Derring Dos & Don'ts
An instructive guide for the English adventurer
From the memoirs of
Colonel D. John Coleman (Ret.)
Part I: Survival
Name: Colonel D. John Coleman (Ret.); a.k.a. 'Yellow' Coleman; a.k.a. Colonel Mustard.
Parents: General Horace Percival Coleman.
Lady Anne Hatherway Coleman (neé Scottage).
Siblings: Three brothers:
Alfred, Percy, Rupert.
All died in mysterious circumstances.
Education: Eton (3 terms); Rugby (2 terms); Harrow (2 weeks); Von Koxer Military Academy and Reformatory (dishonourably discharged); Sandhurst (passed out first in class, subsequent allegations unproven).
Staff: Netley (coachman); Mrs Spittlefield (housekeeper); Robin (batman).
Hobbies: Shooting deer, duck, pheasants, peasants.
Member of: Prince Edward Masonic Lodge, Alcoholics Enthusiasts.
Mortal enemies: Foreigners, women, foreign women.
Are you writing this down, boy? Could save your life... Probably will... Righto!
During my sixty-eight years representing our Glorious Empire in the field of international adventuring and all things stiff upper lipped, I've learnt a few things, I can tell you. And I will.
Believe me, you don't spend a lifetime fighting hand-to-tentacle with mythical beasts and penetrating impenetrable foreign fortresses/women without picking up a few tricks, some fast bucks and a nasty rash.
I'll try to condense a lifetime's knowledge into a few precious drops, like condensing camel pee into drinking water in the Gobi, what! Never been so parched, what! What? Yes, thank you, I'll have another large scotch.
One thing you'll encounter is animals: big, bloody scary ones, poisonous of eye and hairy of teeth, drooling vinegar and secreting slime from orifices you've never even dreamt of.
Take, for example, sharks. Many's the time I've had a pleasant sea crossing ruined
to urine, so
as the boat
on the other
by some rum-sodden captain ramming his bally ship into an iceberg, or scuppering it to hide the slave shipment in his haulage.
If you find yourself sinking in shark-infested water, remember that the beasts are attracted to screaming, splashing and urine. So, as the boat goes down, empty your bladder over the other passengers; you'll find they'll add the splashing and screaming themselves, creating the perfect diversion for your escape.
Alternatively, disguising yourself as a woman can help secure a place in any available lifeboat. However, ensure your Ghurka knife is strapped securely to your thigh if entering an inflatable raft; do not keep
it secreted loosely amidst your voluminous skirt– speaking hypothetically, you understand.
On several occasions I found myself having to go off adventuring on short notice, either to maintain a reputation, impress a wealthy widow or avoid an angry bailiff/husband.
However, sometimes these excursions went horrifically wrong. I remember one time when my comrades and I were forced by extreme weather to share lodgings without en-suite facilities.
Someone was bound to crack and unfortunately it was poor old Brann, who came down with a terrible case of Achilles Heel. Not wanting to be a burden, he simply announced that he 'may be gone some time' and limped out into the unforgiving elements. We never saw him again, though I later heard he had opened a small tea shop in Shrewsbury.
Right, that's enough for now. Off you pop. Oh, and have number 12 bathed and sent to my room. Which reminds me, join me next time for Part Two: Women.
Mustard issue one 13