One Year Among the Savages

On the departure of my expedition into Terra Incognita I had announced my intent to return in one year to the day. As the loyal readers of my dispatches have since learned, the Expedition has met with misfortunes both frequent and outlandish, leaving our noble company delayed in the untamed reaches of northern Hindoo-stan. With all respect to M. Verne, eighty days is far too short a time to circumnavigate this wide world’s great scope.

My readership, waiting breathless in an agony of anticipation for my every dispatch, will, I know, have noted the interruption in correspondence of late, and will have become convinced of some Dire Calamity. I can blame only the difficulty of attaining reliable messengers to the outside world (and a sudden attack of Dengue Fever, from which I am still recovering). And yet, Dear Readers, I will persevere against the most arduous and abstruse obstacles, until, sweating from strange diseases, bitten by nameless insects, burnt gaunt and brown by desert sun and mountain wind, I reach Civilization once again.

I sit now, gazing into our camp-fire with a snifter of the last of the brandy in my hand (rather wanting in quality, one fears) and wearing my second-best waistcoat (the best having been lost in the infamous Mongoose Incident). Our elephants are restive, having scented the striped man-eating Tiger on the evening breeze, and a certain Fallen Woman of my acquaintance sits opposite, devising fiendish plots of her own, I have no doubt.

(I pause here for an interruption from an indigenous scoundrel. The fellow had the impertinence to address me directly by my surname. I insisted upon my honorific and, he refusing impudently, the matter very nearly came to fisticuffs. Our faithful native guide has intervened, to the distinct good fortune of his wretched compatriot).

I have seen many spectacles both wondrous and terrible since departing the safe shores of home. I remember the grand capitals of Europe’s west and the haunted forests of its eastern reaches. I remember dawn in the sun-scorched Sahara desert and in the souks of Marrakesh. I remember the vast herds of the Serengeti and the malarial swamps of the Dark Continent. I remember children of every tribe and nation. I remember clinging for my life to a cliff-face in the Alps and fleeing enraged priests of the death-goddess Kali in the depths of the Sub-Continent. I remember the subterranean magnificence of caves in many countries and the barren beauty of the Namib. I remember riding all manner of beasts both familiar and peculiar. And I remember friends everywhere, those left behind at home and in new cities, towns and villages, and those fellow travellers with whom we have now parted ways.

In the days to come, my Companion and I will forsake the plains of the Ganges and begin our journey into the Himalayas, across the mountain kingdom of Nepal and unto the borders of the great Tibetan plateau, and thence even to far Siam. Adventure awaits, our safety is by no means sure, and, Dear Readers, your prayers and good wishes would be most welcome. Rest assured, however, that my dispatches will continue as and when I discover the means.

I should like to extend both acknowledgement and thanks to my illustrious colleagues of the Royal Geographic Society, to my kind patron Lord Dufferin-Lansdowne, and to her Imperial Majesty Queen Victoria - long may she reign.

I remain, learned sirs and madams,


Christopher Liberty, Gentleman Adventurer


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3 Comments on this Dispatch:

May 8th, 2009

All hail! What prose, what beauty! Wish you luck on all your further adventures, Gentleman! :-)

¬ Ganesh
May 11th, 2009

Well done the League would be proud.

¬ John - Sometimes known as Dad
May 11th, 2009

Holy Hannah Batman, the heat has finally got The Wonderer

¬ Rupinder
Chris Liberty - Dispatches from a Gentleman Adventurer
Being the internal dialog of a vagabond who chased his own tail across five continents for 4 years and 2 days from May 2008 to May 2012, in search of something that never really became clear.
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