(July 17th to 23rd)

Format: Triple

At last the coast changed and grew green and low and exceedingly muddy, and there were broad rivers whose bars were little islands standing three or four miles out at sea, and … (he) … hugged the shore more closely than ever, remembering what the lieutenant of the Mongoose had told him. Then he found a river full of the smell of fever and mud, with green stuff growing far into its waters, and a current that made the flat-iron gasp and grunt..


This is from “Judson and the Empire” in Many Inventions.

Lieutenant ‘Bai-Jove’ Judson, commander of a small gun-boat, is on his way up the coast of Africa to deal with trouble in Portuguese territory. He does so in Stalky-like fashion, by craft and cunning, with no lives lost and faces saved all round.

‘After the storm we saw a mountain whose top was covered with snow and pierced the clouds. The grasses under this mountain, boiled and eaten, are a good cure for soreness of the gums and swelled ankles. We lay there eight days, till men in skins threw stones at us. When the heat increased Witta spread a cloth on bent sticks above the rowers, for the wind failed between the Island of the Mountain and the shore of Africa, which is east of it. That shore is sandy, and we rowed along it within three bowshots..


This is from “The Knights of the Joyous Venture” in Puck of Pook’s Hill

Richard and Hugh are on board a Danish long-ship, venturing down the coast ofr Africa in search of gold.

‘The moving galley’s bow was plunking them back through their own oar-holes, and I could hear no end of ‘ a shindy in the decks below. Then her nose caught us nearly in the middle, and we tilted sideways, and the fellows in the right-hand galley unhitched their hooks and ropes, and threw things on to our upper deck—arrows, and hot pitch or something that stung, and we went up and up and up on the left side, and the right side dipped, and I twisted my head round and saw the water stand still as it topped the right bulwarks…’


This is from “The Finest Story in the World” in Many Inventions.

Charlie Mears, a London bank-clerk, is reliving a previous life as a galley-slave in ancient times.