My name is Magnon: Cro-Magnon, Pea Eye.
I was working in my cave when this broad shuffled in, sexy as hell. She had learned to walk half-upright and her bearskin covered almost nothing of her breasts, and that hairy valley sure was tempting to a hot-blooded male. I was tempted to take my club down off the wall, but something restrained me.
I could see she’d been crying; there were yellow runnels in the fur on her cheeks, but something about her disturbed me. I rolled a rock over and asked her to take a seat, and she sank down gratefully, her knuckles not even touching the ground when she sat down. Did I say she was sexy?
I asked her what the problem was and it seemed her husband, the big ape, had been seeing a Neanderthal behind her back. She said she had no way of paying me, but leaned forward, showing me that furry valley again, then reached out and groomed my head. How could I refuse?
There was bigger problem than that, however. He had a gang. These guys were tough. Chimps may be smaller than us, but when they swarm you, they can get pretty dangerous. On top of which, they were related, so that made it even more dangerous. But when I looked at her, my resistance crumbled and I felt an urge to protect her.
On top of that, she was being blackmailed for ten thousand clams and she was thinking of going to the cops. I told her not to waste her time; they wouldn’t give her clam! So I was getting in deeper and the worst of it was, I no longer cared. I had to think!
I needed a drink. I went over to the shelf and took down a coconut shell and slugged it back in one gulp. It was cave-paint, but it was all I had. I took the edge of my bearskin and blotted my teeth. I had to think, think real hard, because I couldn’t see a way out of the mess for this broad. Or should I say, lady?
She said her husband was blackmailing her because he had cave-drawings of her in compromising positions with any number of apes, but she swore that those drawings were not of her, but someone who looked like her.
The problem was, her husband and his gang were hoarding all the coconuts and bananas and making people pay clams for them, when they’d always just been able to pick them. And clams were difficult to get; we were miles from the sea.
I told her to leave it up to me and she smiled, lighting up that whole cave. Her mouth hardly protruded beyond her nose and she had stained her lips with berry juice. Did I say she was sexy? Again I caught a glimpse of that furry valley as she got up off the rock. She looked a lot happier now.
I left my cave and rolled a big rock in front of the entrance. Now, it was time to find some information, and then some backup. I asked around, but everyone was too frightened to say anything, so I found a stool-archaeopteryx , and for a couple of clams he told me what I needed to know.
I found a few guys who owed me favours and filled them in on the background. These were tough apes, and they were ready for a rumble. I knew where Ug was hiding out, so I made my way there using a roundabout route, and then we surrounded the cave they used as their headquarters.
‘Ug!’ I shouted out. ‘We know you’re in there and we’ve got your cave surrounded! Come on out or we’ll fill you so full of flint you’ll make sparks when you walk!’
Pea Eyes always come with the witticisms; it’s part of the job.
‘You’ll have to come in and get me!’ shouted Ug, and I knew this could turn ugly. See what I mean with the witticisms? I was tired of all this monkeying around: it was time for action.
‘Ug, if you come out here, it’ll be just you and me; mano a mano.’ Spanish hadn’t even been invented yet, and here I was, saying things like that.
He shuffled out of the cage and he was a real knuckle dragger, but even so, I could see why Ugni would have been attracted to him. He straightened his back and looked me in the eye: there were two of them. ‘Mano a mano, huh? What does that mean?’
‘That means just you and me, nobody else. My guys will watch your apes and nobody’s going to interfere.’
He looked at me and backed off, dropping down into a crouch, snarling, his canines dripping. He warily circled me and I moved into a crouch and, as he approached, pulled my club out from behind my back and hit him on the head. He went down like a stone.
I got some vines and tied him up, while my apes tied up the chimps. Ugni was sure going to be happy with this state of affairs, and so were the rest of the folks around here, who wouldn’t have to shell out clams for food anymore. I knew I wasn’t being paid for this gig, but it gave me a warm feeling anyway, especially when I saw that furry valley in my mind’s eye.
The cops eventually arrived, real Kimberlite Cops, falling over each other and getting in each others’ way, but they eventually arrested all the culprits, and I looked forward to an evening with Ugni, snug in my cave.
There are rewards to being a Pea Eye, and they’re not all financial.
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