Professor Humperdink III

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31.3.08

Fresh supplies


Alana
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Fresh supplies
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Stop off in Hawaii where Alana has been waiting for Juan. She takes him away. It is wonderful to be back in Hawaii but we are desperately short of whisky and have to head for San Francisco, where we obtain a larger ship and re-stock with fresh supplies.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

29.3.08

New navigators


Donald and Donald
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Our two new navigators, Donald MacTavish and Donald McTavish are both wonderfully knowledgeable connoisseurs of single malt whisky but, other than this mutual appreciation, they are unable to agree on anything. The result is that we are sailing around in ever decreasing circles. Hopefully, they will reach an accommodation soon and we will make some progress.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

28.3.08

Gulisa-an


Aini and Y'egas
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Stop off in Gulisa-an to deliver some presents. One of our Dorro friends, Pasere, knowing that we were likely to be passing near Gulisa-an, insisted on giving us some charming stuffed heads as gifts for Juan’s nieces, Aini and Y'egas who, as can be seen from their tattoos, belong to a family who specialises in collecting such objects. As the original yimbargani (head skin) was badly damaged, in its place, Pasere covered the heads with pawaigani (wallaby skin). However, the sea air has caused the pawaigani to shrink, with the result that the heads look somewhat over-stuffed. Fortunately, Pasere also included an excellent skull, which he mounted on a stick and filled with raro nuts. This has not been affected by the salt air and makes a very fine rattle, which the girls are delighted with.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

27.3.08

Fatima, fattened


Shelter
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Heading south
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Fatima, before fattening
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Fatima, fattened
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Received word that Kulu’s cousin, Fatima, betrothed to Juan’s nephew, Ali, has finished her period of fattening and will be getting married shortly. We are invited to their wedding and, as the wind is in the wrong direction, we call up our tug and, delighted to leave these cold seas, leave our sheltering iceberg and head for the Bakasi Peninsula as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

23.3.08

Leaving the Islands


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We reach the coast; join our ships and set sail. We break out Juan’s new batch of whisky and drink toast after toast to all our friends on these beautiful islands, who have shown us such kindness and hospitality. Now, befuddled, and disastrously behind schedule, we sail on, as fast as we possibly can, for as far as the spiced winds will bear us. For as long as the sea will carry us.
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Professor Humperdink’s diary.

20.3.08

Ambunti


Gaima, Kaglnogl, Kimba, Kopol and Ulka
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Ambunti
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Lowia
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Ter and Rossa
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Heading east
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Stopped off in Ambunti to see Juan’s young nephew, Lowia. Our old friends, Gaima, Kaglnogl, Kimba, Kopol and Ulka come out to meet us. Juan notes that Gaima’s head-dress has an outer rim of goura pigeons’ feathers: close to his head are cassowary and black parrot feathers. Kaglnogle wears feathers of the white cockatoo and the streaked bowerbird. Kimba wears light sticks radiating outwards, topped with parrot’s feathers; on top of the pole are the tail feathers of Meyer’s bird of paradise. Kopol wears the feathers of Count Raggi’s bird of paradise, with white cockatoo feathers beneath and Ulka wears two hornbills’ beaks and the feathers of the hornbill, cassowary and pigeon.
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It turns out that we have arrived just in time for Lowia’s initiation ceremony. This involved Lowia swallowing a long cane, when it reached his stomach, we all took turns in seizing the protruding end and dancing around in circles for hours on end. It was all very jolly and symbolic and, after a feast of hornbill, cockatoo, bird of paradise, streaked bowerbird, cassowary, pigeon and black parrot, we joined Ter and Rossa in performing the initiation celebration dance. After dancing for three days, we are brainlessly behind schedule and, sadly, have to leave immediately. We don our disguises and head east as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

















