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the Feral Wolf Twins Go To the Country
chapter 1: Back from the Wilderness

by Justice H. Baldenbrach   January 20, 2003
(as read to eli in a monotone voice by his robot babysitter)

"Excuse me, Sir Leopold, but there's a gentleman here to see you."

"Blast your eyes!" came the reply. Sir Leopold Von Kanker, famed explorer and amateur archaeologist, scowled darkly through his abundant moustaches. "Molly, did I not say that I was to remain undisturbed to-day?"

"Sure, and that you did, Sir," agreed his stout housekeeper. "But the gentleman insisted that ye'd want to see him anyway. A Doctor Baxter, he says he is."

"Baxter?" echoed her towering employer. "Not John 'The Bounder' Baxter, my old college chum?"

"Leo, old top!" cried Doctor Baxter, a trim, dapper man of 38, as he swept into Sir Leopold's cluttered study, nearly upsetting a stuffed cobra and a Hindoo fetish by the doorway. "Back from the cruel wilderness, eh? Fine! Fine! Say," and here he drew a folded news-sheet from his pocket, "you've been quite all over the 'papers' lately, do you know, old thing?"

Sir Leopold took the 'paper' and nodded grimly. He did not enjoy publicity, and as of late he had plenty of it. As you may remember from my first book, The Feral Wolf Twins, Sir Leopold had just returned from the mysterious Black Forest of darkest Prussia with those famed "Living Fossils," the Feral Wolf Twins. Filthy, savage, and covered in thick, matted fur, the twins exercised a tumultuous fascination over both the public and the scientific world, and were soon celebrated as the long-sought "Missing Link" between Man and his distant ancestors. Yet neither the success of his expedition nor the fame of his discovery put Sir Leopold at ease, for his was a restless and vagabond disposition.

"I almost regret bringing the poor devils back from the forest," he admitted to his dear chum. "True, their discovery changed the very course of Science itself. But I cannot do a thing with them! Once I believed they could be tamed, molded into healthy, normal human beings, just like you or I--but they are more animal than Man. I can teach them nothing. Nothing! Come, see how much they are like the fierce wolves who once suckled them!"

Sir Leopold led his guest through the back door and into his rambling, fragrant gardens. "Molly does not allow me to bring them into the house," remarked the explorer, "so I keep them in a large pit behind the geraniums."

They could smell the twins before they saw them. Peering over the rim of the deep, gloomy trench that was their home, Doctor Baxter observed some twenty feet below a pair of the most wretched, hideous creatures he had ever seen. Lank, with yellowed teeth grotesquely bared, and dressed only in stinking rags, two hairy somethings scrabbled vainly at the pit's steep sides and screamed desperate and unintelligible curses at the men above. "Stand back!" commanded Sir Leopold, as he hurled lumps of raw meat to his charges below. "Even at this distance they are dangerous. I tried teaching them to eat with a knife and spoon," he sighed. "But you can see how well I fared." The sound of fangs tearing at flesh and bone issued from the pit below.

"Fascinating!" whispered Doctor Baxter. "Simply fascinating!" He rubbed his hands together with relish. "Leo, old spot," he said to his famous friend, "I have a proposition to make."

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