The Bushiad
Chapter 14: Secret Agent


 

 
The Bushiad
Foreword
Chapter 1- The Rage of George
Chapter 2- Rattling of Sabres
Chapter 3- Entreaties Rejected
Chapter 4- Osama Speaks
Chapter 5- The Underworld
Chapter 6- Fatherly Advice
Chapter 7- The Gods of War
Chapter 8- Juggernaut
Chapter 9- The Prisoners
Chapter 10- Interrogation
Chapter 11- George Dreams
Chapter 12- In the Clouds
Chapter 13- D
éjeuner
Chapter 14- Secret Agent
Chapter 15- The Tyrant Flees
Chapter 16- Out of Order
Chapter 17- George Descends
Chapter 18- Master Kim
Chapter 19- Uncurious George
Chapter 20- Asana
Chapter 21- Doing the Patriot Act
Chapter 22- Immaculate Reception
Chapter 23- The Little Prince
Chapter 24- Mission Accomplished

The Idyossey
Chapter 1- Ichor of the Gods
Chapter 2- The Price of Peace
Chapter 3- Empyre
Chapter 4- Woeful Warrior
Chapter 5- Mitzvah
Chapter 6- News Analysis
Chapter 7- Strategic Planner
Chapter 8- Aristea
Chapter 9- Last Supper
Chapter 10- Skullduggery
Chapter 11: Family Reunion
Chapter 12- Black Goddess
Chapter 13- Saboteur
Chapter 14- Glossolalia
Chapter 15- Visitation
Chapter 16- Dead or Alive
Chapter 17- Across the Border
Chapter 18- The Unraveling
Chapter 19- Summer in the City
Chapter 20- Wolf and Jackal
Chapter 21- George Gloats
Chapter 22- Surreality
Chapter 23- Kidnapped
Chapter 24- Denouement

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Sounds of exploding munitions in the distance,
Special operative Max Gordon looks up from his desk,
A lined yellow pad on its weathered and dusty surface,
Light shines bleakly from a small flickering lantern,
Cut burlap grain sacks serve as curtains,
Barely moving in Baghdad’s hot and stagnant night.

On the pad, neat handwriting fills pages,
Names and locations coordinated to logistical maps,
All part of Max’s post-Saddam action plan.
His network of secret agents has been busy;
The American incursion, swift and ruthless, making
It a challenge to implement his careful strategy.

Max reviews his list. He expected
Things would get out of control, but hoped
His agents, free of Baath Party spies
Would be able to begin to move quickly
Before a new administration takes firm hold
And institutes more order.

Armed with unlimited financial backing, Max
And his agents seek treasures of the fallen regime.
Unlike others intent on gold and precious stones,
Max has his sights on other acquisitions transcending
Pure monetary value - he seeks art. Max Gordon,
Secret operative of Christie’s auction house, is ready.

He must move fast. It’s rumored
Butterfield’s and Sotheby’s are on the move.
Already agents have purloined pieces from small museums -
Statue of Astarte, Assyrian goddess of Love and War,
Her firm breasts bare, nipples erect,
She's a hot 5,000-year-old beauty.

The head of Awil-Markuk, in the Bible called Evil Merodach,
(Murdered and replaced by his brother Nergal-shar-usur)
Life-size, solid bronze, weighing 22 pounds, has disappeared.
A sculptured stone head of Hammurabi, of the code of law,
Now fills a burlap sack stuffed into a Land’s End backpack.
At this rate, nothing of value will be left to steal.

Communication from home office, received today
Indicates that images of Saddam will be of value.
Despite the shoddy workmanship,
Mediocre paintings of Mao Zedong bring big money
And ten percent commissions. Images
Of despots are highly popular with bidders.

Max takes inventory of his dusty room.
Stacked boxes and bags fill dark corners,
All awaiting transport across the border
To Jordan, where these captive icons
Of Iraq’s past will gain freedom in
The marketplace of western auction houses.

A knock jars Max from his calculations.
Dimming his lantern he grabs his M-16,
“Who is it?” he asks, firmly and without fear.
From the other side, a voice says, “Taha Maruf.”
Max opens the door and a robed Iraqi steps in.
“Wild out there!” he says, and puts a box on the table.

“What you got for me?” asks Max, putting down his rifle.
“Oh, just a few baubles, nothing big,” says Maruf, grinning.
Max carefully opens the cardboard box,
Folding back the dusty and dilapidated flaps.
He looks inside, but sees only balled up newspaper,
Makes out some headlines about American Invaders.

“Keep looking,” the robed man prompts, his voice buoyant.
Max moves his hand around and begins to remove paper.
As he reaches lower, he feels a stinging, searing pain.
Looks at Maruf and then to his gun, now out of reach.
Agony quickly moves up his arm, now stiff and heavy feeling;
Within seconds, his whole body’s numb and he collapses.

Still conscious, Max sees Maruf open the door.
Three men come in and with flashlights scan the room.
The light hurts Max’s eyes, his ears begin to ring.
The numbness has now reached his head,
It’s hard to breathe. The men grab the varied contents
Carefully remove them, then return for more.

The room is finally empty, one hooded man remains,
He moves to Max who, barely breathing, is turning blue.
He bends down, shines his light in Max’s eyes,
Then satisfied that Max will die, reveals his face.
It’s Joseph Kurtz from Sotheby’s; Max’s gasp is his last.
“War is hell, Max,” Joseph laughs, turns quickly and walks out.

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The Bushiad and The Idyossey - Copyright 2004 by Victor Littlebear - All rights reserved