Despite his peculiar inability to tell a shadow from a noodle, he seemed more sinister than crazy. Yet this man was in reality a perfectly respectable merchant who just hapened to be doing business with a shadow. Through no fault of his own, this shadow was occupied by the true sinister character in the docs (ah, and you thought it ws just you and the sinister-looking merchant around!), a tall man who did happen to share his family name with a family of high-carb foods: Delmer Ravioli.
The shadow spoke: 'It is indeed. Do not speak directly to me or say my name. I wish to keep our dealings clandestine.'
'I can certainly understand that. I do too. The merchandise is in this barrel. Got my money?'
Ravioli quietly slipped a bag of coins into the merchant's hand. 'It's all there. Go quietly so as not to alert the guards. I can't escape very quickly quite dragging a barrel full of fish.'
The merchant nodded and slunk away, glad to be rid of the goods. Having a bag of coins wouldn't raise any questions with the police. Having a barrel full of trout just might.
Later that very night, Delmer and his associates were cooking up a storm, producing perfect imitation of the breads one might find in a local bakery, only with one key difference: they contained trout meat instead of the usual fish species. This was a fairly simple task, as Delmer was a skilled chef. The next part of his plan was going to be more tricky: he had to plant the fake breads in Biscotti's bakery without detection. Luckily, one of the workers in the bakery had a cousin who was on Delmer's bankroll. He was the perfect man for the job.
The third task was simple enough. He would leave an anonymous note with the local pastor accusing Biscotti's bakery of using trout in their breads. With luck, an immediate investigation would go under way, and the trout-laced breads would be discovered. Further evidence of trout-worshipping would be found in Biscotti's place of residence and he'd be done for.
Ravioli pulled a tray of freshly baked rolls from the oven and set them on the counter to cool. Everyone said revenge was best served well-cooled.
It all started around eleven in the morning. In came the local pastor with a bunch of guards, and he's all in a huff about something. He tells us the bakery is being shut down pending an investigation into illegal goings on. This worries me somewhat, 'cause I know there been some illegal goings on around here 'cause I been a part of some of them. But the boss is all calm like he always is, and he just asks the guys what's the problem. 'We have reason to believe you're peddling trout-laced breads,' he says. An' he grabs a loaf an' break it open.
Naturally, it's filled with grouper, but this don't satisfy him. The guards being searching through all our breads, and sure enough, they discover some of them have an unrecognised meat they think is trout. Only, none of them really knows what trout looks or smells like, and they sure aren't gonna try tasting it. So they take the suspicious breads and leave, telling the boss not to leave town.
Once they leave, we're all millin' about wondering what to do. The boss asks us if any of us knows how the trout got in the bread, and of course we all say no. But I notice most of the breads they took had been set out by Barb, so I mention to this to the boss all quiet like. He tells everyone to go home for the day, but has Barb stay for a bit. An' they go back into his office an' talk. The boss is clearly displeased with with the situation, and Barb looks none to happy her own self. Eventually, however, she tells the boss her cousin been 'round earlier helpin' her out. This is a bit unusual, as her cousin is usually lazy and rarely even leaves to house, as best she knows.
The boss, bein' a stand up kinda guy, can recognise loyalty, so he knows Barb is bein' truthful. She's a good employee, if a bit dumb at times. So he sends a couple'a his guys over to fetch Barb's cousin an' sends her on her way.
Eventually, they get back with Wartface in tow. 'I ain't talkin'!' he tells us.
'Okay,' says the boss.
This gets Warty all confused. 'No, really, I ain't tellin' you Ravioli's plan. He didn't pay me to go blabbin' it all over, 'specially to the guy he's tryin' to frame!'
'Of course not,' says the boss, still bein' all friendly like.
'You'll not learn from me that he planted zombie trout icons in your house so the police'll think you're starting a cult that worships false gods. And I aint' tellin' you how I switched the breads Barb was workin' on with the trout-filled ones Ravioli made earlier. You hear me? I ain't tellin' you /nothin'!/'
'That's a real shame,' says the boss, ''cause I was hopin' you'd tell me what Delmer was going to do next, but I guess you won't, will you?'
'Tell you that Ravioli is going to print up flyers encouraging trout worship and have them lead back to you by using your credit card at the printers? Not a chance!'
By now I'd be impressed with the boss's ability to get Wartface to talk, only I know it's just that Warty's really stupid. 'I guess I'll just keep you locked in the basement while I go out and foil his plans. Sorry, but that's the way it is if you don't cooperate, you know.'
'Do what you will. I ain't talkin'!'
The boss signals one of his guys to shove Warty in the basement and signals for me and the rest of the guys to join him for a little expedition to the local printers.
When we arrive, the lights are on and we can hear the press loud at work. Delmer and his gang is already busy. So we all enter silently without them noticing. 'Hey, there, Delmer, my old friend,' says the boss all friendly like. 'You're little game is starting to get annoying. I can't have you mucking about like this right now.' Delmer and his guys jump at the sound of the boss's voice.
'Oh, so you've found us,' says Delmer, tryin' to be cool but not quite pullin' it off. 'You took your time getting here. Well, go ahead. You can destroy these flyers, but your reputation will never recover once they search your house. Not that it matters. This whole building is set to explode.' Naturally, I assume he's bluffin', but the boss don't, so I start to worry.
'I don't suppose you have a plan to escape the blast yourself?' he asks Delmer, clearly hoping to co-opt the plan for ourselves.
'Nope. You see, I've gone mad with rage, and will gladly explode the both of us.' He looked at his watch. 'Ah, good. It's almost time. Seven, six, five, four...'