A Penny Saved is a Penny Spurned

by Amanda Rohrssen

Chapter Two: Disguises and Surprises

“But Unca Scrooge, you promised you’d come watch our baseball game later today!”

“Yeah, we’re playing our rivals, The Beagle Brats!”

“It’s the biggest match of the season!”

Three identical ducklings chased after their great uncle, who was making his way toward a lavish automobile. His butler, Duckworth, stood holding the back door open while Scrooge climbed inside.

“Now lads,” said Scrooge as he stuck his head out of the window, top hat and all. “I made a promise an’ I intend teh keep it. My meeting should put me back in Duckburg right on time for the first pitch of your baseball game.”

One of the triplets looked down at the ground dejectedly. “Can’t you reschedule the meeting for tomorrow?”

“Mrs. Howl is a stiff competitor, Dewey, an’ this is the first time she’s agreed teh meet with me in months. If I don’t go now, the window of opportunity could close forever. An’ I need her publishing company teh give me a strong foothold in St. Canard.”

“Aww, okay, Unca Scrooge…” Dewey replied in the same sullen tone.

“Just don’t be late!” Louie chimed in.

“I won’t,” Scrooge reassured them. “You boys be good for Mrs. Beakley, an’ I’ll see yeh all at the game later tonight.”

“Goodbye, Unca Scrooge!” the triplets called out with a wave as they watched Duckworth drive away.

As his mansion shrank into the background, the quadzillionaire slid down into the plush cushions of the limo’s back seat with a sigh. “Ah, they’re such good lads,” he observed to himself. “If everything goes as planned, this meeting will make me even richer. I can expand mah business enterprise inteh St. Canard with ease. I’ll make Mrs. Howl an offer she canno’ refuse…!”


“What d’yeh mean you refuse?!” Scrooge exclaimed incredulously.

He’d been in Mrs. Howl’s office for the better part of an hour negotiating when he’d finally laid out his best offer. Instead of snatching it up as he’d expected, Mrs. Howl seemed offended.

“Mr. McDuck, this is my entire empire we’re talking about here! I have publication sites all over the world, delivering to millions of readers! How could I possibly sell to someone who lowballs me like that?”

“Lowballs?!” Now Scrooge was offended. “Now see here, yeh greedy –“

“You can’t talk to me that way!” Mrs. Howl cried. “I want at least twice what you’re offering, or no deal!”

“Mrs. Howl, no publishing company has ever been purchased for that much cash! I may as well start mah own in St. Canard!”

“Ha! As if you could get it off the ground! My—“ The buzzer on Mrs. Howl’s desk went off, and the agitated woman pressed a button to answer. “Yes?”

“Delivery, Mrs. Howl. It’s flowers.”

“Why, how nice!” Mrs. Howl gushed, instantly seeming in better spirits. “Send them in!”

A young man entered behind a large vase of callow lilies.

“Here on the edge of the desk is fine,” Mrs. Howl said as she pointed. “Oh, they’re lovely!” She leaned down to smell them, then began looking them over eagerly. She frowned when she didn’t find what she was looking for. “But…who are they from?”

The delivery boy shrugged, “Uh, probably a ssssecret admirer.” He accepted her tip, then began to walk toward the door.

“How nice. Aren’t they beautiful, Mr. McDuck?”

“Aye,” he replied, trying to be patient. “But not as beautiful as a new business investment. Can we get back to the matter at hand?”

While the two went right back into haggling, the delivery boy picked up Scrooge’s top hat from the hat rack and smiled deviously.

“Mrs. Howl, you seem like a reasonable businesswoman. Why don’t we both give it a day to think it over, an’ we can meet back in Duckburg to discuss it again?” Scrooge suggested, trying to be amiable.

“I’ll make this very simple for you, McDuck,” Mrs. Howl replied tightly. “Either you double your offer, or we’re done talking. You can show yourself out.”

Scrooge was about to make a biting retort, but held his tongue. If nothing else, he had at least the rest of the evening to figure out a way to get this woman to break. Grumbling to himself, Scrooge stalked out of the office and grabbed his top hat on the way out.


“Might I suggest, sir, that the point of attending a baseball game is to actually watch the game in progress?”

Scrooge looked over at his butler, annoyance written across his face. “I don’t pay yeh for your ‘suggestions,’ Duckworth,” he declared. “Why don’t yeh make yourself useful an’ hold that umbrella steady? The sun glaring on these business documents is beginning ta affect mah eyes.”

“Very good, sir,” Duckworth replied flatly as he opened an umbrella to shade his employer.

Who’s got the spirit? Who’s got the luck? Who’s gonna stop’em? The Junior Woodchucks!” The nearest team in blue and red cheered, throwing up their mitts and balls and catching them in anticipation of the game.

Across from them, wearing red and green, the Beagle Brats sat with devious smiles, chanting, “Nice guys finish last!

