Bottled Butterflies in Steelhead!

A few days ago I’d taken a trip out to Port Harbour (some deckhand had been at the ship’s rum and in an inebriated state taken a long run off a short gangplank that was unfortuately suspended over the non-watery side of the harbour. Sigh. I don’t know, you tell me, what do you do with a drunken sailor?) when I came across a new shop I hadn’t seen before.
Johnny's Steelhead Store

I was cycling back home past Dr Alter’s warehouse when I saw it. An elegant brick affair with high arched windows, the sign above the door proclaimed “JTL Designs. Arms, Armour & Sundry Supplies”. I was immediately intrigued and had to go in!
Beck Visits JTL Designs in Port Harbour_001

Johnny's Steelhead Store

Inside I found shelves stocked with, as advertised, all manner of weapons & armour that wouldn’t look out of place strapped to a Spanish Conquistador, but that wasn’t all. Row upon row of strange jars and books and artifacts…
Johnny's Steelhead Store

Johnny's Steelhead Store Johnny's Steelhead Store

Johnny's Steelhead Store

This place was a treasure trove, but surely JohnnyTreadLightly Nightfire couldn’t really be selling bottled butterflies, could he?



  1. Bottled butterflies, though an imperfect substitute, can be used in place of eye of newt when the latter is unavailable. Or so I’ve heard.

    I do love a shop with atmosphere!

  2. Mr Nightly’s shop, like his castle, has atmosphere in droves I can assure you – I must go back soon and see if there are any new items for sale.

  3. Dear Dr Beck

    With reference to the bottled butterflies, that you recently discovered being sold within the town of Steelhead. As one of the leading scientists in the field of virtual Lepidoptera study and preservation. I have come across this some what odd practice, of bottling petrified butterflies on several occasions. It is my understanding that the unfortunate creatures are treated in such a manner, so as to satisfy the absurd and ignorant belief, that those whom consume their remains may somehow trigger a sort of metamorphosis in to higher state of being. This is of course a complete fallacy and there is no scientific evidence to substantiate such fanciful claims and I will go as far as saying that the foolish misconceptions of those that partake in this practise should not be tolerated in these modern and enlightened times.
    I have however been experimenting with the larvae of certain moths and found the elixir secreted from their abdomen during full moon phases to be most beneficial to ones well being .it also can give you quite a buzz.

    Yours sincerely

    Miss N.Mip
    President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Steelhead Virtual Lepidoptera Research Institute.

    PS I understand the financial difficulties and pressures you are under caring as you do for the needy but for a minimal donation towards my work I can let you have a small quantity of this elixir for your medicinal practises.

  4. Dear Miss Mip,

    How lovely to hear from you, our mutual friend Mr Antfarm has mentioned you many times to me. In fact if I didn’t know better, I’d say the old chap was smitten! I had been thinking that living alone out in the mountains was affecting him as he has been waffling on about moths and you for some time. Maybe I’ve been too hard on him as it seems, from what you say, there may well be a hidden underworld of lepidopteran abuse in Steelhead, a secret network of citizens addicted to dried butterflies and milk from illegal and cruel moth farms secreted away from the gaze of the law-abiding residents. My money would be on the abandoned tunnels and mines of Boomtown.

    Speaking of money, please find enclosed a small donation to your work and I would be grateful if you would forward some of the moth milk to my surgery at No. 14 Shamian Alley, Shanghai, Stlhd. in order that I can study its properties.

  5. Have you ever heard of the cruel practice of keeping moths in captivity and forcing them to make silk? Hopefully none of this is true.

    1. Who knows what devilish activities takes place beneath the streets of our city, Nurse Tornado! We should alert Miss Mip to the possibility immediately!

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