Home » A short excerpt from.Hooter Hornbuckle and Barnabus Belmont. “The Best of Friends”

A short excerpt from.Hooter Hornbuckle and Barnabus Belmont. “The Best of Friends”

Alibi bin Baz-ar and his Beetle Train from the Mysterious East.


Early one morning, in late spring, the inhabitants of Hooters clearing were rudely awakened by a cacophony of clashing cymbals, the banging of drums; interspersed with loud, off key trumpeting from several horns, quite foreign to these parts.

Venturing outside, still in their night attire, they were met by the beginning of what appeared to be a very long beetle train.

Brown skinned beetle drivers were sat cross-legged atop rather large, iridescent green Stag beetles who plodded awkwardly forward; swaying from side to side, as they went, under the immense weight of their loads.

The folks from the clearing watched in awe as the train of eastern traders; for that’s who they were, passed slowly by them calling out greetings and welcomes in their native tongues and, as the rear of the train finally appeared, the last beast of burden plodding and rolling by; they were even more overjoyed to see that it was followed by what seemed to be an endless line of camp followers.

Scantily dressed dancers, tumbrels, jugglers, fire eaters, and sword swallowers, actors, story tellers, writers of poems, lullabies and love letters, each announcing his or her own specialty to the gathered crowd of onlookers as they went by. Magicians and, inventors of noxious concoctions guaranteed to ensure your chosen one’s favors; in matters of the heart. Tonsorial artist’s, flimflammers and quacksalvers and herbalists, who boasted cure’s for a multitude of common ailments and, the inevitable; sharp eyed; shifty charlatans, for which there was no cure whatsoever. There were light fingered cutpurses, porch-climbers and midnighter’s, filchers ‘and, cat burglars. Hawkers, hucksters and peddlers, they were all there and, more legitimately, purveyors of precious metals, jewels and bolts of fine silk, linen, cotton and other; diaphanous materials, with brightly coloured ribbons, buttons, needles of brass and, threads of fine silk of every colour, glittering sequins, mother of pearl, and, so on.

Alibi bin Baz-ar and his beetle train from the mysterious east had arrived and, the good folks of Hooters clearing were… delighted!

Of course, The Honorable Hooter was there to meet them!

The lead beetle drew to a stop close to where the welcoming committee were standing.

‘Greetings, wise one.’ said Alibi bin Baz-ar, as he dismounted, sliding down the side of his beetle’s slippery smooth carapace, whilst flashing a wide toothy grin at Hooter and, as he landed he said. ‘May the sun and the moon shine upon you and your family for all eternity my friend and, may all of your childerin be boys.’ Then in a demonstration of his obeisance; as was his custom. He bowed deeply to Hooter whilst touching his forehead then his chest with open palms, and, extending them upwards and outwards towards Hooter and the welcoming committee.

James A Bresco


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