The Case of the Rouge Valley Vagabond
Something a little different. This developed organically when my buddy, Sean, and I decided to go for a hike in a local park. The results are below. It’s long, but the twist ending should keep you in suspense.
The Continuing Adventures of Sean O’Humber: The Case of the Rouge Valley Vagabond
A Canadian Fermentation Production
It had been a hot summer in Toronto. People were anxious to get out of their stuffy homes and into the parks and ravines that criss-cross the city. Unfortunately one of the city’s biggest parks was under attack by a mysterious figure: The Rouge Valley Vagabond!!
*Ba B0m Baaaa*
The city needed heroes, but only one stepped forward. It was Sean O’Humber; adventurer, experienced crime fighter, and all around nice guy.
O’Humber – a firm believer in self-promotion – was prepared to take on the Rouge Valley Vagabond single handed, but I couldn’t allow that. I, Snappy McShooter, volunteered to be this great warrior’s assistant and official photographer for the Vagabond case. I was happy to do it, mainly because I really needed a job. Besides, it was a nice day, and Sean was a nice guy. What did I have to lose other than…
… MY LIFE!!!
*Ba Bom Baaa*
Before we set out for the Rouge Valley we reviewed what we knew about the case. The villain had been scaring and chasing visitors out of the Rouge Valley Park, which was located in the eastern reaches of Toronto. A few people had gone missing and were presumed to be frightened. No one had seen the Vagabond’s face. Some people reported that they heard someone whistling show tunes just before they were attacked.
It wasn’t much to go on, but Sean reminded me that we were now committed to bringing justice to a part of the world that was sorely lacking it. I reminded O’ Humber that we were being paid in bus tokens and freeze pops, so let’s not go crazy here. O’ Humber just shook his head and said, “Justice shall be done. Villain thine time has almost come. To the valley!!” And with that he ran straight into a tree.
Sean O’Humber recovered quickly, though, and soon we were off, and headed in the right direction.
The Case of the Rouge Valley Vagabond:
O’Humber rode his metal steed to the Valley and prepared to do battle with the Vagabond. After taking a nap in the driver’s seat, he left the car, performed a quick set of calisthenics, and then growled ferociously at a little kid who happened to be passing by. He was ready.
O’Humber steeled himself at the trailhead. “Are you ready, Snappy?” I nodded. “Then let us find the Vagabond and challenge him to battle! Did you bring the chess set?” I nodded again.
Our adventure almost ended prematurely when we ran into the evil machinations of the Vagabond. We discovered our path blocked by a nefarious sign. Luckily O’Humber is skilled in deciphering riddles and he noticed that the arrow was pointing to a new trail.
We came across a second sign, this one read “Danger”, an obvious threat. I was about to turn around and head back to the car when O’ Humber shouted, “A-ha! I’ve figured out the riddle, Snappy. This path is only dangerous to a single person, as represented by the crossed out person symbol. If two of us use the path we’ll be fine.” And off we went.
Suddenly I heard a bang and noticed that O’Humber was bent over. “Sean,” I said. “Are you alright?”
“Of course I am,” replied O’Humber. “I’m just smelling this flower.”
“But what was the booming noise I heard? It sounded like a gunshot.”
“Oh…that. Er…excuse me.”
We rounded a bend and came across a river. We also came across our first clue. We discovered a pile of trash and a note. The note read: Whoever left this pile of trash please remove it as soon as possible. Thank you and have a pleasant day. Signed, The Rouge Valley Vagabond.
“He shall not get away with this,” vowed O’Humber. “I wonder if he’s an ISJ?”
Our path led us to a thick, dark forest. Just as we were about to enter we found another clue; a bag tied to a fallen tree branch. O’Humber rushed into action and inspected the bag. Immediately he fell to the ground, gasping for breath.
“What’s the matter, Sean,” I yelled.
“Don’t come near,” he warned. “It’s toxic.” Our hero slowly crawled away from the bag.
