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Falkenstein Chronology 1873

Page history last edited by Michael 10 years, 5 months ago

back to the Falkenstein Index


  • May 24: depart Bombay

  • May 27: Mr. Lemtaavik is found dead in his bed, apparently the victim of a stroke ...

  • May 28: arrive Columbo, Ceylon

  • May 29: depart Columbo

  • June 6: arrive Jakarta, Dutch East Indies

  • June 7: depart Jakarta

  • June 9: arrive Singapore

  • June 14: board sailing vessel Trincomalee, bound for Bangkok

  • June 16: arrival of the Cesarevitch in Singapore; the Trincomalee is attacked by pirates just after dawn, and in defeating them with magic, Miss Lee swamps the vessels and renders it a derelict. Late in the day, a small vessel headed south to Singapore comes alongside the Trincomalee, and agrees to fetch help.

  • June 18: the tugboat La Serena takes the Trincomalee in tow, bound for Bangkok.

  • June 20: departure of Pamiat Azove for Siam

  • June 22: the Trincomalee arrives in Bangkok, Siam; the submarine is transported by barge to Bangkok, and the characters settle in -- Mr. Parapthet at his home, Count Ostrowsky and Miss Lee at the Oriental Hotel (one of the world's finest, and it should be at £5 a night for a good suite).

  • Siam is in the pre-Monsoon hot season, with temperatures ranging from 90° to 100° F every day; no rain falls.

  • June 23: the Pamiat Azove arrives in Bangkok; the King receives the Cesarevitch; the Gad #1 is presented to the King, and the characters receive the Order of the Magenta Elephant (First Class); at dinner in the Grand Palace, Lady Ashburton-Parkes meets the Count and Mr. Parapthet (at the low end of the table). Lady Ashburton-Parkes is travelling with the Cesarevitch's party at the invitation of the Cesarevna (they were school friends).

  • After dinner, as the guests view the splendid grounds and decor of the Palace, two cannon shots are heard from the dock area. Upon investigation, a small cannon is found, which was fired at the Gad #1. A European and several Thais were seen running away from the cannon after the attack, which did no serious damage.

  • June 24: Count Ostrowsky departs for Sarjooni in the afternoon, aboard the tugboat La Serena. Mr. Parapthet makes the acquaintance of a Conservative rabbi, and arranges for Hebrew lessons; he also resumes his "official" duties with the Ministry of Agriculture, Exotic Plants Section. The Russian royal party tours Bangkok.

  • June 26: the Russians go upriver in steamers to shoot tigers and such near Lopburi ...

  • June 27: Mr. Parapthet is attacked in the street by four Chinese tong members; although injured, he defeats them, and learns they were hired by a fat, balding farang. He is somewhat incapacitated for several weeks after this.

    Ramadan for the Islamic year 1289 begins this day.

  • June 28: the Russians return from the back-country. That night a terrific lightning storm hits Bangkok, and several persons are killed by the electrical disturbances. It is thought they are magical in origin, and may be related to a break-in at the Oriental Hotel for the purpose of searching Miss Lee's room.

    Meanwhile, near French Indo-China (at Pointe de Camau), the tugboat La Serena is intercepted by a French revenue cutter, and taken to Saigon over Ostrowsky's protests.

  • June 29: the Cesarevitch's party departs from Bangkok with all due pomp and circumstance (and a honey bear, two tiger cubs, etc.). Miss Lee is acupunctured; the Chinese doctor diagnoses her as having a severe case of magic overuse.

  • Heavy rains begin, announcing the start of the wet monsoon season in Siam. Winds are from the southwest, rains of at least 1/4 inch a day occur, and temperatures hover around 85° F. Many people think that the strange storm of the night before heralded the change of seasons.

  • June 30: Count Ostrowsky departs Saigon for Sarjooni, on a small French steamer. Miss Lee is checked out of the Oriental Hotel by Mr. Parapthet; he arranges a small villa for her in the city, and pays her hotel bill of £40 (375 baht). Mr. MacFie begins feeding her on "gud Scots tucker."

