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"Jenny Jones - Spy Catcher"

by John Burkhart

Some Excerpts:

DRAT: What's that?

DEBBY: I said, Drat is such an unusual name! Where did you get it?

DRAT: Not that it has anything to do with the business at hand, but my mother gave it to me.

DEBBY: Well that makes sense. But how did she happen to give you that … that…interesting, name?

DRAT: When I was born, I was the 15th boy in our family.... Mother always wanted a girl and when she found out I was another boy, she said "Drat, another boy!" And the name stuck.

JENNY: So she named you Drat?

DRAT: Actually she named me Dratanotherboy. I had it legally changed to just Drat a few years ago.

JENNY: Why not have it legally changed to something more common, like John, or Jim, or Joe…

DRAT: And just what is wrong with Drat? I happen to like Drat! It makes me an individual!

DEBBY: It makes you an individual with a very strange name.

DRAT: Well, before I had it changed everybody at school made fun of me all the time.

JENNY: Fifteen boys? And no girls? And your name was Dratanotherboy? (Drat shakes his head, "yes".) You must have had a horrible childhood.

DRAT: I had a perfectly normal childhood if you must know…at least for the most part…except for when I was in school …or on the way to school…or on the way home from school…when everybody taunted and mocked me all the time. But that really didn't bother me much. I was a perfectly normal little boy. And I vowed that they would never break my spirit, Never, never, never! They didn't know it, but I kept a secret diary and I made a list of every person who made fun of me, and just as soon as I get even with each and every one of them, I will still be a perfectly normal, well adjusted person….As for all of the people in the Village I lived in as a child, they will rue the day they scorned me! MY COUNTRY WILL SOON RULE THE WORLD AND I WILL BE ONE OF THE LEADERS OF THE NEW RULING CLASS AND EVERYONE ON MY LIST WILL ALL BECOME MY PERSONAL SLAVES!…. (Maniacal laughter.)Now, where was I?

DRAT: Well, well, well. All alone are we?

DEBBY: You will never get me to tell you where that secret code book we just found is, never, never, never!

DRAT: Who said anything about a code book? We came back to get our letters. We just happened to meet outside your office and don't need to have them Published…now.

H. D. They must have found my lost code book. It probably dropped out of my purse when I was looking for the letter I was posting in her column.

DRAT: How many times have I told you to get a smaller purse? You could carry all of the top secret files our government has in that thing.

H. D. It's the latest fashion, large purses!

DRAT: So, do you have to copy the fashions of their corrupt, decadent society which, incidentally we are trying to overthrow with force and violence? Or have you forgotten?

H. D. You told me to act inconspicuous! A small purse would be very conspicuous!

(During their argument, DEBBY sneaks out the back door unnoticed.)

DRAT: Well thanks to you, we now have to force the girl to tell us where your code book is and that can get pretty messy, not to say awful noisy. All right Miss, where is the… (He notices that DEBBY is gone.) Where did she go?

H. D. She must have slipped out when we were arguing.

DRAT: So, now you have let her escape as well! Add that to losing your code book, and this will not look very good in my report when we return! You just may go to prison for this!

H. D. I let her go? You were here too, don't forget! And I plan to write a report, too. And you aren't going to look very good either!

DRAT: You know very well that we are trained to never keep incriminating notes in our possession! And that still isn't near as bad as losing a secret code book! And if we fail in our mission because of this I will be sure to report that it is all your fault!

H. D.: My fault? It's your fault!

DRAT: Now, how can it possibly be my fault that you foolishly lost your code book?

H. D. By not replying to my letters, that's how! I was forced to come here to investigate and attempt to reply once again. When I retrieved my reply letter from my purse, the code book must have fallen out. So, as I said, this fiasco is all your fault!

DRAT: What are you talking about? I was the last person to have a letter published in the paper, not you! And you never replied to any of them!

H. D.: Well, I sent a reply to each letter! Here is a copy of my last one. (She hands a letter to DRAT.)

DRAT: (Reading.) Dear D. G., The red fox is purple. The blue cow jumped over the sofa. My feet hurt. What's all that mean?

H. D.: You're the one with a code book! Figure it out!

DRAT: (Pulling a small black book out of his pocket.) Let's see…"the red fox is purple" means "meet me Monday night." "The blue cow jumped over the sofa" means "in front of the first national bank building". "My feet hurt" (He flips pages back and forth.) Funny, I don't seem to have that one. What's it mean?

H. D.: It means my feet hurt … didn't have a code for that one either, and boy, are my feet sore from tramping around this town in these heels.

DRAT: Well, this message wouldn't have been of any use anyway. We never would have made a rendezvous.

H. D.: Why not?

DRAT: Because this town does not have a first national bank.

H. D.: That's ridiculous! Every town in America has a first national bank. That's why it's in the code book!

DRAT: Well, this town doesn't have one. There is a second national bank, but no first.

H. D. Well, that's certainly odd. Why not?

DRAT: They were in competition with a nearby town and wanted them to think they had two banks, so they named the first national bank the second national bank. It makes perfect sense to me.