The announcer came over the speakers to introduce players and hail the start of the game, but Scrooge was too busy poring over documents to notice. Next to him sat his top hat, which inconspicuously began to sidle away from him. Its rim bent like a caterpillar and inched through the bleachers until it fell through the steps. Right before it hit the ground, the hat shifted and popped, suddenly becoming a pale lizard woman with blue hair tied loosely back in a ponytail.

“Ugh, finally,” she muttered. “I thought I’d never get off of his sweaty head.” She peered through the space between the bleachers, thinking aloud to herself. “Now let’s see. Unlessss I want to sit here for nine innings, I need to figure out where McDuck’ssss money bin is.” From her sweater pocket she pulled a pair of binoculars, which she then used to scan the Duckburg skyline. It wasn’t until she looked past center field away from the downtown area that she saw it. A tall white building with a red dome atop which sat a dollar sign, which also doubled as Scrooge’s logo. “There it is!” she exclaimed earnestly. “Now all I have to do is get inside, and McDuck’s fortune will be mine!”

Once she’d made certain she was where no one could see her, she transformed into a cyclist duck and sped off in the direction she’d seen the money bin.


By the time she made it up the winding road to the bin, Camille was completely out of breath. “Once I’ve got Scrooge’s millions,” she wheezed, “I should look into a perssssonal trainer.” She tossed the bike to the side and trudged up toward the entrance. Just before she could try her luck with the combination keypad, the door opened and a jovial-looking duck dressed in a purple suit jacket and green vest sauntered through.

“Hiya, Mr. McDuck!” he greeted Camille, who had just barely managed to pop into Scrooge’s form before he’d seen her.

“Oh, uh, h-hello,” Camille responded, still recovering from being caught off guard.

Fenton raised an eyebrow at the fake Scrooge. “You workin’ late today?”

“Uh, yes! I am! A millionaire’s work is never done,” she said matter-of-factly, hoping the duck would buy it.

He looked back at her curiously. “You feelin’ all right, Mr. McDuck? You sound kinda sick.”

“Oh, it’s nothing, uh…jusssst a cold,” she reassured him, darting her eyes from side to side.

Fenton shrugged. “All right. Say, I just crunched the numbers on that Scaup account, ya wanna go over’em since we’re both here?”

“Maybe ssssome other time,” she said, trying to keep the nervousness out of her voice. Did this ridiculously-dressed duck see through her disguise?

“Okay. If you’re sure.”

“Yes,” Camille affirmed with a nod. “Quite sure.”

“Well then, catchya tomorrow at the meeting, Mr. McDuck!”

“Meeting? What meeting?” she asked curiously.

“The one you called me about a little while ago! You know, with Mrs. Howl.”

“Oh, er, right. That one.”

“Are you sure you’re feeling all right, Mr. McDuck?”

“Fine. Uh, see you tomorrow.”

She watched with narrowed eyes as the accountant strode away from the building with a jaunty air. That had been too close for comfort. Her Scottish accent wasn’t the greatest, but it would have to make do until she could take what she came for. Now the only thing standing between her and a quadzillion dollars was the bin’s security system.

What would Scrooge use as a passcode?

First she attempted M-C-D-U-C-K in numbers, only to have it bleep harshly at her and blink a few times before returning to normal. Her next two attempts proved just as fruitless.

“Ugh, I could waste hours trying to figure out this stupid thing!” she hissed angrily. She thought for a few seconds, then an idea popped into her head. In an instant, instead of the form of Scrooge, she was wearing the body of a huge, muscle-ridden thug. “Maybe it just needs a bit of TLC!” As she enunciated the last phrase, she swung her meaty fist onto the keypad, shattering its numbers and small screen and causing sparks to sputter out of its nook.

All of a sudden, a piercing alarm resounded throughout the property, and multiple cameras sprang up out of the grass as spotlights blasted the area with blinding brightness. Within seconds, a robotic duck with a giant propeller on his head landed on the scene, and struck an alert pose as he looked in every direction.

“All right, who is it this time? The Beagle Boys? Magica DeSpell? I --Gizmoduck! – shall put a stop to your evil deeds!”

The large tire at the base of his Gizmosuit transported him quickly over the path toward the entrance and smashed panel. He stopped when he spotted someone.

“Mr. McDuck?!”

Camille, now posing once again at Scrooge, took a couple of steps backward. She’d heard of Gizmoduck but had never seen him in person. She wondered if he was as intelligent as his suit would imply.

“It seems there was an attempt to break into the money bin! Did you see the crook?”

“Uh, er, yes!” Camille piped up. “He ran over that way.”

“What did the villain look like? Was he wearing a mask?”

Camille pondered the last question, then smiled cunningly to herself. There was only one person she could think of right then who wore a mask…

“Yes, a purple one,” she said in her best Scrooge impersonation. “He was alsssso wearing a cape.”

