Epilogue to Book One of the Lost Diaries

Epilogue to Book 1

There was much explaining to be done back in Alexandria, but suffice to say that the powers that be were able to conclude a deal with the French on joint-ownership of the Mines when they were found (much like the have with the Canal), and an expedition was planned. But Arabi’s revolt and the war that would follow would not permit it but I am getting ahead of myself here in the telling of the tale.

Captains Chard and Cavor were pardoned and all charges pending dropped, and Chard was promoted to the rank of Major. But now too ‘famous’ to remain in Egypt or return to England, he was happily seconded to Sarawak, for Charles Brooke, the second Raja of Sarawak, had requested for Chard to take up the appointment of Commandant at Fort Magherita at Kuching (the fort having been recently completed and named after his young wife). Captain Cavor, also equally famous, was offered the command of a steamship. Major Chard was decent enough to ask that I accompany them, which Mr Brooke readily agreed.

We spent a few more weeks in Egypt waiting for Captain Cavor’s new command to arrive, during which we saw many of the local sights and which I penned the first pages of these journals.

There were many goodbyes to be said before we left Soudan...

I wrote a long letter to Mr Haggard, the secretary to the Governor of Natal colony, whom I had met during our short stay in Natal, giving him some account of our adventures and Dr Jones' findings; Mr Haggard had told me that he was writing a tale of adventure in Africa, and I thought the adventures of Dr Jones and our search for the mines would be a good basis for that sort of story."

Now we were quite delighted to meet Colonel Charles 'Chinese' Gordon in Alexandria. He had recently resigned his commission as Governor-General of the Soudan. Despite his reputation the Colonel was a humble and reserved man. I found his sense of Christian charity rather remarkable; in the time he had been in Soudan he had worked hard to try to bring an end to the slave trade there, and did take care of many orphan boys he had found. It is said that he would prefer to give the occasional bath to a dirty urchin and talk to him of God, than to hob-knob with society. The colonel and Captain Chard took an instant liking to each other."

We invited Commandant Domine to visit us in Alexandria, but he had been summoned back to Tunis. We read later that he had been awarded the Médaille d'honneur des affaires étrangère, silver-gilt, for his actions in the Soudan. Happily, we were to meet again in no less memorable circumstances...