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THE FLYING PIEMAN

This first episode, taken from The Wizard issue: 1897 June 23rd 1962.

Meet Bill King, the Flying Pieman, who never refuses a challenge.

In his latest contest he’s certainly got off to a flying start.

SO, on your marks; get set; go—with this story about Australia’s wonder athlete!

 

“Who’ll back the Flying Pieman?” bawled red-faced Mannie Lygon, the Sydney bookmaker. “Who’ll back the Pieman? I’ll take any sort of money—English guineas, Yankee dollars, Indian rupees, Dutch guilders, or Australian pounds—anything bar Chinese coins with holes in ‘em. Who’ll back the Flying Pieman?”

In the year 1840, all kinds of strange money circulated in Australia, and all kinds of strange people frequented the Domain, which was the principal sporting arena of Sydney.  Everything went on there, from cock-fighting to cricket matches. Among the crowd of strollers on this Saturday afternoon were Mark Todd, the American footrunner, and Jonathan Gregg, his foxy-faced manager. Having heard that the Australians were a sport loving race, the pair had crossed from California to pick up some easy money, and were now looking round to get their bearings. “Pardon me, stranger,” said Gregg, addressing a dark-skinned little man in seafaring clothes, “who’s this Flying Pieman they’re raising such a dust about? We’re new round here.” “You must be,” grinned the other, “the Flying Pieman is Bill King, the greatest athlete in this or any other country. He can beat the world at running, walking, jumping, pole-vaulting, wrestling—anything you like to mention.” “Can he, indeed?” said Gregg. “He sure sounds a versatile guy. And what does this here Australian prodigy of nature intend doing this afternoon?” “He’s running a hundred yards against Captain Clarke’s pony, Magnus,” was the surprising reply. “Yes, gents,” put in Mannie Lygon, “and if you want to lay a small wager, I’m here to oblige you.” “We’ll just wait a little before we risk any of our hard-earned dollars,” answered Gregg, “but thanks for the information.” The two newcomers joined the throng assembled round Captain Clarke and his pony just as a cheer announced the arrival of Bill King, better known in Sydney as the Flying Pieman. A tall, magnificently-built young fellow. The Flying Pieman was strikingly dressed in pink shirt, white duck trousers, red tail coat with brass buttons and black cravat, and wore a grey beaver hat which he smilingly raised to acknowledge the applause. Bill King gained his nickname because he sold hot pies in the streets of Sydney, although this was by no means the occupation for which his father had intended him. Bill had been far too interested in sport to bother about study. When his schooldays were over, he took a job as junior clerk in a warehouse, but as he was never to be found at his desk when a sports meeting was on, he and his employer soon parted company. Selling hot mutton pies for Badger Curtis suited Bill better than office work. As Bill was only occupied in the evenings, he had plenty of time to himself for training. Despite their experience, neither Gregg nor Todd had seen anything like today’s race. A hundred yards track had been marked off, and the Pieman and his mounted opponent took their places at the starting line. The only preparations Bill King made was to remove his hat, shoes, coat and shirt, and hand them to a by-stander.

