Miss Sharp’s “Escape! Escape! Escape!”
May 4, 2011
While the rest of the Cairo Confidential were venturing up rivers along the east and west coasts of Africa, Von Kentucky and Kit Sharp heard rumor of an unknown discovery of great significance west of Mombasa. (Rumor represented by white square on map.) Could it be Prester John’s lost kingdom? The treasures of Solomon? Or just false rumors?
With no navigable river mouth nearby, Von Kentucky and Miss Sharp gathered horses for a mounted expedition. They had the perfect plan: Miss Sharp would depart from Mombasa. Von Kentucky would depart from Zanzibar. They would meet up near where the discovery was rumored to be and Miss Sharp would then “interview” Von Kentucky about the great find. The story would would be a hit back in Europe and the money would come pouring in.
Miss Sharp’s expedition got off to a quick and exciting start. Newly discovered natives (white numbers on map), rivers, and a cataract were found in the veldt, but bypassed. It only took her two months to arrive at an area of jungle (green inscribed hexes) near the rumored discovery.
Von Kentucky’s expedition was not as fortunate. Little is known for certain, but the rumors say this: His expedition was slowed by a newly discovered mountain range not far from the coast. Misfortune become disaster as his expedition was decimated by a rock slide in the mountains. Von Kentucky himself was killed in the rock slide.
Unaware of her partner’s fate, Miss Sharp entered the jungle on the verge of discovery. Many of her askari and bearers become sick from eating a jungle fruit, but she pushed ahead. When finally she broke through the jungle, she found…a lake? Damn! The rumors say something else is there. Perhaps there is a submerged city? A famous explorer marooned on an island? Lacking canoes, Miss Sharp had little choice but to head south where she could expect to meet Von Kentucky’s arrival and maybe learn just how big this lake is. It was then that her real troubles began.
The jungle fruit sickness had severely reduced the capabilities of the expedition and some askari began to desert, making every encounter with natives even more perilous. And sure enough, she encountered more natives in the jungle. A prudent explorer would have either retreated or ignored the natives, but being a journalist by trade and a risk-taker by nature, Miss Sharp approached the natives in an open and friendly manner and with a great display of technology. With luck, the tribe would be friendly and trade her some supplies, men, and maybe a canoe. At worst, it would make for a good story.
The tribe were having none of it and promptly captured her. Not one to stayed tied down in one place for long, Miss Sharp soon escaped with a musket and some rations. Alone in the jungle.
In a tough spot now, Miss Sharp gave up on meeting Von Kentucky (she still wasn’t aware of his death) and decided to turn back towards the coast. What followed was three months of hell as she met and escaped from three more tribes.
Finally, Miss Sharp arrived at the coast and followed it down to Zanzibar. There she heard the rumor that Von Kentucky had died. She returned to Europe to publish her stories. Her “Escape! Escape! Escape!” was a hit and brought in money to fund another trip to Africa. Miss Sharp now waits at that little brandy shack by the pyramids, hoping to meet up again with other members of the Cairo Confidential.