From the Notebook of Phineas Phlogue,Esq.

Hotel Haasenpfeffer, Darius Salami City
Sept, 1892

Here we go again! Following the flights of fancy of our scion of simplicity, Sir Peter de Gee. This time for sure he's gonna get us killed.

While trucking about the coast for supplies and porters for his forthcoming expedition in search of the source of the Frickinendliss River, Sir Peter overheard several ne'er-do-wells discussing the location of the fabled lost treasure of the Pygmy King, Mujibur the Munificent. Never one to let purpose get in the way of distraction, Sir Petey wangled his way into the discourse and, somehow, became leader (and bankroller - natch!) of the latest attempt to wrest untold wealth from the depths of the Dark Continent. Somehow I had the feeling that no good would come of this latest venture.

We set off into the jungle from our staging point at Babba-Lewee early on the morning of September 31, 1892. The humidity rose from the jungle floor like steam off a griddle and the sun beat down upon us in unending knife-like rays. Today would not be a good day to die! Once again Sir Peter had dragged us into the unknown and it was up to us, his loyal compatriots, to keep his head attached to the rest of his sorry frame. With us on this foray was the infamous Chick Feathers whose only claim to fame was a notorious aversion to anything appearing even remotely dangerous.

Unbeknownst to us, two similar expeditions had set off with the same gold-swiping intentions. The rapscallions that had snozzled our fearless leader had previously done much the same to a group of German aristocrats under the helm of Heinrich Hasenpfeffer - Margrave of Blustownia. His party had left before ours and included the latest contraption - an aether-wave controlled self-propelled mining machine - from the mind of his resident mechanical guru, Otto Matik.
The other group setting off in search of the Pygmy gold was a horde of Belgians under the lead of Sir Lorelin Hardee, journalist extraordinaire and personal lackey to good King Leo of the Belges. This band of scum-puppies were never to be trusted and would once more show the true colors of the hated Force Privat. The one honest member of this evil crew was the clueless naturalist and butterfly expert non-pariel, Sir Stanley Olivier whose penchant for wandering off in search of his latest winged find was to be his salvation.

Beating their way into the bush, Hasenpfeffer's henchmen began the long trek toward the vaunted pygmy treasure. Uncharacteristically, the clockwork contraption under Otto Matik's control started up and chugged away happily as the expedition worked its' way along the trail. Only when they had passed the point of no return would the unwieldy device begin to hiccup and belch. but by then it would be too late anyway!
As they were the first to enter the bundu, the Germans also became the first to feel the sting of Belgian treachery - and bullets. Having taken up a firing position at the crossroads of the two main jungle trails, the blue-clad askaris lay in wait for the first sign of a European head. Always one to believe that if you can't report the news you may as well make the news, Hardee had decided to be the instigator of a European onslaught of the interior (and all its' wealth) by bearing back the sad news of a native slaughter of several well-known explorers - no one need ever know the real "truth"! And so it was that the first shots fired at our industrious German adventurers would be of Bruxelles manufacture, not African.

Off on his own devices, tramping up the other fork of the jungle trail came our Gallic hero and his lackluster band of blighters. Dragging the reluctant Feathers every inch of the way caused our Petey to be late for the dance as it were. If he had been his own usual self, Sir Peter would probably have hit the Belgian ambush first. A small victory but his own. And possibly his last! Hearing gunfire in the distance should have heightened his vigilance, but as always Sir P was a tad slow on the uptake. He never saw the Maasai gathering on both sides of the trail just waiting for the right moment to pounce!
And pounce they did. First from the right came the yowling mob that was the WaLari tribe. The spears poured from the undergrowth thick as molasses in January. Doing his best Nureyev impression, Sir Petey two-stepped and twirled dodging the rain of iron-tipped death. But one of Sir P's askari wasn't quite as nimble of foot and went down in a lifeless heap. This was all the nervous Feathers needed to remind him that he had left the kettle heating on the stove back in Brighton and he beat feet back in the direction of the nearest steamer to Southampton! Most of the rest of Petey's command also felt the urge to visit Mamou and scattered to the four winds leaving Sir Peter (also hot-footing it in a random direction) to his own devices.

Meanwhile back on the other trail, our Sour Kraut, Heiney, was getting peppered by the Belgian rifles and watching his askari dwindle in strength. Being of no help whatever was Otto and his belching boring behemoth as it jogged first one way and then the other! Least it could have done was get in between the shooters and the shootees, but it was not in the cards.

To make matters worse for Hasenpfeffer, the stealthy WaCurli tribe was tip-toeing into position on his left ready to pick up the attack if and when the Belgians got tired of picking off the poor Germans!

The WaCurli got their chance when the Force Privat began its' fusillade against Sir Petey. First unleashing a hail of deadly spears, the WaCurli then began the chase to mow down the remnants of Hasenpfeffer's command. This would continue until only faithful Gefreiter Frittsi Frankenberry and a lone askari were left. At which point, the hapless duo dove into the jungle at a full trot, never to be seen or heard from again.

Weeks later, the battered hulk of the Auto-Mole clanked into Babba-Lewee unguided by human hand and thus ended the first German incursion into the interior. Would that it were the last!