“What is it? Shall I call 911? I bet it was a trap set by the Vagabond.”
“It’s OK now. I’m OK. It’s just a bag of dog poop.” He slowly wiped his brow. “Have no fear, brave Snappy. We shall not let a bag of rotting dog feces deter us in our goal – our goal to bring the Rouge Valley Vagabond to justice!” And with that pronouncement O’ Humber strode bravely into the forest.
We entered the forest and decided to take a break and have some relief.
Our intrepid hero, needing to maintain his strength for the upcoming confrontation, ate an apple while enjoying the cool environment of the forest.
O’Humber finished the apple, and, with casual disdain, threw it aside. It was to be a fateful decision. Fateful like a punch upside the head!
The Vagabond struck quickly and without warning.
He delivered an impressive left-hook to O’Humber.
Just as the villain struck, my camera mysteriously jammed and I had to run behind a nearby tree to fix it. After several minutes I was able to fix the problem and ran back out to assist our hero in his struggle. Unfortunately I was already too late. The surprise attack had left our O’ Humber stunned and at a disadvantage. When I returned I found the brave crime fighter unconscious at the bottom of a set of steps.
I rushed to his side. “Hero,” I said. “Are you OK.”
“Have at you,” cried O’ Humber, regaining consciousness and taking a swing at me.
“No, Sean, it’s me. Snappy.”
O’ Humber shook the cobwebs out of his brain and stood up, ready for action. “Where is the villain?”
“He must have run off. Did you get a good look at him?”
“Alas, I did not. His face was covered with a mysterious fur like substance.”
“A beard?” I querried.
O’ Humber shrugged. “Could have been.”
We continued on, more determined than ever to catch this nefarious criminal and put an end to his schemes. O’ Humber, a skilled tracker, discovered some suspicious looking footprints along the path.
“You’re mine now, VagaBitch!” O’ Humber meant business.
We searched hi and low for our nemesis, but to no avail. The Rouge Valley Vagabond was nowhere to be found. The park was eerily silent, and strangely devoid of any evidence of humanity, including signs of garbage. We were beginning to become concerned.
Frustrated and tired we decided to pause for a moment and go over what we knew about the case.
“Why would he attack you at that time,” I asked. “All you did was throw your apple away…”
O’ Humber stood up. “That’s it. Snappy, you are a genious.”
“The Vagabond only attacks people who litter! And I know who the Rouge Valley Vagabond is..”
“But…,” I stammered. “How did you figure it out?”
“Simple, elementary hero work,” O’ Humber crowed. “First, the only two things you talked about the whole time we were walking through the forest was how clean it was and how cool and crafty the Vagabond must be. Second, you had a beard before the Vagabond attacked, and then suddenly after the attack your beard had mysteriously disappeared.”
“That’s great,” I said. “But you’ll never catch me. I know these woods like the back of my hand.” And off I ran.
I had a head start, but O’ Humber soon recovered from his surprise and started his pursuit.
He began to catch up.
I tried to run faster but it was to no avail, I could not escape the wrath of O’ Humber. Besides, it’s difficult to take pictures and run at the same time.
“Stop,” I pleaded. “No more. You win. ” I put my hands in the air, because I just didn’t care anymore. “What are you going to do with me?”
O’ Humber looked pensive and thoughtful for a moment before he responded. “Although I agree with your ‘no-littering’ policy, I disagree with your ‘attacking and scaring people’ policy. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to take you downtown. Let’s go.”
As we were returning to the parking lot, O’ Humber noticed something in the middle of the pathway.
It was a piece of plastic wrap. “This ones for you, Snappy.” He put the garbage in his pocket and we continued on, to the big house. I can’t stay mad at O’ Humber. He’s the type of man who is single minded about his purpose: Justice. If you cross him, you will end up spending time in a small cell, and on cold nights snuggling up to Bubba. That’s the way O’ Humber is; he plays no favorites, he plays by the rules he plays for keeps.
Entry filed under: humour.