“Hey girl!” said the big drunken lummocks at the corner table of the Olde Pine Tavern in the middle of the Pine Barrens of the New Jersey colony in February of 1775.
“It’s wench to you, and you have had more than enough.” the serving girl shot back.
Meanwhile our hero Dick Danger, yes it’s his real name, was trying to get his foot unstuck from between the legs of a chair. Before we get too far, I feel I should explain that our hero is not very smart and more than qualified to be called a buffoon.
The man mountain got up from his chair, meaning to do harm to the serving girl, but just as he was making his way across the floor Dick separated his foot from the chair with a mighty yank that smashed the chair straight up into the chin of the brute knocking him unconscious.
This of course caused the serving girl to see her hero as being worthy of her rewards. Well not really, but her first choice of lover turned out to be a jerk that was now lying on the floor. The sex wasn’t great, it was awkward and cumbersome. Don’t ask, because I don’t want to describe it.
The winter had recently decided to give everyone from New England to Delaware a bit of a break with an extended Indian summer, but would return with more cold to remind them of its presence. The wind picked up outside, causing Dick and the serving girl to huddle closer together during the pillow talk that was better than the sex they had.
Dick was originally Richard Dangier, of the French fur trapping Dangier’s. Being shunned by his own family for being the “original village idiot”, he left and made his way to the New Jersey colony. Upon arrival he changed his name to a more English sounding version, which somehow made him sound much cooler than he really was. But it seemed he had a God-given gift. If anyone on Earth could be counted upon to fail upwards it was Dick.
We all remember the wonderful story of Benjamin Franklin discovering electricity by flying a kite during a thunderstorm. Unfortunately it is exactly that, a nice story. Although at one stage he is purported to have suggested it, he never really tried it and had he done so most likely he would never have survived. Lightning is a formidable and indomitable opponent and the voltage generated in electrical storms would have probably fried our lovable Ben to an absolute crisp.
However when Ben suggested it, he did so in the presence of Dick, and yep you guessed it, Dick tried it. The lightning not only struck the kite and travelled down the line to Dick but attracted another lightning strike directly to him. He was hit so hard that people saw him vanish from the spot he had been standing in. When he was found after the storm, Dick, the kite, and even the key were found to be very singed and hanging in a tree.
Somehow Dick survived, but for a month after that claimed to have been briefly transported to ancient Babylon, and according to Ben his description sounded to accurately match what he had read of Babylon. Needless to say, Dick inspired Ben to not try the kite experiment, as well as a well-known saying because anytime someone wanted Dick to go away they simply said “go fly a kite.”
Dick told the serving girl how he not only left his family but eventually Philadelphia as well, and gone back to fur trapping after moving to the nearby New Jersey town of Batso. The people there were a bit more excepting of the coonskin cap wearing former Frenchman.
Our story begins on the very last day of February of 1775. It was a period of time when the American Revolution hadn’t quite been declared, but was reaching that point and winter was making sure no one forgot it. . It was the morning after, and the serving girl was beginning to regret having rewarded her hero, when they heard a pounding on the door to the tavern. Before the pounding woke the guest of the Inn upstairs, the girl used it as an excuse to run from the room, barely dressed as she was.
Upon answering the door she found a small contingent of Redcoats waiting outside. They pushed their way inside out of the chilly morning. There were five of them, and they didn’t seem happy to be out in the weather on that day.
“We’re looking for the man responsible for attacking His Majesties Tax Collector here last night.” said one of the Redcoats.
“Oh, he was a tax man was he? Now, I don’t feel as bad for him.” said the girl.
At that point in time Dick hadn’t heard the conversation begin although he was coming from the back room, fully dressed and holding a loaded chamber pot out before him.
“Excuse me, don’t mind me, I’m just taking this out to dump it.” Dick said, also starting the phrase to take a dump.
The soldiers stepped out of his way letting him go by. The girl began laughing hysterically.
“Why are you laughing? You find that man and chamber pot to be funny?” the same Redcoat asked. But the girl just laughed even harder. The other Redcoats started laughing too, not knowing what they were laughing about. Finally the man figured it out.
“That was him, the man we’re after. Go after him.” he ordered.
The five Redcoats ran outside in single file and were near upon him when he turned swinging the chamber pot with both hands in alarm striking the first one and letting the second impale his head inside the pot. This fellow started to run around in circles, his comrades becoming more interest in getting out of his way than catching Dick.
One finally decided to go after Dick and ran straight for Dick, who immediately puffed up his face and started waving his hand in front of his nose indicating the smell. The soldier stopped and started fanning in front of his face as well, so Dick punched him.
The other two Redcoats used their rifles to trip bucket-head who landed right on the bucket, but Dick crept up behind one of them with the knocked out soldiers bayonet and stabbed him in the rear end causing him to fall forward atop his leader who in turn fell upon the first Redcoat to fall who was getting back up, all of that being caused from being poked in the rear by Dick.
