Moffat the Magniloquent along the Mississippi
What happened to Moffat? Did he reach the Americas? Indeed he did.
It is some years later and Moffat is broke. Having spent any ill-gotten gains soon after his arrival, he has been scraping a larcenous living, much as he did when resident in London before the events described in Gibbous House. Having tired of the East, Moffat heads south.
Moffat catches a stagecoach for St Louis where he meets and murders a riverboat gambler, assuming yet another false identity. He takes a riverboat downriver to New Orleans, gets involved in poker games, meets famous Missouri figures and some old “friends”. Moffat observes the contradictions and injustices of the (barely) Antebellum South and becomes involved in a plot to free some slaves and acquire some silver for the Underground Railroad. This being Moffat’s adventure nothing and no-one is what they seem. His new identity is as much a burden as an escape, since everyone expects something of “Anson Northrup”. Along the way Moffat meets the famous Marie Laveau and some of her acolytes. Despite himself he learns more about the Jedermanns and his own strange resistance to the passage of time, notwithstanding his sybaritic lifestyle.
Can Moffat move the silver from the New Orleans Mint with the help of freed slaves? Who is Compair Lapin? Can Moffat trust him? An already complex plan meets obstacles at every turn as Moffat, Miss Pardoner and others attempt to get both as far north as they can.
Moffat remains magniloquent, murderous and quite possibly more impulsive than ever.
No Good Deed is for people who loved Gibbous House, who love an adventure story with a difference and for the people who asked me whether there was a sequel. Moffat is a less cowardly Flashman stumbling upon history, whilst failing to notice it happening, being too busy gratifying his latest desire.
I confess that I wrote No Good Deed because I wanted to know what happened next too.
Naturally this left me in the company of the fellow in the extravagant waistcoat. I suggested a brandy, and he informed me that nothing we might buy in the establishment would truly deserve the name. He winked and said that he had something special in his room upstairs. I demurred, saying that I hardly knew him. He looked a fine figure, perhaps ten years younger than I. At least, if I had not but recently travelled by stage coach. It was important that I consider what this man saw in his regard of me. A man of around forty five - though I looked nearer my true age that day – vigorous, if a little tired. Clean-shaven , still yet blessed with a head of hair. I wondered if I had judged his interest correctly.
He did not seem unduly discommoded by the rebuff.
'Better stick to the whiskey, sir... or we could try a beer?' he enquired.
'A capital suggestion, my throat is still as dry as dust.'
He ordered the beers with a click of his fingers. We were standing alongside a long counter that served as the bar. There were tables in rough deal aplenty, but few were occupied. The majority of trade was carried out at the bar. Of the occupied tables, one had a game of cards in progress and at the other two military fellows in a grey uniform were sprawled insensible across it. My companion eyed me over his glass,
'Long way from home.'
It did not sound like a question. I answered, after a fashion, nonetheless.
The beer was light and tasted nothing like the porters and ales of home. I made pretence of clicking my fingers, ensuring that this gesture was not seen by the man behind the bar. The man in the waistcoat clicked his own and we were provided with two more glasses of the gold-coloured liquid.
'I am indebted to you, sir. I did not catch your name, earlier.' I said.
'Didn't give it, is why.'
I held out my hand and gave the name, 'Moffat.'
He looked at the hand for a moment, then shook it.
He was of a size with me, perhaps larger, due to the fact that I cut a more slender figure since arriving in the Americas. He asked me what had brought me to the New World.
'Necessity,' I said.
'The mother of invention, it's a fact.'
Evidently he was a man of few words. We took several more of the beers. They had no more effect on myself than a cordial. As for the other he became a little more animated, but not a great deal more talkative. Even so, I was able to convince him that he had inveigled me into his room and not vice-versa.
We passed an enjoyable hour and it was with some regret that I used a yellow scarf to choke the life out of him. I assumed his clothes and saw with regret what little money he had in his purse. His body I folded into a chest and covered it with my dusty attire. I took the only other item in a room, it was a bag, about the size of a sailor's bag although it had handles for transportation. It had been fashioned from a violently patterned oriental carpet. It was a hideous thing, but what was a man without baggage? Looking around the room, I thought again that it was a pity our acquaintance had been so short.
