Sharechat Logo

Forum Archive Index - April 2003

Please note usage of the Forum is subject to the Terms & Conditions.

Messages by Date [ Next by Date Previous by Date ]
Messages by Thread [ Next by Thread Previous by Thread ]
Post to the Forum [ New message Reply to this message ]
Printable version

[sharechat] LTI - 'Out West' (7) "Hart transplant for Good-man"

From: "" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 23:29:21 +1200

In April 2003 Graeme Hart, driving force behind former listed company 'Rank 
Group', and now major shareholder and chairman of Australian spice maker 'Burns 
Philp', tightened the noose on his takeover target: Australasia's leading 
branded baked 
food company 'Goodman Fielder' (formerly 'Goodman Fielder Wattie').    Ninety 
of shares had been acquired, the threshold needed for compulsory acquisition of 
rest of the business.   Hart's final act would be to take control of the 
business on the 
ground.    To do this he would need to oust the well thought of but now 
embattled GMF 
chief executive, Tom Park.    


The doors of the saloon swung open, in an entrance that commanded the attention 
even the most introspective poker player.   There were three tables worth of 
faces of anonymous stubbly cheeks, half hidden by a protective fist of cards 
amongst a 
whispy haze of cigarette smoke.   A sudden silence,  and a dozen pairs of eyes 
focussed intently on that hat.  It was a wide brimmed white felt hat and it was 
to the floor with a pair of cream cowboy boots.   The top of the boots ran 
outside a pair 
of chocolate coloured suede mole-skin pants.   Those pants carried just enough 
to show that this was a man of action.  Tucked into the top of those pants was 
a blue 
collared shirt, perfectly tailored around a tight muscular torso.   Between the 
top of that 
shirt and the hat was a face: stoic, chiselled and tanned, yet with a hint of a 
grin.   The poker eyes had now dropped down to a lower level and were focussed 
on the 
new arrival's belt.   It rode on his waist slightly askew, pulled down by one 
of the biggest 
and shiniest silver six shooters you would ever see.   That gun could only 
belong to one 
man-  'The Hit Man'.   The countenance that radiated that warm yet slightly 
grin was indeed Graeme 'Hit-man' Hart, food magnate and the town's richest son.

The intrusion at the saloon wasn't exactly unexpected.   Word was out that 
Uncle Toby's 
Bar at the town up the road had been given a good chewing over by "the Hit-man".

Hart had come a long way since leaving home at age seventeen with only a 
and a will to party.    He had come into money hunting outlaws and picking up 
government bounty.    Leaving out the native indian,  Hart was the best tracker 
in the 
state.  He could follow a man's prints for miles.   And he had the uncanny 
knack of 
knowing just when to pounce on his victim to maximize his profit and minimize 
his risk.  
Hart used to describe himself as a 'government printer'.   That was the least 
way he could think of to talk about his career over a pint of beer!  But with 
plenty of state 
money in his back pocket it was soon time to move on to bigger game.

Hart hit upon the idea of selling his tracking stories as a book.   He 
appointed an agent 
in every little town in the state, and soon there wasn't a cowboy in the county 
without a 
copy.  But you could tell where the brains were in this operation.   Hart had 
the wit to 
bank the profits, while his agents barely made a bean.   History has branded 
Hart as 
"the Wit" and those hapless booksellers as "Witfools".

As that chapter in "the Hit Man's" life closed another opened.  Hart was after 
a little more 
spice in his business life.   He found it in a seedy character, a man by the 
name of Burns 
Philp.   Burns talked big and his game was 'double or nothing' poker.   But 
lucky and 
clever as 'hit-man Hart' was, there was a day when the cards just didn't go his 
way.   It 
was an afternoon, five years or so back when the townspeople had found 'the 
lying face up and badly hurt on the main street.   There were bullet holes in 
his body, 
and he was bleeding profusely.    A duel of wills had always been on the cards 
when the 
two high rollers Hart and Philp were working with each other.  Hart had been 
full of Burns Philp lead!    Fortunately the town doctor was an expert in 
dealing with 
burns.   In what must be some sort of miracle both body and the buddies were 
up.    'The hit-man' learned a big lesson from that near death experience.   
From here on 
in, he and Burns Philp would be inseparable: one team working together!