  • July 2: the Pamiat Azov stops for half a day in Brunei; a poor reception by the Sultan, and strict rules on female coverings, alcoholic consumption, and other Ramadan restrictions do not bring about a desire to linger.

  • July 3: the Count arrives in Sarjooni, and begins preparations to receive the Cesarevitch.

  • July 4: the Pamiat Azov reaches Sarjooni mid-day. Many grand activities, a banquet and ball ... Lady Ashburton-Parkes arranges an assignation with Count Ostrowsky at the Blue Patio of the Sultan's Palace: to the Count's vague distress, she makes some strongly-phrased comments about the "dingus."

  • July 5: the Russian-Sarjooni Star Iron Company makes a dividend payment of several thousand pounds sterling (in gold) to the Count. Star iron is worth about £50 per pound (avdp) on the market (actually £4 10s ($22) per troy ounce). The Count, and Lady Ashburton-Parkes, make arrangements to charter an American clipper ship (the Charleston) lying in Tramur Harbor for a quick voyage back to Bangkok. Lady Ashburton-Parkes acquires a strange bird.

  • July 7: the Pamiat Azov departs from Sarjooni, bound for Hue and Hong Kong (after a adjustment of the schedule). Lady Ashburton-Parkes takes her leave of the Cesarevna.

  • July 9: the Charleston sets sail for Bangkok. The London Times and the Daily Mail advocate sending General "Chinese" Gordon to settle the Gold Coast.

  • July 16: the Charleston drops anchor at the mouth of the Chao Praya River; Count Boris Ostrowsky and Lady Ashburton-Parkes board the narrow gauge railway and travel to Bangkok, where the Count looks up Mr. Parapthet and Miss Lee.

  • July 19: Count Ostrowsky learns that his exile has been rescinded, due to a good report by the Tsarevitch. Mr. Parapthet discovers that his watch dog has eaten a Templar.

  • July 22: a huge banquet is thrown in Bangkok, at the Oriental Hotel, by Count Ostrowsky.

  • July 23: a pair of German sailors briefly kidnap Mr. Parapthet. It is discovered that a French agent is behind this, and other attempts, on his safety. Lady Ashburton-Parkes gets much credit from the Italian embassy for the return of their stolen steam launch.

  • July 25: the S.S. Gilderman, a British paddle-wheel steamer, leaves Bangkok with Count Ostrowsky, Lady Ashburton-Parks, Mr. Parapthet, and Miss Kaelin Lee aboard, bound for Singapore.

  • July 28: the Gilderman arrives in Singapore.

  • July 30: the party departs Singapore aboard the P&O liner Niatic, with stops in:

  • August 13: Bombay, India ...

       HM Government selects Major Gen. Garnet Wolseley to command the proposed Ashantee Expedition.

  • August 25: Alexandria, Egypt ...

  • August 29: Valetta, Malta ...

  • September 2 : Gibraltar, and finally ...

  • September 6: Southampton, England. The characters read news of a financial panic beginning in America.

  • September 7: in London, Lady Ashburton-Parkes and Mr. Parapthet conclude the negotiations for the Osman Documents.

  • September 8: Mr. Parapthet deposits his checks, and Lady Ashburton-Parkes presents the Documents to her Order.

  • September 9: Ostrowsky, Parapthet, and Miss Lee travel to Liverpool on the LNWR.

  • September 10: they arrive in Dublin, and set out for Miss Lee's home in county Mayo, by train, coach, and horseback. Lady Ashburton-Parkes returns to her family home.

  • September 13: Kaelin Lee returns to her ancestral home, and is welcomed back by the people of her village, and some local faerie lords, and a huge feast.

  • September 15: Count Ostrowsky and Mr. Parapthet take their leave of Kaelin Lee, and head east towards England. Napoleon IV is crowned Emperor of France.

  • September 18: they arrive in Dublin, and take the ferry to Liverpool

  • September 19: back in London ...

    Meanwhile, Lady Ashburton-Parkes has been arranging accomodation for her tiger cubs (no longer quite so small), her honey bear, and her "toucan." She travels to Holdernesse Hall, the estate of the Duke of Holdernesse, on the Yorkshire coast. There, she participates in arcane and boring Illuminati rituals. There is much discussion of the importance of the Osman Documents.