The pistol went off with a loud report, the pony reared, and amid a roar from the crowd the Pieman got away to a magnificent start. His enormously-long strides gained him several yards before Captain Clarke got his pony on the move. The Captain applied whip and spur, but by then Bill, flying over the ground like a whirlwind was well down the track. Had there been another few yards to go, the pony would have beaten him, but as it was they seemed to hit the tape at the same instant. There was a loud shout of “Dead heat!” But the judge thought otherwise. Jumping on a tree stump, he waved his arms for silence. “Gentlemen and sportsmen,” he shouted, “our popular young friend, the Flying Pieman, won by what you might call a whisker. As soon as he gets his wind back, he’ll give an exhibition of pole vaulting.” As soon as the race was over, a crowd gathered round the two contestants. Being an officer of the 43rd Regiment, which was on garrison duty in Sydney, Captain Clarke was one of the aristocrats of the New South Wales. “Well run, King,” he said rather patronizingly, as he shook the young athlete by the hand. “I didn’t think it was possible. Mind you, with a better start, my pony would have won all the way.” “I was counting on the start, sir,” replied Bill. “Then you used good judgment, my man,” said the captain. “Here’s a little present for you.” Pulling out a handful of coins, the captain counted ten guineas and gave them to the Pieman. As if attracted by the clink of money, a shrewd-looking man with a lock of white hair brushed back from his forehead pushed himself to the fore. “Mind what you’re doing, my good fellow,” said the captain sharply. “You’ll frighten the pony.” “Stand back, Badger,” said Bill King. “It’s only Badger Curtis, my boss,” he explained to Captain Clarke. “Leastways, he was my boss, but I’m buying a partnership from him.” “That’s right, Captain,” agreed Curtis, collecting the guineas from the Pieman. “Perhaps you wouldn’t mind signing as a witness to this partnership agreement, sir. It will look better if a military gent like you signs it, sir.” Curtis took out an impressive document, together with a quill pen and a bottle of ink. The obliging captain agreed to sign as a witness. “This makes Bill King a full partner with me, Captain,” explained Curtis. “From now on, he ain’t on wages any more—he gets a half-share of the profits.” “What do you think of the Flying Pieman, Mark?” asked Jonathan Gregg, as the two Americans walked away. “He can sure rip up the ground,” admitted Todd. “Those two legs of his carve the air too frequent for my liking,” Todd continued. “But I don’t reckon a Pieman or any other sort of man in this country could last with me over a distance.” “If I’m any judge of the human race,” remarked Gregg, “he’s one of the world’s suckers. We’d best sit down on the grass and watch what else he does.” The two newcomers waited until Bill King had given a demonstration of vaulting and high jumping, after which Bill took round the hat and collected a few coins. “The guy’s good, all right,” said Gregg, “but just imagine putting in all that effort for a few shillings. We’d better find out some more about him.” “Yeah,” agreed Todd. “An honest-looking young pie merchant who runs against a pony for a measly few guineas might be the goldmine we’re looking for.”

TODD TALKS BIG!

Despite his efforts during the afternoon, Bill was on his usual job that evening, and spent a couple of hours carrying hot pies to shops and saloons all over Sydney. He usually moved on the run, carrying a large container on his shoulder, but tonight he went faster than ever, for he was in particularly good spirits.

 

