Monday, June 22, 2015

Chapter 74: Am I Dead?

Date: February 23, 1904 (2015)
Location: Entrenched Camp, Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh, India
Situation: After The Battle
Sept. 25, 1900: Thugee armistice, recall from India and retirement.
April 30, 1903: Learns armistice broken by resurgent Thugee Army.
May 9, 1903: Recalled to duty in India to break the Thugees.
June 1903: Assumes command in Egypt as a ruse.
September 1903: Secretly departs Egypt for India.
Next four months: Assembles the Army.
Feb. 22, 1904 Gen. Pettygree Arrives at Tapi River Camp near Burhanpur.
Feb. 23, 1904: Battle of Burhanpur.
See Previous Chapter 73 here:
Clicking on images enlarges them prodigiously.

After the victory of Burhanpur, General Pettygree thanked the men within the entrenched camp.

He next rode outside the camp to thank and review the 9th Bengal Lancers.

As he wheeled Express to return to the enclosure....

Two of the defeated Thugee Host carefully aimed a singularly long jezail and....

Fired at the General.

Nahin, sahib khabadar. (Take care) General! Be still.
General --- GENERAL!


"Call for the surgeon. --- General. --- GENERAL! Can you hear me?"

"Yes. --- I can hear you. --- But, I've lost my sight."

"He's unresponsive. We've lost him!"

"Confound it man. I CAN hear you! --- What's wrong with you?"

"Wait. --- I can see better now. --- Thank God. --- What is that light?"

"It's brilliance nearly blinds me. I should look away. But, it beckons."

"William. --- William Augustus Pettygree."

"Here I am. Who are you? --- What do you want and where am I?"

"There are many questions. Come hither and you will know."

"We are here --- at the crossing point."

"I beg your forbearance --- but the crossing to where?"


"Preposterous. A moment ago I was reviewing the Lancers in India. However, my uniform is changed. I  must be dreaming and you are a vision in that dream. Or --- am I dead?"

"Walk with me William."

"I am compelled. I will."

"It is remarkably beautiful here. Resplendent. Radiant, loving and peaceful."

"All is as you sense and much more."

"Shall we cross to the other side?"

"Yes when your mission is completed --- or not --- as you choose."

"What do you know of my mission?"

"What you know interiorly."

"A riddle or ruse I dare wonder."

"Quiet your mind and reflect."

"Well. --- Duty, country, and honour."

"There is more, William."

"Christian tenets. Caring for my family. Doing what is right no matter the cost. Protecting those in need. Stopping barbarism. Creating justice. That is what I was doing last at Burhanpur.

"I have something to show you. Let's return to the bridge."

"Here you will decide whether to cross the bridge or...."

"Wait. I see people and animals in the distance coming this way."

"I can't identify them. Yet everyone appears familiar."

"You know them all William. Look more closely. More will come."

"Yes! Father and grandfather are there. My sister Charlotte plus old Trevelyan from the 10th Hussars. There's Roscoe my boyhood dog and..... But, they all died."

"Do they appear so?"

"I must go to them, but you bar my way. Why?"

"You are free to cross. However, if you pass the boundary on the other side of the bridge, you can not return to India, your wife Mary and your mission."

"I have a choice then?"

"Yes. However, before you decide, allow me to reveal images of what will be if you remain."

"A confident foe will arise. He could rival the malevolence of Roman Emperor Nero."

"He will be in his fifth decade. You will know him by a graying beard and turquoise jewel."

"He will travel to the palace of the Thugee Supreme Leader Muljadhi." 

"I have been summoned by Muljadhi. Take me to him."

"Wait here, if you please, Barra Sahib (great lord). Muljadhi will see you momentarily."

"You will be my Bahadur (champion) now that the Pettygree is dead. Attack and subjugate all unbelievers. It is the will of Kali."

"The Razzia will begin with the greatest ferocity today. We will take no prisoners."

"You may commence with our captives here."

"You Jawans (soldiers) of the infidel gora-logs (British) will serve as an example to all who oppose the Goddess Kali and her earthly minister Muljadhi. Kali will be pleased with your sacrifice.You will be the first of many thousands of  traitors and unbelievers upon whom she will feast."

"No Barra Sahib! We beg forgiveness."

"You will find forgiveness in the arms of Kali as you enter eternity. It is your fate."

"Make ready."

"Buzzards will feast upon your flesh scattering your bones across the land. FIRE!"

"I can't allow that malevolent creature to ruin millions of lives in India. I must go back. Will we meet again?"

"Yes, when the time is right. Godspeed William."
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1) From Empress Miniature see Mutton Chop miniatures MC004 Lord Cirencester and Jazz Age Imperialism for several of the natives. The elephant is from Foundry. Muljadhi and Pettygree aboard his horse are 30mm Edward Suren castings. The bridge and buildings in the beginning are from Miniature Building Authority.

2) Dismounted lancers are mostly Old Glory. Mounted lancers and Imperial infantry are Connoisseur Miniatures.

3) I can't remember what company manufactures the woman.

4) Thank you Clive G. reminding me Parroom Station offers the nemesis in this story in their Extraordinary Personages as Captain Nemo.

5) Muljadhi's palace is an Ian Weekly creation from the collection of Der Alte Fritz.

6) Thank you for looking in. Your remarks are welcome below at Comments.
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johnpreece said...

Well! I've seen and heard a few rum things out East but that takes the Chapati.

Will it inspire Pettygree to action or will he become a mystic like that cove Younghusband ?

As always you exceed our expectations, Bill. Another great story.


ColCampbell50 said...

