N: As the events of Bombay receded into the dark of night over the Indian Ocean our heroes sped on towards Baghdad. Baghdad was at once both a stronghold of the British Empire and an encampment on the edge of civilization. Many great archeological expeditions had come into the fertile crescent to seek ancient treasures, some had ventured into the desert, few returned. The mysterious Bedouins remained the main inhabitants of the deserts and kept many of the secrets and treasures of old. On the Pegasus, Lefty’s kidnapping had left the crew shocked and surprised, with the exception of Daedalus, who remained calm in the face of both devious dealings and danger.
Coyne: Ok Johnny, well i'm going to double my bet. You have to put in ten more piece of gum if you want to keep playing the hand.
Johnny: Errr....that sure is a big bet Mr. Tarkington, I think I'm going to fold.
Johnny: Mr. Tarkington, what did you have?
Coyne: Nine high.
Johnny: Well if you had such a bad hand Mr. Tarkington why did you keep betting?
Coyne: Sometimes Johnny, you have to pretend that you have the upper hand Johnny. Uncertainty is a powerful weapon johnny.
Johnny: Like a cannon?
Coyne: (light hearted laugh) haha, yes Johnny, like a cannon
JD: I still cant believe Lefty is gone. What are we going to do?? Everything seems so empty without him.
CT: Keep a stiff upper lip lad, we’ll get that chipper brother of yours back!
FB: Yes, we will Johnny. Though no thanks to you Coyne.
D: I need to have a word with you. Flex, keep an eye on Johnny.
FB: You got it skip.
(door shuts, walking)
CT: Im awfully sorry skipper, this IS my fault.
D: I appreciate the sincerity of your apology Coyne, but theres not much I can do. YOU are the real target of McBruce, not the boy. The note demands that I hand you over to him in a trade for the boy when we get to Munich.
CT: Well damn my eyes, that sneaky bastard. He always was a smart one.
D: So it seems. I don’t see any way out of it Coyne, it is your fault the boy is gone. I think you catch my drift. Unless you can think of a solution im fairly certain McBruce will have his trade.
CT: Well tits and marmalade, this is jam. Have you considered why he wants the switch done in Munich? Seems a bit far.
D: It struck me as odd as well. But I think we will just have to scout around on our way there and see what we can do. Getting into Germany will be nigh impossible.
CT: Although Daedalus, I think for once that ever enchanting witch of yours might be useful.
D: Im not putting Carmen in danger to suit my own ends. You know me better than that Coyne.
CT: Well Im just saying, she does have a way of procuring various things. We, you, may not have much choice.
D: We shall discuss this later. For now think of a way to save Lefty and yourself.
CT: There may be one way. I think I know something that McBruce might want even more than me.
D: And what might that be?
CT: The Eye of the Jiinn, it’s a ruby the size of my fist. I just happen to know someone who can help me find it: my old mentor, Dr. Henri van der Voordebloom. The famous Dutch archeologist and, between you and me, black marketeer.
D: Well im willing help, where does this Dr. van der Fourwhatever live?
CT: Last I heard, south of the Euphrates, in desert. Some Assyrian dig or something.
Winters: Captain, Baghdad, 6, 6 miles out. We have been cleared to land
D: Thanks Winters. (off comm) Coyne, we’ll figure out who is going where when we have our crew meeting upon landing.
CT: Roger that skip. And one other, if it comes to it, ill give myself up for Lefty.
D (I): Everyone gather outside the zeppelin. We’re having a crew meeting.
(doors, talking, walking)
D: Ok everyone, listen up. We’re only staying in Baghdad as long as we have to. We are going to accomplish two things: first we are sending an expedition to the desert, second we are replenishing our food stores at the Imperial Zeppelin Depot, courtesy of my good friend Major Dickens.
JD: Desert? What for captain?
D: I think Mr. Tarkington had best explain.
CT: Well Johnny we are going to see my old mentor. Dr van der Voorderbloom. He can help us to get your brother back.
JD: That’s good!
CT: We are going to get a big
D: (Interupting) Yes it is Johnny, though we will have to be careful, the desert and those who live there can be very dangerous.
