Oogie Finds Love, p.1Berkeley Livingston
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This etext was produced from Amazing Stories November 1948. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.
OOGIE FINDS LOVE
by Berkeley Livingston
It took a fierce battle with the prehistoric Cro-Magnons, and a modern wrestling match with the Russian Bear, before Oogie, the Caveman, finally won beautiful Sala for his woman
* * * * *
From the caves men appeared, dragging after them thewomen who had been clubbed into submission]
"Kill him...!" "Moider 'im...!" "Tear his arm off!" The cries andshrieks and boos and confusion were general throughout the auditorium,and the tenor of them was about the same, that the Russian Bear shouldbe annihilated. Alas for the public's pleas. Oogie the Caveman wasunderneath, and already the referee was on his knees, his head bentalmost to the canvas, his nose almost touching the muscled shoulder ofOogie who was underneath the Russian Bear. The two wrestlers werealmost in the center of the ring and the nearest of the spectators wassome eight feet off. The front row could see the lips of the refmoving but none could hear the words, nor even imagine. For what theref said, was:
"Boss wants to see you after the match...."
Oogie rolled a face toward the ref upon which was writ the torturesof the damned, and blinked his right eyelid. Then the ref slapped theRussian Bear on the shoulder and the match was over....
"... Hi boss," Algernon Allerdyce called in greeting. His nose sniffedappreciatively at the aroma of coffee.
"Hi Oogie," Sam Grogan replied without turning from what he was doing,lifting the cover of the percolator on the electric plate. "SquatOog," he directed. "This is just about done. Be with you...."
The fragrant aroma of Mocha, Java and Brazilian coffee beans, ground,mixed and blended until they had achieved a perfect harmony, perfumedthe air. Two cups, saucers and spoons lay on the desk. Beside them wasa bottle of brandy. Oogie and Sam shared the same vice, _coffee_.
Sam did the honors, and after both men sniffed with the deepestdelight of the brew, he leaned back in his chair and regarded themuscular man at his side with both affection and speculation. Afterall, Algernon Allerdyce, known to the wrestling public as Oogie theCaveman, had been Sam's own discovery, and he was proud of it.
A flashback of memory brought a clear picture to Sam's mind: A hugebulk of a man whose face could have served as a model for the drawingof _Pithecanthropus Erectus_, entering his offices at the oldHippodrome Building. The wonder he felt at the gentleness of thevoice, as the stranger asked:
"Sam Grogan?" And at Sam's nod, "I'm here in answer to the ad you hadplaced in the _Sun_...."
That had been the beginning of a strange and very profitablefriendship. For Grogan had advertised for wrestlers and Allerdyce hadbeen the first of those to answer. It was Sam who gave him the name ofOogie the Caveman. As such he had achieved fame around the wrestlingcircuits, fame and fortune. Sam had learned many facts in the life ofAllerdyce during the three years of their association. How whenAllerdyce was fifteen a truck had struck the bike he was riding andhurled the unfortunate boy into a tree which mashed his face to apulp. How the family had brought the injured youth to a famous plasticsurgeon who had performed surgery on him. The next day it was foundthe surgeon was insane, and had been insane when he performed theplastic work on the boy. The result was the ape-like face he had givenhim.
"... Oogie," Sam said from the depth of his introspection, "I've gotnews for you...."
Allerdyce took another appreciative sip of the brew before bending hisattention to the other. And then it was only with lifted brow andquestioning eyes.
"... The Big Deal we've been waiting for is on the fire," Sam said.
"At last, eh?" Allerdyce said.
"Yep! The big clean-up! A hundred grand guarantee plus a percentage.It will mean at least two hundred thousand for you...."
Allerdyce's lips twisted in a smile though to the casual observer,those lips seemed to snarl. "I can't say I won't be glad that thislong grind is over. Three years of this fakery is enough to try thesoul of a saint. But now that the goal is in sight I can only feel asort of fear that maybe...."
Grogan knew what the other meant. For on that afternoon, long, longgone, Allerdyce had told him why he had answered the ad. It was toachieve enough money to permit the building of a dream, a laboratoryof research in plastics. For Algernon Allerdyce had graduated _cumlaude_ from one of the finest technical schools in the country, hisheart set on research, but with his goal closed to him because of hisfearsome appearance. He had tried time and again to enter any of thephases of his calling but after the first interview there had neverbeen a second. Sam Grogan had shown him how enough money could be madeat wrestling to do what he wanted to. Allerdyce had not always beenOogie the Caveman. Once he had been billed as The Gentleman Grunter,but laughter had only greeted his appearance. As Oogie, he looked thepart and the fans had never failed him.
"So don't go soft now!" Grogan said sharply. "It's in the bag,kid...."
* * * * *
Allerdyce leaned back and the chair creaked loudly at the unexpectedmovement.
"What's the set-up, Sam?" he asked.
"The whole troupe goes; the Bear, the Irishman, the Masked Marvel andall the others. London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow.... Yep, Oog, alleighteen of us on the European circuit.... Hey! What's wrong?"
Grogan had observed the darkening thunderhead of a frown on thewrestler's forehead.
"Sam, this may sound a bit childish because the whole thing ischildish, but I don't like Ed Finster.... Now wait! I know we've beenpacking them in with our act, the Russian Bear and Oogie the Caveman.But Ed's been taking the deal a little more seriously than itwarrants. Like tonight. He threw a double hammer on me and _really_used pressure. Nor was tonight the first time.
"A week ago in Omaha he almost tore my ears off with a headlock...."
Sam Grogan beamed. Allerdyce didn't know it but Sam had been themotivating force behind the grudge which had developed between the twomen. Finster had complained one night that the public didn't like him,said that the name he had been given made them mad. Sam had mentionedthe name was Oogie's idea. Finster then took personal exception to itand made a personal issue out of it. So the grudge begun in jestdeveloped until it was noticeable to the rest of the troupe.
Grogan chuckled and in a few words made clear how the thing started.But the smile was wiped from his lips at Allerdyce's words:
"Too late now, Sam. I'd just as soon forget it but not Ed. He's gotthat excuse for a brain thinking the whole thing is real. I'd suggestyou get to work on him before it's too late altogether...."
"That bad, huh? Maybe I'd better straighten the yuk out...."
* * * * *
Flight 243 was well out over the Atlantic, thirty thousand feet below.The super-cruiser _Orion_ of the _TWP_ lines held a full complement ofpassengers among whom was the wrestling circus of Sam Grogan and hispartner Algernon Allerdyce, more affectionately known to thewrestling public as Oogie the Caveman.
The hour was for sleep and everyone but two were observing it. Thesetwo, Allerdyce and Finster, were in the lounge, playing gin. Finsterhad challenged Allerdyce to a couple of games to pass the time. Butthose two games had long been played. Finster played a wild and woollygame, never remembering discards, or trying knocks when they would beto his advantage, but always playing for gin. So it was that Allerdycehad won almost every game. And
"... I'll knock with two, Ed," Allerdyce said.
"Now why the hell didn't you give that ten!" Finster yelled. He heldup the discard and looked at it with savage eyes. "That would haveginned me...."
Allerdyce shrugged his shoulders and replied:
"That's what I figured. Well, Ed, let's call it quits, huh?"
"Sure! Call it quits when you got me stuck for dough. But that's theway you operate. Why you yellah...."
It was at that instant the horror descended on the _Orion_. There wasa screaming cacophonous whirlwind of sound, a shriek of metal parting,flames suddenly bursting into full bloom, and the thin
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