Saturday, 29 December 2012

How to Annoy a Jobsworth

 If you are like me, you hate Job worthy bureaucrats well I came across this article in the Daily Mail. I thought it was hilarious, and deserved to be shared on my blog, sadly the book is out of print now maybe an updated version should be created. Anyway here it is the article in full, maybe it will give you some ideas if you ever come across the modern version of what Sir Patrick Moore called Twitmarshes.

Sir Patrick Moore, who died earlier this month aged 89, is best remembered as the motor-mouthed frontman of television’s longest running show with the same presenter, The Sky At Night on BBC1.
But the astronomer and entertainer had another side, as a self-appointed scourge of bureaucracy.
In 1981, under the pen-name R. T. Fishall, he published an irreverent guide to causing havoc and taking vengeance on the people who were burying Britain under paperwork and tying the country up in red tape.
The book, now sadly out of print, was called Bureaucrats: How To Annoy Them, and it was inspired by a correspondence with a man named Whitmarsh from the Southern Gas Company, who had sent Moore a final demand for £10 of repairs, despite the fact that the central heating at his cottage in Selsey, West Sussex, was oil‑fired.
The great astronomer snapped. He realised that Britons everywhere were being harangued, overcharged, harassed, bullied and driven to distraction by the Whitmarshes of this world — or Twitmarshes, as he renamed them.
‘We are not ruled directly by Parliament,’ he wrote, ‘but by minor officials — bureaucrats of all descriptions, safely embraced in the arms of the civil service, with immunity from dismissal and nice, inflation-proof pensions.’
The dedication of the book made his intentions clear: ‘To all bureaucrats and civil servants, everywhere. If this book makes your lives even the tiniest bit more difficult, it will have been well worth writing.’
Here, in blistering extracts, he sets out his manifesto ...