Hart's love affair with food had grown after he had opened a small corner milk 
bar.   It 
was built up 'from the ground' or as the Mexicans would say 'from terra'.  But 
while that 
made a good entree, Harts latest visit to his home-town was because he was in 
of a  tasty main course.

Back in the saloon,  Graeme hit-man Hart was about to hear a familiar voice.

"Pretty fancy garb for a grocer hit-man!"  

The hit-man turned to his left.   There behind one of the more bristly chins 
atop the 
poker chairs was  the familiar visage of David "Haggis" Hearn.  They called 
Hearn "the 
Haggis" because there wasn't a sight vile enough in all the old west,  to turn 
his stomach 
inside out.   

Hearn was the rough, tough previous manager of the biggest food store in the 
town, or 
indeed the state.   That same store that was now the object of Hart's quest.  
Hearn came 
to prominence after he rolled Mike "the Nugget" Nugent as head of the store.    
A result 
of "The Nugget's" grand plan to sell gold(en margarine) in Asia and Europe 
horribly wrong.

Haggis Hearn came from a background in biscuits.   He was the sort of man who 
call a spade a scone.   When Hearn first arrived to manage the biggest baked 
emporium in the town his first words were:

"What's that 'Great Fxxking Warehouse'".  The name, albeit contracted to the 
less colourful  'GFW' stuck. 

After his seasons in the sun,  Hearn had retired from the business  to enjoy 
the spoils of 
his years of labour at the now renamed GMF ( Grand Miller's Food-emporium ).    
the 'Champion' 'Flame' had withered.   Hearn was on the way down from the 
'Crest' of 
his career.   Had Hearn chickened out?   Perhaps that is too harsh a judgement. 
Haggis knew that his multi-terraced voluminous lower torso had seen too many 
beach summers for him to be regarded as a credible threat to the trimmed tanned 

Hit-man Hart, acknowledged the "Haggis" with a nod and a chuckle.  But as the 
continued to scan the saloon, right hand poised menacingly above the handle of 
gun, his cheesey grin became a cold stare.  

"Where is Pistol Park?", boomed the hit-man.  He was Earnest,  A dam's suddenly 
breached earth-bank being an apt metaphor for this sudden release of pent up 

No-one said a word.   But a dozen pairs of eyes stared out over the saloon 
doors to the 
GMF building across the street.

Out the back of the GMF store, there was a corrugated iron equipment barn.  
Hold up in 
the barn, full of blacksmith's equipment, wheat threshing machinery and cattle 
gear was the current manager of GMF,  Tom 'Pistol ' Park.     No mean 
himself,  Park had heard about the overthrow of his backers back east.   The 
whole town 
knew  that soon, very soon, the hit man would come looking for Park.  But the 
GMF store 
was Park's baby.   Pistol Park was not the sort of man to be run out of town.   
Park cut a deal with the hit-man?   Or would any deal only be cut by 
parking Tom's pistol in a pool of his own blood?   Park knew that many of his 
staff had resigned and got out of town, jobs thrown away in anticipation of a 
blood bath.  Still, Tom Park wasn't called 'Pistol Park' for nothing.   And 
Hit-Man Hart 
had been on the wrong end of lead before.

It was the crackle of gravel on the alley along the side of the equipment barn 
that first 
alerted Tom 'Pistol' Park to the fact that 'he' was coming.   There was no 
light footed 
spring in those steps, and no accompanying social chatter of shop staff either. 
  Just the  
footsteps, slow deliberate and heavy.  And the footsteps were coming closer!   
Park took 
up his position behind a couple of cast iron milk churns, and drew his weapon.  
was a solid thump followed by the cracking then crumbling of  the barn door's 
latch.   A  heavy cream cowboy boot had kicked and shattered the door open.    
Park's lips tightened.  He could hear something.  There were more footsteps, 
then the 
shallow whispering, of many hushed voices.    

"Get back to the saloon", boomed the voice of the Hit-man.  "This is going to 
get ugly."  
More muffled voices, but this time in retreat.

