Dear Auntie Ora

First I tried to ignore it, but now I've found letters from him to the Cisco Kid. How can I tell if Tonto is cheating on me?

[High up on a bluff in Monument Valley: two figures on horseback. One is an Apache warrior. The other is instantly recognisable thanks to his snow-white mount, white hat and mask. In the distance, another rider approaches at speed, trailing a cloud of dust.]

Lone Ranger: Can you make out who it is, Tonto old chum?

Tonto: Paleface squaw in heap big hurry.

Lone Ranger: Could it be Annie Oakley?

Tonto: Is that same squaw you spent that weekend in Carson City with?

Lone Ranger: We don't talk about that.

Tonto: [aside] Nothing much to talk about, from what I heard.

[The rider draws near. It is none other than Pythia DiStefano, informationalist extraordinaire. She reins in her horse a few feet
from the fearless twosome, causing it to whinny loudly and rear up on its hind legs.]

Pythia: Got an answer for you from Auntie Ora, Masked Man.

Lone Ranger: Shouldn't we discuss this in private?

Pythia: Oh, I think Cochise here can be party to what we've got to say, don't you? Especially seeing it's much worse than you feared.

Tonto: What this all about, Kemosabe?

Pythia: Why not tell him yourself, Geronimo? Or how about singing it? Say, to the tune of "Colors of the Wind".

Tonto: Paleface squaw talk with loopy tongue. Been out in sun too long...

Pythia: So you want to do this the hard way, eh? Very well - say hello to an old friend!

[She pulls a cartoon racoon out of her saddlebag.]

Cartoon Racoon: He'p! He'p! Oh, my ever-lovin' stars! I is been ab-ducted!

Pythia: Oops! Sorry - wrong racoon.

[Throwing the first racoon away, she reaches into her saddlebag again and pulls out a second one.]

2nd Cartoon Racoon: The game's up, boss! I had to tell her everything! She was going to turn me into a hat!

Tonto: Bugger!

Lone Ranger: Look, what's going on?

Pythia: Chief Sitting Bull here hasn't just been two-timing you with the Cisco Kid. While your back was turned, he's also been moonlighting for Disney, canoodling with Mel Gibson as Pocahontas.

Lone Ranger: Tonto!

Tonto: Well, what do you expect? What sort of royalties you think the ethnically challenged sidekick from a crummy TV show that ended over 40 years ago gets? And when they want someone to open a new mall or address a gathering of the Elk Lodge of Wagon Mound, AZ, it ain't *me* they call on, matey! I gotta make a living any way I can these days!

Lone Ranger: Yes, but... but dressing up in women's clothes? That's just so utterly... so utterly... Actually, it's strangely alluring.

Tonto: Hey, I'm not proud of it, okay?

Pythia: While you ponder the ramifications of your bosom companion's muddled sexuality, Loney, here's my bill. Note the special charge covering medical treatment for sprained arms. That's the last time I go undercover as a hummingbird. Adios, hombres - using the term in its loosest sense.

[Pythia causes her mount to rear up again and, with a cry of "Hi-yo, Concorde, awayyy!" gallops off towards the horizon. The Lone Ranger and Tonto are left on their own.]

Lone Ranger: How come you never dressed up in women's clothes for me?

Tonto: Is this a good time to tell you that "Annie Oakley" was really Johnny Ringo?