The Greatest Adventure on Earth!!(Special thanks to Bob Murch for his great newspaper reports, Kurt Hummitzsch and Vidal Bairos for sundry contributions and corrections).
Emerging from the jungle, the weary Europeans pause briefly. Ahead of them lies the dark muddy brown of the Bungiwalli River, representing civilization and safety! The Australian scout, Alligator Dundy, shouts with glee for a few minutes. Glowering at the expedition's guide, the Quite Reverend Beaton sternly instructs his daughter to ignore the Australian slang for "glee".
Alas, the four letter euphemisms for "glee" quickly change to Aussie synonyms for "darn". For between the explorers and the river lies a native village. And the angry shouts and fiercely brandished spears from the inhabitants show that the Europeans are not welcome.
Click on the Newspaper
to read the Players' Briefing
Sadly for P.T. Barnum, it would seem that his gifts of glass geegaws failed to overawe Chief Ubbo-Ubbu. The beautiful young daughter of Reverend Beaton did however, elicit some positive response. The Chief, mistakenly assuming Miss Pauline was part of the gift from Barnum to him, made some unfortunate advances towards the lady. This is a family website, so let us merely say that cultural differences created a slight misunderstanding. The Europeans were forced to flee through the jungle to the Bungiwalli River, where a steamer waits to evacuate them to safety. The villagers, however, would seem to have some different ideas.
The Europeans break into two parties. (You might wish to refer to the map at this juncture) Coincidently enough, this was also the same number of European players. Not to be outdone, the Africans also split into two groups. The stage was set for a day of adventure!
After some brief consultation, the Europeans took the first turn. Breaking with the Bungiwalliland's Post Office most hallowed traditions, the Post Office Rifles burst into a run, heading east for the river. The northernmost party slowly walked out of the jungle, readying their weapons for an attack.
They were not to be disappointed - with wild cries a group of natives emerged from the village, waving spears, shaking shields and lifting breechcloths. Reverend Beaton was most appalled at the disgusting display of the tribe's nether regions. Miss Pauline nearly succumbed to an attack of the vapours, but (brave girl!) rallied herself sufficiently to look the warriors square in the eye.
Colonel Ripperton and Alligator Dundy stopped and began firing at long range, but to little effect. The impetuous Shootoni Badinni, Sharpshooter Extraordinaire, unholstered his pistol and ran forward to engage the natives. P.T. Barnum, armed only with supreme self confidence and his entourage of lawyers followed closely. To the south of the village, seeing no natives barring their path yet, Reverend Beaton continued to urge the Post Office Volunteer Rifles in their headlong run to the river.
Reverend Beaton was gravely mistaken however, if he felt that their party would encounter no opposition. The wily natives were hiding behind their huts, waiting for the range to narrow. They had no wish to face the fire of the long ranged Martini-Henry rifles.
Their cousins to the north apparently had no compunctions about facing such withering fire. Well out of range of spears and arrows, Colonel Ripperton and Dundy continued firing. Ripperton's custom designed Elephant rifle was muzzle loading, which slowed his rate of fire. Perhaps this was the reason for the lack of success which bedeviled the good Colonel. The Australian was having rather more luck; several telling shots were made against the natives, although all were mere wounds. But the fleet-footed natives continued to ominously close the distance.
The Amazing Badinni, eager to engage the natives, had sadly forgotten that pistols do not outrange bows. Although his courage was never questioned, his bright red shirt made him somewhat of a target for the tribe's arrows. Obviously unnerved by the attention the natives were lavishing on him, the Amazing Badinni sadly failed to wound anyone. Perhaps it was that the circus performer was more used to shooting at revolving women on a wheel, backwards, over his shoulder, using a mirror. Still, every arrow the brave Italian stopped was one less for Barnum and his secretary. P.T. made a mental note to add a shiny two-bit coin in Badinni's next pay envelope.
Behind them however, there was a sudden rustling in the jungle. Had the intrepid adventurers forgotten they were being pursued by Chief Ubbo-Ubbu's warriors?