Dick ran back to the tavern to get his things, but the serving girl met him outside with everything including his coonskin hat.
“You be sure to come back and see me some time. Achoo!” said the serving girl.
“God bless you. This would have to happen when I finally meet a girl that loves me.” Dick said.
“Oh no, I don’t want you getting the wrong idea. I’m not in love with you, and you weren’t even good in bed. But you are definitely good for a few laughs.” the girl said before going back inside and locking the door.
Dick ran off into the pines. A patrol of Redcoats in the area was hailed by the first group, and sent after him. With horses on his trail he made for the thicker woods. They couldn’t chase him in the thick, but did run into a whole contingent of other Redcoats to help hunt him down.
What they couldn’t see from their vantage point was Dick running so fast and looking back for them, that he didn’t see the branch he clotheslined himself on. Nor did they see him get back up and run right into a tree. The Redcoats spread out to begin their search while Dick was unconscious.
Little did they know that during their search they managed to go right past him. Dick came to just after they had passed; got up, and continued in the same direction he was originally headed. It was only a matter of time before he caught up to the Redcoats. One of them heard him to their left.
“Do you see him?” asked the Redcoat.
“No, do you?’ Dick answered.
“Don’t even know what he looks like.” the Redcoat said.
“Oh, I saw him earlier. He’s a real big fellow, about seven feet tall, broad as an ox cart, and dressed like a farmer. I can’t believe we haven’t seen him yet.” Dick said.
“I don’t know if we can stop someone that big.” answered the Redcoat.
“Me neither. I’m going to look over here, you keep going that way.” Dick said and headed back the other way.
He ran into a road and saw a Redcoat driving a wagon down it. He got a running start and jumped up next to the driver who looked at him in astonishment.
“Don’t look at me, look at the road. That’s how accidents happen.” Dick told the Redcoat, pointing his flintlock pistol at him. They continued on down the road.
“Which horse is the strongest and fastest?” Dick asked.
“Oh ah, Hercules there on the left.” the Redcoat answered.
“Thank you.” Dick said, and punched the man unconscious.
Dick then proceeded to jump onto the back of Hercules and unhitched him, and giving a kick away they went. They rode on further south until they reached Batso. Dick rode to his cabin and began packing all of his belongings. As he did that, Hercules got loose and went on home, while the Redcoats gave up their search and decided on a wanted bulletin instead. The men he had assaulted giving a more accurate description.
Dick left his small cabin and had to carry everything himself. By nightfall he made it to the camp of his friends the Lenni Lenape Indians. The members of the camp waved to him as he arrived, and Chief Huodathunket even came out to greet him.
“Looks like I get to win pelts playing dice. Prepare for warm nights the rest of this winter as well.” Huodathunket told his wife.
“Chief Huodathunket, my friend. I have come to stay among my friends for a while.” Dick said.
“Which man’s wife did you try to borrow this time?” the Chief asked.
“No, I seem to have somehow beaten upon a British patrol.” Dick told him.
“Hahahaha. What prowess in battle you have. By the way, did you hear that Bates died?” the Chief asked.
“No, I didn’t even know that he’d been arrested.” Dick replied.
That evening they sat by the fire, still catching up and telling stories over some wonderfully prepared fish.
“Where do you find the most fish?” Dick asked.
“Between the head and the tail.” the Chief answered.
Dick began showing off his new rifle to the Chief, as he was especially proud of the sights on the rifle.
“Just look over those sights, it almost improves the distance you can see. Look over there with it.” he said handing the rifle to the Chief.
“Oh, no.” said the Chief as he looked across the sights.
“What’s the matter?” Dick asked.
“I just saw my wife making love to a man over by the river. Shoot them for me.” said the Chief, handing back the rifle.
“I can’t do that.” Dick replied.
“You must. I do not have a rifle, and don’t know how to shoot. If you are my friend, you will do this for me.” the Chief told him.
“Well, all right.” Dick said, pulling back the hammer.
“I want you to kill them both. Shoot him in his manhood, and shoot her in the face.” the Chief demanded.
“Wow, I think I can get this in one shot.” Dick replied.
“Husband, have you seen my twin sister? She was supposed to help me make baskets.” the Chief’s wife said.
“No my love, but I will tell her you are looking for her if I see her.” said the Chief lowering Dick’s rifle before he could shoot.
After she left the two men laughed hysterically for a while before smoking the Chief’s pipe together, and the Chief sent a runner to fetch his wife’s twin sister. At one point drums could be heard coming from a neighboring Lenape camp. The drums grew louder and louder, seeming angry.
“I don’t like the sound of those drums.” Danger said.
A drummer in camp drummed out a message to the other tribe, asking what was going on. A few minutes later a reply came back with a slightly different sound.