I’m doing well, he told himself exultantly, being in partnership with Badger Curtis. Every pie I sell means money in my pocket. I’m a real business man now. As Bill dashed out of the First and Last Saloon down by the waterfront, he almost collided with a stocky, little man who was marching along with a clay pipe stuck in his mouth. “What about taking a look where you’re going?” remarked the little man angrily. Then, recognising Bill he added, “Well, if it ain’t the Flying Pieman!” “Hello, Punch,” said the Pieman. “I didn’t expect to see you back in Sydney again.” “I’m here to stay if I can get a job,” replied Punch. “I saw you running up in the Domain this afternoon. Reckon you’re faster than ever. You wouldn’t know where I could find a good job, I suppose?” “I thought you had a good job cooking for the officers on board the Triton,” Bill remarked. “I signed off when she came into harbour yesterday,” Punch told him. “The Triton’s sailing for the Cape of Good Hope before long, but I won’t be with her. I’m tired of the sea. Would they be wanting a cook at your establishment, Bill?” “No,” said the Pieman. “My partner, Badger Curtis, makes the pies.” Without waiting for an invitation, the little man reached into Bill’s container and took out a pie. “Not at all bad,” Punch admitted, sampling the pie. “But I could do a lot better. I could give them the right flavour. Pal, you’d sell three of my pies to every one of Badger’s. If you hear of anyone needing a first-rate cook, send a message to Tim Punch at the First and Last Saloon. That’s where I’m staying until my money runs out, which won’t be very long, the way my pocket book is shaping.” Assuring Punch that if he heard of anything, he would let him know, Bill hurried away to finish his round of delivering pies. Just as he was reaching the end of his stock, Jonathan Gregg and Mark Todd came in sight. “We were told we would find you hereabouts,” explained Gregg. “This guy is Mark Todd. He’s something of a runner himself back in the United States. Where can we go for a little private conversation?” “Wait till I’ve sold all these pies,” declared Bill. In a few minutes Bill’s can of pies was empty. He carried it to the cookhouse, where Badger Curtis was washing scores of pie-tins. “We’ll count your money later,” commented Curtis. “Put it in the drawer and lend a hand scrubbing these tins.” “Here, wait a minute!” exclaimed Bill. “That’s part of your job.” “Not now,” said Curtis with a grin. “What do you think I took a partner for?” “I’ll be back,” explained the Flying Pieman hastily. “I’ve got a couple of sporting blokes waiting to see me.” “Then hurry up,” growled Curtis. “Now you’re an equal partner, you’ve got to do an equal share of the work.” “You didn’t say anything about washing pie-tins,” Bill pointed out. “It’s in the agreement,” was the retort. “If you didn’t read it, that’s your affair.” Feeling that things were not going exactly as he had expected, Bill darted back and rejoined Gregg and Todd, who took him to a nearby coffee shop. “From what we hear,” Gregg began, “you’re a mighty good al-round man, but we don’t know much about your performances.” Proudly, the Flying Pieman brought out a notebook crammed with newspaper cuttings. In those days Australians had a mania for freak wagers and strange athletic events, and some of Bill’s feats were certainly remarkable. Among them was a fifteen-mile walk in three hours eleven minutes carrying a six-stone boy. On another occasion Bill had walked one hundred and ninety-two miles in forty-eight hours. “Mark’s not interested in silly stunts,” declared Gregg. “But I would like to match you and Todd up in a few short runs up to, say, half a mile. What would you say to the best of three runs for a stake of fifty pounds?” “I couldn’t raise anything like that,” replied the Pieman regretfully. “I’ve never run for really big money, and cash is a bit short with me. I’ve just bought a partnership in a meat pie business.” “A splendid trade,” said Gregg, winking at Todd. “Well, then, let’s forget all about money. After all, I only mentioned it to give us all a little interest. But what about a friendly try-out on Monday afternoon?” suggested Gregg. “I’d like to see how Mark shapes against you. Mind you, he’s good, I’ll give you fair warning.” After a little discussion, the matter was arranged. Believing that he had met a couple of good sportsmen, Bill King hurried back to help his partner in the pie business. “There goes the biggest mug in the country,” chuckled Gregg. “Imagine it, Mark—a guy who can do the things he does, and he can’t even raise fifty pounds.” “I would clean him up properly if he had,” asserted Todd confidently. “There’ll be no cleaning up until I say the word,” warned Gregg. “This Sydney crowd think that nobody can touch this Flying Pieman, but by the time we’ve finished a lot of sports in this town will wish they’d never heard of him.”

