Conversations Around a Campfire


Author's Notes: All right, so I wrote another one, just to see if I could. Apparently, I can. ;) Sure, I filched a couple of lines from the movie, but what the heck, I don't own any of the characters anyhow, so why not?



"All right, old boy. What is it that you need me to do, exactly?"


"Just hold this here. Like that. No, not--"


"Ouch! Oh, I say, that was hot!"


"That's kinda the point of a campfire. Okay, maybe you better let me handle this."


"Jolly good show."


"Where's your sister, anyway?"


"Evie? Dunno. Wandered off somewhere."


"What?"


"You almost had it that time, why'd you let it go out?"


"What do you mean 'off somewhere'?"


"Well, it isn't as though she tells me anything... She's probably back underground, grubbing about with her sticky new friend. Never cared for fieldwork, myself, but Evie seems to have really taken to--"


"One of us should've gone with her."


"Nonsense, my good son. Evie is perfectly capable of managing on her own, most of the time. I took her a couple of those horrid sea biscuits around tea-time--she never bothers to eat when she gets worked up about something, and then she wonders why she gets so damn hungry..."


"Jonathan. Focus. You were with me when I talked to the diggers earlier. What did those guys find in their little treasure chest?"


"Canopic jars, sounds like. Oh, and a--a book!"


"Right. And what is Evelyn so fired-up to look for?"


"A book... hmm, I take your point. But, see here--Evie isn't stupid enough, never mind strong enough, to open one of those secret compartment thingys by herself. She may be rather obstreperous, but that doesn't mean she lacks common sense entirely."


"Three guys were melted, Jonathan. We still don't know what killed Hassan. And I trust my old buddy Beni about as far as I can throw him."


"I rather think you'd be able to sling him quite a ways, from the look of you. I say, you don't think it'll come to--to fisticuffs, do you? Between us and the Americans, I mean."


"Nah. They seem okay. Little hot-headed, but I don't think they'll give us any trouble. Although if I catch any of 'em getting fresh with your sister, I might..."


"You might what, old boy?"


"I can't believe you just let her go off alone!"


"I beg your pardon... let her? You have met Evie, have you not?"


"Hey, that word you used before... obster--obstep--"


"Obstreperous. Stubborn, old man. Stubborn as all get-out."


"Oh."


"Suits her, doesn't it?"


"Kinda, yeah. Okay, stay here and blow on this fire. Don't let it go out."


"Right-o."


~~


"Ah, there you are, old mum. Glad you're here, the fire's gone out and I can't seem to get it started again."


"Oh, Jonathan... Here, let me."


~~


"What the hell are you doing here?"


"And good evening to you, Mister O'Connell."


"I've been out looking for you for a half hour!"


"Well, now you've found me. Won't you sit down?"


"You build that fire all by yourself?"


"Yes, I did. I'm not completely helpless, believe it or not. Just because I'm a woman--"


"Are those burn marks on your dress?"


"Never mind that. Why--why were you looking for me?"


"I, uh... just wanted to make sure you were okay."


"Oh. Well... I'm fine. Thank you."


"It gets dark real quick around here. Didn't want you to get... lost, or anything."


"No. No, of course not."


"Right, um... yeah. You hungry?"


"Mister Henderson brought me some... meat... on a skewer."


"What kind of meat?"


"I elected not to inquire. I haven't died yet, so I assume it was all right."


"You ate something out here without knowing what it was? Brave girl."


"Famished girl would be more to the point. I hadn't had a thing since this morning. I was... a bit out of sorts then."


"Yeah, I think we all were. Jonathan said he brought you something, though."


"Oh, that's right, he did... sea biscuits. They're still in my bag, I'd forgotten all about them. Would you like one?"


"Thanks."


"My, my. Manners after all. I shall have to make a record of this day in my diary."


"Just don't get used to it. Where's Jonathan?"


"Well, he went to... you know."


"Write his name in the sand?"


"That's disgusting!"


"Why'd you laugh, then?"


"I... look, you--oooooh."


"Good answer."


"He's been gone quite a while, actually. Perhaps I should--"


"No. Perhaps I should. You stay here."


"I beg your pardon, Mister O'Connell! Who do you think you're speaking to?"


"Yeah, yeah--just stay here and try not to set yourself on fire again."


~~


"Dammit, I told her to stay here!"


"Then that's probably why she went, old man. In fact, if there's any place you specifically told her not to go, I'd suggest looking there first."


"Thanks, that's a big help."


"Look here, O'Connell, the Americans have some bourbon they rescued from the barge. I suggest you go over there, have a drink with them, and loosen up a bit."


"Yeah, and wind up passed out in a sand dune."


"I was just resting my eyes."


"Uh huh... Hey, stop going through her stuff!"


"Aha--just as I suspected. Toolkit's gone. She must be down in that ruddy tomb again."


"I'll get her."


"I wouldn't."


"Probably how she got so--so oppesterous--in the first place."


"Obstreperous."


"Whatever. I'm going."


