Athos, Porthos, Aramis and Dartagnon at the James

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> Author’s note. Alas, the James John Cafe really has moved to a new location in the Akashic Records of our minds. It is still in plain sight for those fortunate ones who have dined and worked there. Corner!

I have not had an opportunity to speak of the James John Cafe in several weeks. The James John Cafe hides in the obscurity of plain sight. It’s a secret location, known only to a select few. That’s the way it has always been. I have located Historic Documents regarding this town and especially it’s finest Cafe.

The time is back a few years. It’s the Portland, Oregon, district of medieval France. King Louis XII de Deanie Martinie reigns. St John’s is the last northern bastion of sacred France on this side of the Columbia: The battles in the wars with England at the river’s edge are just miles away.

This day, The King’s Exulted Musketeers have stopped for a few hours for a secret mission at the James John Inn, owned and operated by James John the IV, direct descendent of the original James John, who was sainted for his excellence at being ordinary. We find them stepping down from the Uni-Met carriage Soixante-quinze on Rex Lombardia Highway.

James John IV: “Again we have the pleasure of serving the King’s Finest! Greetings.”

Athos: “We stop here. Gather all local knowledge about English fortifications. Innkeeper: Take care of our livery, and prepare lunch for us and our servants. We would sample your wares.”

JJ IV: “I will make it so. Sit where you will. Here, lackey! Take the horses and show our guest’s servants to the stables”

Porthos: “Innkeeper, I am off to inspect your kitchen, insure I have ample supply of werm tea so I may be not delayed in my supervision of your lackeys to insure proper care of the steeds.”

JJ IV: “At once, My kind Sir.”

Athos: “You! Maid! What news do you have of the Shanghai Tunnels said to honeycomb this area?”

Dartagnon breaks in abruptly: “What my urgent friend means is ‘How are the Pork Chops, Grits and Eggs today?’ and tell me all you know about the evil spiders of this area!’

Aramis: “My Dear Athos, Dartagnon, you intimidate this gentle lady. Please allow me to chat amiably with this maid, as I doubt she would know such trivial details. Dartagnon, I suspect you will gather much information from the many patrons. Sandy, the spotty faced slop handler yonder may have valuable information for our mission. However, I suggest you avoid Sandy’s breath.

Aramis: (turns to maid) Maid, did I tell you that you have the heritage of Spanish Nobility about your cheekbones? I’m good friends with Baron BubKiss, who produces La Belle Grande Opera in Paris and I’m sure I could get you an introduction.”

Maid: “Yeah, sure. Will that be with, or without toast?”

Athos: “Toast for all! Double portions. Make it so.”

Aramis: “Athos, my good man, you have chased her away.”

Athos: “I did not, she will be returning with the toast straight away. She would not likely have knowledge of tunnels.”

Aramis: “No, of course not, but she may reveal more important things.”

Athos: “Do you really think you can charm every wench in Portland?”

Aramis: “I am offended! I aspire to help these ladies on their journey to a sacred union with the holy.”

Athos: “Your Holy Roller approach seems to work quite well on the wenches.”

Porthos returns from the stables: “Quite so, quite so. I am inspired by the thoroughness of the stables and the scullery. Very efficient. Very well run.”

Athos: “We leave such mundane business matters in your capable hands, Porthos.”

… They chatted this way for the afternoon meal. As they gathered to leave, each settled up in their manner:

JJ IV: “Noble Musketeers: thank you for your patronage, I hope my staff satisfied your requests to your satisfaction?”

Athos: “Exactly so. Porthos: What say you all about the James John Inn?”

Porthos: “Amazingly efficient servants, well organized: I hardly had to lift my brow to get my glass refilled. The horses and servants had their needs handled quickly. Good man, I raise my sword in your honor.”

Dartagnon: “The excellent wine loosened the tongues of the patrons. I got incredibly valuable information about the Shanghai Tunnels! Sandy says that the tunnels are full of spiders, lots and lots of spiders, and you only need to follow the spiders to see where the tunnels are. I raise my sword in your honor.”

Aramis: “Spiders, Mon Dieu! Yes, delightful conversations, but the food! It is flavor poetry. Each mouthful must be savored for the flow and ebb of the many delights therein. I also raise my sword in your honor.”

Porthos: “Yes, poetry, the very word I was thinking of.”

Dartagnon: “yes, Substantial nourishment fit for a fighting Musketeer!”

Athos: “Say what you will. Service, organization, ambience, quality and above all, taste. We are all one. We all raise our swords in your honor!”

The Musketeers: “All for one, and one for all!”

Dartangnon: “I hope they can keep it up for a few hundred more years, it’s only 1505.”

Athos: "Yes, a Musketeer salute, we must leave a tip next time, though. Now lets leave quietly out the back."

The James John Cafe: endorsed by the four Musketeers for five centuries.

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