Benjamin Ulysses Maitland-Abyss & Chips BOOK SIX

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Chapter 18

Ropes, chains and enough fuel to power several deep sea fishing boats was acquired over the phone by credit card and Ben was moving out of the office and whistling for Hambone to follow him down to the little boats for a trip into town. Lamb Shanks was quite content to chew the fluff off the tennis ball in front of the fire while Zara and her family cast worried looks in Ben’s direction as he hurried to and fro. The submarine was going to take a lot of pull from several directions to get it to the surface safely without any of the ropes and chains breaking. If one of such ropes and chains break it could send the sub plummeting to the Dx4H bottom and kill untold amount of Merrow people, so every step of the way had to be thought out carefully.

Ben paddled across to the land with a very happy Irish wolfhound ghost happy growling all the way to the car. It was going to be a trip into town that was going to start some serious gossip mongers tongues wagging because of the nature of the hiring and acquiring of chains and ropes with the boats to use these special acquisitions. If Zillath and her Merrow people were to be saved it would have to be done at night so as not to cause suspicion from any more people than already knew what was going on.

The road trip into town and to the docks with all the usable fishing boats did not take long and on pulling up in the car Ben warned Hambone to lay low and stay out of sight until he had a boat that he could get into the Loch with all his supplies ...then he could show himself on his boat. Hambone woofed in excitement because he couldn’t help it, turning just a few heads close by. Ben waved his woof down and put his finger to his lips.

‘Silencio you big woolly galloot, and let’s get cracking.’

Ben closed and locked his car and then headed off to the jetty and the office that housed the rope and chains he needed to retrieve the submarine. It was all paid for and ready to be picked up by Ben. A simple signature was all that was needed to start the ball rolling and the keys to his own boat were handed over and the directions with which to find the boat were given. Ben left pushing a long small wheeled trolley that was loaded up with thick ropes and iron tethering to secure the ropes to the sub. The guy who sold it all was pretty happy to be rid of supplies he had stock piled for quite some time, although Ben didn’t know this. Some the boats Ben had hired for this job already had chains that were long enough to reach the sub and each boat had enough grunt to pull the sub up and onto the ledge next to Amazing and Graceful. All was going well.

All was not well aboard the Crushed Asian, D-Macs travellers were bitching and whinging in what seemed like several different tongues of swearing and D-Mac was just a little concerned. They wanted to start ‘nutting’ as they said to D-Mac in no uncertain terms. D-Mac just wanted to spend the cash they gave him in the local pub as quickly as possible and get these travellers off the Crushed Asian as soon as he could. The radio screeched into gear with Ben’s voice talking to D-Mac......‘Robert the Bruce to the Crushed Asian come in Crushed Asian?’

‘Is that you Benno?’

‘Yes it is and please call me Robert the Bruce. I am on my way to the back of Amazing and Graceful with ropes, chains and nets to retrieve the you-know-what from the you-know-where?’

‘10-4 Robert the Bruise.’ (And once again D-Mac sounds the name off like it sounds to him and it’s completely wrong.)

Ben pointed his boat to the rock and his home and contacted seven other boats loaded with exactly the same supplies as he has on board. Here is the order of boats... and needless to say there was no tact in the naming the boats by these old sea dogs ...

Crushed Asian

Robert the Bruise

Mungo McDuck

Seemadick

Big Boobbies

Flat Tack Jack

Jock McSock

Saggy Balls

And, the Seaweed Queen

All these boats with ropes chains and strong engines and salty well-worn captains who knew it was a cash job were not far behind Ben as he chugged his way back to the hotel and then to retrieve the sub from the Abyss. Hambone was loving being on the bow of the boat with the wind racing through his ghostly dog shape and he woofed a few times that made Ben smile. To any other boat it would sound like a fog horn and nothing out of the ordinary to them but little did they know it was a huge Irish wolfhound ghost that was making the noise and if they had seen him, maybe things would be different?

