Dear Sir Clarence,
I write to thank you for your most generous hospitality of this weekend past.
As you well know from your service to the Crown with my late husband Major Golden (he did write so fondly of you after the campaign at Hafir and the conquests of Bengal and the Gold Coast), I have been left with an inheritance of a sizeable sum. This inheritance has one stipulation, however, and it is that I never settle here at my family holdfast at Breaking Wind for more than a fortnight. I am compelled to seek excitement and adventure across the world, thus my title "heiress of adventure".
When your invitation first reached my yurt lo these many weeks ago I first thought "how did that resourceful gentleman find me here in Mongolia?" My second thought was "What an excellent choice of venue!"
It was surely God's hand that placed Master Johann Drugen nearly in my lap, for he was slowly being led through the grounds by a group of angry young Mongols utilizing a length of rope tied in a decidedly uncomfortable manner. I rushed in to intervene on his behalf, as I could tell he was bewildered by the young savages' native language. I explained to the horde that our Johann did not knowingly defile the ancestral resting place of their dead, but had in fact, been led through the grounds by the sighting of a lovely and rare Mongolian Firemoth Butterfly. They agreed to relinquish Johann as long as I kept him in my yurt and punished him soundly with a stiff spanking.
It seems Johann is as adventurous and industrious as you and I sir, for he had hidden his aeroplane in a thick thatch of bush on just the other side of our yurt encampment. His man Carradine, prone to gastric discomfort at great heights, was vomitously waiting there for us to board the aeroplane and head for Africa. It was most thrilling the way Master Johann handled his rudder - pardon me for being unladylike but I actually needed to loosen my corset from the excitement of it all - and it was a good thing that I did, for soon we were hurling towards terra firma at an alarming speed! It seems that an errant bird of some sort had collided with our aerocraft! Master Johan unbelted himself from his pilot seat and grabbed hold of my corset string and pulled me from my seat! He jumped with me in his strong arms and pulled his rip cord. Carradine jumped as well but tragically, his parachute was not operational. We watched as the doomed aeroplane and manservant fell to the ground and burst into a great ball of fire. We alit perfectly and brushed ourselves off and mopped our brows over a cup of fine tea.
As Master Johann had lost his transport (and a perfectly good valet) in our fateful crash landing, we knew we had to find the quickest way possible to Cairo. We had no alternative but to utilize the nearest angry horde (a different angry horde than we left behind at the unfortunate butterfly incident) to take us by pack train to India where we might pick up a train through Turkey or some such.
We had just decamped for the night at Xining; Johann and I were dining al fresco and watching a lovely sunset when we spied a flicker of light at the horizon. The light became more and more intense as it neared us and I was getting nervous - I fanned myself with my ladylike hanky while Johann rolled up his sleeves and gave his suspenders a manly snap to ready himself for whatever danger might approach. Soon, our fears were laid to rest as the glow in the distance became a glorious dirigible - still reflecting the sun as it neared. Johann immediately replaced his cufflinks and jacket, for he recognized the Zeppelin as "El Bronco" owned by one Earl of Glandugen, Perceval McCorden.
Sure enough, great flying machine alit and out a small hatch came the dashing McCorden. I had heard some of his exploits in the colonies concerning the conquest of mountains, armies, and maidens, and was admittedly a bit apprehentious at entrusting my own reputation and safety to him. My fears were put to rest as I found that he possessed an adventurer's heart very much like my own. We were soon as close as brother and sister. After a hearty meal (where I was entertained to a near faint by the gentlemens' recount of capers long past) we away'd to the comfort of the dirigible "El Bronco" where we had a Cognac and the men enjoyed a cigar before taking off for Africa.
Bad luck struck us from our reverie in the port city of Karachi, the Zepplin was struck by an human arm that the locals had just removed from an adulteress and thrown from the top of a minaret. The locals were in a frenzy and we would surely have been lost, if my escorts had not been exceedingly quick-thinking. McCorden, a master fighter in an Asian style I have never seen before but find immensely intriguing, fought off one hundred men - all dressed alike! My heart raced as he punched, kicked and ducked their blows and all in slow motion! It was thrilling, but Johann had me by the elbow and urged me to make haste as we hurried for the ship docks.
There we met a gentleman sea captain who happened to remember both you and my late husband from your sea transport at the first campaign of Nigers and gladly took us on as passengers on a detour bound for Egypt. He had rigged an ingenious system for keeping his crew happy and healthy on long sea journeys involving what he called "profit sharing" and the careful ration of oranges. The sailors delighted me with their sea shanties and jig dancing until Johann and McCorden urged me to retire and let the men have some time to smoke and enjoy the "Passaround Reading Oll Night" locker (the PRON locker as they called it).
Well, we met up with you and the rest of the party and the rest is history. I am back in the bosom of the motherland, resting at Breaking Winds for a fortnight before 10 April, at which time I shall be bound for New York on the maiden voyage of a great new ocean liner - oh how I look forward to an adventure at sea! Thank you and the good Lady Horsebottom for everything you did to make this weekend one of the most enchanting in memory.
Mrs. Lacey Golden