Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chapter 44: Durbar

Date: Nov. 9, 1899
Location: Kota-Ki-Bandahar Village
Durbar: A Conference Audience or Meeting
Narrative of Lt. Colonel James Lawford
My capture on the 16th ultimo and passage into captivity strained my being. Hopeful plans of escape made impossible by my captors gave way to thoughts of abandonment, desolation and worse, the deeper into the void we travelled. Why they wanted me I knew not. Where I was going was unknown to me. What men and fate planned was kept from me. A good thing. Had I known the improbable and singular events about to overtake me, I would never have believed them.

You may recall my arrival at Kota-Ki-Bandahar; the gallop into the village and arrival at  my newest prison within the imposing Watch Tower.

Three days later I was summoned to a durbar. The durwan (door-keeper) ushered me into a sparse chamber protected by a solitary guard where....

The Supreme Leader, Muljadhi, beckoned that I be seated before him. After some conversation he inquired about reinforcements expected to arrive at Fort Grant. Naturally I declined to answer. In truth I did not know.

Dissatisfaction with my answer brought a reprimand from a chap stepping from the wings, a Guru. "No Guru-ji," said I politely. "Even if I knew, I could not tell you."  For some reason he made no further inquiries. I was returned to my cell.

Days later I learned about a second audience where...

A Colonel Villainovitch, of the Romanov Army....

Called on The Supreme Leader and his Chancellor.
Muljadhi: "Welcome Colonel. We are pleased you accepted our invitation.
Villainovitch: "Da. The Tsar is equally pleased and -- I bring the news you want.

Guru: "Delighted. When will the item arrive?"
Villainovitch: "After the coming winter in time for your next campaign."
Guru: "Good. Very good."

Chancellor: "Meanwhile Colonel, we ask one more service."
Villainovitch: "Oh?"
Chancellor: "Order your associate to interrogate the prisoner Lawford. We need to know what new forces are en-route to Fort Grant. Your Tsar may find this useful too.
Villainovitch: "Da."

Lawford resumes his narration:
As mentioned, I learned about these shocking conversations days later amidst an astounding event I scarce believe even now. However, I've presented them here since this serves your needs best. -- A few days before revelation to me the durwan....

Led me to a courtyard nearby saying, "You are expected within. Go husoor (lord) and enjoy." A kind of parole I assumed. After all I had no idea where I was nor was there a providential means of suddenly mounting a stallion and galloping like mad to safety. My swift ending was more likely had I tried.

I entered the courtyard gateway. At the far end stood a lovely European woman apparently expecting me. Who was she?

Thoughts of imprisonment vanished. She was elegantly attired, slender, confident and affected a comfortable if slight imperious air. The red hair intrigued me of course. Conscious of my gaze, she stood still a moment longer and then suddenly....

The striking vision whirled to face me. My breathing stopped. I could only say, "Alexandra!"

Seating myself lest my legs give way, I stammered, You can't be -- here. Impossible. I -- must be dreaming.... "No darlink, I am here," said she.
1. Structures are from Miniature Building Authority.
2. Carpet: TJ Int'l Product.
3. The lady is from Old Glory's: GHR-2 Tszar Nicholas, Tsarina and 2 children.
4. Remarks always welcome. Leave them below at the word comments.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chapter 43: KHAN

Date: Nov. 6, 1899
Situation: Lt. Col. Lawford's New Prison
Location: Kota-Ki-Bandahar Village
Pukka (1st rate) images if you click on them twice husoor (lord)
"Open the gate!" KHAN leads the Red Sash Horsemen toward the village of an ally.

The gate is fully open. The leader in blue points shouting, "This way KHAN."

The Red Sash Horsemen gallop through the narrow gate led by KHAN.

Men atop the village Watch Tower lean over to observe and cheer the procession.

In the midst is the prisoner (center), Lt. Colonel James Lawford, 9th. Bengal Lancers.


Slowing a bit now, he leads the horsemen across an old bridge toward....

The village of Kota-Ki-Bandahar with its imposing and striking Watch Tower.

They assemble in an orderly way before the tower. The village malik (headman) converses with KHAN as Lt. Col. Lawford is brought forward. One horsemen (left center) has his attention drawn elsewhere.