Nine fishing boats were chugging their way to Amazing and Graceful with about 5 hours light left with which Ben could be under the water attaching the lines and chains to make it easier on the boats to lift the old sub...in the dark.

Ben made it home before any of the boats were within distance of his hotel so it was down to the cellar to check the air tanks and get the wet suit ready for some serious work underwater. Agnes watched Ben whizz around the office at a million miles an hour and the Dunmours watched as Ben raced up the stairs and came back dressed like Lloyd Bridges from the old Sea Hunt show on TV. Ben sat into Raphael and put his flippers on and told him not to worry about what he was about to get into as the first of the boats sounded its horn as it approached Amazing and Graceful. Ben’s timing was perfect.

‘Ben, please be careful down there and make sure you attached all the ropes and chains with good knots,’ said Zara as she floated down from the mirror to sit by his side.

‘Thank you Zara, let’s just hope that Aubrey likes what I am going to do to the submarine eh?’

‘What are you going to do with the submarine Ben?’

Ben stood up and smiled at Zara and proceeded to the front door with his flippers on flapping all the way and zipping up his wetsuit as he went outside. Zara was worried and thought that it might be a good idea to stay close to him under the water and make sure no harm came to him. She was so right. Nine boats had docked around the rock and crewmen were making their way inside the reception lounge to talk about how the resurrection was going to work.

Ben ushered the crews in and produced a huge sheet of butcher’s paper from the kitchen and one big black texta colour with a rough copy of the submarine on it. There was a hole in the front of the sub which is where the mine did its fatal damage that sunk the ship all those years ago. Ben explained to all the crews that he would attach their ropes and chains to the propeller and mid ships of the submarine and then at a signal he gave for all the boats to at once move in a steady uniformed speed to bring the submarine up from its rugged and stony ledge, to the ledge closest to Amazing and Graceful.

All the crews agreed with what was being said to them and it was only after several cups of tea and a gazillion shortbreads that they all decided to get back into their boats and begin the exercise to retrieve the sub. As Ben put on his air tanks and gave all the boats the thumbs up he entered the water at the front of the stone steps and when the bubbles cleared there was Queen Zillath, Cleodora and Lanthe waiting for him. Ben pointed his finger for them all to surface so he could talk to them. They all followed him up to the surface and listened as Ben talked in hushed tones.

‘Queen Zillath, Cleodora and Lanthe it is so good that you are here, it does my heart good to see you. I have nine boats with ropes and chains at the ready to be able to lift that sub out of the Abyss and away from your home.’

‘Thank you land person Ben, if all goes well we will be eternally grateful for all that you are doing for us,’ said Zillath. All the time Lanthe was smiling at Ben and he really wished that she didn’t because it still filled him with fear the size of the her teeth and how strong both of the body guards were. Ben also told his friends of the two travellers that were with D-Mac in his boat and to be careful that they were going to try and net the sub and cause trouble. Ben saw the whites of the knuckles on both Cleodora and Lanthe tighten around two very sharp tridents they were holding. All of a sudden Ben felt that D-Mac would be okay if these girls had anything to do with it.

Ben told Zillath that he would grab the ropes and chains and bring them down to the sub and that if they could fasten them in the places he explained it would make it so much easier. Zillath told Ben that there were at least 50 Merrow male and females at the ready inside the Abyss to help do just that.

‘Let’s begin!’ said Ben as he put his mouth piece into his mouth and his head disappeared under the water with his new found friends and they made their way to the Dx4H.

Verandah turned to Sorehead and said, ‘Yoo fugging see dat?’

‘Yes I dud, dat fugging ossie haz fugging hulp unda wata.’

‘Letz goo an see wut appens.’

Both ugly gargoyle travellers went down to D-Mac’s boat and jumped aboard and cast the ropes off the bank and settled back next to the crab pot with Gotcha in it. It was all about to start in earnest and these two villains didn’t want to miss a thing.

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