The (Mostlee) All-Tru, Grand Adventeur

Ov

Alice Finn

By I'm The Night Writer

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I'm gonna start off my tail, not at the beginin', not at the en', but at the middle. 'Cause that's where it all . . . well . . . started; one girl an' two o' her frendz on a wild ad-venteur . . .

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Chapter Wun

It was a lazy, sunny day in St. Petersburg, Missouri an' ten year ol' Alice was sittin' on the edge of dock, a makeshift fishin' pole held lightly in 'er hands. Her straw hat that covered her long, light brown hair was pulled low over her hazel eyes an' one foot was danglin' above the water of the Mississippi River, (the pair of boys knickers an' baggy shirt she was wearin' givin' her more freedom).
She was jus about t'doze off when . . ."Hey Al! I think I got one!" a boy shouted. It was her bes' friend Remy. A taller boy fer his age of eleven, with brown hair an' eyes, and a rounder face. "It's a big 'un! I think it's Ol' Blue!"

Alice's eyes snapped open. Ol' Blue! The very name sent a shiver down 'er spine . . . the biggest danged catfish in all o' Missouri! She dropped her own pole on the dock and jumped to her feet, "You sure it's him?" she asked

Remy kept on pullin' and strainin' on the pole, "Pretty darn! Cause my line ain't comin' in!"

"Well, come on then! Let's git 'im in!" Alice cried as she tried to help Remy with his pole an' they both tugged on it with all their might.

"Al, if'n we tug on this pole any harder it's gonna snap!" Remy said

"But it's Ol' Blue! We jus' gotta get 'im! Pull harder Remy!" Suddenly . . . there was a loud SNAP! that sounded like a gunshot. "Yer line broke!" Alice said in shock.

"Only Blue coulda done that!" Remy said, holdin' the pole in his hands and a bewildered expression on his face.

Alice got down on her hands an' knees an' peered over the dock into the river, "I see yer line! He must still be down there! I'm gonna git 'im!" She got to her feet and took her hat off, shoving it in Remy's hand.

"You can't do that, Al! He'll eatcha up in one swallow! Please don't, Al!" Remy begged

"I ain't afraid-a no giant catfish!" she said, then dived headlong into the water. When she emerged she had got Remy's line and was pullin' hard on it. "I got it, Rem! I go . . . wait a second . . . this line is wrapped around the dock! A lil' bluegill took hold o'your bait and wrapped the line 'round the stupid dock!" Before either of them could say anythin there was a mean-sounding voice behind them. "What're you two doin'? This here's our territory!"

The two friends threw each other worried glances and slowly turned their heads towards the voice. It was the meanest boy in school . . . Billy the Bully with his gang! Billy chuckled, "Well, well, if it ain't Tomboy Al! Where's yer dress Tomboy? I mean, you is a girl aintcha?" he asked, his whole gang laughin' right along with him.

With Remy's help, Alice got outta the water and back up on the dock. She stood up and crossed her arms, glarin' back at Billy, "Oh stop Bully, this ain't yer territory an you know it, bird-brain!" she retorted.

Billy walked over an' stood directly in front of 'er, "Oh it ain't? Well, either of you two chickens willin' ta fight for it then?" he asked lookin' from Alice, to Remy, then back again to Alice.

"I will . . . you jus' name the time an' place, Bully." she said, lookin' at Billy right in the eyes.

"Here an' now, Tomboy." he said, walkin' back over to his gang to git all warmed up.

"Don't do this, Al! You could get killt fightin' with Billy! An' 'sides, what's yer Pa gonna say when he finds out you been fightin' agin?" Remy asked, worry written all over his face.
Alice jus looked at him, gave 'im a small shrug, and walked into the middle of the dock where Billy was waitin'. She held up her fists and braced herself to receive the first punch, rememberin' what her Pap had always told her, "Never receive the first blow, an' never receive the last."

Suddenly she felt a stingin' blow on her cheek and saw stars but was able to shake it off. She circled round Billy and dealt him hard right hook in the face and another in the gut.
He doubled over, but quickly was upright agin and hit Alice hard in the jaw, an' in the eye knockin' her to the ground.
Alice wiped the string o'blood from the corner of 'er mouth, lurched to her feet, and ran into Billy with full force knockin' 'im right over into the river. She snatched her hat from Remy, then grabbed his hand "Come on! Let's go 'fore he gets outta that water!" she said.
"I'm gonna get you fer this Finn!!!" Billy shouted after Alice and Remy as they ran off into the woods.

The two friends kept runnin' til they were within sight of a nice size, one-story home. Then they stopped and Alice grinned broadly at Remy and dropped herself on the ground, breathin' hard and chucklin' a little. Remy shook his head, "I don't know how you can jus' sit there an' smile after beatin' up Billy the Bully!"

Alice stood up with her hands on her hips, "Well, we did git away didn' we? Now, I gotta git home 'fore Pap does, see ya tamorrow Rem."

"Alright, good luck tryin' ta tell yer Pa 'bout that shiner." Then he waved and ran off to where his own house was.

Alice smiled and headed off towards the house that her and her father shared. She darted in the front door and closed it behind her, b'fore hearin' a familiar voice, "How's my Alice?"

Alice smiled and ran into the arms of her father, "Hey Pap!"

He chuckled and patted the back of her head gently, "How was yer day today?" he asked, but as they both let go of each other, he noticed her black eye, "Ali, what happened to yer eye?" he asked, kneeling down and liftin' her chin up to get a better look.

