Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chapter 46: Explosion!

Date: November 18, 1899
Situation:  Explosion In The Village
Location: Kota Ki-Bandahar
Double Clicked Images Are Singularly Better
Continuing Narration of prisoner, Lt. Colonel James Lawford, 9th Bengal Lancers.

"Readers are kindly invited to review Chapter 45, Captivity, Fiends and The Angel. There I wrote about being rigorously questioned, fiendish torture and my second opportunity to converse with the intoxicating Alexandra."

"Boredom certainly was not my lot. I was a prisoner without hope of escape. So much so that my jailers allowed me a kind of parole, the benevolence of which contrasted impossibly with their ill treatment of me yesterday. The height of their kindness was contact with Alexandra."

"The remarkable events of recent days surely could not be exceeded. Yet the next hours would prove this estimation impossibly and singularly deficient. Astonishing events already in unstoppable motion were soon to overcome everyone as Alexandra and I resumed our conversation."
Alexandra: "James. What are you writing?"
Lawford: "A journal of sorts; my capture, the journey here, the unusual nature of my captivity, your appearance and my remarks. If fate should allow me to return home...."

Alexandra: "Return home! None of us will be allowed to leave unless you tell them what they want to know. Your fidelity to duty does you credit, but who will know, care or benefit by your writings after you, my Uncle and I are murdered by this unknown cult?"

Lawford: "Duty and honour must prevail even to that end Alexandra. Not unknown. The cult of thugee was a murderous scourge in India for hundreds of years. Colonel Sleeman thought they were eradicated by his cunning pursuit, courts of justice or by conversion to more peaceful ways of life. Come to the window a moment. For example...."

"From our Watch Tower vantage point we see villagers resuming peaceful morning routines as they no doubt have done for generations. Observe several men and women casually greeting and conversing with each other. A dog walks about unconcerned. The merchant house on the right has expectantly awakened as goods are unloaded for sale. All is serene and quiet."  

Alexandra: Did you hear that James?"
Lawford: "Yes. -- Look there!"

A shocking and thunderous explosion shattered the tranquil morning. We could only gape as fire, smoke and debris rose into the air.

Then a second tortuous explosion ripped the same building further apart. 

Blasting the top upwards to careen over the adjacent hillside. In seconds it broke into pieces scattering debris down the slope to the stream below.

We saw villagers stopping all they were doing, more came outside and everyone turned toward the noise.

The Chancellor and one of his military leaders viewed the sudden destruction too. What did it portend? We would soon find out.
1. Some explanation of thugee may be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuggee
2. For our purposes the cult has changed from small group activity to a national movement to control all of India - as in the 1939 adventurous and thrilling motion picture Gunga Din.
3. Watch Tower scratch-built by the super talented Herb Gundt; HG Walls.
4. Other structures are from the popular Miniature Building Authority.
5. Your remarks are welcome below at the word comments.
Respectfully yours,


Phil said...

Splendid stuff Bill
And a Merry Christmas to you and your family.
All the very best for 2011.

Anonymous said...

Always a big pleasure to read your History...I am "astonished" by your power of creation.
Merry Christmas.


ColCampbell50 said...


Great story line, dialogue, and scenic effects. Thanks!

And a Merry Christmas to you!


Anonymous said...

Be assured I shall watch this space.
Excellent as ever.
A Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Bluebear Jeff said...


Your "story boards" are always a treat, both visually and textually.

Hopefully we shall enjoy more episodes soon.

-- Jeff

Gallia said...

Thank you for your interest and kind remarks. I appreciate all who check in, view/read and leave remarks. Merry Christmas to thee from me and General Pettygree, et al.
And from me too, Darlinks,

Stryker said...

Brilliant stuff as always - an inspiration!


Bartender said...

This is like Cecille B Demille!