Bat Lash hated hospitals, he really did. It was nothing against the doctors or the nurses — especially the nurses — or the food. It was just boring. That was why he was tossing cards into a bedpan propped up on a chair.
It was then that he heard a knock the door.
“C’m in,” Bat said, somewhat morosely. Of course, the visits were nice. They were very nice, even though it was the same person.
“Hey, Bat. How are ya?” Helena Wayne said when she came in, carrying a box under her arm.
“Fine, for a guy who got shot three days ago. What’s that under your arm?” Bat replied. Helena set the box on a table, then sat down on a chair by the bed.
“It’s an old radio program that I’m borrowing from my nephew,” Helena said. “Thought you might like it. It’s called The Minstrel Maverick.”
“The Maverick? Granddaddy did work on that,” Bat said, almost reminiscing.
“Oh? That must be an interesting story,” Helena prompted.
“It is. Granddaddy, the first man named Bat Lash, left the Old West behind to live in Shanghai for twenty-eight years,” Bat explained. “After he had some adventure on an ‘isle of dragons’ and sword-fought some joker named Vandal Savage, he decided that, though he liked China and all, it was gettin’ too hot. So, he takes his ‘wife’ — I’m quarter-Chinese, don’t you know? — and they move to New York. During that time, he took a job doing a radio serial — The Minstrel Maverick, to be more precise, which was based on his daddy and my great-granddaddy, Harmony Hayes, with a lot of his own life blended in for good measure. Well, in the late ’40s, Granddaddy actually had a family in his very old age. Interesting what can happen living with someone for nearly ten years can do. Unfortunately, Granddaddy died before Daddy was three years old. Eventually, Ma comes around, meets Daddy, and then has me some time after that — Bartholomew Lash the Third. That’s the Cliff Notes version of my life story. Hope it was to your liking.”
Helena nodded, and she took this time to ask what had been on her mind since that night. “How did you know?” she asked.
Bat sighed. “You don’t play poker as long as I have and not pick up a few things,” he replied. “Your eyes — that was what I noticed. Even though you have those blank-out lenses, you held them the same way. That’s how.”
“Hmmm… I’ll have to remember that,” Helena replied.
“By the way, I like it here. Gotham is a nice city. I’ll need a place to crash.” Bat said, with just a hint of a smirk.
“I’ll… think about it,” Helena replied, her own smirk forming on her lips.