Read Butler Did It! Online

Authors: Sally Pomeroy

Tags: #dog, #adventure action, #adventure novel, #adventure fiction, #adventure book, #adventure humor, #adventure romance, #adventure series, #adventure novels, #matthew butler

Butler Did It!

BOOK: Butler Did It!
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Butler Did It!

A

Matthew Butler Adventure

 

by Keith and Sally
Pomeroy

 

Copyright 2011 Keith and Sally
Pomeroy

Smashwords Edition

 

 

This ebook is licensed for your
personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given
away to other people. If you would like to share this book with
another person, please purchase an additional copy for each
recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or
it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to
Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting
the hard work of these authors.

This is a work of fiction. All
characters are fictional and any similarity to real persons, living
or dead, is unintentional and purely coincidental.

 

<<>>

 

MOMBASA, KENYA

 

Tommy Cooper jumped into the passenger
seat of the battered jeep pickup.

“Did you find any Tequila?” asked
Matthew Butler, not looking up from the map he was
examining.

“No,” Tommy replied, “I had to settle
for Rum. I guess there’s not much call for Tequila in Kenya. I also
got Captain Z his Johnny Walker. For beer, I got plenty of Tusker,
the Budweiser of Africa. I grabbed the last of the Guinness, and to
round out the order, I got 10 cases of a South African beer called
‘Old Four Legs’.”

“I’ve never heard of it,” Butler
grunted half-heartedly. “Is it any good?”

“No clue!”

“Well, it really doesn’t matter.”
Butler reflected. “As long as the label says its beer, the
Pelican’s crew will drink it.”

“The store said they’d deliver the
order to the ship as soon as they can borrow a truck,” said
Tommy.

“Good, we can check booze off the
list.”

“The owner offered me a taste of
something called kumi-kumi. Unfortunately, he said it had to be
drunk on-site, and I didn’t think you’d want to wait while I did
the local moonshine justice.” Tommy said.

“That’s just as well, seeing as how you
can launch a fighter jet on kumi-kumi. It’s not a friendly drink.”
Matthew said, as he slipped the jeep into gear.” As I understand
it, it’s a local concoction made from coconuts. Well, mostly
coconuts. Apparently it brews in a matter of hours, and has been
known to make a man insane in the same amount of time.”

“Sounds like I missed an opportunity to
drink with the Big Boys.”

“Nah, the boys that drink kumi-kumi
don’t live to be Big Boys.” Matthew lifted his ball cap, revealing
sweaty blonde curls plastered to his head. “So, what else do we
need to get?”

Tommy consulted a hastily written note,
wrinkled and sweat stained from riding in a shirt pocket in the
midday heat.

“It looks like we’ve got to go down to
the street market. EB wants some local handicrafts,” he said,
referring to the chief engineer on the Pelican. “She specified
either carved wooden sculptures of African animals, or some of
those happy-face tribal masks.”

“What in God’s name does she want with
African tourist schlock?”

“She sends the stuff home to her
brothers, a little something from everywhere we visit. Anyway,
since we left Mozambique in a hurry, she claims she didn’t get time
to do her usual souvenir shopping, and today she had to stay aboard
to repair that number two engine, so you and I have been delegated
to do it for her.”

“Lucky us. Well, we had one hell of an
excuse for leaving Mozambique in a hurry. We were too busy running
for our lives to do any souvenir shopping.” Matthew declared. “It’s
been over a week and I’m still dragging from the adrenaline
hangover.”

“So am I.” Tommy
sympathized.

Tommy and Butler were silent as they
drove the rented rust and white colored jeep pickup through the
dusty streets of Mombasa at a crawl. The slow, sweltering afternoon
closed in around them. Even the perspiring pedestrians were moving
faster than the traffic jam that filled the area around the street
market. Thunderstorms loomed on the horizon, pressurizing the
seventy percent humidity into a suffocating ninety-degree
sauna.

As they suffered through the urban
congestion, each man was thinking of the dangers they had faced in
the remote gold mining region of northern Mozambique. They had gone
in with a group of military experts testing land mine clearing
devices, and a group of innovators bringing water purification
technology to the villages along the Romuva River. The illegal and
badly organized gold rush was happening on the border with
Tanzania. Placer mining was filling the river with mud, defiling
the only water source for hundreds of villagers living along its
banks. Unfortunately, as it turned out, a militant mining boss had
objected to their presence in the area. Getting out alive had been
a major accomplishment.

“You know, I think a little rest and
relaxation is in order,” said Matthew. “We have a couple of weeks
before we have to start the next project off Sri Lanka. I think we
should arrange for some playtime on the way. I was thinking of
asking Captain Z if he would mind dropping anchor in the Seychelles
for a few days.”

“Hey! That sounds great!” Tommy
replied. “I could sure do with a little R&R before things start
up again.” He rested his arm on the open window of the jeep and got
happily lost in a daydream about the cool sea breezes and perfect
white sand beaches of the Seychelles. In his mind, he watched as a
beautiful woman in a skimpy bikini brought him beer and cheered him
on while he created the finest sand sculpture ever attempted. In
the middle of the best part of his daydream, an abrupt tug on his
wrist dragged him back to reality. He locked eyes briefly with a
grinning, filthy young boy who had just stolen his wristwatch. In a
flash, the boy turned and jinked away through the crowd.

“Stop the jeep!” Tommy hollered,
leaping from the moving vehicle and tearing after the kid. Butler
slammed on the brakes, narrowly missing a fruit seller’s
cart.