(car drives brakes, screech)
Lionel Slade (LS): Hey boys! Name’s Lionel Slade, investigative reporter for The Daily Sensation – fastest talker this side of the of atlantic. Which one of you gents is Drake Daedalus?
FB: Oh great, a reporter, talk about a dishonest profession.
D: Im Drake Daedalus. What do you want?
LS: Well that’s a great question captain. Im here investigating a character called the Black Falcon. Word on the street is that you were seen at the Rajah’s Turban in Bombay?? That true? Some sort secret meeting or such. Intrigue’s afoot and I want a part of it. No sensation escapes Slade they say!
D: Um yea,
FB: Slade, I can think of at least one sensation that wont escape, having your face stimulated by a brick.
JD: Oh my goodness Mr. Brawnman!
FB: Look kid, if theres one lesson I can teach, apart from how to use a good brick. Its not to mess with reporters.
CT: That’s unusually observant of you Flex.
LS: Well boys let me suggest something, since you don’t seem terribly excited to see me. I know Baghdad like the back of my notebook. Ill take you wherever you need to go in exchange for some information. Seems like a fair deal to me. Strike your fancy?
D: Im not makin any promises about information concerning the Black Falcon, but I can tell you your chances of getting some will be greatly improved if you help us find some camels.
LS: Goin into the desert eh? Sounds like an adventure if ive ever heard of one. Where are you going?
D: That’s not your business mr slade.
LS: Hah! I make everything my business, im a journalist! But no matter, lets go see about those camels. I know just the man for you.
(city sounds, music)
LS: Hey Abdullah, I want six camels, five for riding and one for supplies.
A: That will be 25 pounds.
LS: HAH! Like hell it will. I wasn’t born yesterday Abdullah and you know it! No one gets a fast one past Lionel Slade!!
A: very well, 15 pounds, but I better get them back in one piece.
D: We’ll do our best. Why six Slade?
LS: Because im coming with you of course!! Lets go find your Dutchman! Follow me lads!
LS: This looks like the place! Looks pretty shabby though if ya ask me. Looks like no one's live here for ages!
CT: Old vanderbloom was never really much a decorator, liked old things, old pottery, old houses, old women. Used to be a pretty standup guy till he lost his position at the university, then it was all downhill for old Vanderbloom
FB: I suppose the apple doesn't fall far from the tree now does it Coyne.
DD: Thats enough boys, lets get a move on
(old creeky door followed by slightly spooky music)
CT: Professor Vanderbloom?
PV: (creepiest dutch voice you've ever heard) Come on in Coyne, i haven't seen you in ages.
CT: I suppose thats right professor, how are you holding up.
PV: I'm holding up just fine, I've got a.....(breaths heavily)...a lady friend upstairs who helps me with my chores and my daily....requirements.
CT: Well I suppose thats....understandable.
PV: Coyne, i can sense that you are uneasy, my boy, what is is that is troubling you
CT: Its Wally, he's kidnapped a boy and I need to find a way to get him back.
PV: That is indeed a dire situation. Coyne, Wally was always a very...stimulating pupil, in some ways he is as cunning as you are Coyne. He is scrupulous and will stop at nothing......(rasping)...Coyne.
PV: (more rasping) Coyne, I have kept this for a long time, and I believe that it is the treasure Wally Seeks.
Coyne: (Gasp!) The Eye of Jiin. But how did you solve the puzzle?
PV: The Eye....is only the....beginning...of the puzzle. And the ring is the key...Coyne, Wally will not be able to solve the puzzle without you...but he must not obtain the treasure....
CT: I understand, thank you master.
PV: Oh! and Coyne.
CT: Yes teacher.
PV: (something inspirational) Now go!
CT: I've got the eye, lets go!
BH: You will not be going anywhere. Who are you who are trespassing upon our territory?
LS: Just what we need now! Bedouins! What a great story!
DD: We are zeppelineers, we sought the council of Dr. Voorderbloom
BH: We are wary of strangers. How can I know that you are not agents or worse, surveyors, planning to run iron roads through our desert. You must come with us, the desert can be quite….treacherous
FB: Like hell we will!
