Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Part the Xth - A Most Disturbed Nuptials

From the Lives of the Grand Viziers, Anonymous, c. 1731:

Kara Mustafa Pasha had thus left what remained of the Sultan's army at Parkany and betook himself to Belgrade. From there he wrote to the Sultan seeking to excuse the defeat before Vienna, blaming the treason of the Khan and the poor generalship of Ibrahim Pasha of Buda.
To all his letters there was no answer until one day a messenger arrived bearing tidings from the Sultan. But the message was not for Kara Mustafa Pasha but to the Aga of the Janissaries. And thus Kara Mustafa Pasha knew that the hour of his death had arrived. So he prepared himself - but the Aga did not come.
Instead to him came the witch Batory who poured venom over his heart. She told him she had spared him to continue the conquest of the secret of the World Map.
Kara Mustafa Pasha was so bold as to ask whether the Sultan's will was not so important. To which the evil woman replied that the Sultan's will mattered no more. She said that Louis, Emir of the Franks now had dominion over them all. His great fleet had destroyed Algiers as an object lesson to the Sultan and even now his warships sailed with impunity in the Aegean and at the mouth of the Bosporus. So the Sultan must obey and Louis obeyed Batory.
So she ordered Kara Mustafa Pasha to gather all his forces in Belgrade and to go in search of Sandor. She had already provided war engines of great power to assist him. She told him that her magics would lead them to the Roumani wizard Sandor and that her Gypsy lackeys were already upon his trail as well as the countless djinn and devils that were at her beck and call. When found, Sandor should be forced to reveal where the World Map was located. Then he and all with him should be slain.
Kara Mustafa Pasha inquired whether that included the English woman who was meant to be his concubine had Vienna fallen. To which the foul Hungarian demon-queen replied that even she had underestimated the English woman and the girl would be put to fine tortures if she fell into Batory's hands.
Now Kara Mustafa Pasha was not a completely evil man at heart but he was cruel and full of greed and greatly feared the witch Batory. So he turned his back upon Allah and agreed to help the terrible woman. He said in the matter of the English woman, a horrible death for her would be a great boon to him. And so he became satisfied in his sin.
But he asked how he might bring his soldiers to hunt the wizard when the armies of the Lechs and Austrians were even then moving to encircle him and the autumn rains had already come to the mountains.
At this she took him outside of the tent and showed him the marvels she had wrought. For there in the middle of the sky was a great warship of the type that Franks build, held aloft by her magic and her will….

Excerpts from the Diary of Leviathan Cherrychoate:

October the 8th, A.D. 1683

Up betimes and to our masquerade. Whilst Radivill's soldiers hid themselves at ease, we go to what I perceive is our doom by hard quick ride.

By noon I spy the towers of Streltsova laying torpidly pon the banks of a small sluggish river. The town tis a jumble of broken walls and cramped houses, most in the Italian style but some in the German and e'en the Turkish manner. Within the center of the town stands large and strong keep from which the banner of the Turks flies and large guns menace.

Betimes we come unto the city gate, lightly held and open. But the sentries there do inquire of us our business. I proclaim loudly in such Hebrew and limited Turkic as I have that I am one Hymen Schwanzgraben, the name I borrowed from a Jew pimp I had once known in Amsterdam, famed for his poxy wenches at over much price. After proclaiming my profession, did I indicate Penruddick, Georgina and Little Orphan Annie who all didst begin to gyrate so lascivisiously that I came near to splitting my breeches and quite lost my train of thought for a nonce. Fortunately so didst most of the Turks and those other of the rabble who clamored about and didst commence to haggle o'er the price of each or combination package of two or more. And thus we were given entry unto the town.

Ziglova and the knot-browed feckle-flux Prince, who played at Tartar, were allowed within more easily but their horses were kept hardby the gate for fear of treachery. Likewise was treated Colonel van der Clot who feigned as a French mercenary come to report to the Pasha pon the defeat at Vienna.

Now Sandorius, who played the roll of weapon merchant, did provide much interest to the Turk. They confiscated his wagon and ordered him to be presented to the Pasha for questioning.

Now there was in the town square a great wedding being celebrated. It seems we had arrived pon the day that the two most important houses in this feotid mudbog of a country, called Branko-itch and Frangiapan or some such, had bestirred themselves to inflict another generation of cabbage devouring icon-lickers upon this sad earth.

The wedding celebration was quite advanced when we entered upon the square and our guards were soon distracted by the hospitality of Brankofan and Frankenfurter. Thus the others were at liberty to reconnoiter this Father Sergius whilst I was free to enjoy the celebration and perchance to assay a dippage of mine carrot unto one of the local huzzies.

