Nowe that Buchinger and I hadde formd our groupe, the date was sett for oure first foraye into th'arena. It behoved me to enlighten hym of my formere plight, so that he mighte understande better from whence the lyrickal inspiration for oure new projeckt stemmd, and also that he coulde supply some of the correckt musickal interjeckshuns as and when fit. I explaind what had happend to Jereboam, Lady Maud &c. as beste I coulde; Dr. Harvey I mostly lefte oute for Matthews sake. However, I hadde recently receyvd a peece of news that I hope wyll interest you as muche as it chilld me.
Jereboam M-G, beinge cartd to Bedlamme as I have noted, had founde herselfe, to speke more exactly, in a kind of Hospital for the Criminally Insane. The mere screamers and lycanthropes, it seemeth, remaine in a kind of lowe-security facility, while the truly dangerous such as Jereboam are kept in a special confinement that is designd to keepe them right oute of the publick consciousness. She had writ me a letter from her celle, explaining a most uncanny turne of events. Apparently, her arrest hadde ledde to a period of the cruellest interrogation in which she bawled out Dr. Harvey's name so many times the investigators were fixd on bryngynge him inne and havynge a word. The longe and the shorte of't is: Harvey nowe resided in a cage beside her in Cell Blocke F.
My delighte at the symmetry of eventes was onlye compounded by the realization that Buchinger, beynge suche a major draw, was in grete demande aboute the meetyng-houses, schools and theatres of the regyoun. The there promisd so litel trouble gettynge a gigge was one thynge, but whenne the possibility was raisd thatte we mighte performe in a PRISON, my eyes instantly caught fire. Harvey and Manx-Granville together. If we coulde incite a kynde of riot or similar disturbaunce, they mighte bothe be crushd in the thronge and nobody woulde be any the wyser to my schemynge. I popped Buchinger uppe from the foldynge bedde and tolde hym we coulde really execute a glorious showe.
-Youre beinge drivn by madnesse, Nashe. Whatte do you expeckt me to do. I am but a lighe entertainer.
I brushd aside hys fears like so many cleand bones.
-Buchinger, if we can pleye thys gigge, all thynges mighte be cleand up and you mighte also get a rosette for youre lovely hede.
Buchinger was a simpel manne.
-Yes. And thatte lovely pinte I have been mentally measurynge beside you for a goode fewe dayes now.
-Yes plese. Youre a crackynge fellowe and a good egge.
So we donnd our capes, mustachioes, poinards, doublets, thonges, wigges and electrick vizors etc and sette off for the local Prison for the Insane.
A straunge younge ladye mette us at the door and thenne begann t'injeckt us wyth chemicals I knowe not whiche. By the ende of the session Buchinger was lyvynge the rock and rolle dreame. A while passd as I recoverd my effects, and I was tunynge my triangle in the lavatory whenne a vaste Guard came in to telle me Buchingere was doynge his make-up in the canteen and was thys close to a beatynge. Rushynge to my co-workers aide, my minde racd alonge wyth me. I realisd Buchinger, seemynge so vulnerable but also, as I hadde learnd in the precedynge dayes, an accredited master of Kung-Fu, Rapiers and God knoweth whatte else, was goynge to playe a crucial role in oure ackt. As I burste into the dinynge halle I sawe hym tryynge on a boa by his reflexion in the lacklustre silverware. I bowled for'ard and took a hold of his stuntd armes, keepynge backe the convicts wyth the speche I ventriloqisd thro' hys frame.
Ho! Ho! Come to witnesse me, the Sherrife of Despaire, later! Ho! In the main Blocke! Ile fit you all, Ile take all of you onne, all of you, come on. Aren't I a funny litel manne. Ho! I am the Sherriffe of Despaire.
The idiottes thought Buchinger was spekynge and boppynge but really it was I manipulatynge from the rear. His neat body jiggld on the table. The convicts wente wilde for't. I kept Buchinger backe and tooke hym to the dressyng-room.
-Do not make yourselfe uppe in publick Matthew it maketh you looke vulnerable.
-I have evry righte, I am a starre.
-Notte yet. Notte yet.
Come the showe, we performd many of oure own songes: 'Car Bus Carriage Highway'; 'The Ballade of Shoe #2'; 'The Roar in Youre Emptye Hede', and oure real hitte was 'Childe Behynde the Bar'. The place was heavynge and Buchinger performd some trickes wyth cardes and dyce durynge th'intermission, in his 'Sherriffe of Despaire' character that I hadde invented. Instede of incitynge violence, he absolutely broughte the house downe. We closd wyth a cover of 'The Nyghte We Calld It a Daye'. Buchinger guested on vocals and blacke cylinder for that numbere, and I conductd the military choir who didde harmony. The climactick note made four prisoners die in the front row, so mighty was Buchinger's voix. Yette Doctor Harvey was nowhere to be seene.
Buchinger was stille holdynge that final note as the roome cleard. He seemd false. There was no emocioun. The lights dimmd and night seepd in where the light was before. Stille Buchinger helde the note. I sate downe and considerd my planne was not so fine after all, but sillye, sillye. No riot woulde begin at oure concerte. Nothynge coulde be unleashd. Stille Buchinger helde the note. Was he alrighte? He was holdynge the note. Coulde he move? Could he see? It seemd holdyng the note was enough for his continued amusement. Stille he helde the note. I was furious and threw him.
Stille he helde the note. I am retirynge, I announced, from thys businesse. It is notte destrucktive enough and there is no meaning at all in't.
I lefte hym there.