17.3.08

Obi


Boeatsa, stringing his bow
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Triodes Alexandra (Female)
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Boeatsa, trying to shoot a Triodes Chimera
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Arrive on the island of Obi and, first chasing out the thousands of poisonous death adders, for which the island is famous, set up camp in the ruined fort, Den Briel, and break out the whisky. Obi is reputed to be haunted with evil spirits. There may be some truth to this as Juan claims that whisky brewed on the island has a particularly foul taste and causes a uniquely nasty hangover. Although this is certainly true, it is more likely that the superstition comes from the fact that Obi is inhabited by ropens, large pterodactyloids and the smaller duah, rhamphorhynchoids, close relatives of the common orang-bati, which live in the caves and tunnels under the island. Despite the fact that larger specimens have been known to carry away children, the creatures are not dangerous to adults, but they do make an unpleasant screeching sound, which disturbs the night.
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At first light, feeling truly dreadful, we set out find a male Triodes Alexandra. Juan spots a very rare and tasty Pachycephala obiensis Salvadori, our friends, Boeatsa and Gopmut, make a large net out of spider’s webs and, leaving us to chase the bird through the bush, they go on ahead to the east of the island where they believe a new growth of Aristolochia schlecteri may have attracted some of the butterflies that we seek. Unfortunately, they are both suffering terribly from the effects of Juan’s whisky and, by the time we catch up with them, they have, in falling over and bumping into things, succeeded in tearing their net to ribbons. Boeatsa, cross-eyed with his hangover, and, even using four-pronged arrows, has failed to shoot a single butterfly and Gopmut, too ill to stand, has given up the hunt entirely. We see that Boeatsa is attempting to shoot what he thinks is a Triodes Chimera which, stupidly, he has mistaken for a Triodes Goliathia, realising that, in this condition, there is little point is carrying on with the hunt, we stumble back to the fort.
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As we chase out the adders again, Juan trips and falls on to a butterfly, which turns out to be a female Triodes Alexandra with an eighteen-inch wingspan. Although this does not necessarily prove that Pullea saw a male with a two-foot wingspan, it does indicate that the species, in this area, grows somewhat larger than usual. Now, monstrously behind schedule, we carry on, as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

Port Moresby


Port Moresby
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Pullea playing posi-pati
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Triodes Alexandra (male)
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Arrive in Port Moresby just in time to watch Pullea, Aunt Humperdink’s niece, take part in the annual posi-pata championships. After the game, Pullea tells us that, on a recent trip to Obi, she spotted a male Triodes Alexandra with a two-foot wingspan. Juan is doubtful about this as not only do they rarely have a wingspan of more than twelve inches but, despite living on Obi for many years, Juan did not see a single such specimen. Nonetheless, we have to acknowledge that Pullea and her family are world-renowned experts on local Lepidoptera and we set off for Obi immediately.
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Professor Humperdink's Diary

14.3.08

Becalmed


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Despite making good headway for a day or two, the wind dies and we are incensed to find ourselves becalmed in the deep ocean. Stupidly behind schedule, we have nothing to do but sit and wait for the wind to pick up. We spend the time testing Juan’s latest batch of whisky, and find it to be more than usually potent. Juan puts this down to the fact that the Scottish spring water he used has particularly invigorating qualities, which, Juan claims, explains certain excitable characteristics of the Scottish personality.
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We spend the night drinking, singing, fighting and watching wonderful meteoric displays, which are either the result of natural celestial phenomena or a consequence of the over imbibing of Juan’s whisky.
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Professor Humperdink's Diary

11.3.08

To the Coast


Duncan and family
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Sef and Seely

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Lazy Lady
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On the way to the coast we visit Duncan, (on the right of the photograph), and his new family. Duncan travels with us on African expeditions and has had some problems readjusting to the Scottish weather, now, however, he seems perfectly happy as he has some hot-blooded companions, who help keep him warm. Before joining our ship, we stop to say goodbye to Sef (on the left of the picture). Sef has found a very attractive young mate and indicates that he wants to raise a family so, for the first time in decades, he will not be accompanying us, we are very happy for him but we will miss him badly. Now, contemptibly behind schedule, we set sail and head out to sea as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

10.3.08

Leaving Aberfeldy


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We have had a wonderful time in Aberfeldy, but, having spent three or four days in the Cheeky Monkey, we are horrifically behind schedule. We stagger out, have a traditional Scottish farewell brawl with our friends, promise to return as soon as we are able, and head north as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

7.3.08

Aberfeldy


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As I have been invited to give the annual William Wallace lecture, Juan and I head for our favourite public house, the Cheeky Monkey, to work on my notes. Aunt Humperdink provides some exceedingly rare pictures, illustrating aspects of Wallace’s loves, passions and heroic deeds. Unfortunately, after a few drams, we start arguing over details of the great man’s life, this, typically, in the Cheeky Monkey, quickly escalates into a full scale brawl, my notes are destroyed in the mêlée and spilled beer, whisky and blood damage the pictures beyond repair. Morag, the fabulously beautiful, but extremely tough landlady, brings things under control by firing her twelve bore at the combatants. Juan brings out his bagpipes and we spend the rest of the evening picking lead pellets from our bodies, drinking, and singing The Birks of Aberfeldy, Scots Wha Hae Wi’ Wallace Bled and other traditional airs, until we all lapse into unconsciousness.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

