Sunday, September 18, 2016

'e's not dead yet, sahr!

Sir Percy and Lady Agnes Located, Deep in Equatoria!
Posted this day, somewhere in Equatoria, September the Sixteenth, the Year One Thousand, Eight-Hundred Eighty Nine, to the Right Honorable General Sir Bertram Erskine Churchill Wellseley Gough-Smith, secretary of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Military Haberdashery and Sartorial Elegance,
Dash it all, Bertie. This is simply too much to bear.
Oberleutnant von Prince, Tom really is a stand up chap, has brought word that rumors of my demise, or worse, have been circulating London of late. Why Sir Evelyn Cresswell even had the audacity to propose that the Carleton vacate my suite and have my belongings sent to that good-for-nothing nephew of mine. The Sales and Wynne's must have been beside themselves, though they should know that my dearest Agnes, having faced down Pathan savages at the age of six, has nothing to fear from anything in our sojourn across the Dark Continent. Quite the opposite, in fact! I say we shant see the likes of those cannibals again.
Do not let Willie waver in the slightest. Blue, red, even grey and that benighted khaki are out, and green is in. If it's good enough for Napier and Wolseley, it's good enough for me, and more than good enough for the whole German Army! Now's not the time to get wobbly, fearing that my being eaten by a crocodile or trampled by an elephant means Cossacks rampaging down the streets of Berlin! Bosh and twaddle, poppycock even! I'll have you know a man can be nigh invisible to even the keenest eye and trustiest rifle in green, yet still cut a dashing figure with the ladies, not that I need that with my darling Agnes at my side these many years. Yes, I know the Old Boy is set on blue, or white, or aquamarine for all I know, but press him on the green!
Pass on my compliments to the Sirdar, and yes, I shall take up the colonelcy in the Egyptian Lancers he is keen to invest me with, lest Her Majesty need my own, humble services. I look forward to another spot of action, and am sure my experiences in Equatoria shall provide him with the most useful understanding of the Mahdists thereabout. 
Agnes and I look forward to the pleasure of your hospitality, and the conviviality of the Club, upon our return to England.
Executed by his own hand,
Yours, very respectfully,
Colonel Lord Percy Higgenbottom, 20th Hussars
 Sir Percy and Lady Agnes, conferring with Oberleutnant Tom von Prince, somewhere in Equatoria
For those not in the know, Lord Percy was one of the most valiant members of the British Empire. Born in 1832, he lived to the ripe old age of ninety-nine, recording amongst his crowning achievements the exploration of Equatoria, the settling of Kenya, being the first into Ulundi, Kabul, Kandahar, Ismalia, Cairo, Omdurman, Khartoum,  Ladysmith and Pretoria, and foremost advocate of what he steadfastly never called "field gray," adopted by the German Empire in 1908. Though his active service days were over, in his capacity as President of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Military Haberdashery and Sartorial Elegance, he was consulted heavily by Lord Haldane on the reforms of the British Army and establishment of the Expeditionary Force.

Of the two, Lady Agnes was the most formidable of the pair. A niece of Florentina Sale, the "Grenadier in Petticoats," Lady Agnes survived both the siege and evacuation of the British Cantonment in Kabul, defeating furious afghans only through force of personality and her steely gaze, formidable even at the tender age of six. Meeting Sir Percy during the Great Mutiny, she followed him throughout his many exploits and adventures. One of the few items of concordance between the Duke of Cambridge, Lord Wolseley and Lord Roberts was the worth of Lady Agnes in the Order of Battle, though the Duke of Cambridge rated her the worth of a Brigade of Guards, while Lord Roberts felt her gaze was more that of reserve artillery. 

More doings of the Mahdi!

Highly places sources in both the War Office and Horse Guards report that the Mahdi is dispatching additional forces to Equatoria, or perhaps Dongola. More Jihadiyya, in the service of that most modern of Mahdist generals, who's infamy is such we shall not sully our paper with his vile name, can only spell additional trouble for those seeking to restore the suzerainty of Her Majesty and soundly thrash the Murders of Gordon not members of Parliament.

The fortification of  additional key points along the necessary route of advance to Khartoum, can only spell additional difficulties for the forces of the Crown now in Mapfrica. Our intrepid reporters have brought sketches of Mahdist fortifications, and they do appear weighty.

 It is the weighty opinion of military advisors to the Editorial Board, along with members of the English Bible Society and the Adventurer's Club, who have experience in such matters, that additional reinforcements must immediately be sent to Mapfrica, to reconquer the Soudan at the earliest possible and most expedient moment. 

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