the Galloper's Dispatch

Saturday, January 20, 2007

We arrive

Bon Voyage!

Our next attempt proved sucessful!
The winds abated and the Civic Spirit of Caledon swelled! We were met at the docks by a fullsome crowd of well-wishers and it did our hearts well! The thought of leaving Fair Caledon was daunting, even if only for a time.

And we owe the turn out to Hizz'oner, Desmond Shang, the man who's vision gave us this noble quest as a starting point. A single word to the town crier was all the citzenry required to assemble, And they surely did!

People were soon chock-a-block along the wharf! The standard crew of Miss Saukiama Namanari and Mr. Excaliber Longstaff, Mr. Roy Smashcan and Their Graces of Carntaigh Gabrielle Riel and Lance Jansen were soon joined by a host of others.

ZenMondo Wormser, Justy Reymont, Exrex Somme, Barney Boomslang, Desmond Shang, Amber Palowakski, Khashai Steinbeck, Rafe Wilber, Natacha Chernov, Minuet May, Lapin Paris, Starlight Vandeverre, EllisDee Welinder, Jess Patton, Nympheas Nogah, florenze Kerensky, Bryndall Ellison, Tamala Tambola, Mr. Also Stern, Miss Betty Doyle, Miss Namanari, Mr.Longstaff, Mr Somme, and my wife, Mrs Gable-Burleigh. Were all in attendance.

Oh the joy! The warmth of companionship! And the knowledge, and display, that we would not be forgotten! One rarely sees their place in the home town, until he intends to leave it. The thought of my gentle wife's face not gazing on a Caledon sunset gave me a moment's pause at our solemn endeavor,

But Sail we must! I allowed the moment to wash over me and soon was climbing the rat-lines with Mr. Wormser, chuckling and raoring with laughter! Mr. Boomslang's
faux dive into the tidal waters set the ladies to worry and admonition about his potential wet feet and resultalt cholic or worse! Mr. Welinder and Baroness Palowakski(sp?), and Mr. Wilbur and Miss Trudeau were as jovial as I;ve ever seen them!

But the lines were soon away and we left Mr. Reyment, who had returned to Caledon on matters vital, and others shouting, then waving, their "Bon Voyage" until the distance slowly increased and our dear friends slowly faded.

The days and nights aboard ship were pleasant enough. The men would take their turn at watch, in four hour segments, and and Duke Carntaigh set a sure course and piloted the vessel as Apollo drives his steeds nearer to Hellious! He was tireless and would only turn the wheel to Mr. Smashcan or Mr. Stern at calmer stretches of sea.

The Ladies were abuzz with to whom the had gifted locks of hair! Though I did overhear one coquette, to whom propriety forbids any more description, who had given TWO men her mementos! I hurried away lest I hear more of such!

The Duchess Carntaigh organized an efficient shedule of who would supervise the staff regarding house keeping, cooking and laundering. Whats more, a delightful schedule of concertos was assembled, lessons on proper execution of current dancing steps assigned, as each taught what they knew. (I interject that the ladies taught the ladies and Mr Somme, with an extensive collection of social technicalities, taught the men. I offer this as a clarificaton to the carefully watching!) Entomological lectures were prepared and undertaken on Lepidoptera, the study butterflies and moths, and Hymenoptera, hoping to captilize new discovery's of bees and the honey from said.

But the seventh day we sighted land birds, of the family Columbidae, remarkable similar to our own. Mr Patton's sounding of the waters showed an definite shelf was below us. It would not be long now!

The Voyage to Port Neualtenburg

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Long forgotten are our woes as we sailed majestically eastward aboard the good ship HMS Ellen. The Duke Carntaigh’s brigantine cut through the waters as a sword through silken rope. We made good time, traveling league upon league with a stout ten knot wind to our backs.

From the Crow's Nest, Mr. Somme sounded "Land ho!" and there arose a "Huzzah!" from the crew.

We arrived at the shipping roads off Port Neualtenburg and found them laid with precision. Well marked lanes, broad enough for the widest of Galleons to pass 3 abreast, with buoys of the finest manufacture, bobbing in the gentle waves of this goodly harbour. We met the pilot and proceeded to the pier.

From 2500 meters a glint from a glass attracted my eye. We were being surveyed! Our arrival would be known! As officer-of-the-day Mr. Somme ordered the cannon manned but not armed, and I and Mr. Stern subtlety locked and loaded our Mosin-Nagent and Lee-Enfield rifles, respectively as a precaution. Naiveté is no virtue! But we fear we'd disturb the Ladies if we were too obvious.

Mr. Longshaft had the lookout, replacing Mr. Somme to over see his duties on deck, and soon reported the hard points surrounding the wharf were unmanned. We stood down, breathing a sigh of relief.

As we neared the shore we saw a dark figure at the telescope, watching us calmly while the, unarmed, dock crew worked with speed and dexterity to make ready our arrival.

