Dizz and Terry at the Doomsday Ranch

Two years have passed since notes immediately below were added on 11 Sept 2014. I think Doomsday Ranch will need a solid week or two of focus and black coffee. Like that famous novel the young Walt Whitman wrote. About the sorrows of gin or whatever. No, I’ve never read it either.

Notes to the Long-Awaited Sequel to Dizz and Terry.  I had forgotten I plotted it out this far. I detect a certain Collodi influence in the description of the man who is rounding up the children to go out west to the dude ranch. Very spooky.

And I see that did NOT get as far as introducing the Jewish couple who were blacklisted from Hollywood because they were Communists, and now work at the Dude Ranch and keep preaching their Stalinism and complain about Red-Baiting and the Blacklist. Oh boo hoo they said we were Communists! ‘But you ARE Communists!’ say Dizz and Terry. So? What difference does that make. They had a two-headed dog from the Soviet Union but it died.

Suggestions of stealing bomb secrets, of course, to the top-hush-hush Carbon Bomb project. “Do you know how many things are made of Carbon? They are going to split the carbon atom!”

They get fired when it comes out they can’t ride horses. The riding instructor gets run over by a … and these characters got hired because they said they were experienced social directors and horseback riders. They are terrified of horses. So they disappear. Later on they are spotted by the highway, dressed as indians and selling turquoise jewelry.


The Doomsday Ranch (notes 2009)

Dizz and TErry show up for school in September. They are excited because this is fourth grade and fourth graders get to take the class trip to Europe. First day they are taken out of the classroom and sent down to the assistant headmistress’s office. They are told they can’t be in school anymore, because their haven’t paid the tuition since 1953. “You go home and tell your mommy and daddy,” the people say, and D&T explain they haven’t seen their mommy and daddy for a long time.

Everybody wanted money. A man came to the door to say that the rent hadn’t been paid in six months. “Well who was paying it six months ago?” That is a mystery.

Little Miss Goody-Goody says, but you must go to school. Or they’ll send you to reform school. They did not want to go to reform school. They go to Mr. Quigley, he says the thing to do is to locate their parents. Meantime, Dizz and Terry should find a boarding school or some other place they can live. He says the Dude Ranch notion sounds swell–lots of sunshine, lots of chores, always plenty to do. It’s a Dude Ranch but it’s probably also a school. They have a lot of those in the Great Southwest. He says he’ll put his boys on it, trying to find out about their parents and the rent. Meantime, that Dude Ranch idea is a honey! Mr. Quigley is alone at home except for his secretary, Miss Nesselrode. They are drinking cocktails and preparing for a big case coming up next week.

D and T see Muriel at Best & Co. She is no longer in touch with her friend who has the famous Dude Ranch where the famous Hollywood people go. But an old lady she works with knows someone who works for another Dude Ranch across the valley, in Doomsday NM. It may not get the Hollywood people, but it’s probably just as nice. The old lady calls her customer, and it turns out the man from the Dude Ranch has been in town all week, collecting children for the big train voyage to NM. He’s leaving today. Mr. Meeker is taking a party of children west that afternoon. 4 pm on the Broadway Limited at Penn STation.

Hooray! A party! On a train!

They go to Pennsylvania Station and meet Mr. Meeker, a little roly-poly man with a bright pink face, round as an orange, and voice like a cat’s purr. He is waiting under two balloons in the shape of cowboy hats. There are no children about other than a halfwit girl with buck teeth, ragged pigtails, big round glasses, a round straw hat, and clothes that were at least 15 years out of date. She is coloring in a Patti Page coloring book, but can’t stay within the lines. She says she is twelve years old but only comes up to Dizz and Terry’s shoulders. She is a dwarf! They call her Ophelia. Dizz and Terry laugh. What kind of a name is that? That’s a colored girl’s name. No it’s not says the halfwit. It’s a princess’s name. Oh sure, whoever heard of Princess Ophelia.

Where is the party? I guess there’s no one else.

Oh yes, says Mr. Meeker. Here in the foothills of the Enfers du Sang Mountain Range, the scenery is spectacular. Many a fine motion picture has been made there. Particularly westerns. For example, Black-hat Cavalry with Ward Bond, and Desert Shoot-Out with Forrest Tucker, and High and Dry, with Charlie Ruggles, and The Squaw Man, with Wally Ford.

I haven’t heard of any of those movies, said Dizz.

Me neither said Terry.

Well those are the ones they told me about, said Mr. Meeker. I believe they were made a long time agao.

(This should be a recurrent joke throughout. Everyone recites a new list, different except always ending with The Squaw Man.)

Mr. Meeker has an interesting way of feeding the children. He takes them to the dining car and sits down at a table that has not been cleared away, and tells the children to gobble and steal the food ont he plates. Then when the porter comes and clears away he has a cup of coffee and the children have a cup of farina. Stick to your ribs!

Mr. Meeker has fight with the half-wit girl, often beats her. Finally she disappears somewhere around St. Louis. Mr. Meeker says she got off the train to visit her aunt. But Dizz tells Terry that when they stopped a St. Louis, she saw a man drag a sack out of the train and leave it on one of the baggage carts. And that man may have been Mr. Meeker. “We should keep a weather eye out for this fellow,” says Terry.

It takes another day to get to Doomsday, New Mexico. When they get to the ranch, D and T are sent to a squalid room with rats poking their noses through the holes.