Ten commandments for bureaucrat bashing
1. Never say anything clearly. When writing to jobsworths and timeservers, word your letter so that it could mean almost anything…or nothing.
2. Don’t be legible. Always write letters by hand, and make your verbose scrawl as impenetrable as possible.
3. Garble your opponent’s name. Misread the signature. If the correspondence is signed ‘M. Harris’, address your reply to ‘N. Hayes’ or ‘W. Hardy’. Don’t get too flippant though — the penpushers might lack a sense of humour, but if you write to ‘M. Hedgehog’, they will sense a legpull.
4. Give fake references. If you have a letter from the tax office, ref: EH/4/PNG/H8, mark your reply with some other code in the same format, such as DC/5/IMH/R9. This should ensure that the taxman wastes minutes, or hopefully hours, rooting for a file that doesn’t exist.
5. The same goes for dates. Get them slightly wrong, every time.
Stamp away: And make sure it's in the wrong place
Stamp away: And make sure it's in the wrong place
6. Follow up your fakes. Write to request a reply to letters that you haven’t sent, and include bogus reference numbers. This is a surefire timewaster and might even, if your Twitmarsh is of a sensitive disposition, reduce him to tears.
7. Never pay the right amount. Include a discrepancy in every envelope — never too much, but always more than a few pence. A sum between £1.20 and £2.80 is recommended. Then you can start an interminable correspondence to reclaim the overpayment (or dispute the underpayment).
8. When enclosing a cheque, staple it to the letter. With two staples. Or three. Right in the middle of the cheque. At the least, you’ll waste someone’s time — at best, you might wreck their computer.
9. As a point of honour, never give up on a correspondence before at least six pointless letters have been exchanged. Think big and aim for double figures.
10. If a postage-paid envelope is not supplied by your Twitmarsh, send off your reply without a stamp. The bureaucrats will have to pay much more at the other end.
Stamp with fury
By way of a variation on point 10, you could put the wrong postage on, in the wrong place.
One man who got into a war of letters with the Royal Mail itself persisted in sticking his stamp right in the middle of the envelope. This makes it difficult for the franking machines.
This petty but effective tactic riled every official in the postal hierarchy, right up to the district chief manager. He wrote to the rebel, warning him never to stick a stamp anywhere but the top right‑hand corner of the envelope.
By return came an envelope with the stamp dead centre, and a little rhyme enclosed: ‘Hey diddle diddle, the stamp’s in the middle.’
Grease is the word
Endless invention can be employed, providing you follow the Fundamental Rules.
For example, when filling in a form, always keep a candle handy. Whenever you come to a box marked ‘For official use only — do not write in this space’, rub the candle gently over the box. A thin layer of grease will make it impossible for your Twitmarsh to write on the paper, and might muck up his ballpoint, too.
When filing in forms, do not feel obliged to use English. Why not employ that smattering of Spanish you picked up on your holidays, or the residue of schoolroom French from your third-year days?
If you or a friend speak a really obscure language, so much the better — especially one that doesn’t use the Roman alphabet.
Nothing makes Twitmarsh’s brow perspire more freely than the sight of a form filled out in squiggly script. Do the first page in Russian, the second in Chinese and the third in Hindi.
For extra marks, find someone who speaks Klingon, the language of Star Trek’s aliens.  
Tax the Taxman
Public enemy No 1, of course, is Twitmarsh the Taxman.
The inland revenue strives to give the impression of a service staffed by kindly, conscientious, basically decent officials who are doing their jobs efficiently and who are always ready to help and advise.
Alas, this is not always the case. Sometimes one encounters a real maggot.
The tax inspector, unfortunately, occupies an unassailable position. He can persecute his victims to the point of breakdown — that’s his job.
Confusion is the solution: An annoyed civil servant equals a job well done
Confusion is the solution: An annoyed civil servant equals a job well done
It sometimes seems that the tax office is staffed by specially selected sadists. Take Twitmarsh of the VAT office. He has everything to gain by pursuing excessive demands, and nothing to lose. It isn’t his money at stake, and the worst that can happen is a gentle reprimand from the ombudsman, who has all the ferocity of a raspberry blancmange.
He must be fought. Have no mercy. Bombard him with convoluted enquiries, in bad handwriting and worse English. Scatter invented Latin phrases throughout — my favourite is the schoolboy motto, ‘Itisapis potitis andatino ne’ (I’m not going to translate it, but you can work out the meaning if you move the spaces around).
The reply you receive will probably be terse. Leave things for a few days, and then send a photocopy of exactly the same letter, requesting a reply. You needn’t say that it has already been answered — that will only dawn on Twitmarsh after he has wasted more time.
Another useful tip is to send the tax man, out of the blue, a small cheque (or better still, a postal order) for which he hasn’t asked. Make it a really trifling sum, say £7.86 — certainly no more than a tenner.
Enclose a grumpy letter, to the effect that you really can’t understand why this piffling sum is being demanded but that of course you will pay, as ordered.
If the cheque is returned, write back, demanding to know why the tax office requested it in the first place, and whether they have nothing better to do but waste your time. Be sure to add bogus reference numbers in the appropriate format — that really sends them running in circles.
