The Splendid Baron Submarine - Exclusive Excerpt!

The Splendid Baron Submarine

Chapter 2

Pages 17 - 20

When Mongo and Knuckles finally woke up, we agreed to go along with them. We were dying to know what the Vice President of the United States could want with us. And we were also quite curious why he would choose to send two hairy-knuckled goons like Mongo and Knuckles to find us. Surely, the Vice President of the United States could have sent some of his more respectable employees to our home, but, then again, we didn’t know a whole lot about politics. Maybe politicians just preferred to work with goons. Goons were quite good at gooning, and sometimes you just needed a good gooning goon in order to get some good goonery done.   “You need to stop making up stupid words,” Rose told me when I explained that to her.   We decided to trick Mongo and Knuckles (who seemed as though they had brains the size of red bopple nuts) into giving us some information about our secret invitation to see the Vice President.   “We’ve decided to go along with you without asking any questions,” M told them.   “Good,” said Knuckles. “Because we wouldn’t have answered any.”   “Well, we wouldn’t want you to,” I retorted.   “Yes, you would,” said Mongo. “If you knew what this was about, you’d want to ask us at least one hundred and seven different questions. Maybe even one hundred and eight.”   “I doubt that,” Rose said. “I bet it’s something really boring.”   “Yes, you probably just want us to come over and give you gardening tips,” my mother added.   “You couldn’t be more wrong,” said Knuckles.   “I actually wouldn’t mind some gardening tips,” Mongo said hopefully. “My tomato plants keep dying before they sprout. What am I doing wrong? Should I use fertilizer? What is fertilizer? Someone told me that it’s just cow plop, but I think they was funnin’ me.”   “Be quiet, Mongo,” Knuckles told him.   “You weren’t supposed to let them know our names, Knuckles,” Mongo pointed out.   “Then why did you just say my name, Mongo?” Knuckles asked through gritted teeth.   I yawned as loudly as I could, as we walked outside and stepped into the large horse drawn carriage parked in front of our white picket fence. Once we were inside the carriage, Mongo and Knuckles tied blindfolds over our eyes.   “This is going to be the dullest afternoon ever,” I said as they finished tying my blindfold.   “No, it ain’t,” said Mongo. “It’s going to be exciting.”   “It’ll be about as exciting as watching paint dry.”   “This is ten times more exciting than that! Maybe even more! Don’t make me do the math!”   “Excuse me while I take a nap,” I said. “Wake me up when we get to Dullsville, which is obviously where we’re headed. Dull, dull, dull . . .”   “There ain’t nothing dull about meeting the Vice President!” Mongo snapped.   Knuckles knuckled Mongo over the head.   “You weren’t supposed to tell them about the Vice President!” Knuckles screamed. “Remember, you blockhead? He told us not to mention that, or the part about him needing the Barons to invent something for him.”   Mongo mongoed Knuckles over the head.   “You weren’t supposed to say that he needs them to invent something for him!” Mongo shouted. “Vice President Morton told us that after he told us about the island!”   “YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO MENTION THE ISLAND!” Knuckles roared. “YOU’VE RUINED EVERYTHING!”   And, because goons can only scream at each other for so long before their fists become antsy and anxious to join the disagreement, Mongo and Knuckles began to fight one another. They punched each another with powerful hands the size of honey-baked hams, though nowhere near as tasty. Even though my parents hate it when people fight, they were smart enough not to get between the two men, who, as I mentioned before, really did seem more like gorillas than humans, both in appearance and in smell.   By the time the carriage had reached its destination, Mongo and Knuckles had beaten each other black and blue, and a little bit orange as well. They grumbled at one another as they led us out of the carriage and took off our blindfolds.

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