Fifteen

"Dither not, Monsieur le Brian," said Spot. "Only by moments eludes us the chance to rescue Mademoiselle and Monsieur les Parents."

"I'll get my parents back," said Brian, "when the police give you back to the circus dimwits."

"No," said Spot. "As King of the World, I take the challenge to retrieve Mademoiselle and Monsieur les Parents personally myself. Besides, the monsieur I win the broadcast quiz from? He says to return here for the King of the World crowning."

"Return where?" said Brian. "Our home? How would they know where we live? Do you even know how to tell anyone where we live?"

"I tell them nothing of the voodoo of the maps and the finding places," said Spot. "All they say is to return across the street to the home of Monsieur le Brian. Now, be good and give me the bath before we go. Let me push the tubful of water all over you and I may also be good and still remember you after I rescue your parents."

"Pardon me for the interruption, Your Majesty," said Sweaty Pete. "It looks like we got some company."

"I am Sir James," said the rider. "I seek to duel the new king."

"Why has everyone heard of a King of the World except me?" said Brian.

"The PBS News Hour only now reported the succession," said the knight. "If the King will not fight, then I will instead fight you as his champion."

"Stand aside, Monsieur le Brian," said Spot. "I need no help with the upstart. Engarde, monsieur."

"Ahem," said the peg legged stranger who interrupted them.

"Excuse me," said the knight. "The new king and I were about to duel. Can we help you with something?"

"Its Majesty Spot has yet to formally take the crown," said the stranger. "Until then, the dog you seek to duel is of uncertain pedigree."

"Blimey," said the knight.

"Who are you?" said Brian.

"I am radio's Hubert P. Mimbleshaw," said the stranger. "To retrieve the new king's rightful crown and release your parents, I must deliver us to Kansas City."

"Kansas City?" said Brian. "The harshest of New Jersey's Badlands? Wait, your legs. You have two peg legs?"

"It was the only way to pass as any kind of man at all," said Mimbleshaw, who then threw off his disguise.

"A chimpanzee," said Brian. "One that talks. And what's your story? King of Mars? Let me show you to our leader."