When you pay your next genuine tax demand, be sure to hold back that £7.86, with a note reminding Twitmarsh that you have already paid.
When eventually it is decided that you still, in fact, owe that money, jumble up the numbers on the cheque – send them £6.87, or £8.76. Then send a letter querying the discrepancy. Repeat ad infinitum.
The revenue offices never stop complaining that their staff are overworked and their departments underfunded. Unless something is done to alleviate the crisis, they insist, the entire tax system could break down.
This is your goal. Never cease to dream.
Jobsworths’  jargon and what  it really means
Do not be fooled by the conciliatory tone of a bureaucrat. The Twitmarsh is at his most dangerous when using bland officialese. Study the following guide to official jargon:
Your letter has been carefully considered and its contents noted = I haven’t looked at it.
A full survey of the problem has been put in hand = Nothing will be done.
I assure you that action will be taken as soon as possible = Nothing will ever be done.
Urgent action will be taken in the very near future = Nothing will be done until hell freezes over.
I fully appreciate the problem = I couldn’t care less.
I have every sympathy with your point of view = I’ve already forgotten your existence.
You are fully entitled to make your views known = Nobody here takes the blindest bit of notice.
Your complaint is being fully investigated = Your letters have been filed in the wastepaper basket.
Your complaint appears to have some validity, and will be thoroughly investigated = Your letters were torn into small squares before being dropped in the wastepaper basket.
I will refer the matter to the appropriate department = Your letters have been shredded, your computer file has been deleted and all future correspondence will go straight into the wastepaper basket unopened.
A full and detailed reply will be sent to you in the near future = You’ll never hear another word from us.
The possibility of an administrative/computer error is being investigated = Life in this office is one foul‑up after another, but you’ll never get us to admit it.
You will appreciate the complex nature of this matter = I just can’t be bothered to think about it.
The increase in our charges is, regrettably, unavoidable = You are going to pay for my bonus.
This department endeavours to process all matters outstanding with the minimum of delay = I’m playing golf this afternoon.
I will be delighted to see you to discuss the matter at your convenience = Just try getting past my secretary.
I do not really feel that any useful purpose is to be served in pursuing this matter further = Get stuffed.
May I assure you of our attention and consideration at all times =  Go and boil your head. And then  get stuffed.
Plods on parade
Beat a bobby: The simplest way to annoy an officer
Beat a bobby: The simplest way to annoy an officer
Special care must be taken with PC Twitmarsh.
The police do a splendid job, on the whole, but most police constables go through a difficult stage, a sort of puberty, usually after being passed over for their sergeant’s stripes for the first time.
They look for someone to take out their frustrations upon, and the most convenient victim is invariably a motorist.
Drunken, incompetent and reckless drivers deserve no sympathy. The menace of PC Twitmarsh is that he’s out to catch the motorist who is doing a few miles per hour too many on a safely deserted road.
When he pulls you over, he will adopt one of two personae: Good Twitmarsh and Bad Twitmarsh.
GT is affable, charming, even apologetic. He’ll say: “I’m sorry to trouble you, sir, but were you aware that this is a 30mph area and you, in fact, were doing 34mph?”
BT is intimidating, blustering, even rude: “Who do we think we are, James Bond? Been drinking, have you? Martinis, was it? Come on, licence and insurance, let’s be seeing them.”
In both cases, the end result is the same — a fine and the risk of losing your licence.
About traffic wardens I will not write here, in view of the laws regulating the use of obscene language. Suffice to say that these wretched creatures, sub-human and depraved, are the worst of all manifestations of modern civilisation. Let’s leave it at that.
Plan your attack
A good opening gambit is to write to the planning officer, putting forward some constructive comments about the local one-way system. Make them just sane enough to be taken seriously.
You will probably get a rational reply, and before Twitmarsh knows it he will be embroiled in a long and quite futile correspondence.
You could suggest, for instance, an elaborate underpass below a level crossing, and a flyover to replace the mini roundabout.
Extra marks if you can induce the planning department to enter into a discussion on the feasibility of introducing trams into a pedestrianised area. Or a monorail. Planners can never see the farcical element in monorails.
When the correspondence is well under way, leak it to the local paper. Use an assumed name, such as Mrs U. Rynall. Nothing is more calculated to make a pompous Twitmarsh grind his teeth in rage.
Troublesome priests
Stock phrases, all of which I have tried with degrees of success, when confronted by a missionary from some sect or other on my doorstep:
1. ‘I’m sorry, I’m a druid. And I’m a busy druid. I have a sacrifice to perform. Good afternoon.’
2. ‘No, I haven’t looked at the Bible lately. I really don’t have time to be delving into science fiction.’
3. ‘I happen to know that my friend Dr Alonzo Schmidt is very keen to talk to someone like you. A very probable convert, I should say. You must visit him. He lives at 52 Mulberry St…(and then name some town at least six miles away).’
There probably won’t be a Mulberry Street, and there certainly won’t be a Dr Alonzo Schmidt.
© Patrick Moore.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Next Big Mr Bloggy Thing