6.3.08

Edinburgh


William and Helen
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The 'Wallace' exhibition
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We return to Edinburgh for Hamish’s seventh birthday and to take part in the annual ‘Wallace’ exhibition. Juan’s long association with Scotland comes both from the fact that he served with the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), 6th Battalion, in Chambrecy, and that he is a direct descendant of William Wallace, one of the early pioneers of Scottish funambulism.
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Subsequent to Wallace’s untimely demise, his clan paid homage to the great man by holding high wire exhibitions. As the years progressed, they became more and more famous, but, owing to their partiality to single malt Scottish whisky, the troupe suffered many fatal falls. Over time, this decimated the family. Out of respect to the memory of their heroic ancestor, they were reluctant to give up the art, and replaced their deceased by recruiting more and more distantly related members of the family. In addition, the ‘Falling Wallaces’, as they were then known, drew large crowds, there was a financial incentive for poor relations to join the troupe.
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Presently, Jamie and Murdo are the only remaining members of the troupe, both men volunteered for the job, as they are unemployed, owing to having a significant drinking problem. As a result, unfortunately, neither Murdo nor Jamie are known for their ability to retain their balance on solid ground, much less on a high wire. To add to their problems, Murdo was recently injured in a bar brawl in the Cheeky Monkey, Aberfeldy, and Jamie suffered a broken leg whilst learning to ride a bicycle. With both of our friends unable to perform, we take their place, ensuring that the memory of William Wallace will continue to be revered.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

