Date: 7-9 November 1900
Location: Lake Alexandrapour
Situation: Finding Alexandrapour And....
See Chapter XIX posted 14 July 2012 here:
Lost Ancient City Of Alexandrapour
The utter disappearance of the entire Romanov Expedition was a depressing shock. All personnel, weapons and animals vanished without a trace from their Lake Alexandrapour camp. Tentage and personal baggage remained strangely left behind reminiscent of a static museum exhibit. There was no accounting for it.
Terra Incognita had consumed four scientific parties; Ryder's and Sutherland's respectively in 1879 and 1892 and in recent days Grenville's and the Romanov's. Only my command, the fifth to explore these perilous and intoxicating lands remained. Not one of us now believed odds favoured our return to civilization without Romanov firepower added to ours.
Some counselled immediate retreat. Historically a wilderness retreat enlivens a foe's morale to such a height that he is emboldened with excitement and aggressive pursuit to bring down a fleeing and weakened animal similar to us. Losses to a retreating body such as ours could be severe.
Yet our mission to discover the importance attached to Alexandrapour, if indeed there was one, was prime; unchanged. There was also the duty to deduce what happened to the Romanovs and if possible, rescue survivors. Not trying would be a disgrace. We pressed on.
One survivor I hoped for with more than platonic interest was Countess Alexandra. Through the months of travel from Fort Grant to this lakeside camp I have not mentioned our shared past in St. Petersburg or the assistance she rendered in my escape from captivity two years ago. You will perhaps recall my haunting vision of her capture, wounds and abandonment severely disturbing my sleep the day before departing Fort Grant on this mission. Was it a mere nightmare or premonition?
Mikhail: "A very large animal is walking through the trees toward the river."
Tumarkin: "Regretfully our celebration is ruined by despair of finding none of my countrymen or Countess Alexandra alive. We've not even found disjecta membra if torn apart by great animals. Perhaps we started in the wrong direction to find them. Nothing could be worse."
Lawford: "That's torn it. Everyone face left. Quick. LISTEN!"
More Terrified: "Aaaaa---HHHHH---hh---HHHHHHH!"
Lawford: "We ran in the direction of the screams with our weapons ready for anything. Anything that is, from the milder world beyond Terra Incognita. After several minutes we came into a clearing and saw...."
1) Chapter XX was to have been the last installment of Expedition To Alexandrapour. However, it is impossible to finish in twenty serial segments. Thus, one or two bonus chapters will appear soon to obtain the conclusion.
2) Chuck L. and Todd B. supplied most of the jungle terrain features making the vegetation encompassing Alexandrapour so spectacular. Chuck scratch-built all of the prehistoric-looking trees. Most other items came from the retail store Michaels or various aquarium departments in large pet stores. John B. loaned the remarkably realistic woolly mammoth he bought at Michaels. The table covering comes from The Terrain Guy.
3) Col. Lawford found a similar classical structure previously here: http://generalpettygree.blogspot.com/2012/03/chapter-xii-astounding-sights.html
4) Return for the story of Alexandra's capture in her own words plus more adventure, breathtaking vistas, incredible danger and suspense within the wild uncharted region of Terra Incognita.
4) Comments welcome if, you please, below.