Three Years as a Slave to Adventure

Duty and Obligation notwithstanding, it is always with no little satisfaction that I address my Devoted and patient Readership, and never more so than on this particular instance, for to-day marks the third anniversary of my Great Circumnavigation of the globe.

I compose this Dispatch by the light of a hurricane lantern on the terrace of our rooms — undeniably deficient by any Civilized Measure, but the finest this isolated Colonial outpost has to offer, and an incontestable improvement over my accommodations in recent months. In the grate, at least, a hot fire of good black coal burns, a necessity in the Perishing Damp of this Ghastly Climate. Nearby, a notorious Fallen Woman of my persistent Acquaintance smirks disquietingly over her own communiqué — calculated, I am certain, to advance her Dubious Agenda by any devious means.

I have had word through Reliable Channels that a packet of my Dispatches has been recovered, and has at last reached safe shores, hidden inside a shipment of ivory through Pluck and Daring by a Bangkok street-girl (an account too lengthy for this report, and which merits separate treatment). The burden of responsibility now lies with my Editor, who is a scoundrel and a Drunkard, and if there is any further delay, I venture to suggest that readers address complaints, &etc, to my Publishers. My faithful audience have, as always, my deepest assurance that the Dispatches shall continue to reach them, through fire, famine or flood, by any means I can secure.

As my readers will recall, at the last anniversary I was engaged in a hasty departure from the East Indies in order to extract myself from a certain Distressing Situation (the details of which are best left unmentioned). Following passage to Borneo I was fated to encounter none other than my arch-enemy, that Jesuit of questionable reputation, Father Valentine. His influence over the White Rajah of Sarawak was unassailable and I was left with no alternative but to seek refuge with the savage Head-Hunters in the depths of the jungle.

Time and again, he and I stalked each other through the steaming jungle, and it is with the most bitter regret I must report that I and my Tattooed Comrades ultimately failed to take his head. His plans are most fiendish and hell-bent, and he has plagued me sorely in recent years (indeed, it was with no small dismay that I lately discovered his part in the Infamous Mongoose Incident, the particulars of which I shudder to recall to this day).

Disaster and Misfortune struck the Expedition in Singapore when my Nefarious Compatriot was taken into custody (it appears that her brief career of Piracy in the Straits met with the disapproval of the Colonial administration), and tried and sentenced to Transportation for Life to the notorious penal colony of South Australia. I thought it only courteous to join her in her Antipodean Exile, but with some regret, since as a result I was unable to be present at Westminster to receive my long-delayed knighthood, and was obliged once again to decline the honour.

After six months of adversity among the Queer and Venomous Fauna of that sun-baked and flyblown desert continent, it was only the chance discovery of a small handful of opals which gave us sufficient means to break exile, flee across the Tasman, and make landfall in the fledgling colony of New Zee-land, from the hinterlands of which I now write, worn and threadbare and much reduced by Circumstance.

In the months ahead, we shall make for the Paradisical archipelagos of the South Seas to winter amidst the white sands, cocoa-nut palms, and docile Indigenes — although one fears that the lure of the Black Ensign will again prove irresistible to my Companion; I have been forced to conclude that punishment and exile have only confirmed her in her Wicked Disposition.

From Polynesia we shall battle the trade-winds across the vast Pacific to the frigid South Polar Regions, and then onward to the Americas to follow the great spine of the Andes from Tierra del Fuego, through the cryptic and forbidden ruins of the Incan civilizations, and finally into the black malarial jungles of the Amazon Basin. As always, Dear Readers, hazard and danger are never more than a step behind.

Ultimately my ferocious enemies, public opinion, and the great Narrative of History shall treat me as they will. Every step now brings me closer to home, but I begin to suspect that I shall never see the day of my final return to the Dominion. It is to the Phantastical Unknown that I am inexorably drawn, to the un-inked spaces of the maps where mystery and peril abound, and if I am wanted, that is where I shall always be found. Adventure awaits, and the Devil take the hind-most.

I submit my respectful acknowledgement and appreciation to the eminent and distinguished members of the Royal Geographic Society (which has been kind enough to waive my membership fees for this year), to my newest patron, the Baba Char Kueh Tiao, and to her Imperial Majesty Queen Victoria — to whom my loyalty is unwavering, despite slanderous and insulting gossip to the contrary.

I remain as ever,

Signature

Christopher Liberty, Gentleman Adventurer

Flourish

2 Comments on this Dispatch:

May 9th, 2011

My fellow Adventurer, though you may have been a trifle remiss on your Gentleman moniker, your gallantry and self-sacrifice in relinquishing your knighthood by voyaging to The Antipodes in accompaniment of your Nefarious Compatriot is much laudable and has somewhat burnished your tarnished reputation.
Your travels to brave new worlds are a compelling read and I salute thee for your courage and resoluteness in forging ahead in the face of insurmountable adversity. There is, however, a small matter of inconsistency I chanced upon in your newest patron. It has come to my attention that the Greasy Char Kueh Tiao, whose name is indubitably dubious, is not of fine repute and you should proceed with caution with his patronage. Unsurprisingly, Baba Nyonya Makanan, whose fame has spread far and wide, is one patron that you should pursue and cherish.

Your staunch supporter,
The Accidental Tourist

¬ WongCC
May 10th, 2011

I am entirely indebted to you, sir, for your constant support and timely advice. Your warning has prevented me from considerable embarrassment and Internal Upset, and so I consider myself once again obliged to forgive your reproach of my Moral Character.

¬ Chris
May 12th, 2011

Always a pleasure to read the annual dispatch, 3rd time reading it now and it gets better everytime.
Take great care of the fallen woman, and of yourself, and we will see you soon it is hoped, when the sun brings you back to this side of the globe…where yes, there be monsters….

¬ Remy Fallbrook
May 18th, 2011

Fallbrook, old boy! Smashing to hear from another alumnus of the Old School! I do hope that affair with the rubies and the Egyptian artefacts ended well for you. That Small Memento you left me with still aches in wet weather. Regards to your Devilish Apprentice.

¬ Chris
Flourish
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.
This travelogue comprises 16,426 photographs and 402,515 words in 307 dispatches written from 335 places in 52 countries on 6 continents around the world.
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