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Gus Openshaw's Whale-Killing Journal

Gus Openshaw, Blackmailer

Could the Honorable Solomon Archipelago be blackmailed? Well, the old buzzard still had aspirations for higher office. Both his father and grandfather had been governor. The thing is, in these waters, word that he dropped anchor at a high-end brothel would win him votes. That he brought a pelican along'd just add color. But there was one reason he didn't want the video getting out: his wife, Pearl. She outweighed him by sixty pounds, had a lead skillet the size of a tennis racket and a hell of a forehand.

"Still, Openshaw," he told me, "you don't want to blackmail me."

"It's not illegal here," I said. I'd read the criminal statutes thoroughly. Both of them.

"You don't want to do it, son, because you're not a seahorse's ass."

He was right in one respect. I hadn't wanted to blackmail him. The thing for sea birds aside, Archipelago was admired throughout the region for his integrity, and that's saying something in a region where most everyone skipped school the day integrity was taught. He'd once passed up a chance to be governor cause his party was in bed with Big Sugar and looking the other way while field hands, some as young as seven, were getting beaten like slaves. And he decked the party chairman to give him a taste of it. I'd like to think I'd've done the same thing. The night before going to blackmail him, even though I'd drunken enough rum to float a battleship, I couldn't sleep. As I tried telling myself over and over, my priority isn't being courteous to geezers. It's harpooning Dickhead through the heart. Why? Plain old-fashioned justice.

As if he was reading straight through my head and into my thoughts, Archipelago said, "Injustice anywhere imperils justice everywhere."

I felt a stirring in my heart. I knew then and there that he was righteous and true, that he deserved the title Honorable, and warranted my awe. I offered him a quarter million dollar bribe anyhow. He laughed, thinking it was a joke. Ashamed, I pretended like it had been.

I got to go now. Got to find a good defense lawyer pronto.

P.S. Here's Flarq's courtroom scrimshaw of the Hon. Solomon Archipelago:

Posted by Gus Openshaw at 2:59 AM ADT
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