Today, part of my mind was wandering gaily through the mental daisy fields today (in self-defense; the rest of my mind was busily cursing Cisco Systems for not depositing their new publications with the Library of Congress in a timely manner, thus forcing me to read far more manual than I wanted to to try and figure out what their systems actually DO) and, as often happens when it wanders, came up with a very nice notion. If somebody ever DOES make a film of this wonderful book, Johnny Depp would make a perfect Colonel Thomas Blood; have talked in the past with other Lexx fiends about Michael McManus playing the role, but Mr. Depp would do a FAR better job of it.
Just imagine this scene from the end of the book, with the more villainous villains defeated (once you've cast a Ken doll as avery ***grin***) ... and the fun Johnny Depp would be having playing the outraged Irish conman.
No wonder Avery wears an expression of smug nobility, a pleased smile touching his chiselled lips, hand elegantly rested on placid rapier-hilt; even his ruffles stir complacently in the night breeze.
"I tell thee what, Colonel," he observes contentedly, "I'm feeling not bad. Who says all-doth not come up roses? Here's mission accomplished, duty done, honour restored, sweet Vanity to be claimed presently, young Meliflua delivered, Lardo clobbered (pity I didn't fix his waggon personally, but you seem to have done a competent job), Spanish devilry foiled, our settlements saved, the Coast Brethren under wraps, and a golden future ahead. I wish I knew where that blighter Mackintosh-Groonbaum has got to," he added, frowning. Little does he guess. "But that's a trifle, and shall not mar my merited satisfaction."
"Hip-hoo-bloody-ray," grunted moody Tom. "Fine for some-- what's in it for me, after all I've been through, eh? Who saved Meliflua, slipped it to Lardo, and looked after your hoity-toity piece, will ye tell me? But you finish up wi' the girl, the credit-- an' the profit, devil a doubt! Great! Congratulations!"
"Little beef hast thou!" retorted Avery warmly. "After the way you've carried on-- renegading, chickening out, betraying, making passes, and generally behaving like rascal stinkard. All right, ye ha' done some services-- reluctantly-- but let me point out that as anti-hero you ought by rights to be stiff and stark at this stage of the story--"
"Burn your impudence!" cried indignant Tom. "Who says so?"
"You know perfectly well," said Avery coldly, "that you should ha' perished in the final assault, making proper amends for sundry villainies. Struck down by a chance shot, say, or stabbed in the back by someone like Sheba in a fit of passion-- by the way, I haven't seen her since we landed, have you?"
"No, an' it can stay that way!"
"Odd, that," frowned Avery. "I'd have thought she and the other pirate rogues would have been sidling up by now, knuckling their foreheads and reminding me about their pardons. However ... yes, Blood, by all the canons you should have bought your deserved lot, and died in my arms, making repentance in tones right piteous, smiling last rueful smile and begging me to take the news to your dear old mother in Wicklow--"
"Galway, rot ye!"
"Naturally, I'd have forgiven you, and said I could ha' spared a better man-- although I can't think of one offhand-- and doubtless ere Vanity and I walked off into the sunset she'd have been soft enough to drop something on your grave-- a glove, an old hair-grip, a tear, even. As it is," said Avery censoriously, "since you hadn't the decency to die in character, here you are, all in one inconvenient piece, and we'll just have to make the best of it, I suppose--"
"Right, that did it!" roared Blood, and yanked out his sword in a fury. "I've just about had it up to here wi' you, Captain Benjamin Smartass-- aye, wi' you and your six foot two of nose-in-the-air park-saunterin' blow-waved ruffle-shirted public-school poncin' airs an' graces! I should ha' blitzed you on the Twelve Apostles or on Dead Man's Chest when I was sentimental mug enough to take pity on your Dartmouth College ignorance, so I was! So I should ha' died, eh? Right, me bucko, here's your chance! Pluck out yoru iron!"
"Frenzy," snapped Avery. "Rhodomontade. Middle-aged spread."
"Oh, I'll give you middle age-- permanent! On guard, ye great long streak o' wind an' water!" He flourished furiously.
"Oh, calm down! And be careful with that thing--"
"Nervous, are ye? Here's the cure, then! Draw, ye gallery-playin' jackanapes-- or d'ye need a female audience to show off to? Is that it?" sneered the raging Colonel.
"Show off?" cried Avery, stung. "Nay, now you've gone too far! On your head be it, then!" And he whipped out his rapier, meeting Blood's lunge. The blades clanged-- is this where Blood finishes up à la Rathbone, you ask, with the surf washing through his curls? Not a bit-- a few passes and Avery had jumped back, lowering his point in angry disdain.
"Oh, pack it up!" quo' he. "This is just too silly for words. I can't fight you ... not after ... not at this stage of the game ..."
"Oho!" crowed Blood. "An' why not, ha? Pangs o' conscience, is that it? Because ye know ye'd never ha' got this far wi'out me? Hey?"
"Nothing of the sort! It's just that ... well, for one thing, suppose there was a sequel, you'd have to be in it, wouldn't you? ...
And if you want to know the rest, you'll have to read the book ... if I type any more, I'll be in violation of copyright. =o