All about me, my companions endeavored to obtain intelligence. Fair horsey Georgina was matching several great large Ruritanians drink for drink in Breffish. This being a foul syrupy drink, distilled from the sweat of the local ground-rats, much loved here but so strong as to impinge 'pon the capacity of an elephant or e'en that of Ziglova. Now Georgina was quite remarkable in her capacity for strong drink and I had seen her on several occasions able to drink even Jules and Jacques neath the table and she still as fresh and clear-headed as a Quaker.

Little Orphan Annie, looking quite fetching in costume I fashioned from leather straps, was terrifying the drunken bogwaders with a flashing whip and a surprisingly capacitious vocabulary of foul language. Ziglova had ensconced himself at the head table and proceeded to devour anything that came within arms' reach. The clack-jawed Prince stood drooling as usual whilst Penruddick did caper naughtily mongst the crowd. If they could but see thee in Turnbridge-Wells now, Fair Wendyleen, thinks I. And at this I am most randified and must need fetch it off or else explode like one of Staremburg's petard.

Soon twas found that Father Sergius was held as an Austrian spy in the keep of the Turks. At the sight of which, I gave up all concern of our endeavor for I knew that mine blooded-minded master Sandorius, the sway-bellied Ziglova and the feather-brain Prince wouldst soon come up with a most ingenious rescue for the priest. Most like twould be one to involve great explosions, ridiculous costumes and absurd risks to myself. I had learned by now that I had no hope of dissuading the rashness of my companions' behavior and so resolved upon one last grand venereal thumping ere I must go once more unto the lions' den.

Now we had been in the square but a single hour when opportunity for mine release did present itself. I know twas such a short time since Ziglova had finished devouring only two pigs entire and half of a calf of beef. I was in the midst of counsel with the father of the bride, one Kristof Brankovich, who complained loudly of the Pasha and said many would rise gainst the Turk if the Christian army came near. He said the traveling mink-milkers, who are considered the truest of sources in this country, had seen winged riders in the west but a few leagues from the town. I was much troubled by this speech for it signified that our small force hath been seen and who knows what the sequel to that should be, for the garrison here was large and most warlike.

Twas then I spied a most surpassingly fair, dark haired wanton approaching me bearing two great flagons and also something to drink. She was most forward and in but a moment had expressed her willingness to ride the beast with two backs with me. So we away to a high chamber in a house nearby, I feeling most gladsome at the ease of this adventure. But am not surprised since many of the folks are well in their cups.

As I said, she was most passing fair and called herself Laylah, I think. We were at it at once and I rogered her roundly three times, twice afore I had removed mine boots. After which we lay together pon the bed, which was the only unsmashed piece of furniture left after our bouting, and e'en the legs of that had collapsed pon the floor. She soon bestirred herself to fetch me a drink whilst I, in somewhat of a languor, looked out yon window.

I spied below Colonel van der Klank, in deep counsel with several Musselman elders in the garden of what must have been a Musselman cathedral. Twas then I felt a tugging pon my leg and, think I, here is someone not feared of catching the Cherrycoate. Suddenly, a rope is bounded round my wrists and I am tied as a hog ready for slaughter. Then do I see Layla is dressed again, not in the garb of the festival but with soldier's boots, pantaloons and a military coat and festooned all about with saber, knives and pistols.

As sweetly as I could, I inquired what she was about, hoping that the answer twould be that she desired a more exotic rogering. As my luck would have, twas not the case. She had observed us strangers and had hoped to discern our identity and intents. She had thus lured me into this position to entrap me. Now that I was trussed so, she seemed not at all interested in interrogating me. Says she, "I know thou art an Englishman and therefore spy and that the Austrians or the Lechs hath sent thee. And so our tumult here shall have aid."

To which I replied that if she but release me, surely I could help her cause and how the devil did she know I was an Englishman.

To my first statement, she answered naught and to my second she said coolly, "Because only an Englishman would make love like you have done." With that she was gone out the window and over the rooftops to cause her deviltry.

For some minutes I lay bound, crying out for help but no help was forthcoming. A great hullabaloo began in the square below and I could see a troop of Turkish horse ride out from the citadel to menace the unruly crowd at the wedding. There was much shouting and jibbering and some great old hugger-mugger, whose stench I could smell e'en from my high perch, scampering about, calling the wrath of God down pon the Turk. And to whom should the old coddling-clapper indicate but the dull-witted, canker-blossomed Prince, who stood relieving himself into the Grand Vizier's golden pisspot.

Twas then that the boy Eduard bursted into the chamber, a well-thumbed copy of my French romance clasped in his sweaty young hands, and he calls out, "Pan Leviathan, I want to get the Cherrycoate!"….

