The Journal

Chapter 6

December 29, 1856

Oh good lord I have never in my entire life seen more fussy people than the Cherishes. When they called me they were too hot and they wondered whether we could stop so they could take a rest in the shade on the sides of the bank. Then I showed the crocodiles and they soon forgot that idea. So Carrey and I puttered ahead again until we heard shots from behind us.

We once again slowed down to find Sir Cherish shooting at the crocodiles. I may not like the creatures but I do not believe in the senseless killing of animals. And I told him so.

When we began to get into the jungle the rain started. This time when they called me I knew why and I didn't bother going back. The only thing on my mind was to get home and go to bed. But I couldn't even do that. We arrived in the same downpour I had left in and I was just fine with that. My guests, however, weren't.

"When will this rain stop?" Sir Cherish shouted as I led them to their guest hut.

"In about a week." I told him opening the door and showing him and his family inside. There were three rooms, to for sleeping and one for eating. Apparently this wasn't good enough for them.

"Where will my sons sleep?" Mrs. Cherish asked.

"I don't care how you arrange yourselves among the rooms. If they want they can share with Lord Myles and Professor Forton in their hut."

"But what about our things? They won't fit in here! This place is just not suitable you'll have to give us a bigger one."

"There are no bigger ones, and your things are being put in a storage hut outside." I informed her. That sent her into a fit about their clothes and things in the trunks. I left without listening any more and went to show Myles and Forton to their hut. They were very pleased with it and Jonathan whipped out his paper and pens to sketch out the hut.

"Will you need anything else?" I asked them, knowing they wouldn't be nearly as displeased as the Cherishes.

"Since I'm already wet could I see the rest of the village?" Myles asked.

"If you like, Professor Forton would you like to come?"

"No I'm fine here for a while, need to dry out and get settled." He said scribbling frantically at his paper. How he managed to keep it dry I don't know.

Myles followed me out of the hut and I showed him several public places in my village. He was particularly interested in our little school house.

"Amazing! I would have never guessed the natives capable of learning such things." He said looking a paper filled with markings made by one of the children.

"They're just as capable of learning as anyone else, people tend to forget that they're just as human as we are. Is there anything else you want to see before I take you back?"

"Yes I would like to see your hut, if that's all right with you. And I think I can find my own way back so you wouldn't have to take me."

So I took him up into my house where I made him stand by the door while I got him a towel so he wouldn't drip all over my things. He removed his shirt and shoes and left them by the door and dried off most of the water before coming all the way inside.

"How long have you lived in this hut?"

"My father made it when I was eight when we had just moved here." I told him. I took his towel and spread it out on a chair so he could sit. He did and I offered him some tea.

"You have tea? I would adore a cup of nice hot tea right about now." He said. So I put some water on the stove and bent down to start up a fire. In no time I had a roaring fire and the pot was on the soon to be hot stove. I excused my self for a moment to change into dry clothes in my room. When I came out the water was just about hot so I took down two cups and some sugar.

"Tea is the ultimate medicine around here. If it's not serious we drink tea of some sort. This tea is made from some leaves we gather near our fields." I took the pot off the stove and added a few dried leaves before taking it to the table.

"Thank you." Myles said as I poured him a cup. He poured a little sugar in and stirred. I found myself staring at him, I'd never had anyone other than Sambi or one of the other porter's in my house and most of them were married or children. I quickly tried to cover up for my staring by pouring myself a cup of tea and taking the pot back to the stove to keep warm.

"Have you ever been back home?" he asked me.

"This is my home, I assume you mean back to England?"

"Yes."

"Not since I came here with my parents. Not that my grandparents haven't tried to make me go back. They ask me to come 'home' every year. But this is my home and I don't think I could leave it for too long or I might die."

"I see. Well I can understand how this would be home to you after all these years." He commented as he took another sip of tea. I did the same and watched as he looked around my cozy little house. The silence became awkward however and he must have felt it.

"Perhaps I should go now, thank you for your hospitality. I'm sure you'll be wanting to get your rest after what we've all put you through this past week."

"Oh it's all right!" I started to say. But he was already getting up. I didn't stop him as he put his wet shirt back on. I opened the door for him and he ran out into the torrential rains and back to his own hut. I felt a bit lonely after he left, probably because I rather liked talking to him. He wasn't as stuck up and self absorbed as most men in his position that I had known.

But right now I have some other more important things on my mind, like when will the rain end so I can hurry up and get the Cherishes in and out of the jungle as fast as possible.

December 30, 1856

Rain hasn't stopped and neither have my problems. And my god did the Cherishes cause me problems! After Lord Myles had left my hut I settled down to eat some of the porridge Sambi had left for me. When I had finished I wanted nothing more but to go sleep and take a bath.

But I fear that will never happen as long as the Cherishes are within the confines of my village. For as soon as I had begun to heat up water for my bath there was a knock on the door. I had already begun to undress and so had to throw my night shirt over my body to go answer the door.

