Tulse Luper – 18. Coins

tulse luper

Backgammon is a game where skill and luck have their own dispute.
The average player may have a run of good rolls of the dice in a game — but, lacking the knowledge of tactics and strategy, what can they do with this precious luck? The experienced player will always come out on top in the end.
But with two equal players, then it is back to luck, fortune, good or ill, which will have to divide them and find a winner from them.

A defenestration from a hotel balcony in Shanghai, 1929. Participants: a shaggyhaired man, perhaps indigent, and a spiv.
The disagreement could have concerned an opium transaction, a sexual partner, or male pride, but conclusively shown by the Police Dept. to have been the result of two contrasting intoxications.
A fall from a ladder, resulting in a chipped bone in the left ankle.
Man overboard! Not in a raging storm off the Senegal coast, but a slip from a ship taking on supplies at Djibouti.
Komarov the cosmonaut offered up curses to the controllers, the builders, the entire Soviet system, as he orbited in a craft he knew had no chance of making a safe landing. His only hope to depressurise and parachute at around 2000 feet. Silk parachutes run some risk of ignition.
They honoured him as a Hero of the Soviet Union.
Jan Masaryk’s was the third or fourth defenestration of Prague, when the suicide was found below his balcony at Foreign Ministry. Rumours of his murder were put about by the enemies of the State.
To drop a coin from the observation floor of the Empire State Building is said to be a lethal decision. Behold, it would make you a God compared to those ants below. Possibly, but more effective to drop King Kong on somebody from that height.
Jezebel, Bellerophon, Hephaestus, Lucifer, the trail goes on forever.

Luper never quite understood why two great armies had to meet each other. Couldn’t it all go on for a very long time?
It was explained to him that there usually was much marching, scouting, manoeuvring before any engagement, none of which was interesting enough for the history books to pay great attention to.
But, sooner or later, always, they did fight.
In Napoleonic times, much of the naval war strategy was concerned with preventing the enemy’s fleet reaching your unprotected coastline. A 100-gun first-rate ship of the line, Royal Sovereign or Principe de Asturias, could reduce a coastal town to rubble in just an hour’s bombardment — and from the shore there was very little means of preventing this.

These suitcases represent the world according to Tulse Luper

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Creative Commons Licence
Tulse Luper by Hannah Shilling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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