is it an EVIL petting zoo?

Sorry I can’t let go of this Austin Powers meme…  I can’t believe I just used that word…  I can’t believe that bull elephant is charging the Rover that ferries Mark Taurus and Lori… sort of like that scene where the Dr. Evil hench-man gets steam-rolled…

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But there’s Dirty, all smug and thinking that he’s gotten away with… what?  He’s been found out and will now have to live his life in the shadows… does he really think that Mark isn’t going to haunt him to his grave??

The Elephants are in Solidarity with…

…the Poacher?  How ironic!  Or maybe the Ivory Market is not as strong as the Tusk Market… thereby leaving the Elephants alone.  But Please, they could not see this herd of pachyderms from a mile away, certainly from adequate distance to avoid them?  So look who is “stuck” now!  Ha!  And it’s not like it’s a freight train that goes on for miles…  Use the steering wheel Mark!!  Put it in four-wheel!  This is silly…

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Meanwhile, off-camera, Chris “Dirty” Dyer is laughing fiendishly at how Trail has been foiled…  Muuuaaaahahahaha… he says, all Dr. Evil-like

Green Ink! I Need More Green Ink!!

Note to colorists:  it’s going to be very difficult to tell which vehicle is which but for the stilted dialogue, or lack thereof, coming from each…  Both Rovers are painted Boat Motor Green, and even if they do have different license plate numbers it will be difficult to distinguish them…

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When I first read this I took the line “He seems to be sticking to the road, Mark” quite literally… Ha!  I thought what?  Is he in molasses?  Is he stuck in one place?  Euphemisms and idioms are funny, are they not, especially translating across cultures…  Although I learned yesterday that “killing two birds with one stone” has the same meaning and usage in English AND Somali…  how funny.

Thanks for letting us know what you are doing, Mark…

Like a shot, Mark is after Dirty in what will surely NOW result in proper fisticuffs!  Telegraphing his every move and verbally expressing his every thought, Mark is back in his wheelhouse…

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But “out of here” is where, Dirty?  Anywhere but here, I get that, but what’s your next move?  Why did you even come back to camp?  If only to move the plot along and allow Mark to go all Nature on your ass…

Taurus Owed Mark a Life Debt…

And now that’s all square, having just called Dirty off at the point of a rifle…  And Dirty, with his bushy dark eyebrows, looking a lot like one of the Marx Brothers

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And with that, Chris “Dirty” Dyer is going to pack up his toys… errr, tusks… errr, horns and go home.  Wherever that might be…  He had a plan and Trail ruined it!  Mark! Are you going to let him just stalk off?  Lori is still in questioning mode… “I thought I knew this man,” she must be thinking… Oh well, better to be with one who has the same raven hair as you, my dear… birds of a feather, you know…

Taurus to the rescue?

He could have blown his red whistle on such goings-on, but instead he got out the Mauser…  and sent a warning shot across Dirty’s bow…  at least James Allen knows what sound a gun makes… not KRAKOW or WHAAAMM, but KAPOW!  And I don’t mean to nit-pick (OK, that’s what I do here) but a knife?  Really?  What major orifice did Dirty pull that out of?  Maybe he has magic powers, who knows…

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But certainly this continues on a new theme in the life of Mark Trail, where other supporting cast members have to save his butt… if not Cherry and Dusty, now Taurus.  Kind of anticlimactic, no?

Oh boy! Quick with the word play…

…and even quicker with his fists!!  “Dirty” paying dirty by landing a quick right to the left Trail mandible…  Mark!  You should have seen that one coming, man!!  I am sure he telegraphed that roundhouse… where are your reflexes? your defenses?  Spinning inside that hard head of yours, as spittle flies from your mouth on the way down to the ground.

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I can imagine the back-story here…  Chris “Dirty” Dyer, ever the manipulator and schemer, convinces his erstwhile “girlfriend” to underwrite a trip to the Dark Continent under the guise of an innocent “safari,” and with everything set, pickups, drops, exchanges, payoffs, in blunders Mark Trail, who happens to be a poacher’s nightmare…  Who, we know, is not finished or ended at this point… He’s just getting warmed up

There it is!

Not only are you suffering under the withering admonishments of a decorated and published naturalist, but now you have gone and pissed off your girlfriend!!  And it’s for the best, you know?  She would be bringing up that “snake thing” for years…

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As Lori turns on her heel and stomps off (uh, to where exactly?) we see Chris “Dirty” Dyer’s plans go up in smoke.  I am still very curious as to how exactly he was going to monetize his illegal cargo; you know, meet up with buyer, get money, find “Carlson” again and give him his 60% (a 40% cut for delivering Rhino horn?  Not bad, actually) all without having any of his party suspect that he is up to something funny.  Throughout this experience, Chris has shown a complete lack of ability to plan any number of moves ahead- he seems to be more like a single cell animal, just bumping into shit and reacting…

Jacob Hickman! That’s who Mark came to see!

That was really starting to bug me… too lazy to go back and look, I had resorted to calling him “That guy that Mark came to Africa to see…”  But Mark!  Let “Ol’ Dirty” answer your question!  Let him spin a web of lies and deceit!  That would be at least entertaining!  You ask him a question and then immediately assume that he is guilty (which he is of course…)

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But I ask you- is there a better scolding than one dished out by Mark Trail where Poaching is involved??  I don’t think so… There is a special place in Hell for the likes of you, Chris Dyer…

Lori looks, at best, nonplussed by this turn of events…  C’mon, girl, where’s your outrage, your indignation?  Or are you just in shock after Hippo, Buffalo, Python and now Rhino??

Wow! Three thought balloons in a row!

What Th—Well, Chris “Dirty” Dyer, the gig is up!  Or “what the hell were you thinking?” Oh I know, I will place a tarp over this unlocked box and no one will be any the wiser…  certainly no one will notice this anvil case that wasn’t here before…  And Trail, this is where your life becomes expendable…  Remember how not a soul even knows that you went on safari with these two random people- one a dentist and the other just plain bad, rotten to the core??

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The look on Mark’s face says it all, though.  This is the height of bad, the lowest of the low.  Worse than Turtle Eggs!!  Worse than Shining Deer!!  This is World-Wide, Cross Borders, Interpol kind of stuff!  And you are in the middle of it Mark!  Who’s going to believe that you aren’t involved?  Think, man, think!!