Monday, 14 December 2009

Far Flung Adventures 1

Midshipman Dainty became separated from the water party through that most innocent of impulses, a love of nature. Despite orders to secure water inland and return to the bumboats without delay and despite sightings of cannibal war parties in the archipelago, Dainty succumbed to the beauty of an orchid overhanging the narrow pathway. Sending the party on under the temporary command of a burly bosun, he settled back with pad and pencil, to commit the marvellous bloom to paper.

The party had lumbered on, with water barrels on makeshift barrows. Cutlasses and muskets at the ready, they scanned the dense foliage for rapacious head hunters. While Dainty, a slim, golden-haired youth, smiled dreamily at the bromeliad and strove to capture its exquisite lines.

Half an hour later, on completing a satisfactory study, he registered the complete absence of brawny, naval ratings hauling heavy equipment back down the path. A furrow of doubt and vexation creased his perfect brow. Then he heard voices on the shore.

He dashed back to the shore line, in time to watch the bumboats making their way back, through the breakers, to HMS Vantage. He looked at the sketch of the orchid, still clasped in his hand, and shook his head as he reflected that he and it were two natural beauties lost amidst the leafy Polynesian shore. He sighed poetically.

At that moment a massive Polynesian war club, with multiple knobbles and ridges, flattened his golden curls. The second blow shattered the perfect symmetry of his handsome face. The muscled warrior desisted from a third, not wishing to ruin his trophy’s profile nor afflict his lunch with irritating bone fragments.

From the poop deck, Vantage’s captain captured the moment in his spyglass. Not much to Dainty, he reflected, beggars would be hungry again by tea-time.


Patricia said...

I always suspected that taking time to stand and stare was extremely risky, let alone sit and sketch.

No One In Particular said...

Yeah...stop and smell the roses...SCREW THAT!

Percy Bysshe said...

Dainty, ain't ee?