The Goonies and the Sovereign's Crown

By

Roland Trask

Prologue: A Game of Rogues

Lightning flashed in the night out over the sea as a cold wind sailed above the waves. Edward Garofalo stood on the wharf, tightening his gray coat around him against the chill. He was a tall man, tall and fierce. His shaggy hair and thick beard had been almost consumed by gray as he entered his mid-fifties. A long, deep scar ran across his left cheek, a relic of some long ago quarrel.

He raised a cigarette and lighter to his lips with his right hand while his left remained firmly in his pocket. As he took a long drag, two figures in black approached him from the dark. One was a brawny, beefy lipped giant in a black sweater and ski cap. The other was a tall, slim, youth in a leather coat. He had a thin beard and a black patch over his right eye. They dragged their feet as they approached Garofalo.

"Well?" said Garofalo. "I've been waiting here for hours, where is it?"

A smug grin curled on the lips of the one-eyed youth. He turned to his companion and made a gesture, inviting him to explain. The buff man gave the youth a resentful glare and stepped forward.

"Where is it, Richter?" said Garofalo.

"We… we don't have it," said Richter. Garofalo's eyes widened.

"Don't have it." He turned to the grinning youth, as if expecting a more satisfactory answer from him. "Wesley?"

Wesley bit at a hangnail on his thumb and shook his head.

"Well, where the hell is it!" said Garofalo.

Richter winced with pain, and raised a hand to massage his pink, throbbing ears. "Please boss, not so loud. We broke into the museum, like you said. Which wasn't easy. We searched everywhere, the exhibits, the storage room. It just wasn't there."

"It's here, I know it is!" said Garofalo. "It's here, in Astoria, and it's in that museum! Where else could it possibly be?"

"Ed?" a squeaky voice chirped behind him. Garofalo turned to see a balding little man in a black overcoat, his long nose twisted in several odd directions after having been broken many times.

"What is it, Torbett?" said Garofalo.

Torbett hobbled forward, scratching his exposed forehead.

"From the research I did on the Astoria museum, it seems it's only been at its current location for the past three years."

"So what?"

"Well, when they moved it three years ago, they had a fund-raising retropartum exhibit…"

"Retrospectum."

"That's what I said," Torbett said with a scowl. "Anyway, the assistant curator was in charge of moving the artifacts to be displayed, and what didn't fit into the show he stored in his own house. Perhaps the item we're looking for is there."

Garofalo furrowed his brow. "What's his name, the assistant curator?"

Torbett thought for a moment, mouthing a voiceless W. "Walsh! Irving Walsh!"

Garofalo smiled. He pulled his left arm from his pocket, revealing a sharp, prosthetic hook in place of his hand.

"Why don't we pay a visit to Mr. Walsh?"