The lines were tossed and we were effortlessly moored. And the dark figure was no lesser personage than Fraulien Bancroft, Burgomeister, literally translated meaning 'master of the citizens', the equivalent of our Guv'ner.

Her black Imperial "Pickelhaube", the Teutonic spiked helmet, gleamed in the mid-day sun. She wore a delicately embroidered black brocaded jacket and leggings of the finest woolen and her patent leather riding boots shone as an onyx ring in a platinum setting. And all the time she methodically balanced a cigarette holder in her teeth.

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Bryndall Ellison, Virginia Tambola, Mr. Also Stern, Miss Betty Doyle, Miss Namanari, Mr.Longstaff, Mr Somme, my wife, Mrs Gable-Burleigh and I went ashore after suitably out-fitting ourselves for this foreign City-State.

We were met by Jaeger Edelweiss, the Casino owner, and Xela Verane from the Tourist Center.

The name of the Inn was Die Grunderhaus ---literally Founder's House

to be continued...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

the Galloper's Dispatch

the Galloper's Dispatch

Tis said that "the voyage of a thousand miles begins with a single step." But today that step was backwards, gentle readers.

The Winds from out of the Mainland, The Linden Zeyphers, played havoc with our intrepid band of explorers.

All started well enough. Mrs. Burleigh and I ordered the Byzantium China and it arrived safely. The sweets and scones were all in order and the Cucumber sandwiches from Mrs. Ally Geer's shop were as delicious as could be.

Mrs. Burleigh's Garden was abloom and as fragrant as a potpourri. Its heather and roses were as violet flame dancing in the breeze.

His Grace, the Duke Carntaigh had no difficulty mooring his 24-gun brigantine, HMS Ellen. He sailed in regally and under full sail. Her Grace, Duchess Carntaigh, soon emerged from her stateroom and greeted us, then sat quietly and worked on her score for that evening's performance of her orchestra.

Twas then that the Linden Winds shifted! The mighty winds raged in at gale force, 38 knots by the Beaufort scale! Walking was difficult and one made little headway, try as one might. Our lovely Weeping Willows helplessly bowed and thrashed, sickening my heart, as I cherish those! White caps crashed upon our fair sands and drove our pelicans in-land for the duration.

Despite the winds, some brave souls soon answered our call. Miss Namanari and Mr. Longshaft arrived just as the storm hit, barely allowing them to be seated before its first gusts blew in. Sadly, as our Norwegian comrade, Mr Smashcan, arrived he was soaked through to the bone and had to retire to a room to change his garments.

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Being True Caledonians, we persisted with Afternoon Tea! The China performed as promised! Many don't know the frailty of The Chinese porcelain, that it is only a matter of whereupon the force should strike it! Compression of China, unbeknownst to many, strengthens it. As illustrated by an daguerro-type of a heavy ox-cart, supported only by four tea cups, one under each of the four great wheels! Tragically, the fine lace doileys were the first victims and were swept away, heartlessly and without regard for their craftsmenship nor sentimental value! Mrs. Gable-Burleigh's Kindly Aunt Martha had bestowed them upon us at our nuptuals. We grieved later.

Next to fall were the cucumber sandwiches. My Bride had cut the crusts from that Hovis bread just minutes before, with her own delicate fingers, as fine and as strong as the afore-mentioned porcelian. Curse You, Linden Winds!! Have you no civility at all? Now they scattered to the four points of the compass as chickens scurry as a farmer nears them with his hatchet.

Tradition has its place and its importance, but the Expedition awaited us! What was this grave foreshadowing from Neptune? We steeled ourselves and made our way to the pier where the Good Ship HMS Ellen was anchored.

Zoots! The vast ship tossed on those storm struck waves! Her mighty timbers rode the white caps as surely as Ahab rode The White Whale himself!

The party of explorers soon took their places and we stood for the all important Railside portrait.

I cannot tell you how my heart rose at the courage of these brave women and men. Yes! Brave Caledonian Women! Lovely in her gown Miss Namanari and dashing in her safari wear, Mrs. Gable-Burliegh! I may point out, briefly and without hestiation, the remarks of the tailor proved true to thier word:
"This feminine short sleeve safari shirt combines the best of elegance with freedom of movement. Petite decorative pockets adorn the front of this uniquely designed safari shirt for just the right amount of style for Her expedition".
Truer words have NEVER been writen!

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We completed the portraiture but time ran out and the Linden Winds has won the First Round.

Consultation with the Duke and Duchess and the assembled crew soon showed wisdom the better course and we set about to tighten the ropes on our beloved Ellen. Thanks be to the gods for Our Graces! By their grace and patronage, and their clarity of mind, we saw our way.

By Jupiter we vow to complete this mission and bring civilzation to the Heathen and Honour to Caledon!

Port Neualtenburg awaits!