The Hound of Baskerville Athletico – Part 2
Previously on Hound of Baskervile...
Jorges Mourir, the ex-Baskerville Athletico manager has just joined Branston Rabids Football Club. It’s a mixed blessing; his track record speaks for itself but so does his air of putrefaction.
The black-eyed chairman Sir Derek Tannic-Stanza has got the first team squad to sign injury disclaimers and Hercules “Eckle” Profiterole, the Belgian centre-half and private detective, smells a fish.
Jorges Mourir was late for training the next morning, leaving Basho Johnson, first team coach and twin brother of Boris, in charge to kick it off.
Ever since an unfortunate touchline run-in with Professor Moray-Arsey, the Gurning Emirs manager, Basho has only been able to speak in haiku or koan.
"Nanny? Nay never.
"Train free young fooballets with
"No Nike nanny"
He said and with a wry smile and a sigh, his eyes returned to the sky.
The players are used to this and take it as a sign to start kicking balls around randomly. Eckle and Warsaw go over to the touchline and start practicing last minute sliding tackles from behind on the slight Scottish winger.
20 minutes later when everyone is knackered and a card game has been set up behind the shower block, they hear:
"Arrr," cough, splutter: "Arrrr, come on Rabids let’s go! Arrr."
Mourir looked even worse than yesterday, his eyes red and bulging and reeking of decomposing moles.
"PASSION!" he spits with venom: "Branston Rabids are all about passion, yes?" he slapped Chris Rocket hard on the back leaving Chris winded and gasping. "Five-a-side eberyone, no prisoners yes?"
They amble, run and then pelt headlessly around the five-a-side pitches, driven by an increasingly maniacal Mourir.
"Arrr, you, numpty. Arrr, run, push, live with your heart and die, DIE!!" he slavered at Warsaw. "Is passion?" he squealed "Passion, PASSURrrghh."
He fell over clutching his throat and foaming at the mouth. He rolled around for a minute as the players gathered for a laugh. Then he calmed down.
"Er…are you alright?" said Eckle: "Would you like some water?"
"Arrgghh, no, no," said Jorges: "Its ok, ok, thanks." He mustered a frothy yellow smile which sent a shiver down the spine of the team. "I was bitten by a dog before I left Portologo and it’s starting to sting a bit."
He rolled up his left trouser leg to reveal his half-eaten calf, festering and fermenting. Eckle saw the bubbling and hissing pustules of frothing flesh and the black and green gangrenous bits and looked up at the pale face of Mourir.
"It’s only a scratch," said the manager: "Mr Stanza want me to start quick so I come, now," CLAP CLAP: "BACK TO WORK, RUN, DIE FOR BRANSTON!"
But when the slight Scottish winger missed the ball five minutes later the Portugazi jumped on him and sank his teeth into his wee pink ear. Like a mad Iberian hound he tore and ripped and gored and then stood over the limp Glaswegian frothing pink bubbles from his mouth and roaring.
The entire midfield just stood and looked at him and before they could think of anything better to do Mourir had passed among them, verily, like a rabid fox in a chicken coup.
Through the spray and mist of fizzing arteries Eckle noticed Basho running away screaming “Aaaah, the sound, the sound of one tooth biting,” and that Warsaw was the only one trying to stop the crazed continental shouting "Red card ref! Red card! Ref?"
Mourir, now crouching and circling, snarling and snapping, was on to him in a fell leap at Warsaw’s neck. Eckle jumped into action and pulled the managers face back and over and down. But Jorges bounced straight back into Eckle biting hard on the central defenders nose, growling.
When Warsaw finally hit him, with all the force of a Trans-Siberian express train, he flew howling fully 15 metres away, still with Eckle’s beak between his teeth.
Jorges was not yet gorged and bounded off to bury his fangs into the fleeing left buttock of the inside right, and then on for a squealing apprentices forearm. The open-nostriled Eckle gave chase, stuck out a sliding leg and tripped his manager into the goal post with a ‘TUNK!’ and a slow downwards slide.
Apart from some groaning it all went a bit quiet after that.
Then came the sirens; press, police, paramedics, in that order.
As it turned out the Authorities were aware that quarantine laws had been contravened and that there was a possibility of a rabies incident, but were inclined to let it slide as Baskerville Athletico were, after all, a very good team.
Despite the pain and the blood Eckle was mostly just worried about how they were going to patch a team together. The big game with Melchester Roofers was only 24 hours away and most of the squad had rabies.
He was eventually lifted into one of the ambulances, clutching his nose in a sock in his hand. He could only breathe through his mouth as his nose hole was stuffed up with blood and bandages but he still saw the pitch haired chairman, Sir Tannic-Stanza, laughing triumphantly into his Bluetooth.
Dodgy, thought the Belgian through squinting eyes, very dodgy…