After their meal break, Lupin decided it was up to him to take charge of whatever they were doing down in Louisiana. "I think it's be best," Lupin began. "If I started searching downtown for this Sam-Jack Whoever…"
"Bixby. Sam-Jack Bixby." Jigen supplied.
"Right. Sam-Jack Bixby."
"But, you'd better call him Sammy-Jack if you ask for him."
Jigen sighed. Lupin would never understand his homeland. "This is the SOUTH, Lupin. It's not Sam, it's Sammy. It's not Will, it's Billy. It's not Bud, it's Buddy. Okay?"
Lupin threw his hands up in defeat. "Alright, alright. I get it. Settle down, Ransom."
"I didn't say anything," Goemon said.
Lupin glared at him. "Moving on," he continued. "I think it is best if I search the downtown and while you and Goemon search the other side."
Jigen took off his (panama) hat and whapped Lupin upside the head.
"What was that, sir? Did you say that I take the boy?"
"I'm not a boy ," Goemon said.
"I can't take him anywhere!" Jigen ignored him.
"But he fits in better where you go for info," Lupin countered. "I'm going to nightclubs. He doesn't get in the way, but he doesn't help, either. He sits in the corner and pretends to understand English and he brings down the mood of everyone around him."
"I can speak English."
"You go to seedy bars," Lupin was also ignoring him. "It's okay to be quiet and stoic and half-illiterate there."
"I can read, too."
Lupin and Jigen continued to glare at each other, stuck in a stalemate until Lupin was hit with a sudden bright idea. He often found his best ideas came to him in connection with the promise of beautiful women and alcohol in the near future.
"Jigen, the truth is…How will Goemon ever learn about the glorious south if not through you? You experienced her firsthand. I could never help Goemon understand her struggles and beauty. You are the only one."
Jigen brushed some imaginary dirt off his white suit and tapped his wooden cane (that he didn't need) on Lupin's head.
"I do declare you have a point, Mr. Lupin."
Lupin attempted not to cringe at the name that only the most condescending of his enemies usually used.
Jigen grabbed Goemon by the arm. "Come along, boy. You might learn something."
Lupin watched them start off together before almost skipping to his own destination. He'd start off with a nightclub and see what or who he'd end up with come morning. He was planning on scoring in both senses.
Goemon, meanwhile, was thinking of many slow and painful ways that he could exact his revenge on Lupin and Jigen after they finished this job. It turned out Jigen was taking this history of the south seriously, and had taken Goemon to every single old place he could think of and lectured him all the while. Goemon's occasional pleas to take a break, split up or gather information were all stopped even before they started.
"Now, listen, son. I say, listen and you might learn something."
"I say, boy, didn't your mother never teach you manners? You're a bright boy but you've got no common sense. Listen, I say—I say listen!"
Jigen was about to go on, when he heard some noises coming from an old house up the road. Quickly he ran ahead, and found a group of men singing old spirituals. Jigen pointed to them.
"This is who you should be emulating, boy."
"I have a name."
"These men know the glories of the Old South."
The leader of the men stopped singing and came up to Jigen. He put his hands on his shoulders and declared, "There is no Old South, friend. There is only The South."
Jigen and the man embraced in a manly sort of way, while Goemon was fairly sure that the strangers were mostly drunk.
"And what are you fine gentlemen doing here?" he asked.
The leader pointed to the house behind them, the one they had been sitting on the porch of.
"We're here to investigate the ol' Bixby house."
"Bixby? Jigen, that means—"
"Goemon, you're right," he interrupted. "You should join these men and I'll go on ahead. Time for you to learn some history first-hand."
Goemon wasn't going to suggest that at all, but he realized he could ditch three strangers easier than he could Jigen. Even insane, southern Jigen was still Jigen underneath it all. He watched as Jigen walked down the road and didn't notice the three men come up closer to him.
"You're...not from around here, are you?"
Goemon shook his head no. He didn't like these three, but maybe they knew something about the Sammy-Jack person.
The leader smiled. "Great, then you can help us out," he stuck out his hand. "The name is Zak, and this is Nick and Aaron. I aim to get along right nicely with yas."
The last sentence was a horrible mangling of the beautiful tongue of the south and Goemon was glad Jigen did not have to hear it. But with those words, despair entered into his mind. He was sure nothing good could come of these men.
A/N: Shorter than I'd like, but the next one will be a decent length.