"Lord Myles? Is something wrong?" I asked surprised to see him back so soon.

"Well not with me, but Sir Cherish said that there's something wrong with their hut and there's no where to bathe. That among other things. But I see you are busy I will tell him so." He blushed when he saw me in nothing but my nightdress. I was covered however so I see no reason for him to do so.

"I will come, let me put on some pants first so I don't freeze." I sighed as I reached for my still slightly damp pants and slipped them on nearly going numb from the cold. Then I tied the top and turned to find Lord Myles had turned around and was facing out while waiting for me.

"Let's go." I said and I closed my door with another sigh as I thought of the hot water while the cold rain began to soak through my clothes all over again. The rain wasn't coming down as hard as it was earlier so it was beginning to let out for the night. Hopefully not too long of the mosquitoes would come.

I went to the Cherishes hut and knocked on the door. Lord Myles came up behind me as the door opened to a very red faced Sir Cherish.

"This is an outrage! You told us you had the best facilities and I'll I've seen so far is a piece of straw over our heads, some burnt gruel to eat, and absolutely no bathroom facilities whatsoever." He shouted at me while I continued to stand in the rain.

I felt Myles lift his hand as if to come to my defense but I didn't need his help. Unlike his well raised ladies I didn't need someone to fight my battles for me. And to prove it I shouted right back.

"I do have the best facilities you'll ever find for such an event. As for the food it was all that was available at the moment to keep you from starving, not that it seems possible for a man of your size. And there are facilities you simply have to go to them on your own two feet!"

He began to turn a sort of purplish shade, something I'd never seen before in my life. It was rather amusing actually. It looked like his head was about to explode like a balloon, I dark purple balloon. And it did explode, sort of.

"Don't you dare speak to me in such a tone! I am your better and not only that but your elder and employer! You will speak to me with respect or I shall leave immediately to find someone better suited to our needs!" he warned me. But I knew that no one else would take him on such short notice.

"Sir if people find out that you were unable to cope with my facilities they will surely warn you that theirs are no better. And not only that but I thought you wanted the jungle experience, not some fancy party on the beach muffled with luxury. When I told you of the hardships in my latter you brushed them off with stories of your war experience and told me it was nothing compared to what you had endured. Surely in war you didn't have raised huts to keep out most of the rain?"

I knew I had struck home. For if he continued to complain it would be obvious that he had grown soft, or had gone through a soft time during the war. And with other men present I knew he couldn't risk that.

"But what about my wife and daughter? They weren't in the war and they require more comfort than men do."

"And what more comfort do they need? If they need a bathroom there is one. If they need food it is being prepared as we speak. And if they wish more privacy I can give them a sheet to string across the hut, or you could pay for the use of another hut for them to use, there are several options you can choose from."

"I'll have to discuss it with them to see what they find better." He said a bit more calmly. I nodded then began to leave.

"Let me know what you've decided in the morning." I said over my shoulder. And with that I tried to go back to my hut.

"Shall I take you back?" Lord Myles asked. What a silly thing to say. If anyone should be offering to take someone back it should be me. but I didn't care an only shrugged my shoulders, he took this as a yes and so walked beside me till we reached my hut.

"Are you and the professor doing all right?" I asked as we stood on my porch under the roof.

"Yes, we don't bother each other. I'm sorry to have been the bearer of bad news while you were in the middle of something. But Sir cherish said it was important and that you were required right away. I didn't think to ask for what."

"That's all right." It wasn't his fault after all. And besides I didn't mind seeing him dripping wet at my doorstep. His hair had lost its perfect set and the water had made it go into his eyes causing rivers of water to flow down his face. Because the image stuck so deeply in my mind as I took my bath and went to bed I thought I good to write it here in my journal so I could never forget it. His eyes seemed to shine through the water and droplets would stick to his eyelashes. I wanted to invite him in again and let him dry off by the stove and get warm.

"You look very uncomfortable." I told him after I'd found myself staring.

"It's all right. I'm going to go back and change out of these wet clothes and dry up. I'll be fine." He said. But he had shifted his leg out a bit farther showing me he was uncomfortable and just wasn't going to say it.

"Do you want to come back in and get warm? I haven't set out wood in the huts yet for fire."

"I've bothered you enough; I'm sure you're more uncomfortable and tired than I am. Besides you have more work to do than I do."

"I don't mind, really."

"I couldn't. I'd better be going so you can finish what you were doing." He bowed and left before I could say anything more. I feared something was happening to me that would affect this whole trip.

A/N: So what do you think? I think that Lord Myles looks kind of like Orlando Bloom meets Heath Ledger. Did anyone see the Four Feathers? That is a good movie; I used to live there so it means something to me. Go desert people! I'm shutting up now. Please review everyone I love to hear those reviews clinking in my brain.