  • September 26: the conference of Bavarian Illuminants at Holdernesse Hall ends. Lady Ashburton-Parkes returns home.

  • October 3: Lady Ashburton-Parkes is informed by her Order of the possible discovery of the Staff of the Western Isles at Coomassie, in the Ashanti kingdom of Africa. They direct her to try and retrieve it for the Order.

  • October 4: Lady Alicia asks Count Ostrowsky to consider accompanying the Ashantee Expedition.

  • October 8: Lady Ellen Martingale (b. 1824), widowed great aunt to Lady Alicia, arrives at Torrington Hall, to act as companion and duenna for Alicia in her travels.

  • October 10: Lady Alicia begins learning the spells from Osman's "Scoll of Creation," with some danger to herself.

  • October 14: Lady Alicia has learned the "Creation of Palaces" spell.

  • October 17: Mr. Parapthet is named official Siamese observer to the Ashanti Expedition, with the (somewhat dubious) rank of Major in the Saimese Artillery. Count Ostrowsky meets with the Duke of Cambridge, to discuss the Duke's concerns about General Wolseley.

  • October 19: Count Ostrowsky, Major Parapthet, and Lady Alicia arrive at Aldershot to meet the Expedition.

  • October 20: the display of Military Contrivances takes place near the Royal Pavilion at Aldershot.

   "As entertainment, it takes some beating ..."

  • October 25: the Expedition departs in the steamship Simoon, bound for the Gold Coast. Major Parapthet and Count Ostrowsky bid a fond farewell to Lady Alicia at Plymouth.

  • October 27: Lady Alicia leaves for Baden, accompanied by Lady Ellen ...

  • October 29: ... and arrives at the famous spa.

  • November 6: Lady Alicia makes the first of her late-night visits by portal to the cabin of Major Parapthet aboard the Simoon.

  • November 10: the Simoon arrives at Cape Coast Castle.

  • November 11: led by Lt. Butler, Count Ostrowsky, Major Parapthet, and a few soldiers head inland to scout the Ashantee forces. The Tsar’s ‘name-day’.

  • November 12: early in the morning, a missionary from West Dorking, England (Mr. Johnston, nee Alicia Ashburton-Parkes) wanders into the Fanti village where Lt. Butler's patrol is staying. Mr. Johnston attaches himself to the group ...

  • November 13: Lt. Butler's patrol captures a Ashantee prisoner, and retreats towards the coast.

  • November 14: General Wolseley summons the chiefs of the coastal Fanti, Kassoo, Ampeene, Accassi, and Essaman tribes to come to him, to assist the British.

  • November 15: the patrol is picked up by the gunboat Beetle, and returned to Cape Coast Castle.

  • November 16: the chief of the Kassoo tribe replies, "I have got smallpox today, but will come tomorrow." The chief of the Ampeene tribe has apparently sent back the head of the messenger sent to ask for his assistance. Mr. Johnston is sent by gunboat to Acra.

  • November 17: the chief of the Essaman tribe replies in essence, "come and get me." General Wolseley resolves to do just that. The mysterious African, "George," appears at Cape Coast Castle town as Count Ostrowsky's servant. Lt. Butler, Count Ostrowsky, Major Parapthet, "George" and a couple of Hausa soldiers travel west towards the Essaman tribal lands to observe their preparations. They observe, and 'break up,' a tribal magic ritual; a small whirlwind is an unintended consequence of Lt. Butler's magics.

  • November 21: General Wolseley advises the newspaper correspondents that he is heading east, and then travels west at night from Elmina to attack Essaman.

  • November 22: leading most of the Elmina garrison (and a company of Fanti under Lt. Col. Wood) out before dawn, General Wolseley marches to Essaman, and attacks by noon. The hostile natives are dispersed, and (after difficult marches in soft sand under the burning sun) several villages are attacked. In several small skirmishes, the Fanti perform poorly. Unfortunately, Lt. Col. McNeill is put out of action with a bad wound -- "An infernal scoundrel out there has shot me through the arm!"

