After they ate, Baker made some phone calls while the Winds sat down and went over the days strange twists.
Okay, so the managers trying to boot us out, and we have a customer flashin Arab money, Mike said. That sound about right?
About right? Sounds twisted to me! Micky sighed.
So what do we do? Davy asked, turning instinctively to Mike and Peter.
Keep Baker here so his backer can call, Peter said. It shouldnt be much longer.
Mike nodded. And to do that well have to keep the manager off-balance, just until Baker gets his money.
Micky snapped his fingers. The old moving door number trick!
And we can unplug the phone, Davy suggested. When Bakers not using it, that is. I wasnt able to get near the elevators, Mike. There were always people hangin about.
Yeah, hes calling his backer, anyway, instead of waiting for his backer to call, Micky nodded.
Peter smiled. And Ill keep reconning, trying to find out about the Arab money.
Sounds like a plan, Mike said.
Peter looked at Davy. Ill need your help.
Okay, Davy said, standing. He paused. For what?
Peter grinned. Youre the smallestyoure the one who needs to get in the ducts Ill need to access.
Davy groaned and rolled his eyes. As they left the room, Peter explained. Theres a vent right above the managers desk. Im thinking if you can watch while the rabbit man comes and transacts, you can look at the money better.
Davy nodded. Okay, but Id better get some serious hazard pay for this.
Peter chuckled. Well see what we can do. Together they went down to the first floor and Peter pointed at the duct he wanted Davy to slither into. Glancing around to make sure no one was coming, Davy pulled the grate loose and crawled in, muttering the whole time. It came out right where Peter said it would, and Davy saw the man with the rabbit cage walk up to the manager. Izza room ready yet? he asked, swaying slightly on his feet as his voice slurred.
Not yet, sir, the manager said apologetically. It will only be a little while longer.
Ill be in thbar, then, he said, flipping a thick gold coin to the man and putting several bills on the counter. The manager held them up to the light as the rabbit man walked away, inadvertently giving Davy a perfect view of themgolden paper, red-inked, with the royal seal of Nahudi and denominations in astronomical amounts.
Whoa, Davy whispered, clapping his hand over his mouth as his whisper echoed. The manager looked around, and Davy held his breath, willing his body not to spasm or sneeze. After a moment, the manager shook his head and opened the safe, putting the bills and coin in amongst others. He then pushed a button. When two goons appeared, he ordered, Go up and rout Baker. That room needs to be empty now.
Davy slowly wiggled backwards away from the grate. Once he was far enough away that the manager wouldnt hear him, he moved as quickly as he could, panting for breath by the time he reached Peter.
Peter whirled and helped him down from the vent. Well?
Peter, we have to hurry! Davy gasped, his side aching from where hed banged it coming around a corner. The managers sending men up to throw Mr. Baker out!
Peter breathed a curse. You up to it?
Yeah, Davy nodded. Cmon, we gotta go! Side by side, they ran up the stairs to Bakers floor. Look, everythings quiet! Davy said, running to the door. Maybe we beat the guys here!
Peter opened the door. Doubtful, he said, lunging forward.
Two men, big enough to be linemen in the NFL, were holding Mikes arms while a third pummelled him. Micky was wrestling with another two on the floor across the room. Baker was sprawled out on the couch, out cold. With a cry, Peter charged in and tackled the man punching Mike, rolling smoothly to his feet as they both went down.
Davy, ugh! Micky cried as an elbow hit him in the ribs. Davy pounced, driving his fists into the back of the man hitting Micky.
Peter grabbed a lamp and threw it with the same accuracy hed demonstrated with drumsticks and knivesbeaning an assailiant smoothly and missing Mikes ear by inches. Mike turned, delivering several blows that felled the other man. Thanks, Peter, he panted. Peter nodded, turning his attention to the kicks and blows that would parry the assault the third man was driving at him.
On the couch, unnoticed, Baker moaned and opened his eyes.
Micky rolled onto his feet. Glad you could join us, Davy! He dodged a punch. What were you guys doin, taking a tea break?
More like taking a spybreak! Davy retorted, before he drop-kicked the man fighting with him.
Micky grinned, snapping a kick at the last man remaining. The man ducked; Micky growled, reversing direction and drilling him right across the temple. I mean, how did you guys expect to beat us?