“A cape, you say?” Gizmoduck repeated thoughtfully. “Interesting. Fear not, Mr. McDuck! I – Gizmoduck! – shall have the criminal in custody in no time!” He began to roll away, but paused to add, “You know, you should go home and have some soup or something, it sounds like you might be losing your voice!”

“Oh, uh, yes. Good idea.”

Camille watched Gizmoduck roll away into the distance. “Hmm,” she thought aloud to herself. “It seems if I want to get into the bin, I’m going to need the right code. And to get that, I’ll need to make a pitstop at Sssscrooge’s mansion…”


“I can’t believe we lost!” Huey wailed as he and the rest of the family made their way up the driveway and into the house.

“Yeah, and we only needed one point to tie!” Louie agreed miserably.

“If only it hadn’t been up to Doofus to hit that last pitch,” Dewey observed. “We might’ve had a chance!”

“He should’ve used that creampuff trick that Duckworth taught him,” Louie continued. “It sure came in handy the last time we played the Beagle Brats!”

“I wonder why he didn’t,” Huey thought aloud.

Louie shrugged. “I dunno, maybe he was full?”

Dewey laughed. “Are you kidding? That’s impossible!”

The three of them broke into a fit of giggles, their first smiles since losing the big game.

“You boys shouldn’t be so concerned with winning,” Scrooge chimed in. “After all, you can’t win every game.”

“We don’t wanna win every game, Unca Scrooge,” Huey explained, still smiling. “We just wanna win against the Beagle Brats! They only win games ‘cause they cheat.”

“Well, do no’ worry, boys,” Scrooge said reassuringly. “All that cheatin’ll catch up with them in the end. Now, why don’t you boys go and wash up before supper? I hear Mrs. Beakley’s made m’ favorite haggis stew tonight!”

Three stomachs did a queasy somersault as the triplets groaned and made their way upstairs to their room. Scrooge moved into the makeshift office in the front of the house while Duckworth went to take care of something in another part of the house. Meanwhile, another figure crept into the mansion through the back door.

“Ah, there you are, Mr. McDuck,” Mrs. Beakley stated in her musical voice. “You simply must try some of this haggis stew I made for you. I know it’s your favorite.”

Camille felt her insides twist with nausea. “Uh, uh, no thank you,” she declined hurriedly, backing away from the spoon the nanny thrust toward her bill. “I-I’m not hungry!”

“Nonsense!” Mrs. Beakley insisted. “You’re just worried about hurting my feelings!” Without wasting another second, Mrs. Beakley shoved the spoon into Camille’s protesting bill. “There now,” she declared, “I can take any criticism you can dish out, so let’s have it.”

Camille’s feathers went a yellow-green color, and before she could even say another word, she had to run out of the room and find a bathroom lest she leave a puddle of regurgitated stew in the middle of the kitchen.

“He’s speechless!” Mrs. Beakley said gleefully. “I’ll bet he likes it so much, he’s gone to tell the boys!”

After retching a few times, Camille finally felt up to emerging from the bathroom. “Well,” she muttered to herself, “now at least I know to stay out of the kitchen.” She peered around the corner tentatively. “I mussst find out where McDuck is hiding that code!”

It wasn’t long before she came across more members of the household.

“Uncle Scrooge?” The voice was sickly-sweet, dripping with innocence and selflessness. It made Camille shutter. “Do you think I could maybe get a puppy the next time we drive by the shelter? Me an’ my Quackypatch doll have been practicing puppy-care on my other dollies!”

“Er, sure, kid,” Camille replied diffidently. She just wanted this pink-thing out of her path. “Whatever you want.”

Webby grinned from ear to ear and giggled in her high-pitched voice. “Oh, thank you, Uncle Scrooge!”

Camille inched around Webby, as if afraid her pure spirit was contagious, and continued down the hallway looking for a room that might contain what she was looking for. “How many rooms does one duck need?” she grumbled.

When she rounded yet another corner, she nearly ran headlong into Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

“There you are, Unca Scrooge!”

“We wanna talk to you about something.”


“Y-you do?” Camille questioned, wondering if she’d blown her cover.

“Do we hafta eat that haggis stuff?"

“It gives all of us indigestion!”

“Can we have hamburgers instead?”

“Pleeeeaaaaase?” they all begged in unison.

All of these children were beginning to get on Camille’s nerves. “Buy yourselves an entire franchise, I don’t care!” she cried, pushing past them. “Jusssst leave me alone!”

“Boy, what’s got Unca Scrooge in such a rotten mood?”

“I don’t know, Louie, but maybe it would be better if we stayed in our room until dinnertime.”

Louie gripped his stomach with a squeamish expression. “Ugh, don’t remind us about dinner…”