5.3.08

The Baker Street Enigma

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Early one December during my association with Sherlock Holmes, he sent me a postcard requesting my presence on a matter of considerable mutual interest.
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I had no other pressing affairs to claim my attention, so I immediately hailed a hackney carriage, and proceeded to Baker Street. On my arrival, I was distressed to find Holmes slumped in an armchair, evidently in the throes of his morphic passion, and sat down to await his recovery.
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While waiting, my eye chanced upon a small packet of documents and I began to read them. They appeared to be no more than the ravings of a lunatic, and I could make nothing of them. I concluded that they must be germane to the case Holmes was waiting on, and sat back to await him, and the clear explanation that would undoubtedly be forthcoming. While waiting. I was struck by and distressed by the unfortunate change that had taken place in Holmes’ habit of self-destruction. Previously, he had only indulged his vice out of ennui, between cases. What terrible force had made him practice it while evidently engaged upon the problems of a client?
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At length Holmes awoke, “Ah Watson! I assume you have attempted to read the documents, but failed to make any sense of them, and replaced them as you found them?” I agreed that this was the case.
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“Sometimes, Watson, the truth is so strange the mind cannot encompass it. That is what happened here. You could actually understand the words that were written on those papers easily enough, but the message they contained was so shocking to you that your mind refused to accept it.”
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I recall a long, pregnant pause, disturbed only by the ticking of the clock on the mantelpiece above the fireplace, and, once, by the shifting of some coals in the fire.
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“Brace yourself man. I have some disturbing news for you. These documents, the authenticity of which I can entertain no doubt whatsoever, for reasons I cannot disclose even to you, and whose provenance must also remain undisclosed, reveal beyond the possibility of contradiction, that we, you and I, are nothing more than works of fiction!”
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I stared at Holmes dumbfounded. Was the man still gripped by the drug which he had so recently injected into his veins using the nickel plated syringe which still lay on the table between us?
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“No Watson. This is nothing but the truth. Our author is a Scotsman, and a medical man to boot! You, Watson, are his alter ego. I am a recreation, with modifications, of a teacher who enormously impressed him as a medical student.
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“But Holmes-” I began to protest. “Hold Watson. When you have excluded every impossible explanation, what remains must be the truth. What I have said is the truth. You can console yourself with the thought that we inhabit a most successful fictional world. Our prestige is substantial, and almost the entire real world is familiar with us. We no mere creations of a hack writer, though that appears to be how Doyle, for that is the name of our creator, thought of us.”
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Again I attempted to point out to Holmes the manifest absurdity of what he was saying, and again he cut me off. “Watson, a single proof should suffice to convince you. You recall the time I encountered Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, I trust?” I nodded my agreement. “Has it never struck you as odd that I did indeed fall to my death, and yet I am here now, in front of you, in the flesh? You will recall that you departed from the truth somewhat in your published account. In reality, you heard my cry as I fell, and you found my body, entwined with that of Moriarty at the foot of the falls, and, horrified, you fled from the scene. When you returned, my body had disappeared. The truth is that, disgusted with my persona, Doyle had dismissed me from his mind, and that is why you were unable to recover my corpse, despite that most exhaustive search. As you say, you know I died, yet here I am. I am no ghost, and I trust we are both sufficiently men of the world to know that there are no miracles.”
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“But Holmes”, I objected, “You say that this man, Doyle, was disgusted with you, and it is apparent to me from my recollections of my association with you, that we must inhabit a tale that is no more than a detective story, an yet you say we are characters who are esteemed, in a work that enjoys a high reputation. How can this be?”
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I can still recall the expression of delight and surprise that filled Holmes face. “Watson, sometimes you amaze me! Desperation has given you something akin to brilliance! Those are indeed cogent objections, and ones that do you much credit in the circumstances, but I am afraid I can do nothing other than to disillusion you.” There was another pause, while Holmes filled his meerschaum, tamped it to his satisfaction, and lit it. I recall thinking that the sounds of the carriages on the street outside were indicative of continuing independent lives, continuous with, and independent of ours. “Watson, the same thoughts I can see on your face occurred to me also. The continuity you are thinking of is no more than a writer’s artifice, a matter of a few skilfully chosen words tacked on to the end of a paragraph. This is indicative of no more than an elementary degree of competence. And yet, there is a consolation! We have an immortality that is denied to denizens of the real world. You are right to think Doyle despised the tales that contain our universe, and yet, in the words of the poet, he wrought better than he knew. You must know that Doyle himself is long departed, and yet we continue without end. Can you remember how long ago we met? It is indeed well over one hundred years since that auspicious event our creator devised for us! We are fortunate: we participated in our own creation story.”
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I struggled to recall the diagnostic methods I had been taught as a medical student, and tried to formulate a sequence of ordered questions to put to Holmes. “Holmes, you must explain this to me: How could a mere work of popular fiction enjoy such esteem, and how, having written such a work, could its author feel disgust towards you, the crucial element in his creation?”
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“Watson, I fancy I have taught you something at last. Those are indeed acute questions. Do you notice you have no recollection of your medical training – I nodded – that is because Doyle made no mention of it, and merely assumed it was similar to his own. As you know, to understand a problem, we must concentrate our attentions on its locus, that is, in this case, myself. Do you not find me somewhat implausible? Can you really imagine a real person such as myself? Theatrical men speak of props. Am I not overloaded with them? There is my hat, my coat, my magnifying glass, my pipe, my violin, and that filthy habit with the needle! How I wish our author had not given me that! Do you not think a man of my will power could not have put that aside with ease, had I been real?”
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Dumbfounded, I continued to listen to Holmes, allowing all that he said to flow into my mind, save only his last point, concerning which I entertained grave doubts which arose from my medical experience.
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“And my method, Watson. Surely it is apparent to you, as a man of science, that it cannot really work. It is nothing but a series of deus ex machinae! Can you really believe in a man as predictable as our friend Inspector Lestrade, or in a villain so evil and yet so powerful as the erstwhile Moriarty, or in a concept as palpably absurd as that of the “Napoleon of Crime”? A moment ago, I spoke of the need to consider the locus in the case. Here there is a second locus. That is our man Doyle. The documents you were unable to comprehend were in fact our own manuscripts. I have made a careful study of them – you know I have written a number of monographs on handwriting as a key to the character of the writer. But now let us attend to your first objection. Doyle’s disgust with us is explained by our success: he conceived of us at a time when he needed money, and we solved this problem for him. His readers were hungry for more. He wanted to write tales of adventure, which he esteemed, and yet he was forced to devote much of his attention to us. This I have learned from the articles about Doyle which have mysteriously appeared in our collection of press clippings. Doyle was in fact one of the fathers of the school of detective writers, and he thought of it as a thoroughly inferior form. But his progeny proved to be popular. Doyle did not understand his own achievement. And recall, I pray you, that we are the principal characters, his chief instruments. My first death was his attempt to make away with us, but we proved to be too strong for him” Holmes gave a wry smile.
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I recall being unable to do more than stare at Holmes with incredulity, conflicting emotions filling my normally staid mind with turmoil.
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“Your second objection, Watson, was this. Why were these stories so successful? Was it no more than a one-day wonder, a brief brilliant but meretricious flash? No Watson, it was not. Recall that we have long outlived our creator. It appears from the same newspaper clippings, some of which date from two hundred years in the future – I gasped at this – that we enjoy a real and growing status as material of serious import. The question which is really the most important to us is this: why does this apparently trivial and implausible world Doyle created actually have such significance in reality? That is the explanation for our continued vigour.”
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I recall another pause, while Holmes collected his thoughts, and arranged them for presentation to me.
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“There is a third locus in this case, Watson. That is you. You must know, if I am an implausible creation, you are an absurd one. And yet you are Doyle’s alter ego. I do not wish to embarrass you, so I will refer only to your lack of imagination, and your lack of understanding. And your decency. Is it not strange that Doyle should present himself in such an unflattering light? Few writers do. Let us consider your medical training. Doyle scarcely referred to it, and so you have no memories of it, and yet, I fancy if you search your recollections, you will find vague impressions, and among those vague impressions, that of a teacher of great genius. That man was one Joseph Bell, and he was the basis upon which Doyle created me. His genius lay in his ability to make inferences. He could look at the hands of a patient, and note from the calluses not only that he was a working man – this much would be obvious to all – but precisely what occupation he practiced. He could state with confidence that this individual was a weaver, that a rat-catcher, and a third a seamstress. All this, he discovered from the particular marks on the hands of the patient. Now look at yourself. Forgive me, but I must remind you that you are a dunderhead. You could never achieve a comparable feat, and you are a print taken from the plate that was Doyle himself. Doyle wrote from humility – he admired Bell, and could not hope to emulate him. My talents, with all their implausibility, are Doyle’s frankly absurd effort to emulate Bell. And there you have it. Doyle laid the foundations for our longevity with his own modesty. Our world is a paean written by a generous creative spirit, and intuitive one, to a rational world he saw, and could not inhabit.”
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It was growing dark. I felt there was nothing else to say. Suddenly, I had the conviction that Holme was telling the truth. I was about to go home, and was fully confident I would arrive there, and yet I had no knowledge where it was, nor any idea what it looked like. My wife, likewise, I could not imagine, well as I knew her. I knew Doyle had given me a character with all the symptoms of many years of content and happiness with that good lady, but he had given her the most shadowy and ghost like of existences. What would happen to me, myself, as I left the immediate area of Baker Street, and the presence of Sherlock Holmes?
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Contributed by Dr. Ropkind Scharf