I have been asked by Andrew Peters of Otis King Blues Detective fame, and Ian Graham, Patriots and Tyrants, to take part in a blog chain thing going on at the moment called The Next Big Thing where an author answers  ten questions about their next (or most in need of a push) book. At the end of the blog post I have to 'tag' five other authors and they answer them on their blog the week after... And we all FB and/or
tweet the bejesus out of it to spread the word."
And these are the 10 questions:

1) What is the title of your book?

The title of my next book is Jericho Blues, the third in the Dalton's Blues saga.

2) Where did the idea come from?

The idea behind the book actually came to me a couple of years ago, I started writing a story about a Manchurian Candidate type character who assassinates the President of the USA, he finds out he has been the subject of trauma based mind control experiments since he was a child, a puppet for a shadowy group of powerful families who have been controlling events for thousands of years. I found after doing some tweaking I could turn the book into the next in the Dalton saga. 
 
3) What genre best defines your book?

It's definitely an action adventure thriller.

4) What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Too be honest, I have no idea, if you could get a cross between a young Jason Statham and Danny Dyer you would have Jimmy Dalton, Jamie Duggan, maybe Martine Mccutcheon.

 
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis?

Thirteen families control the world from behind the scenes, now they want it all; only Dalton stands in their way.
 
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It will be self published, agencies are too scared to handle Dalton, he he.
 
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?

Still in the process of writing the first draft.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within
your genre?

I can't compare it to any others, I am trying to be me, I am trying to write books that are not the same as other book in the genre, of course they contain the usual stuff, action, gun fights explosions etc. In Jericho Blues there is also a touch of Orwells Animal Farm, and 1984.
 
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My fiancee Lisa is a continuing inspiration for me to write, ever since I did Eastern Fury for Action Pulse Pound Tales, as are the rest of my family.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Ever since the story of David and Goliath people have loved stories about the little man triumphing over the bigger man, that is what you have with Jericho Blues, Dalton going up against the biggest 'gang' the world has ever known. The story will be told over two novels, the end of the first novel will be a massive cliff hanger involving one of the main characters. Story spoiler I know, when it comes out buy it enjoy it tell the world about Jimmy Dalton.

Now it is time to pass on the baton, I choose Rags Daniels author of  Lallapaloosa  
 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rags-Daniels/e/B007ZBX856/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Stephen W Cheshire author of The Field Trip http://www.amazon.co.uk/Field-Trip-Stephen-Cheshire/dp/1616673087/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354185041&sr=1-1

Francis Laveaux  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Francis-Laveaux/e/B0086MKL58/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1354185131&sr=1-2-ent

Saturday, 24 November 2012

SWANSEA BLUES

A NIGHT ON THE TOWN

 

For about five years I worked in a bar on one of Swansea's busiest party streets; Wind Street. Filled with bars of all description where you can get your fill of wine woman and song. The sights I have seen down there would probably fill a book itself.

   I was working as a Karaoke DJ, and the customers were a real eclectic bunch, from students to hard-core power drinkers, imbibers of disco biscuits etc.; And every colour in-between.  When I first started the pub only had door staff on a Friday and Saturday night. I was working during the week, where usually there was only one bar staff on, two if it was a busy night. It became the norm that I ended up doing the bouncing as well as the Karaoke. Many times I would be singing a song, and some numpty would decide to be a dick so I would end up throwing him out while still singing, that would usually get a round of applause or a few laughs. The idiot would be so surprised they would go without much of a fight.