“What did they say?” Danger asked.
“They said it is not their regular drummer.” the Chief told him.
Later that night Dick went off with a pretty squaw named Doe Eyes. Kissing and walking along the river they came upon a brave lying on his stomach with his ear to the ground.
“Oh oh, I think the British are coming.” Danger said.
“Why?” Doe Eyes asked.
“Well, he’s listening to the ground. He can hear many miles away that way.” Danger said.
“Wagon, about two miles away, two horses, one brown, one white, man, woman, child, and household goods in wagon.” the brave said.
“Incredible, how can you tell that much detail?” Danger asked.
“Simple. They ran me over about a half an hour ago.” the brave said.
They helped him back to the camp, and then slipped off to Danger’s wigwam. They began to get undressed, and Dick removed his trousers and tossed them to Doe Eyes.
“Put those on.” he said, thinking this was going to be great.
“What?” Doe Eyes said.
“Go ahead, put those on.” Dick said.
“OK” she replied.
She tried putting them on, but they were much too large for her, and they fell down around her ankles.
“I can’t wear these.” she told him.
“That’s right. Just remember that if we should marry, that I wear the pants in the family.” Dick said.
Doe Eyes removed her clothes and then the small loincloth that she wore beneath, and tossed them to Dick.
“Put that on.” she told him.
“What?” Dick said.
“You made me do it, it’s your turn.” she said.
“All right.” Dick said and tried squeezing into the loincloth. But they were too tight. “I can’t get into these.”
“And you will not until you change your attitude.” Doe Eyes said, and got dressed again and stormed out.
The following day Dick, Doe Eyes, the Chief, his wife, and half the camp were all sick. Mostly everyone was coughing and sneezing. The Chief looked over his people trying to figure out who had gotten him sick. Dick blew smoke from a pipe at one of the braves, making him cough. When the Chief looked in his direction, Dick stepped away from the man as though he wasn’t sick yet, and didn’t want to get it. The rest of the day the Chief kept staring at that one brave.
Doe Eyes and Dick made up. For most of the next two weeks the tribe was sick, but life went on despite the epidemic of the common cold. One day, one of the braves that wasn’t popular with the girls walked up to Dick after Doe Eyes left to fetch them some water.
“Excuse me. How do you get the girls to pay attention to you? What do they want?” the brave asked.
“Perhaps I can help you.” Dick said and looked the young man up and down. “OK. Here’s what you do. Go get a potato, put it in your loincloth, and walk back and forth in front of the girls. They won’t leave you alone after that.”
The young man ran off to do just that, but came back after a few hours looking very hurt and dejected.
“I tried what you said, but the girls just looked at me and laughed.” the brave said.
“I’m sorry; I thought it would be obvious that you were to put the potato in the front and not the back.” Dick told him.
Days later trouble arrived. The British arrived searching for any outlaw colonists that may have come to hide among the Indians. Dick slipped off to hide as they first had to talk to the Chief. Dick borrowed some of Doe Eye’s mother’s clothing and snipped some black hair from a horse’s tail, and went to his wigwam. When he returned he was completely dressed as a squaw.
Unfortunately upon his return he immediately drew the unwanted attention of the Captain of the British detachment. The man was so smitten that he forgot what he was there for, and made haste to get to know the Indian girl he couldn’t take his eyes off of. Doe Eyes saw all of this and realized that she had to do something.
“Hello, my dear. I am Captain Bartholomew Simpson of the Royal Army, and who do I have the pleasure of meeting?” the Captain asked.
“Poison Ivy, pleased to meet you. I have to go make moccasins now.” Dick said trying to excuse himself.
“Nonsense, the moccasins will wait.” said the persistent Captain.
“Captain, we’ve finished searching already. There aren’t any colonials here.” a soldier informed the Captain.
“Go search somewhere else then. I am busy.” Simpson said.
Doe Eyes brought over a bowl of peanuts with a small contingent of squirrels following close behind her. Dick took the bowel and offered some to Captain Simpson.
“No thank you, they make me ill and I break out.” Simpson said.
Dick put the bowl aside with the exception of a handful that he held in his fist. Simpson got a bit heavy with the groping, so Dick opened the front of Simpson’s trousers and inserted the peanuts. Then he proceeded to let the squirrels know where they were hidden. Aside from immediately starting to break out in a delicate area, Simpson had the added trouble of squirrels attacking his groin. He ran off screaming with the occasional squirrel biting the wrong nut.
The captain ordered the men to mount up and leave, and they were gone in less than a minute. Doe Eyes came over to her man and kissed him. The Chief noticed this, and couldn’t help but think that the girl was really confused.
In the next few days everyone in the camp eventually got over the cold, but still had runny noses, and the brave with the potato still wasn’t a hit with the girls, but dogs loved him. This was far from being Dick’s last adventure though.