Warren Murphy: Bloody Tourists

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  • Название:
    Bloody Tourists
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    Детективная фантастика / на английском языке
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    Английский
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Bloody Tourists: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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A-Kickin' and A-Grinnin' The tiny Caribbean tourist trap of Union Island wants to declare its independence from the U.S. And while baby-faced island leader Greg Grom's "Free Union Island" movement is taken about as seriously as a summer day, good ol' Greg is touring Dixieland's hot spots, from the honky-tonks to the hee-haws, trying to rally support for the cause. And some weird stuff is happening . . . Ordinary beer-swilling, foot-stomping, line-dancing yahoos are running amok, brawling like beasts on a rampage. Remo Williams -- currently   experiencing a lot of job satisfaction as Reigning Master -- spots the connection between the doofball from Union Island and the redneck killer zombies. And he's pretty sure Greg is slipping something into the local brew, but the why is another matter. No biggie. Remo's not in a mood to make friends, or deal with the Chiun's abuse or CURE's insults. He's here to smoke some bacon. Happily.

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Destroyer 134: Bloody Tourists

By Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir

Chapter 1

Arby Maple began the day a nobody, but by day's end he would be famous.

First the evening news would introduce the world to this unlikely celebrity with the basset-hound face. Within a day all the news networks would hastily assemble their panels of experts to discuss the Arby Maple phenomenon. Their in-depth analysis of Maple's psyche, distilled into twenty-second sound bites, would be the official confirmation of what the people of the world already knew: Arby Maple was completely insane.

Within a week the garish tabloids would be on the racks in the grocery checkout lines, full of gory crimescene photos.

A paperback book entitled Maple the Man, Maple the Mass Murderer, written by a team of crack journalists, would be in the stores in under four weeks-a tremendous literary achievement. Three made-for-TV docudramas would be produced in time to air during sweeps. By then Maple was more than just another mass murderer; he was a trendsetter. Once he started doing it, it seemed as if everybody started doing it.

All the excitement wasn't going to kick off for a good twenty minutes. Arby Maple didn't know it was coming. Fact was, he was bored stupid and there was no relief in sight.

"I can't decide where to go next!" Natalie Maple said as they left the Hank Jones Auditorium, home of The Hank Jones Show.

"How about the airport?" Arby suggested.

Mrs. Maple's enthusiasm dimmed. "You can't say you didn't adore The Hank Jones Show"

"Sure, I can. I didn't adore The Hank Jones Show. I didn't even like it. Have you ever noticed the empty space on the couch at home when you watch The Hank Jones Show on TV?"

Mrs. Maple shoved the slick city map into his hands. "Okay, Arby, then you decide what we should do next."

Arby handed the map right back to her. "There's not a single thing I want to do next."

"You didn't even look at it!" his wife protested.

"Natalie, you've had maps and brochures lying around the house for months, and I've looked at every single one of them. I figured out weeks ago that there wasn't anything of interest for me in the entire town of Bunsen, Mississippi."

When Natalie got angry she stuck out her lower lip and blew air up her face. It made her look like a bulldog. "Maybe you should have informed me of this little tidbit of information when we started planning this vacation."

"Natalie," Arby said wearily, "the very day you came home with all those brochures I told you no way. No way I wanted to waste my vacation looking at a bunch of old washed-up country-music people in Bunsen, Mississippi."

His wife's eyes were as hard as glass. "You said no such thing."

"Twenty, maybe thirty times I said it, but you had your mind made up. I said it anyway, practically every day since then." Arby shrugged. "But you went right on ahead and bought the tickets and booked the hotel and here we are."

"But it's Bunsen. Where country music was born."

"Eighteen years we been married. How come you haven't figured out yet that I hate country music?"

Lips compressed in a bloodless line, Natalie struggled to come up with a zinger that would put Arby in his place. "You are a real wet blanket, Arby Maple," she declared. "It isn't fair of you to ruin my vacation:" So Natalie went her way and Arby went his. Natalie took the map, and within minutes she had immersed herself again in the magic that was the Bunsen Theater District-America's Country Music Main Street.

Arby, Natalie decided, was an idiot. This town was heaven on earth. There were beautiful shops along Main Street. There was every kind of fine country food, and shops filled with delightful gifts. But the boutiques and restaurants were just the sideshow. The main attractions were the many beautiful theaters.

Natalie had fallen in love with Southern culture when she was in nursing school. She and the other girls would sit around watching a country variety show called Yee Haw! and have a great time. Natalie's roommate, Babsie, was a well-mannered young lady from Georgia who loved to talk about the South.

"Everybody has nice manners in the South," Babsie said. "Everybody calls you ma'am." She would giggle and say, "In the South we think this show is a little, you know, wild, but I like it anyway."

Natalie was from Brooklyn. Brooklyn was crude and filthy and she hated it. Anyplace where the mild shenanigans of Yee Haw! were "wild" was where Natalie wanted to be.

She carried around her impression of the South for decades. Now she was really here. In a delightful little park between two gift shops she relaxed on a bench and looked over the schedule of daily entertainment. That's what Bunsen was truly famous for-all the wonderful entertainment! You were never more than a few steps away from a first-rate performance by some of the biggest names in show business.

Natalie Maple gasped in delight when she realized there was a show by a Russian comedian starting in just twenty minutes. He was her absolute favorite! Talk about big-name entertainment.

As she strolled down Main Street, hoping to get to the theater early and maybe snag a front-row seat, Natalie realized Bunsen, Mississippi was everything she had hoped it would be. Polite, friendly people. Clean streets. She didn't feel the need to clutch her purse against her side for fear of having it snatched.

But then there was her nitwit husband. Arby was not what she had hoped he would be. He was too stupid to know he was in paradise.

Natalie Maple decided something right then and there. This was where she wanted to live. This was the life she wanted. What was Arby going to say when she delivered that little piece of news?

Arby would never move to Bunsen, Mississippi. Not in a million years.

Natalie smiled. This little town just kept looking better and better.

ARBY WAS TRYING to explain that arguing with Natalie was like trying to convince a dog not to dig a hole. "I'm very sorry to hear that, sir." The bartender couldn't care less and left.

"I know just how you feel," said the young man a couple of stools over. "My aunt decided this was the place to go for our family reunion. They're all down the street watching some banjo players."

"Banjos!" Arby Maple said in disgust.

The young man went across to the bartender and came back with two drinks, handing one over to Arby. "It's on me."

"Thanks, friend." Maple accepted it gladly.

"The modern-day victims of Yee Haw! must stick together," the young man announced and raised his glass in a toast.

The Scotch whiskey went down all right, but when it was done Arby had some grittiness on his tongue. "You know," his new pal announced, "the worst thing about this place is the people. The people here are very rude."

"Naw, just the opposite. They're too damn polite," Maple said. "Wait. You know what? You're right. They are rude. They act polite but they're really being rude, right to your face, all the time, and just dressing it up as Southern manners. At least in New York they tell you to your face if they think you're an asshole."

"Drink up, friend," the young man said.

Maple drained the Scotch whiskey and tried to swallow the grainy residue on his tongue. "They can't even wash a glass right."

"You do not like these people," the young man stated.

"You got that right."

"Especially the assholes who work here."

"Yeah, they're the ones who lay it on thick. They're the worst."

"You know who's the worst?" the young man asked. "It's that bartender," Arby Maple growled, rising from his bar stool and clenching his fists.

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