  • November 23: the column returns to Elmina, and Wolseley decides that the coastal tribes cannot be depended upon; the British Army must be summoned. A naval vessel is sent to Gibraltar (along with some of the wounded, including McNeill), where a telegram will summon the Regulars.

  • November 26: General Wolseley falls ill with an "ardent fever," and is delirious for a week (coming close to death by the end of the month). He is taken aboard the Simoon for rest and treatment. His health will not be fully recovered until just after Christmas. Lt. Colonel Colley is temporarily in command of the Expedition.

  • November 28 - 29: "Russell's Regiment" repulses an attack by the Ashantee army at Absakampra.

  • November 30: a naval supply vessel arrives with Major Buller, the engineers, and lots of road-building supplies. Major Home begins building roads and bridges: two miles a day, eight bridges a day, with seven supply/telegraph/hospital stations along the 70 mile road to the border of Ashanteeland. Each station has huts for 400 men, and water purifier; two of them have a bakery and four have abattoirs.

  • December 1: Lt. Butler leads another scouting expedition towards Ashanteeland (now that Major Buller is in overall command of the Intelligence department). He once again takes Major Parapthet, Count Ostrowsky, "George," a Siamese servant, and two Hausa soldiers; they are all (except George) disguised by Lt. Maurice's Masonic magics to resemble Ashantee warriors.

  • December 7: at Gibraltar, the Regulars are summoned.

       Butler's scouting group crosses the Pra into Ashanteeland.

  • December 9: during the day, Butler and his scouts stroll bravely into Coomassie, and observe the barbaric sights of that heathen town. In the evening, they sneak into the "high" town, locate the hostages (20 or so Europeans, and about 70 non-whites), free them in a short battle, and depart via a sorcerous Portal created by the surprisingly talented "George." The Portal takes them to the coast, only two miles from the Castle, where the wounded "George" bids them adieu and vanishes through another Portal. (A remarkable amount of Portals and other spells are cast this morning by Miss Alicia, most unknown to the world).

  • December 10: early in the morning, Lt. Butler leads the rescued hostages to Cape Coast Castle, to the amazement and delight of all present. Major Wood's military road has already progressed twenty miles from the coast.

  • December 12: Lady Alicia begins her return to England, under the care of Doctor von Zumpf-und-Zo-Furtzner.

  • December 15: the fleet of transports and small warships departs Portsmouth, bound for the Gold Coast with 2,500 British soldiers. On the way, the men are given courses on how to stay healthy in the bush. Lady Alicia arrives at the Ashburton-Parkes estate at Torrington.

  • December 16: while “observing” Wood’s regiment in training, Count Ostrowsky comes down with a strange disease -- probably the result of Ashantee magics.

  • December 19: “George” appears in the tent of Major Parapthet, and upon being “mistaken” for an intruder, is soundly beaten by the Hausas. After the misunderstanding is put right, he speaks at length with Count Ostrowsky and Parapthet, and disappears again.

  • December 20: Lady Alicia begins her gymnastic training at Torrington, under the tutelage of Frau Ursula Bottinger.

  • December 21: “George” is transported by magical portal to a dungeon in the Duke of Holdernesse’s estate.

  • before Christmas: General Wolseley comes to Cape Coast Castle to prepare for the invasion of Ashanteeland, and resumes command of the Expedition.

  • December 25: Christmas day; Lady Alicia receives a glass dress and a puzzle ring from her grandfather.

  • December 27: in a light buggy, drawn by six powerful Fanti, Gen. Wolseley sets out for Ashantiland on the road being build by Major Home.

  • December 29: the Ashburton-Parkes depart Torrington, and return to London via private train.

  • December 30: the transports arrive at Cape Coast Castle.

  • December 31: the army is disembarked at Cape Coast. A native porter is assigned to every three soldiers, to help them carry their equipment (including veils, respirators, and cholera belts. Each day, every soldier receives a dose of quinine in rum. In London, “George” is delivered to a rented warehouse, converted to a boxing practice-hall, and placed in the care of a coach, Mr. Ted Smith. Lady Alicia employs her magics to enter his mind, and has a short but painful introduction to the Sweet Science of boxing. A New Year’s Eve ball that night helps take her mind from this trouble.


on to the 1874 Chronology

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