Still, as he himself had said, ‘Necessity is the Mother of Invention’ and besides, such a personage must surely be wedded to the Father of Lies.
The Tub is Overdue a Thumping.
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
A first update (I definitely DID prefer it when I could call these Shed Posts) for almost two months: in that time 6 pledges were achieved. Just under one a week. At this rate it could take another two years for the crowd-funding target to be achieved. Of course, the turn of the year is always a slow time for any Unbound campaign... so there's that. Medical issues get in the way of making…
No Tub-thumping Here, I Do Not Want Your Money Today
Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Four years ago today, the following piece was published as part of A Christmas Tetralogy of writing by Unbound-ers. I was very proud to have been asked. Bearing in mind I wrote this 4 years ago, I hope you realise how shocking it is that when people ask me what's the biggest change in the UK after a 16-year sojourn in Spain, I say the number of people sleeping in the streets.
So no, I…
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Hello, all supporters still following these updates, leave a message below if you drop by. Otherwise it feels like I'm singing in the shower, it sounds good but nobody's listening. This week the No Good Deed campaign registered zero pledges, patrons and pounds for the second week in a row. That's the trouble with this way of publishing a book, at this time of year. You could pledge on someone…
The Long and Winding Road...
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Almost six months in and we are two-thirds of the way there. I wish I'd known how difficult this would be second time around. Gibbous House smashed the funding thing in just over three months, but the book needed more work than No Good Deed will (promise).
Do inflict... I mean consider giving a pledge as a present this year, they might not get No Good Deed by Christmas (definitely…
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Now living in West Didsbury, Manchester, for the foreseeable future. The Spanish Adventure is over after 15 years and the German Chapter could not begin after all. Still, as my dear old Dad used to say, "Whit's nae for ye, wull go by ye", which, I suppose, is Jockinese for Que Sera, Sera.
Anyway, this does mean I can do more things to promote, sell, and otherwise market books published…
First Among Sequels: Guest Post from Please Allow Me Inc.
Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Greetings! The Gibbous House Man - as the author of its sequel, No Good Deed - is known here at Please Allow Me Inc. (Home of Fakevertising® - Never Knowingly Oversold), has kindly allowed me to craft this update concerning his latest meisterwerk. This is no chore - as, of course, No Good Deed is first among sequels as far as our marketing efforts here at PAM Inc. are concerned…
Found Among the Moffat Papers Assembled by Prof. J. Maccabi
Tuesday, 17 July 2018
From the Catalogue of Rheims et Sauvage de Paris
Auction date 6th June, 1951
Lot 666: Hand written letter on vellum, addressed to Ellen Pardoner, C/o John Brown, Notary Public, Seahouses, Northumberland, England. signed “Moffat”, dated 4th July, 1852. Franked at London Postal Office, 1st September. Marked “Postage Due 2s 11d”
“Throws light on the the infamous Jedermann Family”. Professor…
While You're Waiting
Wednesday, 27 June 2018
During the long gestation period of Gibbous House, I used to publish a short story or two in what was then known as the shed, to keep people interested. Whether it did or not, I'm not entirely sure. In any event, for those who continue to actually read the updates, here is an old short story that once won a prize. It's not about Moffat, or the 19th Century United States, but you might enjoy it anyway…
Competition Winners Get Their Prizes.
Tuesday, 26 June 2018
I was relieved to be informed by the competition winner and the 3 runners-up that they had received their highly desirable prizes over the weekend. Here is Frank who was first out of the Beer Stein.
Frank has assured me that all three items will be well-used, especially the mug by him. Shopping and dog-walking necessities are the tote-bag's fate and Frank has grandchildren who he…
At Last, Karma Twin Competition News! (A Winner)
Saturday, 16 June 2018
Congratulations to the winner, Frank Morley, whose name was drawn from a beer stein in a kneipe in Zell-Mosel last week. Frank wins a bundle of No Good Deed collectables to be delivered shortly. The other three COMPLETELY correct answers will receive a No Good Deed Mug. Thanks to all who entered.