Excerpts from The Memoirs of Oktawjan Zagloba:

Chapter XXXVII
How I Revolutionized Western Civilization

…We were immediately given admittance to the city of Streltsova, thanks to the brilliance of the disguises I had designed for our expedition. Of course, I had taken the precaution of swearing the Prince to a vow of silence during the duration of our excursion. Additionally, I kept a wary eye upon the Englishman Cherrycoate, who was perhaps the most lecherous man I had ever encountered and I feared his attentions to women of our party would be our undoing. Of course, not that he had the knowledge of any greater number of women than I, since I lost count long ago. Merely, he was most forward in his appetite, while I merely suffer the fate of being of the utmost attractiveness to the opposite sex.
Doctor Sandorius, contrary to my advice, had disguised himself as an arms merchant and thus found himself in custody and being sent to the Pasha fortress for questioning. The greater pity was that the troops of the garrison had confiscated his wagon and the weapons contained therein. Now, ever since we met in Vienna, he had been most bothersome in his requests for me to fashion a special firearm for him. Although a strange man and of questionable orthodoxy, Sandorius was a most discerning man and as such recognized my immense talent. Thus, in recognition for the services he rendered during the siege, I agreed to fashion this weapon and had begun to do so secretly before leaving Vienna. I had completed the musket, quite a trifle really, by the time we had reached Ruritania. Unfortunately, Sandorius, who could be most abrupt and ill-tempered, did not provide me with the occasion to present the weapon to him.
It is often a wonder to me, who am so mild in temperament, humor and deportment, that Sandorius could be thus ill-mannered. I therefore did not force my gift upon him, not wishing to turn a moment of fine sentiment into one of bloodshed. For certainly, I would have been forced to answer his boorishness with a challenge and then, of course, he would be doomed.
In any event, by chance, a wedding of some size was being conducted in the town square. Wishing to bestow the benefits of my considerable blessings upon the young couple, I immediately approached the father of the bride, one Squire Brankovich. He was most apprehensive by my approach, fearing me to be a Tartar by my array. After I had calmed him, he offered me the hospitality of feast. And a meager feast it was, with barely enough food fit for a Lenten fast. But it was hospitality all the same and, not wishing to insult my hosts, I ate the scanty repast with relish. They did serve a light liqueur which I found most delicious if somewhat mild for such a joyous occasion.
In the meantime, the young ladies of our expedition, whom I had thoroughly trained in the arts of espionage, attempted to obtain intelligence on the whereabouts of the missing Father Sergius. All three ladies, who were all quite infatuated with me, strove as in a competition to bring me the fruits of their labors, hoping to win my favor. Even Colonel van der Snaecht showed some enterprise and entertained the local Moslem elders in the mosque nearby.
Of course, Sandorius and Cherrycoate were nowhere to be found. The former was no doubt about some dark plan of his own, while the latter was no doubt infecting the local class of prostitutes with the vast arsenal of loathsome diseases he possessed.
As it turned out, the Englishwoman, Wendyleen, discovered the most. This being that the town and even the entire country was quite restive due to the cruelty and greed of the local Pasha and were encouraged by the recent overthrow of the Grand Vizier's army. It seems that Father Sergius had arrived in the country over four months ago, claiming to be upon a mission to the heathen Slovatchki miners in the mountains to the south. Just a few days prior to our arrival, he had been arrested as an Austrian spy and was to be executed on the morrow by being blown from one of the castle's guns.
As I pondered this over a ferkin of Brefnish, I also began to observe the layout of the town and especially the fortress keep. Thanks to my incredible knowledge of architecture, engineering and history, I was able to draw in my mind's eye a map of the fortress' interior and deduced that the dungeon was most likely not within the keep itself but in a small stone building adjacent to the execution field.
Unfortunately, not everyone has my great capacity for drink. Although I would note, that dear Countess Georgina was gallantly attempted to impress me with her quite creditable ability to out-drink most men. Nevertheless, the crowd had become quite restive and much talk against the Turks began.
It was at this point that the gates of the fortress swung open and a large force of horse and foot formed on the edge of the square. A Turkish officer then began to berate the crowd, calling for them to disperse or be cut down.
In the midst of this tumult, a local holy man, who I later came to know as Bobo Frncko approached the Prince. Now the Prince had been quite well behaved the entire day and I had intended to reward him with large molasses bliny. Apparently, this good behavior could not last and in the midst of this dangerous situation, the Prince began to relieve himself into the Vizier chamberpot. Now Bobo Frncko saw this and grew most excited. He rushed towards Radziwill and, before I could stop him, ripped open the Prince's caftan and pointed at the Prince's small deformity.
At the same time, the Turkish Officer cried out that no Christian army was coming to help the Ruritanians, that it had been defeated at the field of Parkany and that King John was killed. To this were many cries of despair until Bobo Frncko called out, "Do not lose heart my children. One king is dead but our own King has now returned!"
Here all turned to Prince Radziwill who had an even blanker look upon his face than usual while he continued relieving himself…

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