DD: (whisper) Calm down Flex now is not the time. We need to pick our battle.
DD: (Loud) We are not agents, and to prove it we will come with you.
CT: Everyone stay on your toes, these Beduins have strange customs.
LS: This might be my best story yet!
(fade into music)
BH: Salaam, sheik! We bring trespassers we found in the desert.
D: We are not trespassers noble sheik, simply a few visitors for the Dutch professor.
BS: I see. Salaam amaleikum. Welcome to our mukhayyam, our camp. It is the custom of our people, to exchange gifts, as a sign of friendship. Perhaps this will ease the tensions.
FB: (quietly) between you and me Capn, this doenst exactly look like a friendly Christmas party.
LS: You need to go to more newspaper Christmas parties.
FB: can it slade
D: Coyne, give them the ruby, it will buy us some time.
CT: but capn!
CT: Aye aye skipper.
*Ahem* This ruby is our most valuable possession, it holds innumberable secrets.
BS: Impressive, a rare and unequaled jewel. I find this gift pleasing.
JD: And this slingshot is my most valuable possession, I bought it in Denver!
DD: Johnny, NO!
(Gasps and Arabic mumblings)
BS: I have never seen such a gift. Such a mechanism must certainly be of great value. In our custom, if I cannot give you a greater gift value, than you have caused me a great dishonor.
JD: Oh no! I sure wouldn’t want to cause anyone a dishonor!
BH: My sheik, an idea perhaps! (whispers)
BS: A good idea!
BH: The chief says that you, young one, will marry his daughter! (Loud) Begin the celebration! (Noise erupts)
JD: Well what if I don’t want to get married!
CT: It doesn’t sound like we’re going to have much say in the matter Johnny.
BC: Young one, come with me, we must prepare you for the ceremony.
CT: Run along Johnny, the grown ups have business to attend to.
JD: But, what? Nooooo…..
CT: Flex, we need to get that Ruby back, it’s the only thing that will get Lefty back
FB: Well I’ve figure the weddings a good a time as any ta have a look around the place, and I’ve got no scruples about Indian giving to a group of chinamen.
CT: I don’t know if I could even begin to explain whats wrong with what you just said.
CT: Johnny! Cmon! Run!!! To the horses!
JD: But im getting married!!
FB: No youre not! Lets get goin!
D: Whats going here? Coyne, Flex, where have you two been?
CT: We got the ruby skip, now we got to get the hell out of here!!
D: Coyne I wish you had told me of this plan before doing something that will have an entire Bedouin clan trying to kill us,
FB: Too late for that now. Lets go! Here everyone take a rifle. I found them in the tent with the ruby.
JD: But but, what about my princess?
FB: You mean that damned chinawoman??
CT: Alright, im leaving.
D: Ride east!! There will be british troops at the Euphrates!!! Stick together!!!!
(Horses then shouting)
The FIGHT!!! (shouts, gun shots horses)
FB: Dammit, the way is blocked!!! That ravine is too steep.
CT: Theres no way around either.
FB: Looks like this is where we make our last stand gents I always did think it would involve Chinamen.
D: Dismount men, find cover. Pick your targets. Johnny, stay close to me.
(gunshots, shouts – everyone kills one or two)
JD: There’s too many of them!!
FB: Like hell there are! Eat rock chinaman!!!
CT: Johnny throw me that revolver!! (gunshot)
D: They are regrouping, this is it men. Im out of ammo.
FB: I still have a few good rocks though.
D: Its been a pleasure men, but I think this is the end of the line.
JD: Are we going to die captain???
D: Not you Johnny, just hide behind that rock, hopefully they will think we stole you. Do whatever they tell you.
FB: Here they come!
(external airplane dives, machine guns)
D: It’s the Black Falcon!!!
CT: Well would you believe it!! Look theyre running for it!! HAHA you Bedouin bastards!!! Tits and…. tits!!!
FB: You said it coyne, I couldn’t have put it better.
(horses shouts receeding, airplane dives again)
JD: Look captain! He dropped a little parachute!!