The Winner of the 2000 Fourth Annual Imitate Keeler Competition:

Epilogia Fantastica!

by Hans de Krap (as told to Ed Park)

"HOME--sweet home!" I repeated, grinning. "The Chateau Y'quem, at once!"

Fitch--my "attendant"!--made his way to the wine cellar. While I waited for him--for "wait," I surely had to!--I heard the unmistakable hum of the autogiro.

"Sister Agatha!"

For though she wore a heavy welder's mask--decorated, no less, with Tarot cards!--I recognized the "nun" at once. In 20 seconds--less!--perhaps merely 10--though I had no pocket-watch to time her!--for pocket-watches were strictly non est at Birkdale Asylum!--she had silently cut through the window bars. I wondered whether the guards would spot her--but then realized that Fitch--my faithful "attendant," and the finest mind in neuro-psychiatry in all of "London of the West"!--had applied electro-shock to their brains. Instead of going to the wine cellar. In short, the assorted guards of Birkdale were now, essentially, zombified! And walking around, helplessly!

I smiled as Agatha helped me into the autogiro. So she had read my note, written in "hypnotic" ink--or "Hypnotink"!--and collected the ransom money--and taken the two grams of Dialexin that I had assured her were mere multiplonal! For there had been a codicil to the Sandringham Estate's reward requirements: if the ransom-collector could not speak proper English, in a 24-hour period following the collection of the $100,000, then he--or she!--would immediately lose the mazuma! And it--the mazuma!--would be transferred--just as immediately!--to the Diversey Chop-Suey Emporium! For reasons I shall reveal!

"Waaall," said Agatha, shedding her mask, "I'se m'l'm'n t'pra's'p'n'm, an' on'y wha' s'dot, by Godfrey!"

"Yes--yes--of course, dear," I said, lowering her gently to the ground. Where Fitch--or "Warden Fitch," who owed me many favors from his hobo days in Chi!--would, in a shake of a lamblet's tail--maybe two shakes--collect her. And bring her, I imagined, to Washington. For extradition, in the morning, to England.

Where "she"--Abernathy Grimswold-Abernathy Thorndike Halibut-Abernathy--or, in short, "AGATHA"!--twice voted "worst thug" by readers of America's Humor--would stand trial.

Trial--for the murder of André Marceau!

I steered the autogiro to Diversey Boulevard, landed--in the alley!--and slipped into the chop-suey parlor I called "home." The aforementioned Emporium! And promptly removed my platforms, my adjustable concealed "shin-stilts"--becoming a midget once more! And dipping my pen into the micro-condensed inkwell that my grandfather--Soo Wing Tong Fan, gentleman lawyer!--and all of seven feet tall!--had patented, I began writing my exposé, entitled:

"A 5th- Dimensional Solution to the Marceau Case, Using New Methods Based on Meta-Empirical Formulae, Found in the Garden of Cyrus, That Convincingly Disproves the Work of Aleck Snide, Xenius Jones, Et Al.!"

And that--as they say!--is that!



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