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Gentlemen Adventurers : Chapter Four : The Middle East, 1840


Session 023: The City o Alexandria, August 1840

Ref: GentlemenAdventurers

The Party

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


Sailing overnight down the Nile the two larger Felucca overtake Wallace in the night and arrive at Alexandria in mid-morning. Ahead of them they see four British Frigates standing off the city enforcing a blockade, one of which breaks off and starts manouevering to shoot at the felucca running out it's gund with great precision.

Waving a spare shirt as a white flag the felucca sail straight for the flagship, HMS Powerfull, which launches a jolly boat to intercept them. Sitting in the awkward spot facing the broadsides of two british frigates Gladstone hails the leutentant in the jolly boat in his finest military paade-ground voice and makes the parties' introductions. With politeness but a lot of caution the jolly boat approaches until the officer can put men aboard and introduce himself personally to the party. He arranges for his men to beach the felcca somwehere safe so the cargo can be unloaded, and rows the party to the Powerful.

They are greeted by the Officers and crew, and the Comodore CaptainCharlesNapier. As they are being introduced an officer on the watch indicates another felucca is approaching and Gladstone wastes no time indicating that they are pirates who have been hounding the party since Cairo, with this the Commodoore instructs the nearby frigate to go and intercept and sink the offending felucca. Lady Elsbeth asks for a guided tour of the ship and is assigned a senior officer as a guide. She expresses such interest in seeing the guns in action that the Commodore changes his command to the other frigate and instructs that the Powerful itsself should fire the shots. In three accurate shots the felucca is hit and sunk.

Over a light luncheon in the Captins quarters Charles Napier is interested to hear the account of the parties adventures, and indicates that he is just arrived from Acre and Beruit where the fleet have put paid to the plans of IbrahimPasha to wrest Syria from Ottoman control, and he is now here to negotiate with Muhammad Ali Pasha the self proclaimed 'Viceroy of Egypt'.

Hamilton indicates that he is keen to go ashore to find the last member of the party and that he will convey a request for a parley to the Viceroy. Lady Elsbeth and Gladstone elect to stay on board the Powerful. The jolly boat is again shipped out and Hamilton is taken in to the harbour where he is met by a military officer. Introducing himself formally in Arabic the Hamilton asks the officer to escort him to the ruler of the town, and is taken to the palace.

He is met in the palace by Khorshid Pasha http://www.alexandriaegypt.com/city/images/1.jpg+right the govenor of Alexandria who it appears is very concerned with the impact of the blockade. Hamilton treats with him cordially and finds a like-minded soul dedicated to trade. He is kept waiting for a fair time before he is introduced to the Viceroy, who it appears has very few airs and graces, being a brusque military type like Gladstone.

Hamilton and the Viceroy discuss the affairs of state and Hamilton indicates that the British care more about the control of Russian power than precisely who rules Egypt, and that there would be much room for discussion as to exactly what role the 'Viceroy' might occupy in future, especially with the building of the Suez canal. He indicates that the position o a friendly local ruler is a very well recognised and acceptable position within the British empire, citing his own riches as an example. He gives the Viceroy the pair of guns he won from the Marquis of Marlborogh as a gift, which impresses the Viceroy, but greatly infuriates Gladstone.

After a short chat and a good meal Hamilton is invited to stay in the Palace overnight and returns the following morning, and is seen off at the quayside by the Govenor; who is apparently very keen to understand as much as possible about british merchant practices. Hamilton learns later that Arthur Anderson from the soon to be incorporated Peninsular and Orient lines has been conducting negotiations about running a regular packet ship to Alexandria.

Wallace stops for a bite of supper at a riverside village known by his boatman and with great care to keep his posessions and wits about him inds himself pleasantly surprised by warm local hospitatility and a simple but satisfying meal. He stays overnight and makes his way towards Alexandira in the early hours. As he makes his way to the city in the early morning gloom he is challenged by a british voice hailing him from another small boat - one of the blockading frigates has it's longboats out to enfore the picket. After a careful introduction his small felucca is towed by the longboat back towards the lagship, where (after quickly changing his shirt) he is introduced to the Commodore and the rest of the party.

Gladstone and Elsbeth have ensured that the parties cargo is loaded aboard another frigate HMS Brillant, which is apprarently being detailed back to Portsmouth soon and will be instructed to carry them all home. Hamilton returns soon afterward Wallace and reports that the Viceroy has invited Captain Napier to dicussions in his river-side Palace just out of town, and wishes the Captain good luck in his negotiations.

The party transfer aboard the Brilliant and sail home almost without putting ashore - simply dropping off dispatches & signals at Plymouth before sailing up the channel to Portsmouth. Hamilton arranges warehousing of the relics and they all get on the train to London.

Arriving in London they are all surpised to find a reception of bustling press and on-lookers at the platform. It appears that the adventures of Lady Macbeth and Lord Arnold + companions have been causing some interest in the press.

In a (rare) show of decorum Lady Macbeth and he 'chaperone' Florence retire to the family house in town, while the rest of the party retire to Lord Arnolds home. She finds an old family retainer has been sent there with instructions to bring her post-haste to Scotland (and to keep her from any further indisretions!).

Wallace has an unusually pleasant meeting with his creditors, paying off a huge amount of his family debt. At nearly 50,000 it is an amount which leaves them very much more disposed not to kill him, especially as he is now marrying into money.

Gladstone kits enjoys a particularly memorable session in the Officers club regailing them with his tales of derring-do while conspicuouisly paying for the drinks - but giving out only the 'tat' presents he shopoed for in Cairo, Karachi and Suez. He later commissions a set of 4 o the finest hunting guns he can afford (and he can afford the finest) so be inscribed the 'Hamilton Guns'.

Hamilton ensures that the takes advertising next to every article about the partie's return and stories of their activities, while also setting up a temporary ehibition of their 'finds' in the British Museum. Inviting many business partners to the opening including WilliamSmith.


Govenor of Aleandira from http://www.alexandriaegypt.com

Roberts Picture of an Interview with the Viceroy http://www.museum-tours.com/

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Edited February 12, 2007 6:48 pm by HowardT (diff)