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Stories by Laura Lagana
Hamish McWallace and the Leprechaun Treasure - Chapter 11

“I’m bored,” said Captain Malcolm.

“Me too,” cried Finnegan, crossing one leg over the other before settling onto the couch.

“Well, we’re not going anywhere until my ears return to normal,” said Hamish as he glared at Finnegan.

“I decided that you look rather dashing with your new ears. Besides, I don’t feel like you’re sorry for what you said to me last night,” said the leprechaun.

“I’m sorry!” Hamish’s face turned beet red.

“See?” Finnegan waved at Grams. “He’s not sorry at all.”

“Hamish, you really should apologize.” She coughed several times and held a handkerchief to her mouth. Once the coughing fit ended, Grams wadded up the cloth to hide the tiny spray of blood on the white material.

Hamish never noticed. “But how was I supposed to know he was a real leprechaun? I’ve never seen one before and everyone assumes they don’t really exist.”

“But I told you he existed. I wouldn’t lie to you,” said Grams.

He sighed. “You’re right Grams.” He turned to Finnegan and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you.”

Finnegan nodded. “Apology accepted.”

Hamish fiddled with his pants and met Finnegan’s gaze from beneath dark eyelashes. “So…can I have my normal ears back?”

Finnegan twirled on the tips of his black leprechaun shoes, scattering gold dust throughout the room. “Consider it done.”

Hamish sneezed before grabbing his ears. “Great! I’m me again!” He leapt to his feet and ran toward the mirror that hung in the hallway. “Oh, thank goodness. For a minute there, I was worried it might be permanent.”

Finnegan shouted from the living room. “Are you doubting me again?”

“No, I’m just paranoid,” said Hamish.

“Okay,” said Finnegan. “Can we do something now?”

Grams reached for her purse. “Let’s go for a spot of tea and maybe have some lunch near the ocean. I dearly miss the sea.”

“I like the sound of that,” said Captain Malcolm. “Let me get Snack from his cage.”

“Hurry up will you? I’ve been cooped up on a ship for awhile and now I’m stuck in this cottage. I need to breathe some fresh air,” said Finnegan.

Hamish slid into the passenger seat after holding the door open for Grams. He gave her directions to the harbor. Grams drove around the area, cutting off cars until a parking spot became available next to the tea shop.

“This will be lovely. I can replace my tea,” said Grams.

“How ‘bout we eat at the Scottish restaurant again?” Captain Malcolm slammed the car door shut behind him before walking into the shop.

“McDonald’s?” Hamish arched his brow when Grams handed him her purse as she rummaged through the tea bins.

“Aye.” Captain Malcolm turned to Finnegan. “They have the best food in the land. Even better than haggis.”

Grams eyed the tin of English tea, mumbling while she read its contents. “Why don’t we eat at a café near the water? We can eat at McDonald’s for dinner.”

Captain Malcolm grumbled. “Okay, but we better go somewhere with decent food.”

Grams led the way down the street and into various shops. Whenever she saw something that caught her interest, she made the others wait while she popped into the store for a closer look. The afternoon grew late and the sun hovered on the horizon.

“Can you wait for several minutes?” Captain Malcolm said as he ducked into a nearby pub on the waterfront.

“Wonder what he’s doing?” Grams sniffed the potted flowers in front of an antique doll shop while waiting for Captain Malcolm to return.

“Probably getting a drink,” said Finnegan. “He’s been sober for several days now, so you know it must be killing him.”

Grams snorted. “It was his drunkenness that got him into trouble with you in the first place. He needs to learn from his mistakes.”

Just then, a group of tourists approached, exclaiming over Finnegan’s attire. “What a cute outfit,” said a lady who wore a flower print sweater and a floppy hat. “Will you be in the parade?”

Finnegan tapped his foot on the sidewalk. “Aye, I will.”

Grams found a nearby bench, sat on the hard surface and riffled through her purse for a ball of yarn and knitting needles. She paused to stare at the pub entrance, shook her shoulders to loosen the tight muscles, and began knitting while waiting for Captain Malcolm to return.

