Tap Dancing to Hell and a Pot o'Gold — Part Two
In Part One, after discussing Castle of Blood, Zombos, Iloz Zoc, and Chef Machiavelli reluctantly go into the mansion's basement to find the missing plumber. Read on, if you dare.
"Well this is just swell," I said. "Now we've lost Chef Machiavelli."
"He can't have gone too far ahead." Zombos shone his flashlight down the tunnel on the left.
We were standing in the second large chamber of the perpendicular brick Gothic basement that ran like a rabbit's warren all around the mansion and toward the beach. Expanded by the original owner of the mansion before he went insane, the basement is a mosaic of tunnels and vaulted rooms that connect to three large chambers. Before that, bootleggers used the tunnels to run hootch, and before them, pirates used the beach tunnel to store their rum and hide their booty.
The plumber was not in the boiler room, but the good thing was that we now had heat back.
"Well then, let's head this way," Zombos said. "We really need to replace these burned-out light bulbs."
He pointed to one of the dark spots in the string of lights that ran through the basement. There were a lot of dark spots because no one liked coming down here, especially me.
A few yards into the tunnel he tripped over something sticking out of the dirt floor. He swung the light over as he picked himself up. It was an arm. In the clenched fist were daisies. We looked down at the floor and suddenly noticed the large patch of bright yellow daisies growing all around the elbow.
"Good lord! Pull man, pull!" I grabbed the arm and pulled as hard as I could. Zombos pulled on the forearm. Together we unburied the plumber.
"What the hell! I'll murderlize da bum," spit out the plumber, along with some daisies. He pulled himself out of the dirt, spitting and brushing it from his mouth and clothes.
"What happened?" I asked.
"I got tha boiler workin'," said Curly Joe. "Then I'm packin' up and I hear dis voice coming from one of the tunnels. Nice, sexy voice, you know, just like Barbara Steele should sound like. I go lookin' and the next thing I know a little guy is cursin' me and I'm cursin' him back. Last thing I remember is I'm tellin' him he's goin' ta be pushin' up daisies if he keeps yellin' at me and bam, I'm spittin' up daisies and dirt."