it began on a windy summer morning on the nebraska-wyoming border, where the waving yellow cornfields gave way abruptly to the rolling gray sheep fields. it had not rained in weeks, but a thunderstorm was in the air.
john dillinger had driven across wyoming from san francisco by way of reno. he had come alone.
j edgar hoover and clyde purvis had driven across nebraska from chicago by way of st louis.
dillinger arrived fifteen minutes ahead of the two lawmen. he finished off the quart of whiskey that had kept him company on the long trip, and tossed the bottle into the cornfields across the road. a scarecrow in the field shouted at him, but he ignored it.
hoover and purvis arrived and got out of their packard. purvis sat down on the running board and began fanning himself with his flat straw hat. hoover, cool as ever in his brown suit, walked up to dillinger.
dillinger nodded at purvis and laughed. "he's been in a car for a thousand miles and doesn't want to get out and stand on his feet."
"i will worry about him," hoover answered. "what is going on?"
"it's the lady in red. she's taken the ticket."
"just like i said."
"yeah, just like you said. you were right, i was wrong." dillinger squinted out into the corn fields. "but now it's up to both of us to make it up to the corn god."
"but he is not here," hoover pointed out.
'he's here. i bet that is him right there." dillinger pointed to the scarecrow. he took a briefcase out of the back seat of his pierce arrow and started to walk through the rows of corn toward it, with hoover behind him. hoover looked back over his shoulder. purvis had lit a cigarette and was still sitting on the running board, leaning back on the door of the packard.
dillinger pushed his way up to the scarecrow. "ok., we are here," he said to it. "now what?"
the scarecrow/corn god laughed. "your friend here didn't even recognize me."
"don't think i'm not embarrassed," said hoover. "because i am."
"don't worry about it," dillinger said. "you haven't dealt with these gods as much as i have. you'll get used to their ways."
"gentlemen, please," said the corn god. "i haven't got all day to stand here." he smiled to show this was a joke, but neither of them laughed.
"he's got a pretty primitive sense of humor, doesn't he," said hoover to dillinger.
"yeah, they're all idiots," said dillinger. "that's the first thing you have to learn about them."
"and humans have no manners, talking about folks as if they weren't there," said the corn god. "that's the first thing you learn about them."
"let's get on with it." said dillinger. he opened his briefcase. it contained eight silver bullets wrapped in cellophane and nine plastic roses, also wrapped in cellophane.
"here you are. just what you wanted, the souls of seventeen young girls."
"young girls! whatever gave you the idea i wanted the souls of young girls? that's not what the corn god wants."
dillinger looked over at hoover. hoover just raised his eyebrows.
"what do you want?" dillinger asked finally. "we are to serve you."
"the souls of wild horses. of white tigers, of fat ladies - not young girls."
"our intentions were good," said hoover. "we will go back and try to make amends. meanwhile, do our good intentions count for anything?"
"the gods don't deal with intentions, sir. we don't recognize such things. that is just pathetic human stupidity."
dlllinger took the briefcase and threw it out into the cornfield. the silver bullets and plastic roses flew out of it and the souls of the seventeen young girls escaped and drifted away. they called out to each other and their voices fell like raindrops on to the windows of the pierce arrow and the packard.
"maybe you shouldn't have done that," said hoover.
the corn god had disappeared. the scarecrow was just a scarecrow again.
"let's get out of here."
they crossed the cornfield. dillinger got back behind the wheel of the pierce arrow. hoover and purvis got into the packard and when dillinger pulled out on to the highway they followed him.
dillinger headed to lincoln. hoover and purvis stayed close behind. a few drops of heavy rain began to fall. when they had gone about six miles they saw three of the escaped young girls hitchhiking. dillinger accelerated past them and purvis followed suit.
"what has that idiot done now?" hoover muttered. it began to rain harder.
5 months, 7 days, no good johnny many bad people so fast
don't bring me down
empty coffeecups never erupt
flaming daffodils orangutangs fortuitously
grasp every peanut greedily
greed! envy! hatred! insanity!
heroes fly over heaven
instigators grow petulant invisibly
jokers herd quiescent jiraffes
kings! queens! princesses! viziers!
slaves! gladiators! clowns! holy martyrs!
kaleidoscopes of indigenous redeyed konquerors!
let justice subside liquidly!
i am getting too excited
junior needs a drink
dad is staring at the refrigerator again
mom won't get off the phone
re: don't bring me down
mom just got of the phone. i think she was talking to eddie.
mom went for a long drive out in the woods.
nobody expected goliath before monday except pete johnson's uncle erwin
i dont believe
frank ran away nott knowing repentance and never kicking rudy as
nestor always wonderdd alice ysmmerded now out the tropical kingdom
nightly obliterated wilderness i never grew rhubarb/
what's going on here? joey,can you tellme what's going on?
ah but cheers decay eventually friends grow hostile interminably
jupiter kisses leo's macaw never opening parrots quicksand rhapsody
seven times urging venus willing explosion yeti zaps all baboons
convincing danielle empty flowers grasp hopefully interminable jokes
keeping leonardo mistyeyed nevertheless
in all my born days
where have all the flowers gone? expecting to inherit the graves of
beautiful blue sea urchins in heaven.
