The scout’s head ached. It also didn’t help that Little Caesar and Jersey Mike were screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. He reached back and gingerly touched the large lump that had formed on the back of his head. He hadn’t the slightest idea of who had hit him. He remembered grabbing hold of the dancing girl, and the next thing he knew, he was sprawled on the ground with a throbbing pain in his cranium. The girl had vanished and the scout had no idea how long he had been knocked out; perhaps an hour? Despite his misery, he had staggered up and moved north, determined to locate the Burger King’s army. He didn’t have far to travel. No more than a mile into his walk, he heard a faint rumbling. Locating a nearby tree, he climbed it and peered out through the branches. And there they were. The scout figured that if he ran back to camp with the news, Little Caesar would have less than an hour to prepare for the new threat.
Needless to say, Little Caesar did not take the news well, nor did Jersey Mike for that matter. As the scout sat nursing his wound, the two leaders stood over him, yelling and pointing fingers.
The battle against Prince Carl’s army was proving to be another stalemate. Despite Jersey Mike’s initial quick strike, their opponents were holding their own. News of Silver’s capture had eventually filtered back from the battlefield just before the scout’s appearance.
“We’re toasted, man!” Hollered Jersey Mike, throwing up his arms. “We can’t fight two armies!”
“We are not giving up!” Little Caesar hollered back.
“Can I go lay down?” Asked the scout.
“What else are we gunna do?” Jersey Mike fired back, ignoring the scout.
“We fight to the last man!”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! What’s this ‘last man’ garbage? I ain’t sendin’ my men out on some suicide mission.”
“Yeah, my men! I don’t see anyone out there wearing one of those dresses…”
“It’s a toga! How many times do I have to explain this to you?”
“Ya know,” muttered the scout miserably as he slowly slid out of his chair and curled up on the floor, “I think I’ll just take a nap right here.”
“Well, I see that you two haven’t killed each other,” said Prince Carl cheerily as he entered the command tent where Colonel Sanders and Popeye were looking over maps of the surrounding area.
“We’ve declared a truce for now,” replied Sanders dryly.
“One battskle at a time,” chimed in Popeye.
“That’s the spirit!” Said the Prince, patting both men on the back. “Now, what have you come up with?”
“It’s quite simple, really,” Colonel Sanders began, laying the map he was holding flat on a long table. “Although we were caught by surprise by Jersey Mike’s initial push, it’s clear that our army is an even match for them without the addition of Captain Asiago’s and…” Sanders paused and sighed before continuing, “…Popeye’s men.”
Popeye and Prince Carl shared a look and a grin at the Colonel’s concession to calling his son by that name.
“Please continue,” prodded the Prince.
“Yes, of course,” said Sanders. “Our plan is to split our newly arrived forces and to have them attack both flanks of Jersey Mike’s army. They can travel through the woods on either side of the field, making their movements unseen until the last moment.”
“And then we releaske the chickens,” added Popeye.
“I was wondering why you hadn’t sent the Chic-Fil-A in earlier,” commented the Prince.
“They did their job well yesterday,” Sanders replied, “but the element of surprise wasn’t really there. After the first wave, our opponents could see them coming and prepare defensive measures, such as they were. We hope that holding off the chicken attack today will lead them into a false sense of security.”
“Once them suited scallywags are a’fightin’ on the flanks,” Popeye continued, “the Chic-Fil-A will be a’goin’ along the front, and me ladies will attacksk from the sides.”
“Well, um…well said,” said Colonel Sanders, only slightly wincing at his son’s butchered grammar.
“An excellent plan!” Prince Carl beamed.
“My son deserves much of the credit,” Sanders said. “I must admit, he has proven to be quite the tactician.”
“Like father, like son,” replied the Prince.
“Thanks Pappy,” said Popeye in some surprise. He couldn’t remember the last time he was complimented by his father.
“There may be hope for you yet,” Sanders said with a nod. So much for compliments.
“Whatsk that suppose to mean?” Popeye retorted in annoyance.
Before the Colonel could respond, the camp outside the tent erupted with noise.
“What on earth?” Prince Carl said, exiting the tent along with Sanders and Popeye. All around them, people were wild with celebration.
“What has happened?” The Prince called out. Suddenly, Asiago appeared at his side.
“Good news, Sire! The scout has returned. Your father’s army will be on the field within the hour!”
“It’s a stupid idea,” said Jersey Mike, as Little Caesar paced about the command tent.
“It isn’t as if I had all the time in the world to come up with a better plan,” Little Caesar replied.
“It ain’t gunna work.”
“Consider the alternative. Are you that eager to surrender?”
Jersey Mike shrugged.
“I don’t wanna, but…”
“All I’m asking you to do is to create a diversion. I’ll take care of the rest.”
“The King’s army’ll be here in a half an hour. You won’t have time.”
“As long as you and your men do your part, I’ll have plenty of time.”
“You’re crazy,” muttered Jersey Mike shaking his head in exasperation.
“Think positive, my good man,” said Little Caesar with forced cheerfulness. “Think positive.”
“Okay, I think you’re positively crazy.”
Something odd was happening.
The battle had been going on continuously all morning, but then unexpectedly, Jersey Mike’s army pulled back from the fight. Perhaps they had discovered the Burger King’s approach and were preparing to retreat. However, instead of leaving, Jersey Mike’s army began to reform their lines. Prince Carl was notified, and he, Colonel Sanders, Popeye, and Asiago arrived at the front lines to observe the movements. The lines of suited men were now in formation. Suddenly, with a barked command, the troops did a right face and began to march towards the forest on the left side of Prince Carl’s army, their familiar chant of:
resounding through the clearing.
“They’re flanking us,” said Colonel Sanders. “We need to alert our men in the woods.” After waving down a passing soldier, he sent him off with the warning.
Prince Carl turned to Asiago. “Are your troops prepared?”
“Well, yes,” replied Asiago worriedly, “but not for the entire Jersey Mike army to come at us.”
The Prince next turned to Popeye.
“Change of plans, I’m afraid. Can you send your troops around to the left to join with Asiago’s?”
“Aye aye,” said Popeye, saluting and quickly departing.
“I’ll get back to my men too,” added Asiago, turning to leave.
“This is clearly Little Caesar’s final gasp,” Colonel Sanders said.
“Indeed,” replied Prince Carl. “And they clearly have no idea what is waiting for them in the forest.” He let out a relieved sigh.
“I shudder to think what would have happened if Jersey Mike had tried this before Asiago and my son arrived. We owe a lot to them.”
“We owe a lot to a great many people,” agreed the Prince, patting the Colonel’s shoulder, “and you among them.”
The Prince and the Colonel turned around to see Baskin and Robin running toward them.
“What is it?”
“She’s gone, Sire!” Robin panted.
“Wendy! She’s not in her tent!”
The Prince sighed again, this time in exasperation.
“I should have known that things were going too well. What did she do now, drug the guard? So help me, if she thinks…”
“The guard is gone too!” Baskin blurted.
“We went to pay Wendy a visit,” Robin continued, “and there was no one there!”
“She’s not in camp?” Asked Sanders.
“We’ve checked everywhere,” said Baskin. “We’ve asked everyone. No one has seen her or the guard. Prince Carl, I think she has been kidnapped!”