"I'll give you some advice, my good son, free of charge. Women do not respond well to shouting, and Evie is no exception to the rule. You can't go charging down into her beloved tomb and bawling at her as though she were a naughty child. Let her stay down there until it gets dark, then go peek in and politely invite her to join us. She'll moan and groan, but she'll come, because she'll be tired and hungry anyhow. Otherwise, the only way you're going to get her back here is if you drag her out kicking and screaming, and I guarantee you she'll never speak to you again if you do that."


"So where's the problem?"


"You can act as bluff as you like, O'Connell, but I've seen you looking at her. Don't think I haven't. Oh, look, here come the Americans. Probably to gloat again. Don't happen to have any more explosives on you, I suppose?"


"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't go bring her back right now."


"Because I've seen her looking at you, too."


~~


"Those guys were pretty shook up when they left here."


"I do hope it wasn't anything I said..."


"I think your little bedtime story creeped 'em out."


"Well, that wasn't my intention, Mister O'Connell. It's not my fault they uncovered a chest with a few scary words written on it. Dr. Chamberlin shouldn't have translated it for them if they're so squeamish."


"It's just eating you up inside, isn't it?"


"That's rather a poor choice of words, considering. I'm surprised Jonathan didn't pounce on that one, he loves a good pun... is he asleep already?"


"Looks like."


"Ooh, the lazy git. I've a good mind to--"


"He had a rough morning. Then again, so did you."


"Ugh. Don't remind me."


"So I notice you never answered my question."


"Yes, well, that could very well be because I've no idea what you're talking about. What, exactly, do you think is eating me up inside?"


"That they got the book and you didn't."


"Oh, what a load of nonsense."


"I don't think it is. I think the fact that Chamberlin is over there right now drooling all over the book you were supposed to find is making you bughouse."


"Bug house? Eating me up inside? We are being rather Freudian tonight, aren't we?"


"At least I'm not obstreperous."


"Why, Mister O'Connell!"


"Don't look so stunned. I know plenty of words I don't use."


"I've no doubt of that. I'm just surprised that one of them isn't vulgar."


"Look, I'm beat. I'm gonna try and get some sleep."


"All right."


"Um... you're kinda stretched out on my bed."


"Oh. So I am."


"Okay. Wake me up if anything happens."


"I will."


"Evelyn..."


"Yes?"


"You're still in my bed."


"Right. Sorry."


"It's okay. We can share."


"No thank you!"


"Yeah, I thought that would get you moving. Night."


"Good night..."


~~


"Are you asleep, Mister O'Connell?"


"Not any more..."


"I can't sleep."


"What's on your mind?"


"You were right."


"Sure I was. About what?"


"I can't stop thinking about that book."


"You could've had it. We were there first."


"I know."


"And you wouldn't have had to put up with me and your brother ragging on you any more. Talk about killing two birds with one stone."


"Now, that's hardly fair--!"


"Life's hardly fair. Good night."


~~


"Mister O'Connell?"


"Hmm?"


"It wouldn't have been worth your getting shot. Or burned. I want you to know that."


"I've been shot over dumber things. But thanks for caring."


"I'm serious. I don't think it was worth the lives of those diggers, either. It was beastly of Dr. Chamberlin to order them to open the compartment when he knew perfectly well they might get hurt. I don't subscribe to the theory that the so-called natives' lives are less valuable than mine because my skin happened to turn out somewhat paler than my mother's."


"Good for you."


"Don't mock me any more, Mister O'Connell, I think I've had about all I can stomach for one evening."


"I wasn't. Really. That's not an opinion you hear from a lot of people."


"No, I suppose it isn't. Why were you shot?"


"Long story."


"Was it very painful?"


"Nah, not much. Took it in the shoulder, right here. I was pretty lucky."


"I don't think I should like to be shot. It looks awful."


"Stick with me, and you won't be."


"I didn't mean to shoot that man last night, only... he startled me so."


"I know."


"You must think I'm a dreadful coward."


"Are you kidding? You were great last night. Most girls I know would've run the other way. And... you're a really cute drunk."


"Well, don't look forward to an encore performance. I wasn't feeling particularly cute this morning."


"I know, I was the guy holding your hair back."


"That was you? I thought... I suppose I assumed Jonathan..."


"Nope."


"Well... thank you. It was awfully decent of you."


"Hey, any time."


"I sincerely hope not! It was horrible--I thought I was going to die on my hands and knees in the sand."


"Yeah, I felt the same way the first time I got really shit-faced. 'Course, I was fourteen..."


"Oh, dear!"


"Yeah, that's another long story. Maybe some other time."


"I think I'd like that, actually."


"Yeah?"


"Definitely. You seem like a man with some very interesting stories to tell."


"Well... thanks."


"You know, I think I shall just go for a little walk."


"Want me to come with?"


"No, no no no. You stay there and, er, rest. I won't be long."


"Just shout if you need me to hold your hair back again."


"Very funny."


"Seriously, if you need anything..."


"I'll call for you."


~~


"Where's Evie?"


"Went for a walk."


"Oh, did she now? Now who's the one letting her gallivant about the desert alone? In the middle of the night, no less?"


"Go back to sleep."


~~


"That's called stealing, y'know."


"According to you and my brother, it's called borrowing..."