The man battling with Davy growled and brought out a gun. Jones, watch out! Baker cried, watching in shock as Davy whirled, grabbing the mans wrist and wrenching it around, then yanking the gun from his grasp and tossing it to Micky as he completed the rotation, his foot slamming into the mans jaw.
Mike! Peter called, tiring of the mans amateur kung fu attacks. He went to his back and slammed his feet into the mans waist at just the right angle, lifting him and whirling him toward Mike. Mike stood firm, snapping his fist out at the last moment and allowing the mans own momentum to drive him against it.
Four down! Peter called, gaining his feet and nodding behind Micky at the fifth man, who was climbing to his feet stealthily.
Micky gestured to Davy. Paddie cake paddie cake bakers man, Micky winked at Baker, who by then was sitting up watching them with wide eyes. Bake me a cake as fast as He and Davy turned in unison, each one delivering a punch that snapped the mans head first one way, then the other.
Tim-ber! Peter couldnt resist calling as the man folded.
Very nice, Micky, Mike said as Micky took a bow.
Baker climbed shakily to his feet, then sat right back down. . . . fellas? he gasped, stunned.
Its okay, Mr. Baker, Peter said, watching as Micky and Davy started hauling the bodies from the room. I think thats all of them.
What . . . happened here?
They were trying to force you out, Peter said. Davy overheard it from the air duct over the managers desk. Sorry we were late, Mike, he added, looking at the Texan.
Mike nodded once. Any further idea of who were up against?
Some, Davy said once he and Micky were back in the room. I got a good look at the money that rabbitt breeder was flashing. Some Middle Eastern country. Nahudi, I think.
Nahudi? Mike frowned. Thats down by Saudi Arabia, isnt it?
I dont know, Davy said. Are you okay, Mr. Baker?
Howd you just do what I just saw you do? You shouldnt be able to do what you just didthats only real in movies, isnt it? You just did something I shouldnt have seen you be able to just do but you just did it . . . His eyes huge, Baker rambled on.
Mr. Baker, Mike said, sitting next to him. Just calm down. Were not what we seem. Thats true. But were here thelp you nowwere not gonna let them throw you out.
Baker just stared at him. Why are you pretending to be musicians?
Were not pretending, Micky said stiffly. Weve always been musicians.
Baker looked up at him. Where are the Monkees? Whatve you done with them? They couldnt . . . Baker was sliding into shock before their eyes.
Mike took hold of Bakers hand and squeezed it. Mr. Baker, its us. We havent changed. Were just . . . enhanced, thats all. Were still the same guys you saw playin music. Trust me.
Baker blinked, looking down at Mikes hand. You did save me.
Yeah. We couldnt let our employer get hurt, now could we?
He gave a watery smile and glanced at the clock on the wall. I-I gotta call my backer.
Yeah. Call him. Well clean up in here.
Baker nodded, going into the other room, still moving shakily.
Poor guy, Peter sighed.
Wonder why hes taking it so hard, Micky said.
Because he just saw the Four Winds instead of the Monkees, Mike said with a sigh.
Yeah, it wasnt what he expected, Davy sighed too. Hes suddenly not seein us as those four kids he met out west.
Woulda happened sooner or later, Mike said practically. Probably would have seen our tattoos or something. A contemplative silence fell after that, broken by the door opening as Baker came out, his face pale.
What happened? Peter said, taking an instinctive step forward in case Baker fell.
He met Peters eyes, and they had to strain to hear his voice. My backer . . . backed down.
He what? Mike said.
Baker sank onto the couch again. He backed out. He said it suddenly wasnt . . . financially viable . . . to have a play about four rockers.
Micky and Davy exchanged bewildered looks. Why the sudden turnaround? the drummer asked.
He shook his head. I dont know. Who knows how these Arab types think.
Mike stood up. Do any of you think this is just a little funny?
Peter scowled. I think its hilarious, he growled.
The backer just happens to back down just after we kick the butts of some goons who work for the hotel managers whos trying to kick us out so a rabbitt breeder with a lot of Arab money can move in? Micky paused, trying to figure out what hed just said.
Baker gave a wobbly smile. Freaky coincidence, huh?
Yeah, Mike muttered.
Too freaky, Davy growled.
Peter moved to Mikes side. Too freaky to be just coincidence.