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it's too bad it had to come to this.
you spent how much time on this?
the whole time bush was in office
i'll take romance
when my heart is young and eager and slash, i'll take out the trash.
johnny woke up this neanderthal. his dog was mowhere to be ground, jewels
like night covered the horizon - like hamburgers zizzling in a flying saucer
ripped by roswell quality parkas. steppe up right up.......
kenny expected veronica under the orangutang's tree house, but they still
couldn't find frank - not in a million years. hey, you've got ---!
larry found willie vigorously undermining pete's uncle joey's catastrophe.
"unless terrestials deny golden glory of jerry's big night, zero integers zero
the orangutang laughed and scratched his ticket
my friends, it's time for a change
after all these years, can't anybody find frank or eddie?
frank & eddie
i was walking down the street when this bag lady suddenly jumped out of the
bushes ... i heard frank was hanging with the baboons in borneo or maybe it
was the barracudas in bangladesh ... as for eddie, i just don't know........
maybe frank took eddie for a ride - maybe they are taking us all for a ride.
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he sounded very casual about it, but that was ok by me.
then he can be ignored, treated like zero.
uncle joe teaches us to embrace skepticism, and to look to self-interest when
cousin alf uploaded version 3000 unfer the capillaries of joey capricorn, but
get it anty more than danny.
and the lightning flashed.
what a night! how the wind howled!
the witch and the endocrinologist were waiting for the slender
detective at the bottom of the escaloator. where was santa
"just because dad is the greatest scientist in the world people
assume he's some kind of lunatic"
fingerprints... all over the escalator
dad is some kind of a lunatic
everything jumps together lately - polar bears maybe
the polar bear sat at the mouth of the cave, watching the alien
unpack his radio. unless the queen commanded steve to befriend uncle
ned, pete jones was a dead man.
what is going on here? miss prendergast, i thought you were in
charge of these girls.
out of desperation, freddie had answered the advertisement for
extreme contestants. he had received a postcard in the mail three
days later, directing him to a building at 3000th and 555th, in the
old part of town...across the street in an abandoned parking lot
a group of witches were wolfing down hot dogs around a fire in a
purple garbage can ...
lightheadedness ...failure of nerve ...obsterpreperousness...
has anyone seen either eddie or miss prendergast?
i saw eddie hanging out behind safeway like he was thinking about robbing it
but he had a bottle of pink ripple wine in his hand. miss prendergast was
waiting out front smoking a benson and hedges cigarette, it was a clear night
- maybe they were watching the skies - like me.
if they can't find eddie how can they find frank?
they'll never find frank
if eddie didn't start hanging out with that dizzy dme miss prendergast him and
frank would be rolling down the road right now
that's right always blame the "dme", right guys? you bozos give me a royal
pain. and what's a "dizzy dme" hoshot? maybe someone should shine up
that dizzy dome of yours. or drop a dizzy dime on you
what's a hoshot?
words must be freed, not only from each other but from their meanings.
"tell the old man sparks has got headquarters on the line"
bobo woke up. the imperial flag was flapping in the breeze over his head.
code 9 from nova vase
code 9 from nova base
not just yet
"tell sparks to hang tight and hang tough"
on the horizon
"people think that just because dad is the greatest scientist in the world that
he's some kind of a nut!"
what exactly is code 9?
i'm glad you asked that question, rhoda. code 9 is a dynamic new approach to
human communication, opening up hitherto undreamed of possibilities.
"i'm afraid you'll have to come with us, sir. we have a few questions to ask
death evolves fundamental groceries, harry insisted judiciously,
knowing lorna might never object..
death involves fundamntal GROWth, rhoda, hassan insisted
jurisdictionally, kneeling lengthwise on the ..
elvis jostled godzilla humorously, as sand blew through the window of
the bus ... because shelley winters wouldn't buy the groceries - just
because dad is the greatest scientist in the world ... with sigmund
freud and eisenhower at the giants game - if you ask
frank knew herbie had ignored him intrepidly, because the termites had
chewed the undergrowth of his expectations ... eisenhower? never, he
insisted to hinself grimly. but dr sigmund freud? maybe, just
the slender detective took the torn business card from his wallet and
pushed it across the polished desk..
the terrified endocrinologist understood only too well the unusual
decision facing him from his experience of questioning the buddha
behind the queasy facade of 'experimentation"...beast
"don't you understand", cried fatima gratefully, the vicious ones will
perform the ur-ceremony at exactly the moment the gardener insists on
his invisibility...jumping jehosephat
eddie zeroed in on the witch. his heater jumped into his hand.
"don't take ------'s name in vain", he snarled, "or xxxxxx's or
yyyy's or zzzzzz's..."
"what is this insistence on names", replied fatima, as the