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Gentlemen Adventurers : Chapter Three : The sub-continent, 1840


Session 008: Calcutta and The Great Game, January 1840

Ref: GentlemenAdventurers

The Party

ArnoldTodgersHamelton - DaveF
WallaceTiffinSmythe - PeteN
GladstoneArchiboldThynne - TimE
RevGabrielSpooner - AdrianW



Gladstone is ordered to return home and he takes a week to recover enough to even move aboard ship. Hamilton uses this time to conclude their business in Hong Kong, and decides that it is timely to sail back to his to estates in Bombay. Tiring of the primitive island and leaving careful instructions for the completion of their assorted buildings and estates, Lady Macbeth and Gabriel also decide to travel back, and Wallace decides to stick with his 'investment'.

The late monsoon storms are lashing the Bay of Bengal, so the Victoriana puts in to Calcutta to wait them out. Calcutta is a thriving community, with all the trappings of civilization, and Lady Macbeth is instantly caught up in the social scene, meeting the much travelled Emily Eden [link] among many, many. others

Gladstone, walking carefully with a stick, delivers a set of dispatches entrusted to him by CharlesElliot to the 'China' desk at the army HQ, and retires to the officers club to "bore" tell the other officers of the latest news and action in China.

Wallace and Hamilton undertake the sending of a fund transfer of 1000 for goodwill and a promise of future repayment to Wallaces' creditors in blightly - after Wallace reveals the true extent of his debt 97,000. Hamilton then proceeds to try and buy a suitable cargo of teas for their return journey and sale in England. He is surprised to see a severe shortage of high quality tea from the higher estates, especially his families' holdings in northern Bihar. He and Wallace decide to go up and investigate.

After only a short period in Calcutta the party are soon aware of the delicate political situation in Afghanistan as the new ruler, Dost Muhammad, is not as well disposed towards the British as the last, Shoja Shah, and it can no longer be guaranteed to be the effective 'buffer state' between Russia and the valuable assets in the sub-continent. The great-game is afoot and Russia and Britain are struggling for influence in Afghanistan, and among the many major and minor maharajas and khans. There is an ongoing military campaign to unseat Dost Muhmammad and re-instate Shoja Shah.

Hamilton offers his services to the military in the discovery of information and events in his forthcoming travels, and is politely refused as the situation is 'too delicate' for a civilian. However as they leave Wallace is approached by SirHenryCreswickeRawlinson and asked to perform exactly this role, indicating that Mr 'Hamilton' is 'a local', being the son of the Maharaja of Bombay and related to many of the (loyal) Indian royal families.

So the expedition is put together as a "Tiger-Hunt", up country, and at the news Lady Elsbeth 'trigger' Macbeth is frightfully eager to come. Gladstone is also keen to escape the stifling damp heat of Calcutta in the monsoon.

Visiting the local clergy, Rev. Spooner, meets MonsignurTaberd, Vicar Apostolic of Bengal appointed by the pope himself, and doing great work in the town and colony to promote Catholicism. They share many similar goals, but differ on the nature of Christianity to be taught to the heathen.

Adrian - how many of your in-game skype comments do you want included here - or on your character sheet

He is searching for a replacement watch for the one he traded in China, when he meets the remarkable MrDavidHare . Gabriel is concerned when that the stout fellow, with similar interests in time keeping and good works, is struggling to make ends meet as a watch-maker while giving all he has to charitable and benevolent works. He buys the chaps whole stock for a very generous price and sets about quietly lauding Mr Hare's good works around the great and the good of the town, encouraging them also to give him their 'generous' custom - as the man himself will not accept charity.

On hearing of Hamiltons' intention to take 20 of his own armed Sikh guardsmen along on the tiger-hunt the British commander decides to send 4 Bengal Lancers along with Gladstone to ensure decorum. SirHenryCreswickeRawlinson indicates to Wallace that he will ensure that the local 'politicos' are aware of his presence and will try to 'help' when they need.

The Trip to Bihar

The trip up from Calcutta to Hamiltons' estates in Bihar is long, as each and every local Raja insists on greeting Hamilton and his precession; feasting and entertaining them, so a long and pleasant journey. When they finally arrive at Hamiltons' family estates they are greeted not by his cousin the local Raja but rather his youngest son with apologies that the Raja is up country dealing with business and has not been able to return in time. They party are entertained and feasted, Wallace retires to his room and practices some very dark African arts. Much later that evening he is contacted by an unknown person who leaves him a coded message indicating the Raja is actually off dealing with a Pathan tribe in the hills who command a pass into Afghanistan. He discusses this with Hamilton.

The Tiger Hunt

http://www.raj-memories.co.uk/images/Our-Elephant-Safari-in-Nepa.jpg+left The hunt enters the thick grasses and jungle in the deep valleys that surround the estate looking for Tiger. They are hot on the tail of one when Wallace suddenly grabs a spear from one of the hunt guards and throws it at the retreating tail of a tiger as it disappears into a thicket. The miraculous throw obviously strikes home as the tiger howls in pain - giving rise to cheers of admiration from the beaters, guards and porters. Not content with the cries of adulation on his spear throwing ( 'Wallace 'the spear' Smythe ) Wallace jumps from his elephant, strips off his jacket and shirt and runs into the thicket armed only with a long knife. in a brutal and fast encounter with an angry tiger Wallace manages to survive the initial rush with only serious wounds, and surprises the big cat by not trying to escape but rather to mount it, stabbing it in the back (again)!

Before the guards and hunt supporters can catch up it has him on the floor again and is raking his legs as it launches itself at his head. Wallace plunges his dagger into it's neck as it attacks and feels the knife bite fatally home just as a rifle-shot takes it neatly below the ear.

Lady Macbeth apologies for shooting Wallaces' tiger as the fortunately well-equipped hunt medic bandages his many deep and bleeding wounds.



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Last edited August 11, 2006 11:33 am by HowardT (diff)