BILLS FOR BILL

Gregg did not waste his time. He interviewed every newspaper editor in and around Sydney, so that the whole population knew that the Flying Pieman had a rival. For several afternoons the Domain was thronged with people anxious to see the pair of runners in action. Each day Bill King, the Pieman, improved on his sprint performances a little, while, try as he would, Todd could not better his times over the longer distances.

 

“We’re not worried,” announced Gregg. “Mark’s not in full training yet. Wait till you see him at his top. But I should certainly like to match you boys in a real long race. Say, Pieman, is it really a fact that you beat a six-horse stage-coach all the way from Parramatta? I just can’t believe that.” “Neither can I,” put in Todd. “The idea gives me a laugh. Now come clean, Pieman—didn’t that coach pick you up and give you a lift some of the way?” “Nothing of the sort,” protested Bill. “I ran every yard of the fifteen miles. They took my time, too—one hour and forty-five minutes. I could have bettered that time, but the horses got tired of dragging the coach up the hill into town, and there wasn’t any reason for me to run harder. I’m the kind of chap who needs encouragement to make me go my hardest.” “Mark will give you plenty of reason for running flat out,” remarked Gregg. “How about staging a Parramatta-to-Sydney race?” “Suits me,” asserted Todd. “I don’t want to scare you, Pieman, but once I get my second wind, you won’t see me for dust.” Privately, the two Americans were well pleased with the way things were shaping. They had not expected to meet anyone like Bill King. Toss knew his own time over fifteen miles to a minute, and it was better than anything the Pieman had clocked. Australians have always been crazy on sport of any kind, and never more so than in the early 1840’s when there were many men reckless enough to bet fortunes on anything. News of the Parramatta-Sydney race excited this section tremendously. Nobody gave Todd much chance of winning, and Gregg had no difficulty in backing him at fairly long odds, spreading his wagers around so cleverly that not a soul realised how much the American and his colleague stood to win. Bill King felt confident of winning, too, but he had no money with which to back himself, although he thought he could get some from Badger Curtis. At least he thought so until he tried. “How are the profits going, Badger?” Bill asked. “I haven’t made up the books yet,” replied Badger evasively. “Then make ‘em up,” snapped the Pieman. “I want fifty pounds to back myself with. I reckon I’m a dead cert to win the race.” “Nobody’s a dead cert,” retorted Badger. “You might sprain your ankle or something.” “Come off it,” said King. “I’m entitled to my share. What’s the good of being a partner? I used to get my wages, but I haven’t drawn a penny lately.” “I’m the senior partner,” Curtis reminded him. “You’ll get your cut when I’m ready. How can I make up the books at a moments notice?” Seeing that the “books” consisted of a greasy, old ledger which Badger kept in pencil, it seemed to Bill King that his partner was unreasonable, but he found there was no use arguing with Badger. Determined to make something out of the race, the Pieman went to Mannie Lygon, the bookmaker, and backed himself on credit to the tune of fifty pounds. “I can’t give you better than even money,” the bookmaker said, “and I don’t like doing business this way. I like cash. If you lose, I expect my fifty quid on the nail.” “I’ll be right,” Bill assured him. “I wouldn’t back myself if I didn’t think I could win, but if I don’t, I’ll get your fifty pounds from Badger. He’ll have made up his books by then.” But things did not turn out that way. Three days before the race, the Flying Pieman went to start work only to find the cookshop closed. At first he thought that his partner was ill, and raced round to where his boss lived to inquire after him. Astonishing news awaited him at the boarding-house, for Curtis had packed his bag that morning and departed. “I wish I knew where,” said the man who ran the house grimly. “He owed me twenty pounds. There was something very queer about the way he sneaked off. If he doesn’t show up, I’ll get the police on to him.” Filled with misgivings, Bill hastened back to the cookhouse. To his astonishment he found a couple of burly men in the act of breaking the lock to get in. “Here, just a minute,” he cried, “who might you be?” “I’m Holt the bailiff,” said one of them, “and this is my assistant.” He took out the partnership agreement which Bill had signed. “Are you the William King mentioned in this document?” he demanded. “I’m Badger’s partner, if that’s what you mean,” admitted the Pieman, “but I don’t understand all this.” “You soon will,” declared the bailiff. “Make no mistake about that. I’m sorry for you, King. If I’m any judge, you’ve been badly taken in. Didn’t it ever strike you that Curtis is a rogue?” When the Flying Pieman heard the worst, his mind reeled. In his ignorance of business and because of his good nature, Bill King had fallen victim to a swindler. Although Curtis had pocketed all the takings from the pie business, he had never paid any bills. “And you mean to say I’m responsible?” asked the panic-stricken Pieman. “That’s just exactly it,” the bailiff informed him. “As his partner you’re personally liable for all debts. Didn’t you read the agreement you signed? If Curtis is not here, King, it’s up to you.” Bill King could scarcely believe his ears, but what Holt said was only too true. Not only could the bailiffs seize everything in the place, right down to the very carving knives, but the Flying Pieman was also responsible for all the unpaid debts Curtis had left behind. The Flying Pieman’s dream of prosperity faded. So did his customary good nature. What he said about his cunning partner would have scorched the ears off Badger Curtis, if only the swindler had been there to hear it. “I’ll get him some day,” said the Pieman grimly, “and I’ll squeeze the money out of him if I have to wring his neck.” “I’ll give you until noon on Saturday,” said Holt. “Either find Curtis or produce the money to square all this up. If you can’t do either, Pieman, you’ll be in trouble.”

BILL STAKES ALL!

When the bailiffs went, the Flying Pieman wondered what to do next. How was he to run against Todd with all this on his mind? The worst of it was that if he lost the race, he would owe Mannie Lygon another fifty pounds.

 

