Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chapter 40: Prisoners

Date: November 4, 1899
Situation: Prisoners
Location: The Imperial Camp And Parts Unknown
Images expand amazingly when clicked 1-2 times.
During the second battle of 16 October, Col. Lawford ordered his 9th Bengal Lancers to charge a massive enemy force bent on turning the Imperial Right Flank. This desperate measure slowed the horde but did not stop it. See Chapter 36.

During the melee Colonel Lawford and two Sowars were captured.

Days later you see them being led into The Secret Valley as prisoners. Off to the right an infuriated tribesman inexplicably opened fire fatally wounding one of the Sowars.

Whilst Col. Lawford was being taken into captivity, several officers convened at General Pettygree's headquarters tent many miles away.

Evening dining preparations are taking place to the right as officers chat. In moments....

General Pettygree (left), Lt. Col. Preece (10th Hussars center) and Major Trevelyan (10th Hussars right) resume an earlier discussion.

Pettygree: "Have we our volunteers?
Trevelyan: "Yes General, we do. Lt. Caddy, Royal Engineers and acting Captain Gill, 9th Bengal Lancers. Here they come now."

Left to Right:   Pettygree, Trevelyan, Gill, Preece and Caddy with red/blue pugaree.

Pettygree: "Thank you for your volunteerism gentlemen."
Trevelyan: "This is a dangerous undertaking but worth the risk I should think."
Gill: "Aye Major, we know.
Caddy: "And Sir, the men who signed on with us are eager for a good hunt."
Preece: "Are you ready to leave tonight - under cover of darkness?
Gill: "Yes Sir."
Pettygree: "Well done. I hope Lawford is still alive."

He is for we see him here with the surviving Sowar arrive at one of many  villages during their passage into captivity and dare we think it, oblivion?

The village Headman stops the procession beside his watch tower and....

Orders the prisoners within. How many hours, days, weeks, months or years will pass here?

Lawford feels a forlorn loneliness in this vast empty region. Escape is on his mind but, how and when? The deeper he travels into The Secret Valley, the more difficult a successful escape becomes. He is not even certain -- he is in -- The Secret Valley.

He barely hopes to get back to the Regiment and England.
1. The Watch Tower is the superlative "one-of" artwork of Herb Gundt of H.G. Walls. You will see it again and more in the coming weeks.
2. Tentage is from Miniature Building Authority.
3. Your remarks are welcome, as always below.


Anonymous said...

For how long can the brave lads keep their hopes alive? Are the rescuers prepared for the arduous task ahead of them? We all wait with baited breath as you and Chuck prepare for the next installment.


Furt said...

You certainly know how to spin a good yarn eh?
Very exciting indeed. I see a prison break ahead - my favorite!


Steve Gill said...

Shaping up splendidly. Thanks for another exciting narrative Bill.

Bluebear Jeff said...

I particularly enjoyed the "camp scenes" where the officers were discussing matters.

-- Jeff

Larry Stehle said...

Another great report! Will our Hero be rescued??? I await the next installment!