6: Dateline Boo Kong Uplands / Koo’s Rubber Plantation

Doogan here and I’m lucky to be alive.

Responding to a generous invitation from resident Mandarin magnate Dr. Koo, this reporter arranged for a visit to the interior in a continuing quest for information as to the whereabouts of vanished American chemist and inventor of Solium Distillate Rocket Gas, Dr. Raullo Ortega.

The first stop would be Dr. Koo’s rubber plantation, fifty odd miles up river and surrounded by a snake infested mangrove swamp known locally by the quaint title, ‘Evil Bog of Howling Devils’.

I was informed that the road to this honeymoon resort had recently succumbed to a major mudslide induced by a minor volcano. To spare the esteemed representative of Hearst News Services any discomfort during the journey, Dr. Koo generously offered to convey this reporter to his destination by private aeroplane.

High above the steaming bamboo hinterlands Dr. Koo’s pilot, an inscrutable fellow known as Captain Wong, probably hoping to keep his worldly passenger from being bored during the flight, decided to demonstrate his aerobatic talents with some impromptu high altitude stunt flying. A sudden inversion of the old box kite had this reporter grabbing for his seat belt, but, due to some unforeseen maintenance error on the ground, the harness was missing its safety clasp.

Faithful readers will recall my interview with the Great Waldo Pepper, during which a similar situation confronted this reporter. My barnstorming experience served me well because in short order I found myself dangling over the jungle with only my wrist lashed to the case strap of my trusty Remington Portable Typewriter that remained firmly wedged beneath my seat.

After several minutes of violent rolling, Captain Wong noticed my predicament and righted the aircraft. Upon our safe landing at Dr. Koo’s estate Captain Wong was profuse in his apologies…. to Dr. Koo, and this reporter sought out the nearest bottle of medicinal nerve tonic.

Until next time, turn the lights off Ma and let the cat out. This is Doogan signing off.