I’ve simply got to win, he told himself desperately. It’s no good sitting here and thinking what I’ll do to Badger Curtis. Somehow I’ve got to find him and beat Todd. Bill knew most of Curtis’s haunts, and tried them all. Sydney wasn’t a very big place in those days, and in a couple of hours the Flying Pieman had inquired at all the hotels, saloons, and billiard rooms, where the missing man might have been located, but no one had seen him. At the last saloon Bill visited, the proprietor said—“Fetch us a couple of dozen pies tonight, Pieman.” “No pies,” said Bill gloomily. “Not unless Badger shows up, and it doesn’t look as if he will.” “That’s no good to me,” snapped the saloon keeper. “Can’t you find another cook, or don’t you care whether you lose your trade?” “I care all right,” replied the Flying Pieman, “but what can I do about it?” Then an idea came to him, and hurrying down to the waterfront Bill sought Tim Punch at the First and Last Saloon. “Ah, there, cully,” said the dark, little man, “what’s on your mind?” “Plenty,” replied Bill. “You said you could make pies. Well, I need pies, and I need ‘em quick.” “Let me at it, cully!” exclaimed Tim. “I’ll give ‘em pies like they never had before. Mutton pies, steak pies, pork pies, veal and ham pies—any kind of pies you like to say.” The Pieman explained his predicament, but Tim Punch made light of it. “You’ve still got half a bag of flour,” he explained. “Right, I’ve got enough money left to buy the meat. You stoke up the ovens while I make the dough. You’ve never really eaten a pie until you put your teeth into the ones I make.” Tim Punch was as good as his word. Before long, he was surrounded by mounds of meat and dough, and the ovens were glowing. The night’s takings were a record. “Now then, cully,” said Tim. “Have I got a permanent job? You and I could build this business up, what with my cooking and you being so popular.” “If I can’t find Badger Curtis I’ll be that popular I’ll be in Parramatta jail,” said Bill. “That’d be awkward,” admitted Tim. “But I’ll tell you what, Pieman. You might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. Get round to every bookmaker in the town and back yourself on credit. Then if you win, you’ll win enough to get you out of all your troubles.” “But what if I lose?” asked the Flying Pieman. “How can you lose?” demanded Tim. “That Yank won’t see the way you go. Anyhow, if you do lose, you can’t be worse off than you are now.”