By Jove, old man! Are you going bonkers in the hot Indian sun!?! Here, have a gin and tonic and sit under the fan to cool yourself.

Bill - A good story. Keep up the great work.


Stryker said...


Michael Murphy said...

Egads! What mystical tomfoolery and penny dreadful shamanism has been placed upon the good Colonel?

Please keep us informed of all doings and health of our good friend...
With warmest regards,
Col. H. H. Mustard

tradgardmastare said...

What a story!
I cannot wait to see what happens next...
Splendid work sir!

Clive G said...

Excellently done as always.

I do believe the Nemo figure is from the Parroom Station line by Bob Charrette.

Colin Ashton said...

Fabulous and inspirational as ever

Carlo said...

Very entertaining Bill - always a wonderful read.

Hils said...

Absolutely incredible.

You`ve saved the very best until last.

This has inspired me so deeply, my mind is ticking over.... thoughts careen; and I make the first tentative steps, initial plan, once more to find out my own colonials (lovingly stored away) and endeavour to bring my own `Zulu` imagi-nations to life in full glorious colour.

If my endeavours are only half as impressive as your own. I will feel I have succeeded marvellously.

THANK you for continuing to surpass the norm, for enthralling us, and inspiring us to greater heights of attainment.

Steve :)

Ross Mac said...

Hardly a fair choice to an old warhorse like Pettygree but a stirring tale of the mysteries of the East told splendidly.

A J said...

Good Heavens! (Pun intended) Pettygree has trodden mystic grounds. I think he'll return to dash the hopes of the dastardly Thugs.

Dai said...

You've done all this very convincingly indeed!

Storytelling at it's best I'd wager.

Squibzy / Richard Hubbard said...

Excellent representation of "passing over", Bill. I've heard similar from a number of people who've trodden that unexpected path and returned to "this place". One does wonder (well, just occasionally, after, perhaps, a dram to much of the liquid gold!)about "when the time comes"... And you've explored it well, here, for General Pettygree. Personally, I would think the old warhorse will take the path "back", rather than continue on to 'Nirvana', but what do I know of your plans for this most excellent Blog!
Best regards from Captain James Squib

Gallia said...

Prodigious thanks for each of you for following along with General Pettygree and me! I sincerely appreciate your support and sentiments. You taking the time to write in a remarkably busy world is very gratifying. Furthermore, this pushes me onward.

Phil said...

Splendid, creative, unusual and inspirationnal...I love it!

Hils said...

Okay, I have a question I have been dying to ask for a long time. I know its not exactly relevant as a reply to the latest amazing ` episode` of Pettygree`s adventures; but I don`t know anywhere else to ask my question (as I can`t find anywhere on the blog where I can ask the author privately).

My question is, I am currently working very hard on building a 28mm colonial campaign set in historical yet semi imagi-nation Africa (year: roughly 1877/79). I am steadily painting away, modelling, and terrain building, and will finally see my long term project (my magnum opus) ready to begin sometimes this year (with new blog to follow).

The adventures of General William Augustus Pettygree have inspired me for years, and in truth, is the driving force and motivation which has inspired me to create my own colonial endeavours.

so my question is..... do you plan ever to have Pettygree adventure into Africa? I`m guessing no, as your campaigns are set a lot later than the exciting (Zulu) times, and indeed, even the Boer war is a little before your time line. Id DEARLY like to see Pettygree have some ripping yarns in Africa, and I guess I am just wondering if this is totally a no go for you, in any way?

Steve <--- double underscore.

Gallia said...

You are very kind to express your sentiments and inspiration. Thank you very much.
Gen. Pettygree has been in The Sudan, Egypt, Channelside Manor in Britain and in India so far. A year ago I toyed with a flashback idea to The Zulu War when he was a very young cavalry officer, but this never was developed or told in a blog story until now. I imagine he was seconded to the 17th Lancers from The Blues. I appreciate your email very much and best wishes on your exciting and singular magum opus! I want to see it when you are ready. Please notify me. Respectfully, Bill P.

Hils said...

Thank you so much for your swift reply, I really appreciate that (especially as I am within days of being able to `open` my world, and even now, today, am looking to set up my blog space for it, in preparation for what`s almost round the corner. Just have to decide whether to go website or blog. I will of course be delighted to let you know the second I am up and running with it. Thank you for the interest. It is an honour.

... and I assure you, my sentiments and inspiration, absorbed from your remarkable endeavours, has indeed been the motivation which has kept me going to complete my own world. I have never seen a more integrally whole colonial world bought to life anything like as much detail, loving care and attention as I have with Gen. Pettygree`s surroundings. The way you keep it written almost like a journal, staying in character all the time (veering off topic j-u-s-t enough sometimes to give the reader a snippet of insight or a piece of much needed information on a miniature company you use, or what have you). A true labour of love.

My compliments about your work, I mean every word. I owe you a lot; every time my own enthusiasm were waning, I`d look to Gen. Pettygree, and my nerve and my inspiration would become rekindled.

The Bromhead and Chard speech comes to mind as very apt:

Chard to Bromhead "Thanks, about earlier, what you said, about needing me!"

Bromhead to Chard: "Hmmm? Oh, that, don`t worry old boy, its true."

Oh goodness, a flashback `campaign` to his days in the 17th. Joy of joy, please do write this. If you have time. I think I`d die with happiness, and my wife would have to mop my brow and feed me colonial army ration soup for a whole week.

Hils said...

You kindly asked me to let you know and inform you when my new blog was open. I have taken the liberty of mentioning your cool site there (in the opening thread), and also of adding the Gen. Pettygree blog to my list of favourites.;postID=6790037364495013171;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=5;src=postname