Finnegan posed for several pictures with the tourists before joining Grams on the bench. “I love this country called America. I don’t have to hide because everyone thinks I’m in costume for Saint Patrick’s Day.”

She continued knitting and said, “They’re a friendly sort, they are. It’s good to see that the Irish and Scots who immigrated here so long ago, haven’t forgotten their heritage.” She leaned over to whisper out of earshot of Hamish. “I was quite worried that everything would be so rushed and neon colored, but it’s quite lovely and relaxing here. Oh, but I do miss the cool breezes coming off my Scottish ocean.”

Finnegan tugged on the edge of his collar. “It is a bit warm here. I feel like I’ve sweated a pint of whiskey from my body.”

A wail of sirens sounded in the distance, growing ever closer. Seconds later, several police cars and one police paddy wagon came to a stop in front of the pub.

“Oh dear.” Grams shoved her knitting into her purse. “What has Captain Malcolm done this time?”


Captain Malcolm entered the darkened interior of the pub. The smell of old pine tables, furniture polish and spilled Irish whiskey filled the air. He sighed and strolled over to the counter. “I’d like a pint of your finest Scottish whiskey and make it snappy.” He turned to face the shadowed inhabitants of the room and said, “I’m the captain of a ship and I’ll be needing a crew. Any takers?”

A voice called from the back of the room, “What’s the name of this captain who’ll be needing a crew?”

Captain Malcolm narrowed his gaze on the small shadow, but the sunlight coming from the window blinded him. “I’m Captain Malcolm, the greatest Scottish pirate to ever sail the seven seas.”

The voice sneered. “Captain Malcolm. Now isn’t this a twist of irony.”

Captain Malcolm wrinkled his brows. “Have we crossed paths before?”

King Rogan stepped into the light that filtered through one of the window blinds. “You could say that we have a common interest, and it involves a treasure that you have and that I want.”

The bartender poured a shot of whiskey into the glass and handed it to the pirate. Captain Malcolm reached for the bottle and cringed as he smash the glass against the counter top. “Tis a waste of good spirits.” He held the broken bottle before him as a weapon. “King Rogan I presume.”

The king hopped onto one of the tabletops and waved the other leprechauns toward Captain Malcolm. “You presume correctly.”

Before the other leprechauns could jump the pirate, the bartender grabbed the phone and dialed the police. The man lowered his voice and said, “I’ll not be having any trouble in my bar. If you have issue with each other, take it outside.”

Captain Malcolm nodded at the man and backed away from the oncoming leprechauns, bit it was too late. The leprechauns jumped the pirate, pulling and tugging on Captain Malcolm’s hair and clothes. The Captain grabbed one of the chairs and swung it at the leprechauns, knocking several to the floor. The furniture crashed against the wall. The bartender shouted, drowning out the wail of the police sirens.

Six police officers rushed into the building while Grams, Finnegan, and Hamish crossed the street for a closer look.

Grams peeked through the doorway, clutching her purse tightly to her chest. “Oh dear,” she repeated with each crashing sound that came from within the pub. She turned to Hamish. “It seems that Captain Malcolm has had a bit of a run-in with the local constable.”

“Here in America we call them police,” said Hamish as Marvin flew squawking from the pub; landing on Hamish’s outstretched hand. “Did that bad pirate upset you?” He stroked the back of the parrot’s neck. “Maybe you should keep better company.”

“Move it before I do something you’ll regret,” said a police officer as he shoved Captain Malcolm, who now wore a pair of handcuffs, toward the back seat of the police car.

“But those heathens started the fight!”

“Yeah, yeah, I heard you the first time when you said you were trying to find a crew when the leprechauns jumped you.” Behind Captain Malcolm’s back the police officer met the gaze of another officer, tipping his hand to his mouth, pretending to be drunk. A moment later, the officer leaned Captain Malcolm over the trunk of the car and patted him down to search for hidden weapons. “Where’s your pirate ship?” The officer chuckled.