   It always amazes me how adults turn into idiots after a few drinks spoiling it for others who just want a good night out. Wind Street is a road packed with all the main Swansea bars, you get people coming from all over Swansea to pack into this one small road. The authorities have to close off the road on the busiest nights because it is awash with party-goers, this came to be after several collisions with drunks. The closed in atmosphere is in my opinion a real tinderbox for trouble. Whoever thought this up must have been a right Muppet. You get various families coming in from the surrounding villages some of which have on-going troubles between them and it all comes on top when they meet down this little road.  If the pubs were spread a lot further this would lessen the opportunity for trouble as the chances of them meeting would be smaller. I guess the planners thought if it was all contained in one small area it would be easier to control.

   Swansea nightlife really is colourful, and can be exciting at times, but what I can't get my head around is how you can enjoy packed to the rafters pubs where you literally have to fight to get served, if you are lucky you will manage to get one drink per pub. That for me is not enjoyable, yet they do it week in week out, may as well call the whole adventure Sardine nights. The town centre is normally busy from Wednesday night which is student night and goes right through to Sunday night. Friday night you usually get all the 'roid' heads out trying to out testosterone each other.  I was out last night with my family and happened to bump into or rather was bumped into by one of the night freaks, this wasn't by accident it is one of the many rituals they use to start a fight. I ignored it the first time but when it happened the second time half an hour later I had to help him sit down because my thumb was lodged in his solar plexus. I abhor violence but sometimes you have to pre-empt to stop it escalating to something worse. You could feel the aggro coming off him like something alive, this dissipated while he was sitting on the floor with his mates laughing at him. I walked away to continue my night with no more trouble from this nugget.

   One of the funniest incidents involving violence, although violence is never funny, two smack heads had been involved in a fight with some students outside the main nightclub on the Kingsway, they walked away full of themselves, re-enacting to each other how they gave the students a dig. They walked past a group of men dressed in drag. Comments were exchanged and these two hapless smack heads decided to start a fight with the drag queens who turned out to be members of the local cage fighting club out on a charity night. They ended up knocked out and then shortly after in the back of a police wagon. Never judge a book as they say, or start a fight with a drag queen. I wasn't there but did see the CCTV footage.

   It is unfortunate Swansea like many towns/city has its fair share of beer bums that spoil it for the rest. I hadn't been out for quite a while so I was surprised how dead Wind Street was for a Friday night when we finally arrived, we had attended a charity event earlier in the night so did not actually hit the street till about eleven PM.  Maybe it's a sign of the times, beer prices, the smoking ban and too many idiots. People seem to be staying local or drinking at home now. I think it will be a while before we risk the atmosphere-less pubs and clubs of Wind Street, I like to think it all went downhill after I stopped working on the Street it certainly seems so.
  

Friday, 23 November 2012

Path of the Writing Ronin 1

The Journey So Far

I have not written anything here for a while, so I thought I had better get something down, and not just something to advertise my books.  I'm not a blogger or any kind of social commentator, I don't want to shout out my views or ram my opinions down peoples throats, which is why I haven't put anything down here on a regular basis.  I thought well I have been plodding along in this book-writing thing since May, well that's when I had the opportunity to have something published, many thanks to Matt Hilton on that score.  I have been writing on and off for the past couple of years, posting in Writers Cafe, and other web based literary homes.  With the advent of the whole Amazon publishing boom, it has taken me a little further down the road, I have gained quite a few friends from around the globe while plunking away at my keyboard, people I could never ever meet if I was packing shelves at Tesco, not that there is anything wrong with doing that, I've done it myself.  Even though I was working Security at the time, the management in their infinite wisdom decided the best use of their Security staff was to stock their shelves, I digress, just one of my bugbears.
   I did say I'm not one to shout out my views so I do apologise, I have three books out in the world now, well four really, but one is a book of poems, which does not count as hardly any sales have been made on it.  Just for jollity though, here is one of the poems from it.

