“Yes, a splendid idea Echo”, exclaimed Glorious after enough time had passed to take in all that I had presented to him . “We should call this adventure our odyssey!” That I agreed, sounded just the thing.
We had spent much of the misty and dank autumnal afternoon hidden away in a corner of Molly’s Tea Rooms in the High Street. We always met there, away from the journalistic bustle of the office, to discuss significant events and make the big corporate decisions.
In armchairs either side of the inglenook , we drank pots of strong breakfast tea and ate plates of afternoon scones whilst a warming cherry wood fire crackled and spat in the hearth.
Between mouthfuls of jam and cream scone I unburdened myself to him. Whilst The Gentlemen Adventurers Chronicle’s readership was certainly loyal, it was never large enough to pay the bills, the staff’s wages and provide us both with a satisfactory stipend. What we needed, was to generate a bigger following.
To achieve this, my plan was to give the readers a memorable jaunt upon which to ponder and enthuse. We needed a big adventure to take them on. They, safe in the comfort of their fireside’s, whilst we put ourselves on the line for their gratification. In turn they would preach the gospel of our escapades to friends and acquaintances, and before we knew it our circulation would be off the scale and our incomes increased accordingly.
I could see from his facial expression that Glorious had an appreciation of our current predicament. He agreed that his private income was becoming stretched, but seemed a little flustered and alarmed by the thoughts of us actually having to perform any ‘daring dos’. Writing up the tale was one thing, putting oneself ‘on the line’ in pursuit of an income was quite another.
I ordered more tea, lit a Senior Service, and whilst ‘G’ rubbed a fresh pipe-full of Whiskey Flake I continued. To increase circulation I had originally concluded that what The Gentlemen Adventurers Chronicle needed was a scoop. Unfortunately these were pretty thin on the ground in the outdoors lifestyle business. Even if we could winkle one out we might only be able to make it last for a couple of editions then it would be back to square one.
No, what we needed I told him, finally getting to the summit, was an expedition! A ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ type of jaunt. ‘G’ looked slightly alarmed. I went on, what we needed was a journey beyond the normal where adventures a plenty could be had and recounted in a gripping way to our readership who would become enthused and inspired by our exploits. We would be casting a wide open net for a whole shoal of potential new readers, all ready to pay their subscriptions, to swim into. If we picked the right ‘daring do’ we could build a comfortable career out of it. Look at Scott I exclaimed, then immediately regretted the analogy.
(Captain Robert Falcon Scott, CVO, RN was an English Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910–13, from which he never returned).
I hoped Glorious was getting my drift. He was. An expedition to where he asked enquiringly? I could see he was already much taken with the idea, although perhaps also ready to make his excuses should the thrills and danger levels seem overly high. East Yorkshire I triumphantly exclaimed, and waited for the reaction.
Glorious blinked hard and sat back in his chair. For some considerable time in silence he thoughtfully drank his tea. I waited and wondered what he was thinking?
Perhaps further explanation was required I concluded.
To be continued………………………………