“I mean to commandeer one from the harbor,” said Captain Malcolm.

“You mean “steal” it?”

“If you want to put so negative a twist on it, of course it sounds bad,” said the pirate.

The police office sputtered with indignation. “I should charge you with criminal intent.” As he assisted Captain Malcolm into the back seat of the police car, the officer said, “I don’t know about Ireland, but here in America we frown on stealing.”

Captain Malcolm shouted before the officer closed the door, “I’m Scottish, not Irish.”

Several more police officers came out of the pub, escorting the leprechauns to the paddy wagon.

“I know,” said an officer to Gobban, “the pirate started the fight, but he says you guys started it, and since all of you tore up the pub, we’re taking all of you to jail.”

Gobban gasped as he stumbled. “Jail?”

“What’s wrong with jail?” Hamish turned to ask of Grams. “The Captain and the daft leprechauns could use a night or two in jail.”

Finnegan ducked behind Hamish’s leg, whispering as he tried to stay out of sight. “You don’t get it. If the leprechauns are stuck in jail with Captain Malcolm, they’ll try to find out where my treasure is and that can’t happen.”

“Aren’t you being a bit paranoid? Captain Malcolm is selfish and who cares if they take your treasure. You’re a leprechaun and you can steal more.”

Finnegan clenched his jaw. “My treasure has grown over the years and since I’ve never been able to spend any of it, it’s quite huge. By all rights, I’m probably the richest leprechaun in the whole world. Now I ask you, do you want that sort of guilt hanging over your head?”

“Captain Malcolm said he didn’t steal your treasure,” said Hamish.

“Do you really believe anything he says?” Finnegan arched his brows.

“I see your point. Give me a minute will you? Oh, and hide behind Grams.” Hamish strolled over to one of the police officers and spoke to him for several minutes before returning to Grams side. “We can go by later this evening and bail the Captain out of jail. The officer said he should be ready to leave in a couple of hours.”

“A couple of hours? What should we do till then?” Grams clutched her bag, tighter to her chest.

“Let him rot,” said Hamish.

“Well that’s not very nice of you,” said Grams.

“I agree with Hamish,” said Finnegan, hiding his smirk.

An unexpected giggle escaped from Grams lips. “He really is a bad pirate. Maybe he should spend several hours in there being annoyed by King Rogan. That’ll convince him to tell you where your treasure is.” She nudged Finnegan.

Hamish glanced at his watch, and then at the retreating police cars. “Well, since we have some time to kill, I say we go to this McDonald’s for dinner. There should be one near the police station.”

Grams rifled through her purse for the car keys. “Did you happen to get the address for the police station?”

Hamish nodded. “Aye and it’s not too far from here either.”

“Then let’s be off. Mind if I do a little knitting in the restaurant? I’m making Arran sweaters.”

“As long as you make one for me,” said Hamish.

“What about me,” said Finnegan. “It’s still winter in Scotland.”

“Did you doubt it?” Grams patted Hamish and Finnegan’s shoulders.

Hamish grinned. After an hour of shopping, Hamish slid onto the car seat while Grams started the engine. Cooled air blew from the vents.

“It’s a bit warm in this country,” said Grams. “I do believe I miss the cool air of Scotland.”

“Me too,” said Finnegan from the back seat.

“Dad say’s it’s much colder in the northern parts of this country. In the south, where we live, it’s known for its heat, humidity and bugs.” Warming to his story, he turned toward Grams and held out his finger and thumb, two inches apart. “These flying roaches called Palmetto bugs are this big.”           

Finnegan tilted his head. “Palmetto bugs?”

Hamish shuddered. “They’re the creepiest bug you’ll ever see. They’re as big as your thumb…and they fly. Many a night I’ve heard the buzzing of their large wings outside my window.” Hamish lowered his voice. “Sometimes they hit the glass and I think someone is outside trying to break in.”

Grams steered the car into traffic while she said, “I do believe I’ll not extend my visit then.” The rest of the car ride was completed in silence.

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