Monday, June 22, 2015

Chapter 74: Am I Dead?

Date: February 23, 1904 (2015)
Location: Entrenched Camp, Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh, India
Situation: After The Battle
Sept. 25, 1900: Thugee armistice, recall from India and retirement.
April 30, 1903: Learns armistice broken by resurgent Thugee Army.
May 9, 1903: Recalled to duty in India to break the Thugees.
June 1903: Assumes command in Egypt as a ruse.
September 1903: Secretly departs Egypt for India.
Next four months: Assembles the Army.
Feb. 22, 1904 Gen. Pettygree Arrives at Tapi River Camp near Burhanpur.
Feb. 23, 1904: Battle of Burhanpur.
See Previous Chapter 73 here:
Clicking on images enlarges them prodigiously.

After the victory of Burhanpur, General Pettygree thanked the men within the entrenched camp.

He next rode outside the camp to thank and review the 9th Bengal Lancers.

As he wheeled Express to return to the enclosure....

Two of the defeated Thugee Host carefully aimed a singularly long jezail and....

Fired at the General.

Nahin, sahib khabadar. (Take care) General! Be still.
General --- GENERAL!


"Call for the surgeon. --- General. --- GENERAL! Can you hear me?"

"Yes. --- I can hear you. --- But, I've lost my sight."

"He's unresponsive. We've lost him!"

"Confound it man. I CAN hear you! --- What's wrong with you?"

"Wait. --- I can see better now. --- Thank God. --- What is that light?"

"It's brilliance nearly blinds me. I should look away. But, it beckons."

"William. --- William Augustus Pettygree."

"Here I am. Who are you? --- What do you want and where am I?"

"There are many questions. Come hither and you will know."

"We are here --- at the crossing point."

"I beg your forbearance --- but the crossing to where?"


"Preposterous. A moment ago I was reviewing the Lancers in India. However, my uniform is changed. I  must be dreaming and you are a vision in that dream. Or --- am I dead?"

"Walk with me William."

"I am compelled. I will."

"It is remarkably beautiful here. Resplendent. Radiant, loving and peaceful."

"All is as you sense and much more."

"Shall we cross to the other side?"

"Yes when your mission is completed --- or not --- as you choose."

"What do you know of my mission?"

"What you know interiorly."

"A riddle or ruse I dare wonder."

"Quiet your mind and reflect."

"Well. --- Duty, country, and honour."

"There is more, William."

"Christian tenets. Caring for my family. Doing what is right no matter the cost. Protecting those in need. Stopping barbarism. Creating justice. That is what I was doing last at Burhanpur.

"I have something to show you. Let's return to the bridge."

"Here you will decide whether to cross the bridge or...."

"Wait. I see people and animals in the distance coming this way."

"I can't identify them. Yet everyone appears familiar."

"You know them all William. Look more closely. More will come."

"Yes! Father and grandfather are there. My sister Charlotte plus old Trevelyan from the 10th Hussars. There's Roscoe my boyhood dog and..... But, they all died."

"Do they appear so?"

"I must go to them, but you bar my way. Why?"

"You are free to cross. However, if you pass the boundary on the other side of the bridge, you can not return to India, your wife Mary and your mission."

"I have a choice then?"

"Yes. However, before you decide, allow me to reveal images of what will be if you remain."

"A confident foe will arise. He could rival the malevolence of Roman Emperor Nero."

"He will be in his fifth decade. You will know him by a graying beard and turquoise jewel."

"He will travel to the palace of the Thugee Supreme Leader Muljadhi." 

"I have been summoned by Muljadhi. Take me to him."

"Wait here, if you please, Barra Sahib (great lord). Muljadhi will see you momentarily."

"You will be my Bahadur (champion) now that the Pettygree is dead. Attack and subjugate all unbelievers. It is the will of Kali."

"The Razzia will begin with the greatest ferocity today. We will take no prisoners."

"You may commence with our captives here."

"You Jawans (soldiers) of the infidel gora-logs (British) will serve as an example to all who oppose the Goddess Kali and her earthly minister Muljadhi. Kali will be pleased with your sacrifice.You will be the first of many thousands of  traitors and unbelievers upon whom she will feast."

"No Barra Sahib! We beg forgiveness."

"You will find forgiveness in the arms of Kali as you enter eternity. It is your fate."

"Make ready."

"Buzzards will feast upon your flesh scattering your bones across the land. FIRE!"

"I can't allow that malevolent creature to ruin millions of lives in India. I must go back. Will we meet again?"

"Yes, when the time is right. Godspeed William."
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1) From Empress Miniature see Mutton Chop miniatures MC004 Lord Cirencester and Jazz Age Imperialism for several of the natives. The elephant is from Foundry. Muljadhi and Pettygree aboard his horse are 30mm Edward Suren castings. The bridge and buildings in the beginning are from Miniature Building Authority.

2) Dismounted lancers are mostly Old Glory. Mounted lancers and Imperial infantry are Connoisseur Miniatures.

3) I can't remember what company manufactures the woman.

4) Thank you Clive G. reminding me Parroom Station offers the nemesis in this story in their Extraordinary Personages as Captain Nemo.

5) Muljadhi's palace is an Ian Weekly creation from the collection of Der Alte Fritz.

6) Thank you for looking in. Your remarks are welcome below at Comments.
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