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Gentlemen Adventurers : Chapter One : Europe & The Far East 1839


Session 003: The call of the Orient March- July 1839

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The Party

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


After the social whirl that followed their return from Beer, a couple events brought the gallant band together, firstly WilliamSmith invited them all to the Athanaem club, an invite which Elsbeth declined on the grounds that she would not go in through the side door but would only go in through the front, which is not allowed in club rules. The rest of the party were wined and dined by the great engineer and passed on their accounts surveys and details of their exploits much to his approval. He asked if there were any incidental expenses he should cover and Todgers indicated that these were mere trifles and would hear none of it.

The party met again at some offices near the stock exchange where they formed Empire Shipping Lines, in which they all had a 10% share and Mr Rattenbury's appointed shareholder held a 50% share. The new shareholder was introduced as one WilliamJardine , who had just retired from the day to day running of another Oriental shipping line and would look after Mr Rattenbury's interests as well as advise the party.

He indicated that there was a suitable ship for sail, a 600 Ton cargo vessel, which he could purchase and crew should the party agree. The party agreed to purchase the ship, a 600 tonne Barque called the Cornelius Wernard Eduard, rename it Victoriana, purchase a cargo of suitable trade goods for India (mostly light engineering goods) and would be there to see it sail.

During the interviening few weeks a number of plot devices events conspired to ensure that the party sought to go with the ship and not wave it happily off from the docks.

The journey south is uneventfull, the party get over their sea-sickness and are entertained by the tales of one of the able-seamen, an American called Herman Melville, who professes a desire to return to the Americas and make his living as an author. The captain is an intense, latin spouting man who indicates as they round the African coast that he has a number of contacts in the interior who are looking to send their 'willing workers' to the united states - a traffic in which there is a huge profit. The Rev. Spooner and Lady Mac Beth instantly refuse to countenance any such traffic as slavery is illegal in Britain, it's colonies and shipping.

The party put ashore for a few days in Port Elisabeth, a tiny community in Southern Africa, where Elsbeth is very much courted by such 'society' is available. The gentlemen of the party are similarly entertained, with Todgers and Wallace returning 'late' to the ship.

Finally making landfall in Calcutta, the party is increasingly aware the 'Todgers' has a lot more than a few estates and business interests here. He puts them up in his 'town-house' which is a small palace in the city and entertains them 'royally'. Elsbeth attends the Calcutta Ladies club, and Gladstone the Officers Club where they are both made welcome. The officers club sees a lot of passing majors so Gladstone is pleased to spend a few social hours there, however the presence of a full on 'Lady' of good family puts the cat among the veritable pidgeons of the Bombay society ladies, and she is innundated with requests and invitations. With Hamiltons' help, and he does seem to know a lot of the whoes-who of the traders and society she prepares a shortlist of the most worth & lucrative and sets of on a social whirl. carefully inviting the most noble society and most necessary merchants to a banquet that Hamiltons' staff lay on. Large amounts of opium are ordered at a reasonable price.

On hearing of his orders a local General orders Gladstone to escort 20 Bangali riflemen who are being assigned to the troops policing Canton, fortunately the ship is not full and they are made 'comfortable' in the holds.

The party spend a couple of fine days 'up-country' in Hamiltons estate tiger-hunting, and bag a fine beast with the loss of only one of their beaters. http://www.philographikon.com/imageschina/cantonbi.gif+left After a very civilized and prosperous stay in Calcutta, the part travel further into the Orient, eventually making Canton in late July 1839.

They find the place a-buzz with trade, ships and rumour. Just as Gladston presents his orders to CharlesElliot news arrives that there is a fracas in the port area, so the superintendant orders Gladstone to head back to the port and sort it out while he contacts the Chinese authorities.

At the docks, the rest of the party witness a group of Chinese 'soldiers' moving from warehouse to warehouse remonstrating with the 'owners' and getting the contents of the warehouses brought out onto the quayside. Gladstone arrives, gathers his riflemen, and confronts the Chinese 'soldiers' demanding to speak to 'an officer' when no-one will speak english to him he casually shoots the most senior Chinese official one LinWeixi. (not to be confused with the Local Chinese Govenor LinZexu )



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Last edited July 5, 2006 8:39 pm by HowardT (diff)