, "or Third Stage Syphilis," suggested Dixie, "hey, it might even be the Coronavirus, I mean, are we doctors?" which was when the man sat up, seeming to have pulled himself together and altogether much more in control of himself: "who lives here?" he asked, and Pixie replied: "just Goldilocks, she's the Housekeeper, and Mr Jinks, he's the cat, and Bow-Wow," and the man said: "I guess he's the dog?" which Dixie corrected: "she's the dog," and the man acknowledged his sexist assumption and then asked them: "and what about you guys?" and as one they said: "we're Pixie and Dixie, we're the mice," and the man suddenly and inexplicably roared with laughter!
And, of course, that was when they—Pixie and Dixie—first heard the stentorian rumbling and wheezing, followed by grunts and whistles, which—when they tracked them to Bow Wow's kennel—turned out to be the snoring of an inebriated derelict who, perhaps thinking that the kennel was some kind of Bastille, available to provide those in need and in peril on land or sea with a safe billet for the night, had tried to burrow his way in and only succeeded in getting his head jammed inside, while the rest of his body and limbs were sprawled in the yard, and found that he was unable to withdraw it and had given up the attempt, going instead to sleep until, with almost superhuman dexterity and determination, Dixie and Pixie somehow managed to extricate that head, only to find themselves gazing upon the guileless blue eyes of one of nature's Goldilocks, one who always looks on the bright side of life, albeit that his eyes, though set in a face resembling a lunar landscape, still had that twinkling innocence of a born grifter lighting upon two marks!
But concupiscence can be a double-edged sword and can come back to bite you, as many have learned to their cost—ouch!—and it may have been rather a tall order for Pixie and Dixie, who only wanted to effect pacation in their small world, to believe that disposing of Mr Jinks this way would be a doddle, a walk in the park, as easy as falling off a log, but who can blame them? for there was certainly no hope of bringing about a volte-face in the form of anyone, any Cat, so overwhelmingly obsessed, so devilishly despotic, so cruelly cantankerous and savagely single-minded, in his persecution and determination to annihilate that pair of innocents, who knew that he would never rest until they were physically and metaphorically removed from the face of the Earth—or, at the very least, His House—therefore believe in their scheme they did and so, after offering up a solemn and devout prayer to the Big Cheese in the Sky, they set that fateful day in motion!
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