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The "Real" Part Eight - A Clarification

by J.(Channing)Wells


A message to all Dedicated Readers of the continuing adventures of Charles Madison Glass, Phoebe Dimmesdale, Luke de la Deltalemur and Buddy the Utahraptor, who have perused the most recent sending:

Some of you have noticed that the unnamed author in charge of this dubious piece of literature made mention, in his introduction, that he was presently about to introduce Part 'Nine.' However, in the header to this selfsame message, and again later in the reference to the good folks at Shartooie TiaraNet, the part was listed as '8'. Now. The callow and inexperienced reader might very well take this to be a lapse of attention on the part of the author, a foul-up, a sort of... oh, _je ne sais quois_ (which is French for 'Typographical Error'). The callow and inexperienced reader may very well go on to assume that, since the previous part posted to this forum was part number '7', that the _header line_ is indeed correct and the part that you have just read is, indeed, part number eight of this increasingly bizarre saga.

Nothing could be further, of course, from the truth.

I, as transcriber, simply placed the appellation of '8' on the subject line and in the later reference so as to avoid confusion.

So whatever happened to the real 'part 8' to Mundementia One?

Well. In reality, the true 'part 8' to this Visionary Epic was lost during the tragic Book Riots of 1924, where so many other pieces of literature that the ignorant masses had deemed "unacceptable" were, tragically, shall we say, destoryed. (Typography intentional.) Humanity will ever be its own enemy, wherever the Great Arts are concerned.

Part 8 to Mundementia One (according to photostatic images of Book Review Pages of certain reputable newspapers of the era which I have painstakingly copied from microfilm) was, reportedly, an epic drama of sweeping scale and scope. The nameless author had intended _this_ to be the focal point of the book, the center of all symbology and sign to be found throughout the remainder of the work. To put it in the words of one reviewer of the time:

"Nothing about this work made sense until I reached Part Eight. Then... Ah, then. Words cannot describe. I beg of you, gentle reader, envision mountains of light, rising skywards to the very Face of God himself. Intricate crystalline structures of symbology, which I had heretofore muddled through, a senseless, aimless pilgrim, stupid and dull as the clay, were _finally_ revealed to me, much as a weary traveler emerging from the forests around Rome to gaze, finally, upon the face of the great Cathedral of Notre Dame herself. (ed: Rand McNally first published the International Book of Where Stuff Is in 1927, fully five years after this review; the reviewer is to be excused, therefore, this admittedly small gaffe of geography) Prior to Part Eight, I was a Sinner. But now, praise be to Our Lord, I am saved. Amen, Hallelujah!"

This is perhaps a rather glowing example, but many contemporary reviewers felt, in fact, similarly, although they _did_ express confusion as to the meaning of the word "Frink." This transcriber feels that perhaps, based on the lack of this particular comment in his work, the exultant reviewer above _ACTUALLY USED PART EIGHT_ to decipher the PRECISE MEANING of the work 'FRINK', an event which would surely lead to _some_ of the epiphanatical attitude expressed in his words.

At any rate. This epic chapter--spanning over the course of its thirty-three hundred pages all of twelve countries, fifteen continents and five-sevenths of the Seven Seas, and containing such diverse and sundry characters as Milhouse, Emperor of Persia; Anatola, his half-Spanish daughter; Franz, the dedicated butler with a secret pain of his own which he shared only with his Cocker Spaniel, Bubba; Y'kktk'ittik, Invisible King of the Squirrels; and Ryan Spencer, the handsome young CIA agent whose wild passions had flamed out of control until he found a focus for them in beautiful young Anatola--this heart-rending romance slash cold war intrigue slash war drama slash gothic horror masterwork, study of which led some to claim that the greater work of Mundementia One was itself the inspired work of some all-conquering deity named Tir'na Whahoo (Goat of the Sky)--

Had been believed lost. Forever.


This transcriber was browsing one day, as is my wont, in the great flea markets of Baghdad, when I discovered an old manuscript bound in fading twine and old glue. The merchant who possessed this humble-_looking_ work was a sadly, sadly ignorant man and was advertising the ancient parchment pages as being a wonderful surface to mount photographs on, or perhaps as good source material for firelighters.

Upon glancing at the pages and, confirming beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was, indeed, the fabled lost chapter of Mundementia One, I casually bargained with him, attempting to keep my voice calm. After three hours of barter, I finally managed to buy the entirety for the laughably small price of _ninety-three cents._ Little did that merchant realize what treasure he had been sitting upon!

In joy, I jetted quickly back home to the States for a celebratory trip to Las Vegas, exulting in my find.

Well. To make a long story short, I rather... erm... lost. A lot of money. Rather more than I actually _had_, really. Compounding my troubles was the fact that, on purely blind chance, I had managed to, quite at random, select the _one_ casino in Vegas owned by Vinny "The Really, Reaaaally Dangerous Yellow Chested Warbler" Scaparriotti, whose black- suited Australopithicene henchmen generally named their children either "Baseball Bat" or "Concrete Shoes", those being the only two phrases they could reliably pronounce. Suffice to say that I convinced Vinny that the gift of the Mundementia Manuscript was indeed, very nearly worth the sum total of my debt to him, minus a couple good slaps on the side of the head. But, as you see, I am going to have the last laugh... for even now, my digital scanner is finishing imaging the last of the pages, and whoops, just in time too, as I seem to see a very ominously black-looking sedan pulling up the drive... and in just thirty more seconds, I will have a complete photostatic representation of the one surviving copy of Mundementia One Part Eight, translated by the original author into Arabic for his Saudi Arabian sweetheart, Fatima, during his ill-fated trip to the Middle East in 1923, and I _promise_ you that upon its completion I shall make it available for all to read, for without this, nothing of what you have read or will ever read in this work will ever make any sen


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