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

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Session 009: The Dorje Ling Affair, India February 1840

Ref: GentlemenAdventurers

The Party

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

Events

As the party return from the most eventful hunt, with the unconcious body of Wallace, Hamilton takes further measures to have the household watched and the party guarded - his intelligence gathering eventually bears fruit when he learns that his aide sent to find / follow the errant chieftain reports he is heading northeast towards Kishangani. Further to this Hamilton learns that the [Chogyal] of Sikkim has hosted a secret conference of local leaders. He presents this to the party, who all agree that such rum affairs need investigating, and so they organise another 'Tiger-Hunt', and Hamilton sends a polite formal letter stating that he and his companions are visting the region and present their compliments to the king. It takes a few days before the still unconcious Wallace is stable enough to be carried to an elephant and his stretcher strapped to it's pallanquin. While attending to his treatment the Rev. Spooner notices that Wallace is "in an excited state" a matter he keeps discretly to himself, but which is not lost on the indian maids & servants! Soon his nickname "The Spear" draws giggles from the entire female staff. Making their stately progress up through the foothills, they are pleasantly suprized by the newly aquired hill station at Dorje Ling and it's environs. (The Chogyal later tells them it was a gift, but in actual fact it is leased by the East India Company) As they wend their way up a particularly narrow and rock part of the path up the valley the sharp eyed Rev. Spooner notices some figures moving on the hill above them just as a hugh rock breaks loose and starts a rock-fall. Ever ready with her trusty hunting rifle, Elsbeth shoots at them as the mahoots urge the elephants out of the way of the rockfall - with Gladstone's quick thinking moving the his lancers and the entire van guard clear. The rock fall catches Hamilton's part of the procession squarely, killing some giards and horses and severely wounding his elephant which charges clear uncontrollably. When it finally stopps and is calmed it's mahoot declares it unridable, so Hamilton walks the remaining two days up the valley.

Arriving at the fort at Kalminpong, one of the seats of the Chogyal of Sikkim, the party are greeted with great ceremony and politness by the Chogyal himself, who entertains them to tea and exchanges many pleasantries with them, Hanmilton especially. They party are pleased to meet ArchibaldCampbell the newly appointed Superintendant of Dorje Ling Station - which is slightly further up the valley. During a quiet moment when Archibald can get Rev. Spooner alone he indicates that he has matters of great delicay and urgency to discuss and asks 'who in the party can be trusted' - the Rev. indicates that he an Lady macbeth are such but warns that Gladstone is a 'hothead'. Archibald indicates that they might very soon find themselves 'captive' within the fort and suggests that they quickly depart - "to the famous Tiger Hill, an excellent spot to see the world's 'highest' peak Kanchenjunga in the evening sun.

Gladstone retires to his rooms and takes a -curiously well escorted- walk around the walls, relishing the attentions of at least 5 of the Rajas officers who all apparently want to walk around the walls too. Making hasty excuses Archibald ushers out Lady macbeth and rev Spooner to be joined by a couple of waiting servants, and they leave quickly before with Archibald ensuring they are not 'joined' by any locals.

Hamilton, now alone with the Raja 'relaxes' into a much less pro Raj style of conversation and is very quickly introduced to CountVladimirIvanoff a strikingly handsome 6' russian count of impeccable manners. The count quickly comes to the point that he is looking for 'freinds' among the indian rulers and to reassure them of Russia's good intentions in Afghanistan where they are simply helping their 'friend' Dost Mohammed. He offers Hamilton a stunning gift of a chest of Swedish gold to show the "Czar's goodwill".

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The next morning, finds Gladstone and Hamilton in the fort receiving a note from the Reverend asking politely for them to come to the station at Dorje Ling and hinting that they may be trapped in the fort. They are both aware that they are being closely if politely watched/ followed and keen to test the limits of their restraint. Hamilton asks to go hunting and is asked not to because of the dangers of 'bandits' in the hills, at which Gladstone immediately wants to go hunting bandits - he gathers his men and aquires an 'escort' of about 30 Sikkim soldiers.

Meanwhile Hamilton is enterained with a driven shoot from the walls - game is driven towards the fort for he and Count Iganoff to shoot - Iganoff shoots accurately and clinically dispathing animal after animal but is out-shot by Hamilton. Afterwards Iganoff congratulates him and asks a small favour, to investigate the release of a 'friend' of his held in a jail in Bombay - and hands Hamilton a card with his name.

With little warning Hamilton decides to "go and see the 'company station' and do some tea-trading" with as many of his men as he can muster he heads for the gates - and meets Gladstone there. Gladstone decides to accompany Hamilton to Dorje Ling. They make their way to the station still followed by the civil and polite escort of Sikkim solders.

References

GentlemenAdventurers

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