Usually the Flying Pieman was brimful of confidence on the day of the race, but he was not feeling in a winning mood when he and Tim Punch reached Parramatta on the stagecoach. In those days Parramatta was a very small place, and the main building was the jail. Bill King shuddered when he looked at it, thinking that he might soon find himself on the other side of its gloomy walls. The race was timed to start at half-past two. A large crowd assembled to see the runners go off. Eventually Gregg and Todd arrived in a smart gig. Todd wore an elaborate dressing-gown over his running togs, while the Flying Pieman changed behind a handy tree and gave his ordinary clothes to Tim Punch to take back to Sydney. Gregg sat in the gig smoking a large cigar, while Mark Todd pranced about flexing his muscles. Suddenly the starter produced a pistol, looked up at the clock and shouted—“Ready, men? On your marks. No pacing your fellow in that gig, Mr Gregg. Either you get right ahead or well behind.” “Calm yourself,” retorted Gregg, puffing out a cloud of smoke. “My man won’t need any pacing.” Bill King’s legs felt like lead as he crouched for the start. He had never been like this at the beginning of a race. Even the boom of the jail clock and the report of the pistol scarcely roused him. With fifteen long miles ahead, both men took it steadily. Behind them came a crowd on horseback and in vehicles, urging them on, but they had scarcely pounded along for a mile before it was clear that Todd had the measure of his opponent and was gradually drawing away from him. He’s been stalling me, thought the Pieman bitterly. Todd never ran like this before. He was playing dead up till now, but he’s come to life again, and I’m beaten. “Go on, Pieman,” yelled the people who had assembled at various points by the roadside. “Don’t let the Yank get away from you. What’s wrong with you, Pieman?” Only one thing was wrong with the Pieman, and he knew it. He just wasn’t good enough. To ordinary eyes, Bill King was running very fast, but very fast was not fast enough. He had no hope of catching Todd, who was steadily drawing away all the time. “Hurry up, Pieman,” called Gregg derisively, as he hurtled past in his gig. “Now’s the time to do your flying. Make a race of it, man.” Soon most of the spectators lost all interest in the Pieman and went on ahead to follow Todd, who was running like a machine. On the downslope of one hill, the stagecoach went by at a gallop. Tim Punch, sitting alongside the driver looked a picture of gloom. Bill King could remember the day when he had steadily worn the horses down, but he hadn’t any heart today. I’ve been tricked, he thought bitterly. Tricked first by Badger Curtis, and now by Gregg and Todd. I’m finished. What’s the use of killing myself? He dropped to a jog trot just as Captain Clarke overtook him on his pony, cantering towards Sydney. “Don’t give up hope, my man,” cried the captain. “Hang it all, it’s a long way to town. That partnership of yours didn’t last long,” he added. “I had lunch with the captain of the Triton yesterday. He’s signed Curtis on as ship’s cook.” Bill King started as if Captain Clarke had struck him with his riding crop. “What?” he gasped. “Badger Curtis? The Triton? When does she sail?” “On the four o’clock tide,” replied the captain. “Why, didn’t you know?” The Flying Pieman did not answer. As if a stick of dynamite had exploded at his heels, he lengthened his stride, while Captain Clarke pulled his pony in and dropped behind. So Badger Curtis had been on board the Triton all the time! That explained everything. Four o’clock, thought the Pieman, and the race had started at half-past two. Fifteen miles in ninety minutes, and far too many of those precious minutes had been lost already. It was impossible. Even at the top of his form, the Pieman couldn’t do it. But all the same, he was going to. He forgot all about Mark Todd, and thought only of Badger Curtis. I’ll stop the crook if I kill myself, he thought. Now began the greatest race the Flying Pieman had ever run. His lungs seemed to have caught fire, so that it was sheer agony to breathe, while his pounding heart felt as if it would burst like a bomb. But soon youth, health, and clean living began to tell their tale. His second wind came, he filled his lungs again and felt as if his legs belonged to him once more. I’ll make it yet, he thought as he pounded along. The race finished at the Sydney Post Office in George Street, where a vast crowd assembled to cheer the winner in. Towards four o’clock, a party of men galloped up on horseback. “Todd’s coming,” they cried. “He was half a mile ahead just outside the town. The Pieman’s finished. He left his run too late. Up went a groan of dismay followed by a burst of cheering as another horseman charged up. “The Yank’s flagging,” he bawled. “Billy King’s creeping up on him.” “Here they come,” yelled a boy from the Post Office roof. “Todd wins.” Far up the street could be seen a running figure. It was Mark Todd, terribly distressed, but making a great finish, although he sometimes lurched in his stride. Behind him loomed the lanky figure of Bill King, his long legs moving like pistons, his sun-bronzed face screwed up into a grim mask. “Come on, Billy King,” roared the crowd. “Stick to it, you Flying Pieman!” The Pieman heard nothing until the Post Office clock boomed out the hour of four. He and Todd were now running abreast. Behind them came Captain Clarke on his pony and Gregg in his gig. Gregg was shouting, but Todd heard nothing. The American’s face was that of a man in agony. He fell sprawling on the road as the Flying Pieman passed him to breast the tape five yards ahead amid the loudest cheer Sydney had ever heard. Immediately two constables sprang out of the crowd to seize Bill King, but Captain Clarke rode his pony straight at them, his riding crop raised aloft. “Let that man alone, confound you,” he cried. “Stand back.” One look at the infuriated face of the officer was enough for the policemen, who leapt out of Clarke’s way. Meanwhile Bill King was running on down the slope of George Street towards where the masts and spars rose at the quay. Some of the crowd took off after him, shouting, “Catch him. He’s out of his mind.” But there was no catching the Flying Pieman on that last downhill stretch. He reached the wharf just as the Triton was moving away from her anchorage in Sydney Cove. Bill King took a flying leap into a waterman’s boat and gasped, “Put me aboard!” Seeing the boat shooting out from the quay, the skipper of the Triton came round into the breeze, and the ship stopped with flapping sails. As the boat ran alongside Bill King could see the face of Badger Curtis looking down, as white as the lock of hair which had given him his nickname. One of the crew threw down a rope ladder, and the Flying Pieman hauled himself up on deck. “What’s the trouble?” demanded the captain. “You’ll need a fresh cook!” gasped Bill King. “Come on, Badger, you swindling rogue! Back you go!” Badger started to argue, but the Flying Pieman was not in the mood for discussion. Stooping, he grabbed Curtis by the legs and heaved him over the rail of the boat into the harbour. Then the Pieman turned to the astounded captain. “Better get this man’s baggage into that boat, sir,” he said. “He’s carrying some money that belongs to other people.” Badger was still oozing water when they got him back to the wharf, where Tim Punch was waiting anxiously. “You won a great race, cully,” he said to Bill. “But why did you let Todd get so far ahead?” “I forgot all about Todd,” replied Bill. “Badger Curtis was the cove I was after.” “Then you certainly beat him, cully,” said Tim. “You ran sixteen miles in just on ninety-nine minutes. How did you do it, Pieman?” “I had the right kind of encouragement,” grinned the Flying Pieman. “I had jail behind me and Badger Curtis in front. We’d better get an early start on the pies, partner. We ought to sell plenty tonight!”

 

THE FLYING PIEMAN – 10 Episodes appeared in The Wizard issues 1897 – 1906 (1962)

© D. C. Thomson & Co Ltd 

Vic Whittle 2006