“What’s the matter?” Butler shouted at
Tommy’s back.

“That kid stole my watch!” Tommy
yelled, before disappearing around a corner in pursuit.

Matthew Butler sighed heavily and put
the jeep back into gear, crawling along with the dawdling traffic.
Butler knew that the thief would easily disappear into the
labyrinth of alleys surrounding the street market, and that there
was no chance that Tommy would catch him. Butler also knew that
there was no way to stop Tommy from trying, either. It was just as
likely that Tommy would realize that his chase was futile and give
up long before Matthew got anywhere with the jeep, so with another
sigh, he kept on driving.

Half a block later, Tommy caught back
up with him, sweating and gasping curses.

“Have a nice run?” Butler politely
inquired.

“That little creep would have met with
a big surprise, if I’d gotten my hands on him, I’ll tell you!”
Tommy exclaimed.

Butler laughed. “It’s only a watch,” he
said. “I’ll bet you can find another one just like it right here at
the market.”

“It’s not that,” Tommy steamed. “He
just took it right off my wrist - right off my wrist! It’s like
I’ve been violated!”

He caught Matthew’s look and then they
both laughed.

“Do you really want it back? It was
just an old watch.”

“Of course, I do, it’s my favorite.
Besides, that watch is nearly an heirloom; I’ve had it for
years.”

“Now, you and I both know that you won
that watch off me playing poker last summer, and that in all the
years I owned it, it lost a least five minutes every
hour.”

“Yeah, it is a crummy watch. But it’s
the principle.” Tommy grumbled.

With that, Matthew gunned the jeep out
of the ooze of traffic into a recently vacated parking
spot.

“Come on. Let’s you and I do a bit of
wandering around. Maybe we will find something for EB.”

Half an hour later, they just happened
to find Tommy’s watch; for sale at a sidewalk stall.

With an oath, Tommy yelled, “That’s my
watch!”

“Yes, it is a fine watch and will look
very good on you,” responded the vendor with an oily grin. “This
handsome watch was once owned by the President of Kenya, but today
I will give it to you for the very reasonable price of three
dollars American.”

Butler tried to pay the three dollars
to buy the watch back, just to keep Tommy from getting them into an
argument, but he was too late.

Fueled by the righteousness of
principle, Tommy bellowed, “Give me back my watch, you Son of a
Bitch!” As Tommy leaned forward to grab the watch, the vendor
quickly whisked it out of his display. With a mighty heave, Tommy
overturned the seller’s table like a wrathful Son of God, sending
dozens of questionable bargains into the air. Suddenly, amid a rain
of merchandise, the street filled with scrambling people. Tommy’s
gesture earned him a punch on the jaw that sent him flying backward
into Butler. The pair, as one, careened into a cart so laden with
pots, pans, ladles, coffee pots, and strainers that only the wheels
of the cart were visible. The cart fell over with an unbelievable
crash, followed by an extended crescendo of rolling, spinning, and
clattering goods flowing down the street in a noisy metallic
avalanche. Within moments, the street market erupted into an
unrestrained brawl, with punches and kicks flying so recklessly
that it was hard to tell exactly who was attacking whom at any
given moment. Tables of goods went flying, throwing every
describable kind of flotsam into the street full of traffic. An old
woman came shrieking out of the din to give Butler a good whomp on
the head with a carved elephant, knocking him into the
dirt.

In the middle of the melee, Tommy
spotted the watch thief standing across the street, looking highly
entertained. Tommy lurched to his feet and tried to go after the
youth but with one leg tangled in the pot and pan cart, he only
succeeded in dragging the entire mess further out into traffic.
Hopping on one foot, he tumbled across the street and rolled free
of the mass of tangled metal. He took a few good licks to the face
from various participants in the brawl before he was able to
extricate himself.

While everyone not actively involved in
the fight was watching Tommy’s acrobatics, Butler saw his chance
and crawled away to the jeep. Quickly starting it up, he threw it
into reverse and backed into the melee around Tommy, scattering the
crowd.

Butler took all the money from his
wallet and threw it high into the air, and then yelled, “Get
in!”

The sudden rain of loot turned the
brawl into a game of ‘Diving for Dollars’.

Tommy made a leap and landed head first
in the passenger seat with his legs sticking out of the window, as
Butler raced the engine and bulled through the crowd toward a less
congealed thoroughfare. Honking and swerving wildly, the pair
rounded a corner.

“Did you get your watch?” Butler
asked.

“No,” moaned Tommy, “It’s not right of
them to steal it and then try to sell it back to me.” His upper lip
was beginning to swell and he was certain to have a black eye by
the time they got back to the ship.

Butler didn’t look that much better,
with a lump on his forehead from the elephant and bleeding elbows
where he had hit the pavement.

“You’re a man of principle, my friend,”
said Butler sarcastically. “I’m sure you taught them a lesson they
won’t soon forget.”

“I think I broke a tooth” was Tommy’s
miserable reply.

Of course, after only a half dozen left
and right turns to avoid pursuit, the pair became thoroughly lost.
In this area of Mombasa, there was no grid and the streets wandered
narrowly between tightly packed rows of buildings hung with ornate
but decrepit balconies. After what seemed like hours of wandering
around in the sweltering heat, they passed under an arch made from
two huge tin elephant tusks, a gift to Mombasa by Queen Elizabeth
II in 1952. From this well-known landmark, they got their bearings
and were able to make it back to the Pelican before
dusk.

BOOK: Butler Did It!
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