Original Dobsonian research by Tristan Shuddery. This blog includes quotations from Dobson and is intended as a humble tribute to Frank Key, the greatest living Dobsonist.

18 December, 2005

Keening at Cape Hoon

As our caravan rounded the Cape of Hoon, Baxter's talisman began to keen. Our metallurgist had determined that it's healing properties were due to it's composition: An alloy of pitchblende and cadmium, however none of us could fathom the cause of it's new emanations.

Baxters palanquin-bearers were growing short-tempered; This shrill keening was yet another indignity they were to endure, on-top of his raving and agitation. Those courageous natives still bore the lunatic on their strong shoulders... but for how long?

Our mahout, once the fulcrum of jollity, became implacable. That evening he announced that he had been subpoenaed by his spirit-guide to attend an elephantine tribunal. He had left us in the care of Condolezza, the elderly bull-elephant who was quite deaf and unperturbed by my shrieking companion or his noisome amulet.

The following day we were set upon by scimitar wielding brigands, no doubt attracted by our din. They came at us from all sides with their blades-a-whirl. I bade father Tobias (Our Jesuit) perform the last rights.

Just I believed all was lost, the leader of the scoundrels raised his visor, and I was shocked to see that German inventor Andreas Albrecht.

Why had the pioneer of the theodolite become an outlaw? Why was this man who had written inspirational treatises on the plumb-bob and pendulum now hefting a halberd? How could the architect of Hooting Yard's concentric duck-ponds have turned to brigandry?

I was never to know the answer to these questions for at that instant the keening ceased. An enraged Baxter leapt from his box, and flew at the bandits. He assailed with his bare fists. He harried them with the demented might of a demoniac.

He chased them into a thicket.

We never saw the scofflaws or that accursed talisman again. All we could do was trudge after Condolezza who had been oblivious of the whole encounter.

We found Baxter the next day bloodied, naked, crumpled and unconcious.

- from "Five Hundred Nights in Tantarabim" by Dobson


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