And by “shady deal” you mean… what?

As far as we can tell from the dialogue, pithy as it is from time to time, there might have been less than an arm’s-length transaction between Mitchum and his “cousin,” or somehow they were in cahoots and therefore would have benefited at the cost of Riverway (née Petroxx) and its other stakeholders, but to just scuttle a project without the consent of the Board (assuming there is one) is highly irregular…

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But who is this “cousin?”  And why would he care necessarily?  He sold the land to Mitchum, so presumably he “got his…”  It’s just so frustrating when the world of business (legitimate, mostly) runs into the mind of Mark Trail and his creators.  Easy enough to have Mark square off against people engaged in poaching or other illegal activities, but when we try to work the everyday into the story line, it all gets terribly confusing!!

So, let’s do another quick cut back to Lost Forest, catch up on what’s been going on there and see what else materializes…  I don’t envy James Allen.  Let’s hope his plot generator hasn’t lost power…

I was hoping we could do a quick cut…

…to  the scene where the bad guys are taken into custody- on Mark’s word, of course…  I wonder if there will even be a trial.  When does the insurance adjuster get a call to inspect what’s left of the SWAN??  So many details that I am glad we will not have to endure…

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So sad, Justin, so very sad… That there are those who put profit ahead of people and relationships!  Strange how you were able to rise to such a prominent level in the Corporate Firmament without leaving a single enemy in your wake.  Certainly possible, but not very likely… that is unless you were deposited into your seat as a result of family…  but no mention of that, so we shall have to wonder.  And wonder whether the mine project will now be scuttled in favor of maintaining the pristine nature of the Great Dismal…

Yup, he got teased as a child…

Oh Justin…  really?  How does it feel to be a walking caricature in a cartoon??  Hard to tell if he’s sweating or if he’s broken out in hives…  But think about it, Justin… This isn’t over…  far from it!  You will have to testify against Mitchum and live in fear the rest of your life that he’s going to get out and come after YOU!  The person who spoiled all his dreams!!!

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How much blood has been let here, anyway??  That is unless Vince slit BGwB’s throat??  Why don’t you try loosening your shirt collar, big guy? Let a little more blood up to your cranium!

And that’s that…

Good thing, too.  We’ve been on the Great Dismal through quite a few moon phases and as much as I love a good eco-mystery (wait, is there any other kind here??) it’s time to move on.  So yes, Honey, Baby, blechhh…  thank you for saving my ass, again, what would I do without you?

I can hardly wait to see the next story where we bring the entire trail brood along- Rusty included just to see what trouble we can find!

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And I wouldn’t turn your back on him, Mark…  save the honey-ka-fuddling for later, you have two baddies on board and unless they are tied up, they are not going to just lay down… Oh wait, that’s right.  This is the Trailverse.  When bad guys get hooked, they lay flat like a halibut…  And Justin…  Where’s Justin?  He was about as useful as a brick to a drowning man.  Watch him emerge and pick up where Mitchum left off…  that would be AWESOME…

What Th–??

OK, this doesn’t even make sense…  “A Bow and Arrows??” on a boat?  Just propped up in the corner like that?  How about a rope?  There’s usually plenty of that on board…  or is it a tie-back to the very brief encounter with Mitch, the fellow who came by to engage in a little “Target Practice???”  And good Lord, she’d have to be as fast as Oliver Queen in order to pick up said bow, notch an arrow, draw, aim and fire…  all in one fluid motion…

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And apparently a pretty good shot if indeed she only meant to wing him and not to impale…  But a glancing blow like that?? Would that really elicit the howl that Mitchum is emitting?  Whatever.  This is just silly.  Still it IS Cherry to the rescue.  A meme in the making if ever I saw one…

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How can we look away?!?

Such drama!  Mercury in Retrograde, Full Moon, Cherry is in all three panels of today’s installment… our evil-doer is getting more evil by the second (I mean it really looks like he’s going to shoot Mark…) and we are left hanging again

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But let us not lose heart, dear readers.  Mark is Immortal.  We know that.  He hasn’t aged a lick in 60 years (or however long he’s been around) and do we really think some overzealous capitalist is going to get the best of him??  I think not!!  Or at least I hope not…  hang in there; tomorrow’s another day!!

Hey, wait a minute!

That’s Mark’s move!!  The Crab-kick!  Only it’s being unleashed on Mark!!  And now Mitchum has the drop on him…  I guess we can’t call Mitchum “Ol’ One-Punch,” now can we??  What about the bad guys of yore who got punched and instantly submitted?  Not in Allen’s Trail-verse… these guys come back, almost like their lives depended on it…

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Over?  Really?  I think not.  Mitchum might have the gun, but he’s terribly outnumbered.  Considering BGwB is currently being subdued by Vince, that still leaves Cherry and Justin below-decks, and even if Justin is a wimp, Cherry certainly isn’t…  Time for a winch-handle to the cranium!

Oh Sweet Rapture!

Mark has a pretty long fuse these days, but it’s nice to see he still brings it when he needs to…  And there’s Vince, nothing but calm and strong, BGwB in a hammer-lock…  But let’s ‘Mark’ it, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the third story arc, and nigh on 100 days into it, and Mark finally gets to deliver a blow under the James Allen Regime.  He seems to have been all bottled up, sort of like Forrest Gump visiting Jenny in her Dorm room and finding “release” for  the first time

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Well, with the odds evened up (and then some,) we can now be confident in knowing that right makes might, the Earth is back on its axis and spinning in the correct direction.

You gotta love the last words coming out of Mitchum’s mouth, right before he gets sucker-punched by Mark.  It’s classic Trail, the “What th-“ as in, surprise so complete that only the sound of the digraph gets out, not the final ‘e.’

Welcome back, Mark!

Logic and Reason

If there is anything bad guys hate more, I am not aware of it.  Logic and reason.  To have the foundation of their motivation undermined, to have everything crumble underneath them, has to be a very uncomfortable feeling…  Look how shook up Mitchum is!  He doesn’t even answer Cherry and Justin’s argument.  All he can come up with is a “Shut up, Lady,” and “Why is this boat not moving?” Little does he know that the reason the boat isn’t moving is because BGwB has been immobilized…  Quietly…  Sneakily…  Off camera.

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Oh, dear, this story is starting to resolve…  Mitchum will be hauled off and charged with any number of felony counts and Justin will “decide” to not build the mine, having fallen under the Trail-Spell and having now seen the light…  I guess our paper and our paint just won’t be as white from now on…

Stop waiving that gun around!

Mitchum, did you learn this at negotiation school?  From watching Dallas on TV growing up?  Enough with the monologuing already!  If you are going to shoot someone just get on with it already!

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If the tests are correct?  You are certainly betting a lot on the come here, boy…  and the tests are just preliminary?? He really does have all this backwards doesn’t he?  And he’s back  the to holding the gun in his right hand… what’s up with that??

And with Cherry looking on with that now-familiar look of “What the Hell?” it can’t be long before she springs into action…