Alice quickly thought of somethin' other than a fight, "Well, I was comin' home from school when suddenly rabid dogs jus' came outta nowhere and started chasin' after me! I was runnin' from 'em as fast as I could when I tripped over a root an hit my head on a rock. The dogs musta just past me by after that."

Her father sighed, "Alice Finn, you been in a fight agin haventcha?" The girl jus' lowered her head solemnly. The man got a rag and wet it down, givin' it to Alice to put over her eye, "Ali, what've I tol' you about fightin'? Who was it this time?" he asked

"Billy the bully, he said that me'n Remy was on his territory, an I said we wasn't. So he said we'd fight for it." she said

"An fight ya did?"

Alice nodded, "Yup, an I licked him good too! I knocked 'im straight inta the river!" she said with a wide grin that quickly diminished when her Pa looked at her sternly.

Pap raised his eyebrows, then chuckled lightly and shook his head, "I was the same way when I was your age. I guess I can't expect you ta settle down when I couldn't." he noticed her clothing, "Hey, why aren't you wearin' yer school dress?"

"Aw Pa, I hate wearin' dresses! An besides, it's too itchy." she replied shovin' her hands in her pockets

The man laughed heartily, "You're a lot like me when I was your age, wild an spunky. It wasn't 'til after I met yer Ma when I finally settled down." he said, walking' over to the pot of stew, bubbling over a fire in the fireplace and stirrin' it, "Anyway, we got a letter from yer Uncle Tom and Aunt Becky, an' there plannin' on visiting us. There comin' in a few days, all the way from Bowling Green."

Alice smiled, "Really? That's grea--" she cut short, "oh no, they ain't bringin' . . . Josephine are they?" she asked in a worried voice.

Pap turned around and faced his daughter, "Yes they are. And your gonna be nice to 'er, ya here? I don't wantcha doin' what you did the last time."

Alice chuckled at the thought of what happened the year before . . .

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Alice was walkin' through the woods when she saw Josephine sittin' very straight, (almost too straight in Alice's opinion), on a tree stump. She was eating, what Alice knew to be Blackberries and eatin' them cautiously so's she wouldn't get her dress stained. Alice was at first gonna scare 'er so she would get Blackberry juice all over herself . . . when she thought of somethin' better. She walked over next to Josephine and spoke in a frien'ly tone, "Hey Jo, whatcha up to?"

The girl sighed and rolled her eyes, "How many times do I have to tell you? It's Josephine . . . and I would prefer if you called me that."

"Oh sorry, Josephine." Alice replied, putting an almost snooty emphasis on her name. She then sat herself down next to her, folded her arms in front of her and stretched out her legs. Alice looked over at the blackberries she was eating and her eyes widened, "You ain't eatin' . . ." she gulped visibly, "those berries are ya?" she asked in a fearful tone.

"Yes, I am. Do you have a problem with it?" she asked with a smirk.

Alice shook her head sadly, "Well, I did. But, it's probably too late fer you anyway."

Josephine looked at 'er suspiciously, "What do you mean that it is too late for me?" She asked.

Alice bit her lip, "Well, I don' know if I should tell ya, 'specially after what happened to poor Remy."

"What? What happened to him?" she asked, immediately droppin' the berries in her hand.

"Well, after eatin' those berries, he started feelin' kinda queezy, then, he started pukin' everywhere an' got all these kinda red bumps all over his body, an' then," she snapped her fingers in front o'Josephine's eyes, causin' her to jump, "he up an' died, jus' like that!"

Josephine gulped visibly, "So you mean . . . I'm gonna . . ." she snapped 'er fingers, "just like that?"

Alice put a hand on her shoulder sympathetically, "It looks like it." An' just as Josephine placed her head in her hands and began to weep, Remy (who had obviously not died), ran up to 'em, "Hey Al! I've been waitin' by the river for ya ferever!"

"Sorry Re- er Roger," she stuttered, "we can go now." she said

Remy was slightly o-ffended, "Whatcha callin' me Roger for? The names RE-MY . . . in case you fergot the name o' your best friend."

Josephine shot up from the stump, but fergot about the berries and they spillt all over her dress. She screamed loudly, "NO!! I HATE YOU ALICE FINN!"

Alice tried only for a moment to hold back her laughter, but then let loose when she couldn't anymore.

Josephine was seein' red, "And YOU!" she looked at Remy, "YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD!!!" she shouted shrilly, whirlin' back 'round towards Alice.

Alice slowly backed away as Josephine advanced, "Uhhh . . . now now Jo . . . i-it were only joke." But all she did was get closer to Alice, lookin' like her head was gonna burst. "See ya Remy!" Alice shouted as she dashed in the direction of 'er house followed closely by Josephine and Remy.

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"It wasn't funny Alice." Pap said, lookin' at her sternly.

"Well, it was her fault! An' besides, she deserved it! How people as nice as Uncle Tom and Aunt Becky could raise such an upitty know-it-all is beyond me!"she said, foldin' her arms and sittin' down in a chair with a huff.

Pap walked over to his daughter and pointed a finger at 'er, "Alice, I'm not gonna have ya talkin' bad 'bout Tom an Becky's daughter. Now I know they're not really yer aunt or uncle, but I wantcha ta be nice to Josephine jus' the same ya got it?"

Alice sighed and looked up at her Pap, "Yes sir." she said grumpily

"That's my girl." he said, bendin' over and kissing her on the head, then taking out two bowls from a cupboard and fillin' them with the stew, "She's only a couple-a years older than you, an' you haven't seen 'er in a year. "You never know, she mighta changed."

Alice shook her head, "I doubt it Pap, I doubt it." Pap only chuckled at his daughter before sittin' down at their table and sayin' the prayers for their meal.