The continuing adventures of Edgar Williams, as he travels to Siam on a deadly mission.
| A Rage in Siam
I am returned. After many long and weary years of roaming this blessed Earth, I have come home. Older now and wiser than when I left an unimaginable number of seasons ago, I have changed, grown up under the watchful eyes of an uncaring world. But forgive me, for I am starting to get ahead of myself, confusing the poor reader who may have casually picked up this slim volume, mistaking it for something else, perhaps the latest novel by John Elliot. I must introduce myself, for although a modicum of fame, possibly I should say renown, has been afforded me, there are still a great many to whom the name Edgar Williams means nothing.
When I was but a mere 19 years old, oh so long ago now!, I travelled to darkest Africa to seek the means to win the heart of my beloved. Although I succeeded in my search, my eyes were opened to an entirely new world, previously unimagined by my naïve self and I vowed then that I would not return home. Instead, I further explored the land that had captured my own heart, bearing witness to many strange and wondrous sights and enjoying numerous adventures. After some time though, I heard the call of other far-off lands, crying out to me from beyond the horizon, so I left behind Africa for pastures new. And I never stopped hearing that call, not once in all my days, so I just kept walking, ever eager to see what else the world could throw my way.
Recently though, I have been plagued with ill health, the unfortunate result of inevitably advancing years combined with too many nights spent under a star-struck sky and rather too many hair-raising escapades than is good for a man. And so, I was reluctantly forced to return to the England I had left so long ago, to recuperate and spend the rest of my days in the comfort that had eluded me the rest of my life. I must admit I was curious to see how the old country had come along without me, so despite the great wrench of finally settling down in one place, I looked upon my return as another adventure, a new chapter, perhaps the final one in the story of my dangerous days.
Imagine my surprise then, when I came home to find that mine was a name still on the lips of the entire country, well a good proportion at any rate. I discovered that the journal I had written in Africa had somehow found its way into the hands of a now sadly missed fellow by the name of Henry Ballantine, who had it published at his own expense, under the title of ‘The Quest for the Lion’s Whisker’. A great success the nation over, the journal had caused a sensation at its time of publication, with the mystery of what had really happened to me creating numerous headlines for some time after. Reports of my appearance around the globe also made for good copy, giving rise to the myth of Edgar Williams, hero to schoolboys everywhere.
A chance meeting with a publisher (and a fan at that) at my local watering hole then led to talk of the publication of more of my adventures, if I could be persuaded to write them all down. At first I refused, not being much of a writer and not sure if I could even remember half of them. But then, a quiet night in by a roaring fire, with nothing but the past to disturb me, led to a sudden flood of memories, some complete, others just fractured elements, that made me think that perhaps mine was a life worth hearing about. And so, there and then, I picked up pen and paper and didn’t stop all night, churning out a mass of scribbles that represented just a fraction of the accumulated endeavours of my existence.
When I presented the eventual initial results to the publisher and he had somehow digested all the chronicles contained within, he gave me a delighted grin and I could see how the rest of my time on this Earth was going to be spent. Well, as long as you, dear reader, wish it so!
So, after much deliberation and persuasion, I have chosen for this first instalment, to relate a tale from my time spent in Asia, Siam to be precise, as I believe this to be one of the more extraordinary moments in the history of my time spent wandering this magnificent world.
You must allow me now to cast my mind back several years, sifting through the vast accumulation of memories, drawing out the relevant details so that I might forge a tale that will captivate, enthral and enlighten. But you must forgive me if the tone of the telling is somewhat cynical or jaded as after many years of the tough wandering existence, I found it difficult not to succumb to this most disagreeable of conditions. After coming home, I find myself cured of this malady and I would say that this is another advantage to my return from the wilderness that has been my home for the past forty years.
Now please, settle back wherever you may be and allow me to begin the tale I have chosen to entitle, ‘A Rage in Siam.’