Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chapter 76: Departure

Date: September 7, 1904 (2015)
Location: St. Georges Hospital, Bombay India
Situation: Released From Hospital and Departure
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.
Feb. 23, 1904: Skull fracture caused by sniper
Mar. 4, 1904: Arrived at St. George Hospital, Bombay, India
Sept. 7, 1904: Train Back To The Field Force
See Previous Chapter 75 here:

General Pettygree rallied at St. Georges Hospital, Bombay, India from the skull fracture caused by sniper fire six months earlier. On September 6th Commander In Chief, Lord Basingstoke, consulted with his doctor and the General afterwards. 

Basingstoke: "Well Doctor? Is General Pettygree fit to return to duty as he claims?"

Dr. Watson: "I believe so Sir." 

Basingstoke: "You believe so? What about the concussion, initial delirium and residual effects?

Dr. Watson: "He has had no relapses, spasms or episodes of incoherence. Mrs. Pettygree arrived here from England a month ago. She has been a tonic for him; better than our medicines. I've no medical reason to hold him here Lord Basingstoke."

Basingstoke: "Then he must return to duty."

Pettygree: "I'll leave for the Field Force in the morning. 8:42 train if I'm not mistaken."

Basingstoke: "I trust without Mary?"

Mary Pettygree: "Did someone mention my name?"

Pettygree: "Mary, my darling. There you are."

Basingstoke: "I'll take my leave now William and see you off in the morning. Good afternoon Mary."

September 7, 1904

Engine 1300 backed into Hospital Station at 7:01am.

Within the hour, baggage coach attendants offloaded and loaded boxes, crates, suitcases, trunks, food; and other diverse containers.

Whilst passengers waited for boarding instructions.

Basingstoke: "I don't suppose you will change your mind then?"

Pettygree: "No Alec. I'm sorry if it troubles you but...."

Pettygree: "Oh here is Mary."

Mary: "Good morning gentlemen. Alec, how good it is to see you again. William?"

Mary: "Dear is everything taken care of? Are you well?"

Pettygree: "Quite so. I was just explaining our decision to Alec."

Basingstoke: "Please excuse my intolerable liberty but this is ill advised. Mary, surely you must reconsider. Danger is exceptionally high right now. Later when things have...."

Mary: "During most of our marriage my husband has been away on campaign while I remained at Channelside House. There is a long history of wives following the Army. This time I will follow too."

Basingstoke: "But...."

Mary: "I almost lost him six months ago. It was quite a shock. There may be no tomorrows Alec. God alone knows how much time we have left together. We've decided to share every day possible. I will be a help - not a hindrance I assure you. "

Basingstoke: "I wish you both godspeed." 

Work continued at the baggage carriage for a short time longer. Then....

At 8:42am, # 1300 departed Bombay for Delhi.

Soon passing into the countryside....

The General and Mary rode in comfort in a first class carriage. Several locals as was traditional in those days rode on top at their peril. Hours later....

When the train slowed to take on water, others waited nearby before boarding.


1. Dear readers, thank you for your interest. I appreciate it very much.

2. Locomotive, coal car and carriages are O Scale from Lionel Trains. 

3. Could this be an opportunity for a tabletop game at the watering stop?

4. Let me know, will you, at Comments below. All polite remarks are welcome.

***** ***** ***** *****


Graham C said...

Good to see the General back.
Looking forward to the next chapter.

Adam said...

Excellent and atmospheric. I think we need to see Mary's sang froid in the face of danger and whether shooting parties ar home have produced a sharpshooter with an Enfield rifle!

nobby said...

It would be a shame to waste the watering stop opportunity :0)

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

Excellent chapter. Most enjoyable train ride, but I'm not too sure about those questionable fellows in the woods with the yellow scarves, just about right for strangling...

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Yes, this looks like an ideal opportunity for some kind of small raid on the train. Thank you, Bill. This is a wonderful way to begin the day. Early morning coffee and the Adventures of General Pettygree. What could be better?

Best Regards,


tidders said...

Another super episode

William Stewart said...

I hope the General and Mary Pettygree are well armed!

CelticCurmudgeon said...

Dear Bill,
Quite entertaining and as usual spot on. I would like to thank you for the small piece you posted to the left of the main blog. With the sudden passing of my wife a few months ago, and being without children, I can attest that being alone is not fun. Yes, the quiet is great while reading a book but who can do that all the time or would want to?
However, there is some joy to be had in reading blog posts such as yours and knowing that good guys are out there in the hobby.

Dai said...

Great to see this new episode show up on my feed.

Been too long since the last.

As ever, very entertaining. Mary is a brave soul for sure.

Conrad Kinch said...

Fantastic stuff Bill. Delighted to see the General back.

Richard Hubbard said...

Another twist in this most excellent story! The possibility of Thuggees boarding the train, inconspicuous as they look like the other 'locals', so able to slowly get closer to the General and his good wife, is surely a definite for a 'wargame'! My money will *always* be on the General, and now I'll also bet on his wife being a sharp-minded, observant, 'bodyguard' for her husband.
Can't wait for the next instalment!
(PS: I concur with the comments from "Celtic-Curmudgeon": being alone can be liberating for a hobbyist intent on finishing a project, but being utterly alone is daunting, and debilitating. Not a thing to covet, but endure. God bless you with more friends and companions, "Celtic-Curmudgeon". I empathise with you.) from 'Squibzy'

Gallia said...

You Gentlemen,
are terrific and make this a lot of fun. Satisfying too. I sincerely appreciate your kind remarks and sentiments -plus your interest in the General and Mary.
"No man is an island."
Bill P.

PS Nice to see other friends at Little Wars 2016.
Also: Thank you Richard for saying hello while I was walking by and for your compliments.

Robert Herrick said...

Huzzah! The General returns.

Of course the watering stop should be used for a chance of tabletop gaming! Methinks anyone tangling with Mary will get a right surprise.