MANCHURIAN MACHINATION
A Poem by Andy Scorah
In a Manchurian world of lysergic dreams
The world is not as it may seem
Just like Marco and Shaw turned into a political whore
Stalking the streets till you reach the killing floor
  
Was the queen of diamonds your call to war?
Or Salinger's angst ridden tome
That made you carry a Glock from your home
Was it murderous visions driving you through the door?
    
The soundtrack to your mental machinations
As the bodies hit the floor
Do you think you’re a soldier of the class war?
Victims, aren't we all of your death dealing gyrations.
   
   There you go just one of my attempts at the poetic. Anyway, sometimes I look back at the books I have completed and sometimes I wonder, did I really write that, where the hell did it come from, especially when I compare it to my earlier stuff, which wasn't bad, just rough around the edges. Sometimes I think I should revisit my earlier work and smarten it up, but I tell myself no, they are part of the journey to where you are now, leave them be, in the words of the big I AM Simon Cowell, it is what it is.
   From my humble beginnings way back in the mists of time in a little village called Campsall, seven and a half miles from Doncaster, that's in South Yorkshire folks, I buried my head in books. I dreamed of one day becoming a writer myself, not that the local Careers office would offer any advice, even my English teacher said I would be better off going down the pit or joining the army, even though I consistently received top marks for my class work.
   Part of me is glad I never got back into it until my adult years; I do think one of the main qualities of a writer is a life experience, especially if you are writing for an adult audience, just my opinion before you start shouting at me.  One of the pieces of advice I was given along the way was to join a writers circle, and attend some sort of writer’s workshop/Course. I chose not to do these things, not that I thought I could do it all by myself or that I would not get anything from them, for me I felt it would dilute what I had, make my writing mechanical, this was an informed choice after checking out what was available in my area. My teachers have been books, thousands of them which I have read along the way, other help has come from authors I have met, some who have read my work, and given me helpful comments, and/or advice. The advice I would give to someone just starting out, is to read loads in the genre you want to write in, study what the writer does, how they tell the story. Also don't get too panicky over your grammar, that can be fixed once your piece is finished. WRITE YOUR STORY, sort everything else in the edit/proofing.
   Nothing about my journey so far has been disappointing or unsatisfactory, quite a few of the characters I have met along the way could be characters in books themselves, writers are a fascinating bunch, mind they would have to be to crank out the stuff they do. 

   One last thing I would like to mention before I close this, if the police were to check my hard-drive, and I am sure this is the same for most writers, they would think they had got themselves some kind of terrorist or serial killer, researching the likes of crime scenes and types of bombs, poisons, weapons. I hope they never have too, be kind of hard to explain, for now I'm out of here, and have a nice day.





Thursday, 26 July 2012

777 Challenge




Today the gauntlet was thrown down by the illustrious Joe McCoubrey in the 777 challenge, what is it? I hear you ask. Well the challenge is, I have to choose 7 sentences from either page 7 or page 77 of a work in progress, before I pass it on to 7 other writers I admire. Currently I am working on the sequel to Homecoming Blues, titled Border Town blues. Also I am working on some short stories as well, I think Border will be my choice. The hardest part will be the 7 authors to pass it on to as I admire so many. So decisions, desisions.
Any way I shall worry about that later. Here are my sentence choices.


“You saw us and thought we might be a better bet.”
He pointed his fingers at me like a gun and clicked his tongue.

 
“He was no father of mine,” she spat.

 
“Let’s just say, I know good folks when I see them. The mutts you all took out were heavy duty shit kickers. This goes down well; I will have your crimes expunged and make you free again.”

 I knew a few of the horrors that would face us over the border. It was not a pretty place; corruption was rife from the top down. 

“How dangerous is this going to be?” Jamie asked while Deacon was at the counter, ordering coffees.
 