The next event will be a milestone give-away: once No Good Deed reaches the 50% mark there will…
No Good Deed Karma Twin* Competition update
Sunday, 10 June 2018
Don't panic. Competition is closed. Winner to be announced when I have something resembling internet connectivity. The geekery used to achieve even this update is giving much less than satisfactory results
Karma Twin* Anagram Competition (Patrons/Pledgers Only)
Friday, 1 June 2018
It's here, it's competition time. Here are 8 anagrams of some of Karma Twin*'s novels or short stories' titles. The author of these makes several appearances under his given name in No Good Deed.
Solve the puzzle and post your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will receive a No Good Deed Mug, tote bag and notebook. Competition is open to patrons/pledgers only. In the event…
Get Your Anagrammar On! (No Good Deed Pledgers Competition 28th May - 4th June)
Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Hope you're excited, those of you who have already pledged. One winner will receive at least 3 No Good Deed limited edition items if they win the competition to be held between 28th May and 4th June 2018. The competition itself will only be available to patrons of No Good Deed. In the event of a tie there will be a draw down my local pub to decide the worthy winner.
Here are two pictures…
Thursday, 17 May 2018
Well, at least pledger 50 isn't... But there is a mug. A limited edition No Good Deed Mug was ordered yesterday for despatch to the 50th pledger. Do not worry, there will be a chance to WIN more Limited Edition No Good Deed ephemera later in the month, when there will be a competition open to all those who have pledged. In the meantime the images here show what the mug will…
Doll Drums: Safely Negotiated for Now
Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Last week's update made mention of the doldrums I was sure that the campaign to unleash Moffat II on the world would enter. Enter them it did, but we achieved a 1% increase in the total. At 1% a week this means the book would be fully funded by October 2019. A smooth flow through the Edit, Typeset, Proofs, Print stages would mean the book would be in backers hands by March…
A Round Tuit
Tuesday, 8 May 2018
This week, judging by its predecessor's campaign, No Good Deed is due for a dwell in the doldrums. It's just over 3 weeks in, very nearly four. As usual, people with busy lives just haven't got around to it. I know they will, but - after all - if the target remains 75% away from completion with ten of the twelve weeks gone in six weeks time, No Good Deed will never see the light of…
Who's On First?
Sunday, 6 May 2018
Perhaps some of you are too young to remember the insanity of Abbott and Costello's vaudeville-rooted baseball routine "Who's on First." I pondered whether to put a question mark there, but in the end decided not to, as maybe that would give a clue to how this comedy schtick involves misunderstanding. If you don't know the routine, I mean. All grammar pedants (like me) should love this sketch.…
Friday, 4 May 2018
Not some unusual vital statistics, but the vital numbers for the Gibbous House Sequel campaign.
43 generous people, the majority of whom waited through the long gestation of Gibbous House. As far as I can I assure you that the wait will not be so long after funding.
23 per cent funded: almost a quarter of the way to our goal
21 days of 90 days avaliable to contribute and ensure your name…
14 Days, 2 Weeks, A Fortnight
Friday, 27 April 2018
Whichever way you look at it, you 34 have taken No Good Deed a fifth of the way to it's target, that is 20% of the way to publication. Thank you! And double gratitude is due to those of you who, having seen Gibbous House to paper and ink status, have generously got on board the Unbound bus again.
Can I ask you the favour of spreading the word? Tell your friends, or share a Facebook post or retweet…
Friday the 13th
Saturday, 14 April 2018
What a day to start a project that needs a bit of luck! Today is the morning of the 14th and 10% of the novel's target has been reached. Of course, this morning's news is that Trump and pals have sent aircraft into Syria with the aim of "dismantling" the regime's chemical weapon capability. So far Russia (Russia? Haven't they been too unimportant to spy upon since 1994, when the Air Force sent…
These people are helping to fund No Good Deed.