Silence again, but now standing between the shattered hinges and door catch in 
space of the mangled doorway was the silhouette of a single man.    Park 
couldn't see 
his face  but the cream boots and  the crowning cowboy hat left him little 
doubt as to 
who was the face under the brim .   The hat was white, a white that was now 
reflected in 
the colour of the eyes of Tom  'Pistol' Park!    Park aimed his revolver and 
fired in the 
direction of that imposing silhouette.   The bullet missed, sailing right over 
the head of 
his opponent.   Now Tom Pistol Park saw the flash of the silver gun in the 
hands of the 
hit-man.  Blam, crash , clatter as a bullet first struck and then ricocheted 
off the milk 
churns, behind which Park was crouched.  Then there were more bullets, four , 

Bullets were seemingly being fired randomly to his left, to his right and above 
him.   This 
cacophony of sound, a short symphony under the silver revolver's baton,  
again and again across tin walls.    A  former quiet shed had been transformed 
into a 
sonorous resonant hell .    Then Park let out a screaming piercing wail and 
slumped to 
the ground.

What seemed like an eternity, but in fact must have been no more than twenty 
passed.   Park opened his eyes and there Leaning, Towering above him was the 
athletic figure of the Hit-man!   

The Hit-man extended his arm, pointing the barrel of his pistol right at the 
centre of the 
forehead of Park, laughed, but then quite suddenly tossed his weapon onto the 
floor .    
Now he extended his hand to Park.

"Get up my old mate, well played and a good show!"

The two men embraced, patting each other heavily on their respective backs as 
chuckled together quietly.   It was clear that the plan had worked and the 
were oblivious to the deceit being weaved by the two protagonists.  The whole 
plot had 
been woven weeks previously like twisted spaghetti  encircling then baffling 
the ignorant 
meat-ball town dwellers. 

"Have you got the bread?"  proffered Park.   " I let most of the Quality Bakers 
go just as 
you wanted."

"It's all here, a cool 2.5 million in Diamond", said the hit-man.   
"I'm sorry that you have to leave town and never show your face here again, but 
I think 
you will find this adequate compensation!" added Hart.

Pistol Park closely inspected his booty, while  Hit-man Hart stepped back and 
his pocket-watch from his waist-coat. 
"Six hours before darkness Tom, before I can sneak you out of town."
grumbled the hit-man.
"Make for the Noosa Heights area."  "The rancher will be expecting you."  
"That's how 
I've arranged things."

"And don't worry, I'll see you get a fitting 'funeral' here tomorrow." added 
the Hit-man.   
He winked at his management mate, even as he scanned the shed for sufficient 
and heavy objects, so that those carrying the coffin would have no idea that 
they weren't 
carrying the body of a man.  

Both men chuckled together, then there was a pause while both men took stock of 

"I hear you have plans when you get to the coast?", said Hit-man Hart in a 

"Indeed I do, and I have built a prototype",  confirmed Park as he gestured to 
comrade in corporatism  to come down the back of the equipment shed, where he 
had a 
small work bench.

Wide eyed Hart stared at the piece of machinery on the bench.   There was a 
bread roll, 
fresh from the GMF bakers oven, on a support.   Above the support were six 
razor sharp 
kitchen knives mounted together yet spaced in parallel  so they could slide as 
backwards and forwards .  There were twelve tiny pulleys,  and a piston and 
crank arm, 
that would turn a round and round motion into an in line movement.  Lastly 
there was an 
associated set of reduction gears and in the middle of the outermost of those a 

Park started winding the crank handle.   After no more than eight to ten turns 
the bread 
roll was sliced into seven equally sized perfectly formed pieces!

"Of course, the whole point is to do this same operation on fully sized loaves 
of bread, in 
bulk.", said Park.

"But this little working model proves my point, a world first in baking 
beamed the now exuberant ex-store manager.

"I even have a mate back in the first world."  
"A  well connected fellow by the name of the Earl of Sandwich who is willing to 
back the 
project." triumphantly added Park.

Not often lost for words,  Graeme 'the Hit-man' Hart could only gasp as he 
watched his 
friend's demonstration.

"My old mate, that's the greatest idea I've seen since er, since er...."


Message sent by Snoopy 
on Pegasus Mail version 4.02
"Dogs have big tongues, so you can bet they don't 
bite them by accident"

To remove yourself from this list, please use the form at

Messages by Date [ Next by Date: Re: [sharechat] IRAQ - Ans. to Robin Allan Potts
Previous by Date: [sharechat] posting problems mvanv ]
Messages by Thread [ Next by Thread: [sharechat] posting problems mvanv
Previous by Thread: [sharechat] gooner ]
Post to the Forum [ New message Reply to this message ]