“There is a mole in my department, feeding info back to some of the Narco gang, that is why this is off the books,” he stood up and took off his jacket then loosened his tie.

 
“Ugh, even worse, we gonna get bit by rattlesnakes or eaten by dingoes.”

Well there you go my 7 from page 7, and now to choose who to pass the challenge on to.
Matt Hilton
Zoe Sharp
Ian Graham
Graham Smith
David Foster
David Barber
Michelle Wright
Okay gentlemen and ladies, it is over to you, have you got the chutzpah to accept the challenge and pass it on to others, we will see.
 

Friday, 18 May 2012

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eastern-Fury-Other-Tales-ebook/dp/B00846TG8E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337331162&sr=8-1
Out to buy on Amazon now Eastern Fury and Other Tales, following the further adventures of Chihiro Kitagawa as he battles against a religious madman, hunts a renagade Ninja and faces a family of cannibals. My character first appears in ACTION:Pulse Pounding Tales, I enjoyed writing it so much I decided to do a couple more stories which is what you have here. Go check it out.
   Got a couple of other stories in the pipeline plus a novel set in Swansea, got a meeting thursday 24th May with a DI Jason Herbert at Swansea central for some research into Police procedure, this for my Swansea novel-Gangsters, a serial killer with a hidden agenda and plenty of action.

Saturday, 5 May 2012






Eastern Fury and Other Tales-I found the process of writing my short story for inclusion in Matt's anthology so enjoyable and also the character I created Chihiro Kitagawa i found likeable made me decide to do a collection of short stories featuring the  adventures he has on his journey back home after completing his mission. The stories have a religious madman, cannibals, and a prison where he has to fight to the death to gain his freedom and once arriving in New York to catch a ship home he makes a discovery that changes his life forever, you will have to read the book to find out what it is. For now here is a sample of one of the stories.

The Quick and the Fury.


His name was Chihiro Kitagawa, he sat on the bed attached to the wall of the dank room as the man slammed and bolted the cell door. Adam, Isom and he had been bushwhacked outside the town of Darnell, and thirty miles from their destination; New York. A posse of fifteen riders had descended on them from behind a hill. Isom had been brought down by a flurry of blows from the men wielding billy clubs, Adam had been pistol whipped and a lasso had caught Chihiro, pulling him from his horse. Quickly binding them with ropes, the leader, a peppery looking man with slitted eyes and a neat little mustache approached them once they had been secured. He stated they were fugitives wanted for the murder of Jubal Kane, he called Chihiro ‘The Eastern Fury.’They were to be transported to what he called the Roundhouse to await the arrival of circuit judge Josiah Spicer. The Roundhouse turned out to be a secure stockade consisting of outbuildings within a walled fort and at the center giving it its name was a three story circular building. Chihiro checked out his surroundings, the cell had a bed attached to the wall by chains. The only light came from a square opening in the door and a pot had been placed in the corner, somebody's idea of a toilet. Chihiro cursed himself and wondered why he had not sensed danger. There was nothing he could do to change his situation so he just sat cross legged on the bed; and waited for something to happen.

Time passed differently for Chihiro than it did for other men, he had drifted into a meditative state, when somebody dragged the bolts back and opened the door only a few minutes seemed to have gone by.
“On your feet yellow man, the boss wants to meet you.” Chihiro uncurled from his position on the bed, and stepped towards the door. Two men with rifles waited for him, one attached manacles to his hands and feet. The cell was in a corridor lined with other cells similar to his own, one of the men nudged him towards a door at the end.
They stepped out into a courtyard lit by torches and he was propelled towards a crowd of other inmates, he saw Adam and Isom looking dejected at the circumstances they found themselves in. Standing nearby, their guns trained on the crowd, were several guards. The prisoners had assembled in front of a colonial style brick building with a small garden next to the door and flowers in pots hung from the eaves. Chihiro shouldered his way through the crowd till he reached Adam and Isom.