3.3.08

Ogongo


Nmil, removing parasitic worms
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Bubo
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Khmu and Neddy
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We stop off in Ogongo, to see Juan’s old friend and mentor Dr. Lahka. Juan claims that all his years studying in the Sorbonne were worthless beside a few days spent with Dr. Lahka. Juan spent six years gaining his doctorate, much of which time, he says, was spent in reading and writing whereas, here, it takes a minimum of twenty years of actual medical practise to become a recognised professional doctor.
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We watched Nmil, one of Dr. Lahka’s young students, practising a technique used to remove the onglo worm, a small parasite that penetrates the skin and, left untreated, can cause infection and blood poisoning. A horn, filled with moringa stenopetala leaves and acoc, a local plant with anaesthetic properties, is first scalded in boiling salted water and then placed over the affected area. The cooling water vapour turns the horn into a suction pad, which draws the parasite out of the skin; any bleeding is stemmed by the coagulant properties of the leaves. This procedure is virtually painless and leaves no marks. An equivalent procedure in Paris, Juan says, would be painful, take many hours, be hideously expensive and possibly leave the patient with permanent scarring. It is fortunate, I point out, that France is relatively free of onglo worms.
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Whilst Juan compares notes with Dr. Lahka, Bubo, Juan’s baboon, takes the opportunity to catch up on the local news and I deliver Neddy to Khmu, for his trek across the Kalahari. As they will be travelling over three thousand miles, in occasionally difficult conditions, I give Neddy the remainder of the star-shavings I brought over from Devonshire, they have almost miraculous powers and, with their help, I am confident that Khmu and Neddy will have an easy and very enjoyable journey.
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Now, egregiously behind schedule, we carry on, as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary


