Recap, Page Five: Madcap Machinations in the 11th Hour... the final stretch approaches.
The lead elements going over the NORTH bridge were now the Count, the Roly-Poly, Colonel Greenmantle, and Egg Chen. There is a much SMALLER pileup on the North Bridge, right next to where some anti-German protestors are hanging the Kaiser in effigy:
As you can see, it had nothing on the railroad bridge.
At this stage, victory was in the hand of anyone who had enough energy to claim it. Everyone pictured in the shot above was down to 2, 1 or no energy points left. It looks as if the Count is going to run away with it....
In the most bizarre occurrence to happen in the history of the Cirque, The Gator Bus emerges from the Wabash after taking a "strategic shortcut" by the fishing entrance to the Wabash (see the map). In a weird chain of circumstance, he actually HEADS IN THE WRONG DIRECTION away from the finish line, as his gators had by now smelled the irresistible smells of cattle on the hoof and were "following their nose". The count was greatly vexed when who should come galumphing down the street but the Gator Coach!!!
Alas, the jockeying for position to squeeze these two L class conveyances through the narrow streets of Wabash lost the Count critical time. Greenmantle needed to regain energy somehow, and Dowd had once again turned over, in front of the post office.
The Noontime Demonstration of the Prussian Retractable Bridge Demonstration (here for the Annual Fair of Progress) went off like clockwork. Some Racers, in particular the ones at the back of the pack, lost patience and attempted to jump the Wabash at full speed (i.e. the Galvanic Rat Wagon). The Pilot, Henry Ratman, learns a quick lesson in Newtonian physics as he attempts to launch a two ton conveyance over a wide space while only going about 5 miles an hour. SPLASH! Fortunately, a kindly local farmer hitches his enhanced cows to the rig and pulls her out of the drink.
Three Stage Fred, who had trailed the pack for a while, had been having a bad day. Every time he lit off a rocket he ended up getting knocked off his roller-skates. In a final attempt of hubris, he attempts to jump the Wabash using the Prussian Retractable Bridge as a ramp. For once, he's successful... TOO Successful. He overshoots the bank, splattering against the wall of the collegium, and is immediately descended upon by scalpel wielding mad doctors, looking for spare parts. Spectators agreed that this action was deserving of a polite golf clap.
NEXT: ON to the Stunning Denouement
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