Striped men appear from the tower.

Lawford's bearing remains unchanged as he wonders if the striped chaps are guards or?

 In Chapter 42 the unknown officer below said....
Officer: "Bring our guest forward, Vladimir."
Trooper: "Da Colonel."

The guest wears the uniform of an hussar.

They observe riders coming forward from the cavalry horde.

 The hussar rises above the saddle to see better.

The Europeans ride calmly to meet the approaching natives.

1. H.G.Walls artfully built the two gorgeous watch towers.

2. From the collection of Chuck: Roads and natives on tall circular bases. Thank you Chuck!

3. The hussar is a 30mm Suren from the Napoleon in Egypt range. Contact Tradition of London. The mirliton was replaced with a Hinterland Miniatures busby.

4. From Miniature Building Authority: Stone walls, bridge, wooden walls and buildings.

5. The Terrain Guy's excellent table covering and river add much to scenes.

6. Grey natives skillfully painted by Reinforcements By Post.

7. Your remarks are always welcome. Click on the word, "comments" below.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Flying Machines From The Future

Experimental Photos
Flying Machines (Contraptions) From The Future
And For Fun

Two Gloster Gladiators flying in support over a column of Imperials.

RAF Fairey Battle hunting for the foe.

The Lysander spots something suspicious below.
Closing Remarks
1. These are test photos for my own review for later scenic improvement.
2. And for fun.
3. Artfully painted by friend Chuck.
4. 15mm aircraft from Old Glory UK.
5. One of these days the blog may fast forward to the 1930s so clunky armoured cars and early aircraft can be used. Someday....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chapter 42: Mountain Pass and Valley

Date: November 6, 1899
Situation: Rescue Party Two Days Later
Location: High Mountain Pass And Valley Below
Quiet Now.  Look to Your Front
And Double Click Your Images

Mountain Pass Two Days From The Imperial Camp
The summit. Look closely in the right center distance for activity. See 'em?

That's Sgt. Davies and two of his 10th Hussars scouting around the corner.

More join them.
Private Thornton: "All clear Sergeant."
Sgt. Davies: "Right. Bring the column forward."

The Rescue Column rides around the bend hugging the side of the  mountain to avoid the dangerous drop to their left. Up ahead....

Two natives appear. One raises his arm in greeting.
Native: "Ram-ram, bhai." (Hello brother)."
Privates Thornton and Jones ride forward to investigate followed by....

Sgt. Davies: "Wot's this, THEN?"
Native: "My name is Aacharappan from the poor village of Bhouratabad."
Davies: "Out for a stroll?"
Aacharappan: "No bhai. My malik (headman) sent us to beg of the Barra-Sahib (great man) Pettygree for help. KHAN destroyed our village not five days ago."
Davies: "Did he have British captives with 'im?"
Aacharappan: "Yes."

Village Of Bhouratabad In The Valley Below
Captain Gill ordered The Column to Bhouratabad to see what KHAN had wrought. His pursuit will hopefully rescue the prisoners - the object of his mission. Sergeant Davies is across the river approaching the village.

While Captain Gill (left) and Lt. Caddy RE (right) observe from high ground.

Sergeant Davies is greeted enthusiastically by a villager. All appears correct. Thus....

The Column is ordered to the village. Officers speak to the headman.

The destroyed village and The Rescue Column. Why did KHAN do this?

Move OUT!   There's Not A Moment To Lose! 
Blast That KHAN!
The Imperials moves out an hour later. Village survivors watch them leave. Some....
Accompany the Imperials as guides and methinks more.

Good luck men!
While Elsewhere

Others move silently through a forest -- we know not where or why. 

Officer: "Bring our guest forward, Vladimir."
Trooper: "Da Colonel."

1. Miniature Building Authority structures often may be dismantled as shown.
2. 10th Hussars artfully painted by John Preece.
3. Natives skillfully painted by Reinforcements By Post (not the pink-turbaned chap.)
4. Native language taken from Flashman In The Great Game by George MacDonald Fraser, 1989 edition.
5. Comments as always welcome below. Click on Comments, if you please.