Friday, January 29, 2010

Chapter 27: Officer's Call

Date: 29 September 1899
Location: Rajah's Palace, Bebara Village
Situation: Officer's Call
Oblige Yourselves With Larger Images By Clicking Them

When last we met, The Khyber Field Force had retaken Bebara Village, the Thugee Army retreated in the direction of "The Pass" and the Imperials entered Bebara. We return now for Officer's Call within General Pettygree's private room ....

Officer Of The Day Major Trevelyan, 10th Hussars (left) and General Pettygree (right).

Trevelyan: "Good morning General."
Pettygree: "Yes it is Trev. How IS the arm?
Trevelyan: "Still works General, though a bit stiff at times. Back to duty the Doctor says. Best thing."
Pettygree: "Aye."
[Major Trevelyan was wounded at the Battle of Bebara.]

Trevelyan: "Sir, I came in ahead of the doctor for Officer's Call."
Pettygree: "Very good. Let's start, shall we?"

Dr. James Watson, Khyber Field Force Chief Medical Officer, Berkshire Regiment enters the room.

Trevelyan/Pettygree: "Welcome Doctor."
Dr. Watson: "Thank you Sirs."
Trevelyan: "Your report Doctor, if you please."

Dr. Watson: "Yes Sir. From the battle two weeks ago, we've made less progress than hoped for regarding the wounded. Still, there is singular good news and I am hopeful for more in the days ahead.
Trevelyan: "Quite so. Pray continue."

Dr. Watson: "Specifically Sir, my report shows...General Pettygree has the report in hand...there General..., the following remaining in hospital. Ninth Bengal Lancers 1, Tenth Hussars 4, First Sikhs 6, Seaforths 7 and the Berkshires 16. Died of wounds: First Sikhs 7, Seaforths 1, Berkshires 4, Royal Artillery 1, First Indian Mountain Battery 1.

Pettygree: "And returning to duty?"
Dr. Watson: "First Sikhs 6, Seaforths 2 and Berkshires 12. Twenty all told."
Pettygree: "Well done Doctor, considering.... Give my compliments to your staff and do let me know if there is more we can do for the wounded."
Dr. Watson: "Thank you Sir."
Trevelyan: "That will be all Jim."
Sergeant Cutter, Royal Engineers, Khyber Field Force is next.

Pettygree: "A souvenir Sergeant?"
Cutter: "Yes Sirh, one of them Tug pickaxes for digging graves an' such."

Trevelyan: "Deadly too I imagine.
Pettygree: "Actually not if we observe Major Sleeman's writings. The 'kusee' was used solely for digging the graves of their unsuspecting victims.

Trevelyan: "Sleeman knocked the Thugee Movement badly on the head more than a half century ago. I thought they were eradicated."

Pettygree: "The Court hanged a great many,  others were transported, some turned informant on the cult, a few died awaiting trial, all these years later a few remain jailed and some, the youngest and not deeply trained were rehabilitated.

Cutter: " Beggn' yer pardon Sir but I'd guess dem Tug youngn's went back to the ways of their fathers."
Trevelyan: "And the sons of sons have restored the cult in a newer way forming a mass army."

Pettygree: "Aye and that's their mistake. We can find an army and defeat it in one or two campaigns. Since the Thuggee operated secretly in near invisible gangs across most of India., it took Sleeman years to produce informants, catch cult members and bring them to trial. Thank you Sergeant. That will be all." 

Senior Captain Khambatta, First Sikhs, Khyber Field Force.

Trevelyan: "Captain Khambatta. Report.

Khambatta: "Sahib Trevelyan, General, I beg to report a new devil up ment. The villagers are disturbing the men with troubling stories.
Trevelyan: "Stories? What stories?"
Khambatta: "A night creature S'hib. People disappear without a trace."
Trevelyan: "But Captain, surely this is the method of The Thugee Sect! Disappearances I mean."
Khambatta: "No S'hib."
Pettygree: "Alright Captain. We'll bring in some villagers for questioning."

Captain Harcourt, Berkshires, Khyber Field Force.

Harcourt: "Please to report Sirs, the regiment is doing well and with the men being released from hospital today by the MO, our marching strength will be as shown on my report there Sir."

Alone now, the general has decided the next move. Return next time to learn his decision.  
Closing Remarks:

1.George Bruce's. The Stranglers, The Cult of Thuggee and Its Overthrow in British India proved to be of value in understanding the gruesome historical nature of Thuggee and its suppression.

2. The "Miniature Oriental Carpet" was woven in Istanbul. Truly! I found it on a rack in a grocery store. There were several sizes, patterns and color variations. See for information.

3. Some of the furniture comes from model railroading, O Scale. See Walther's Catalog, product 653 1452 Living Room set. There is also a bedroom and kitchen set. The lamp is product code 164 539. Each item is in the $4.00-$5.00 range.

4. From November till now the blog was essentially in hiatus. An intermission one might say. There were Seven Years' War historical miniatures battles to organize and game along with a few forays with 15mm Flames of War. Naturally there was Thanksgiving, Christmas and the turn of the year as well. Finally we are undergoing a satisfying learning curve with the new Blitzkrieg Commander II tabletop rules. We are gaming 1941 Libya and I've been painting trucks, trucks and more trucks for our collection of the 7th Armoured and 21st Panzer Division battle groups.

5. Your remarks are welcome below. We are back!


Bluebear Jeff said...

First, THANK YOU, I'm not feeling well right now (kidney gravel and a bum knee) so I needed a "Colonial fix".

Your scenes are wonderful. I particularly liked the cracked, bullet-marked walls and the wonderful carpet . . . but, of course, the figures and furnishings were wonderful too.

Please give us more.

-- Jeff

Mad Carew said...

Fantastic! Beautiful scenery and figures.

Get well soon Bluebear Jeff

Der Alte Fritz said...

Interesting story in the development. I wonder what adventures it will lead to? I like the interior pictures too.

Gallia said...

Thank you Jeff, Mad Carew and Der Alte!,
Jeff, I hope you can get better ASAP! Perhaps I should send Dr. Watson to see you.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Bill - excellent as ever..

I picked up BC II myself yesterday so that is also interesting news...!

Ross Mac said...

I love the carpet, What a find!
Looking forward to the next installment.


Deano said...

Wonderful vignette. This is the stuff that makes wargaming a "hobby" and not only a game. Also thanks for the info on where to find the furnishings!

Donogh said...

Welcome back! Great post. You know your audience - the first thing I was about to comment on was the carpet (but you've already answered my question)

tidders2 said...

pure inspiration.

I like the carpet.The product codes for furniture will be useful

-- Allan

Bluebear Jeff said...


Sorry, I should have mentioned this earlier . . . BATTLEGAMES Magazine is also my only hobby subscription . . . and here in North America you can get your subscriptions (as I do) from ON MILITARY MATTERS:

-- Jeff

Gallia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gallia said...

Thank you again Everyone!,
The earth has been terraformed for the next installment. The Director may be able to call out, "Silence, Camera and Action" as early as tonight to commence Chapter 28.