Today, we'll meet what very well could be the most dangerous man alive. His name is Sonny Tubs. By the time he was six, he was doing the work of a full grown man. Given his massive size: 7 foot, 400 pounds of muscle, not surprisingly the criminal elements hired him as 'muscle'.
Tubs was not by nature a mean or angry man, but his life has led him to expect the worse out of men and women. He's killed over a hundred men, all worthless scum, but still, he doesn't expect a grand welcome in heaven.
The current top crimelord of the Victorian Underworld uses him solely as muscle, mistakenly thinking him a brainless ox. Actually, Tubs is highly intelligent and finely skilled (in illegal doings) such a picking locks and safe cracking. Also people tend to sputter out the truth when he asks them a question, so he's an excellent interrogator. In addition, he's light on his feet, as Victor discovered when she woke to a noise downstairs.
Victor bolted upright and stared about the dark room. Her blood rushed through her veins as her senses heightened. Something had woken her. Xavier? She rushed to the door, opened it and listened. She heard metallic scratching on the front door downstairs.
Damnation! Some rascal is trying to break into our office!
Thankfully, she had fallen asleep in her clothes. She preferred to meet this intruder man to man. She grabbed her pistol and stormed downstairs.
Having lost all her patience with people, she was tempted to open the door and shoot whoever chiseled at the lock. She might have done so, if not for the memory of a prior client who had broken into their office just so he could place his name in the appointment book and bypass the twenty-four hour rule. While she did not wish to encourage clients to break in and set their own appointments, she did not think the behavior warranted a death sentence.
So she waited…and waited. As the minutes passed, she grew angry at the intruder’s incompetence. Now, she was tempted shoot him for professional reasons. If a person is going to pick the lock, then they should at least have some skill. The door handle would probably look like it was ravaged by an iron-billed woodpecker by the time this fool finished the job.
She sighed and set the gun on the desk as she rubbed her eyes. “There should be a competency law,” she grumbled.
A chuckle alerted her someone else was in the room. Xavier? As she turned toward the noise, someone shoved a dirty rag in her mouth, and threw a large canvas bag over her head.
While the idiot at the door might be incompetent, this person proved very skilled at abduction. He had her muted, trussed, and bundled in less than a minute.
****You would think the incompetent person attempting to break in would appreciate Tubs assistance, but the obnoxious man he'd been 'loaned' to was the scoundral who had forced a large quantity of pretty maids and garden boys into white slavery and he was not grateful in the least, harping the whole way to Dragon's Cloud about Tubs' inability to follow orders.
By the time Tubs carried her up to a room on the fifth floor of questionable establishment, both she and Tubs were sick to death of the whining complaints.
And thus began the most unlikely friendship ever formed.
Mr. Tubs carried her upstairs and down a hall with creaky boards. He entered a room with low moans and then climbed more stairs to a second room. He tossed her onto the floor and yanked the bag off her, taking a handful of her hair with it.
She squealed in pain.
“Sorry about that.”
Blinking several times, she took in the giant behemoth. He looked more bored than sorry, but at least he didn’t seem angry.
Every inch of his massive body was a testimony to violence. She suspected he could kill a person with the swat of one hand. His shoulders had to be almost four feet wide.
He shook a giant finger in her face. “No screaming. I’ve had enough squawking today.”
When he removed the foul-tasting rag, Vic nodded and spit profusely.
From a pitcher on the table, he poured her a glass of water and held it to her mouth. She took a mouthful of the cloudy water, swished it about, and then spit it out on the floor. “Thanks,” she said, hoping to soften his reaction to her bad manners of spewing the water on the floor.
Mr. Tubs’ face shifted into either an evil grimace or a defective smile with very bad teeth. “I like you, kid. Sorry I didn’t just follow orders tonight.”
Vic grimaced. “Me too. The world would be less one incompetent blue jay if you had.”
Mr. Tubs ‘hoofed’ a few times, which Vic interpreted as laughter. “That’s a good name for him. However, don’t tell anyone else that. It’ll get back to his wife and she’s a bad one to cross.”
Just then, the blue jay in question fluttered into the room and after a brief glare at Vic continued his attack on Tubs. “I told you to put him in the other room. Are you incapable of following the simplest order?”
Tubs rose so he towered two feet over Jonston and huffed, causing a small breeze to unsettle the butler’s hair. “The other room is occupied.”
“By a special guest of you know who.”
Tubs said this with great emphasis, making Vic suspect he was talking about Xavier. “Am I in Dragon’s Cloud?”
Both men stared at her in shock.
“How do you know that?” Jonston asked.
With his unintentional confirmation, Vic smiled. “I didn’t until now. I’ve always wanted to know what went on here, but everyone keeps telling me to stay away from the place.”
Her answer calmed the bad butler into thinking her nothing more than a harmless fool. However, Mr. Tubs brow furrowed.
What happens next is a delightful discussion of the animal kingdom during which Vic and Tubs become friends. Vic is the first person who has EVER been nice to Tubs.
Finally, he has met a person worth knowing.
Later, when she offers him a job working for her and Xavier, he accepts at once. Thus explaining how the deadliest man in England becomes its dedicated protector.
The Troublesome Apprentice
Only 99 cents from 9/15 – 9/21
The Missing Partner
Just in case you missed the fine red print:
Yes, I am!