Fluffy Graduate


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2.3.08

Bogeymen

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BOGEYMEN OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE NINETEENTH AND TWENTIETH CENTURIES.
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Ancient Roman mothers used to frighten their children into good behaviour by threatening them with Hannibal.
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Most other cultures have had similar figures which they used to discourage disobedience. In early 19th century England, “Boney” (from Bonaparte) was used in the same way.
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Quite why the responsibility for intimidating the little ones should traditionally have devolved upon women, when the men were at least equally capable of fulfilling this role is a mystery which will be elucidated in another article, but the fact remains that most societies have had Bogeymen, Bogies, Bogeys or Boggarts, or some variation on the term. This is of course where Humphrey Bogart’s family name came from, and it undoubtedly explains the spell he exercised over Lauren Bacall. Be that as it may, a Bogey is a figure of horror, invariably supernatural, but concrete in its manifestation. This manifestation is usually as an ugly, often deformed, old man who does terrible things. It is probably that the concreteness is necessary to make it comprehensible and immediate to the immature minds which are the target of this myth. Historical and political figures, like the two mentioned above, are often chosen because children will have heard adults discussing them, usually with foreboding, without understanding the full content of these conversations. However, the supernatural origins of this figure are clear, and in the Indo-European tradition originate with Bo, a fierce son of Odin. The word bogie is also cognate with the Slavic BOG, which means god, or deity. Other strands link the word and concept with goblins and sprites.
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The United States, like all other cultures, had its own supply of fear-figures, and we shall look at some of these in this article.
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The earliest known bogie to be exclusive to north America was “Georgie”, who was popular in the 18th century. He lived over the ocean, and wore a big hat of iron. His cohorts were red, and he boiled children to make his tea. Anthropologists and folklorists believe that the American aversion to tea and preference for coffee derive from traumas introduced by this figure.
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A fascinating regional figure is Midnight Sam, who is probably descended from the British Jack O’ the Lantern. British folkloric “Jack” is frequently replaced by “Sam” in North America. This gruesome character can still be found among the more socially deprived households in the Ozark Mountains, and hides out in the woods after dark, waiting for the moonshiner to go and attend to his still. In this part of the world, it is a traditional chore for children to be sent out to collect the “drippins” immediately before being sent to bed, so he is a real figure of fear. Precisely what Sam does to the children he catches is specified only in those households that are depraved rather than merely deprived, but this mystery only adds to the horror he engenders.
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An exciting aspect of the Bogey tradition in the United States is not just its regional variety, but its dynamism. Recently an entirely new figure has made a nationwide appearance. This is Al Kaydar. Al Kaydar lives in Arabia, Pakistan or Afghanistan, or sometimes in Iran, Persia or Iraq. Sometimes Baghdad is mentioned. In this case, it is usually incorporated in a version of the Arabian Nights. He rides to the US every night on his carpet, and his intention is to terrorise everyone. He especially hates freedom, prosperity and women’s rights, and appears to be more frequently evoked to frighten girls than boys. His carpet is equipped with lasers, and he is plotting to get a stash of atom bombs.
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Here are some examples of the Al Kaydar motif, as recorded by our folklorists:
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“If you don’t get up to bed right now Emily-Lou, Al Kaydar’s gonna get you, and you’re gonna spend the rest of your life in the kitchen with a sack on your head.”
Judith Polkenkraut, Chatanooga. Recorded 10/1/08
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“Billy-Bob! You quit pullin’ that cat’s tail right now, or Al Kaydar’s gonna take you and turn you into a turrst, and then the US Marines’ll have to come an pour napalm all over you.
Overheard through a window, 2257 Jackson Boulevard, Atlanta, Georgia. Recorded 17/9/07.
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A related figure is Al Jazz-Rah (various forms) who is particularly used to frighten untruthful children.
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“Louey! If you don’t tell us were you was when you was supposed to be at school, Al Jazruh’s goin’ to get a hold of your tongue an’ wrap it round your X Box so many times you’ll never be able to play it again! An’ then he’s goin’ to switch the electricity on!
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Anonymous, El Paso. Recorded 15/4/07
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Contributed by Dr. Ropkind Scharf