Friday, 31 May 2013

Sunday, 11th December, 1836

Oh my giddy aunt! What a disaster of a day!

Early this morning great excitement at the sight of Cape Chatham, the first land seen of the new country. Great to do with chronometers and maps and the like.

But all this paled when I discovered that the Proclamation for the new Colony - the one Stevenson gave me a week or so ago for safe keeping - was missing!

I asked Adams if he knew anything about the thing and he claimed ignorance. However, he did say that he had seen Mrs Hindmarsh at my strongbox only a day or so ago.

Well of course. If there's trouble the devil must be involved.

I spoke to Mrs Hindmarsh and asked if she knew anything about some papers that were in my strongbox. And yes, naturally, she did know about them.That creature from the deepest pits of Hell, that foul, vicious bundle of claws and teeth, otherwise known as dear little Tinkles, Mrs Hindmarsh's cat, needed something with which to line his litter tray and Mrs Hindmarsh had found some old papers to tear up.

God above! Tinkles has pissed on the Proclamation!

The rest of the day I spent retrieving bits of paper, cleaning them off and piecing them back together like some child's puzzle. By the time I had finished I had most of the thing in order, although a few sentences, including, I am sad to say, a rather uplifting quotation from Lord Glenelg, were so badly stained with ordure that they were unreadable.

Fortunately I had a few sheets of the same paper Stevenson used to write his original and I think I managed a reasonable facsimile of Stevenson's hand so that I might just get away with this deception.

Still, the thing is done and barring one or two points I have had to redraft or simply leave out (thanks to Tinkles. And as an aside: What have we been feeding that cat?) we have a Proclamation once again. Not exactly the Proclamation that was intended, but close enough, I hope, to fool the Commissioners.

I need hardly add that already I have only to sneeze out of turn and Fisher looks at me with all the warmth he might normally reserve for a maggot that just unexpectedly crawled out of his salt beef. So what he would say if he learned that the cat shat on the Proclamation I fear to think.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Friday 9th December, 1836

Chanced my arm today in a gamble that didn't pay off.

Had a meeting (yet another!) with Stevenson and Fisher with regard to the site of capital of the new colony.

Mrs Hindmarsh has made it clear that she expects the Capital to be in a location that she approves of. Somewhere nice, she says. Not too hilly, on a slope, but with flat ground for the convenience of the building.  Near the sea, with a lovely view of a riverside, not too far from the hills. Weather must be fine, but not hot, with enough rain to allow her to grow primulas and hollyhocks.

Unfortunately according to the instructions given to me in England I have very little say in the matter, the Commissioners having given the decision as to site of the Capital to the Surveyor General. Mrs Hindmarsh has, I am afraid, little appreciation of these niceties and is insistent on me ensuring that the Capital is located somewhere that meets her needs and her approval. If it is not then I see dark days ahead.

Which of course placed me in a devil of a position. I must rely on the good sense of Light to keep Mrs Hindmarsh happy. My opinion of Light's good sense is not high. And I think it is no secret how successful he was at keeping his own wife happy. At least it became public knowledge when she ran off and left him. So I am not sanguine about my chances of Mrs Hindmarsh being pleased with whatever choice he makes.

There was only one thing I could do, I am afraid. I needed to grasp the nettle and make sure that the responsibility for the site of the Capital lay with me. I thought I'd convinced Scoop Stevenson that I'm in charge and I was betting on Fisher being too busy fathering children to have read the document.

So when the topic came up this morning I stated, as confidently as I could, that the decision was mine and I would be making it based on Light's advice.

Damnation! Stevenson turned around and said that I had deceived him and Mr Fisher had shown him the true situation and he now knew that the decision was Light's and Light's alone.

Oh buggery, bums and aresholes! Now what am I going to do? I suppose I'll have to rely on Light coming through with the goods, but I don't like my chances.

I did try and act tough and tell them that I didn't give a flying continental about the instructions and that I'd do as I damned well pleased, but I know it's a hollow claim. If Light decides to put the capital on top of a pole in the middle of a swamp then in the end I have to go along with him.

Oh, what will Mrs Hindmarsh say?

And, to top it off, there was sauerkraut served with dinner. Heaven above, I loathe and detest that filthy muck!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Sunday, 4th December, 1836

Woken this morning by Adams telling me that Charlie Howard was too ill to take Divine Service. At first I thought that the inevitable had happened and he had finally bored himself to death, but Jackson the Surgeon informed me that it was merely a slight fever brought on by wearing damp clothes.

Slight fever or no Howard had decided to pass over in the odour of sanctity. Actually, since he was below decks with the cats there was quite a bit of odour and sanctity was the least of it.

He had gathered his wife and children about his bed in a darkened room lit by a single candle where they stood singing hymns and praying like there was no tomorrow - well, Charlie seemed to think that there was no tomorrow - and the Reverend lay in deathly splendour, every once in a while raising a quavering hand and whimpering "Is that you Mother? I shall join you soon!"

To the best of my knowledge his mother lives in a cottage in Clontarf, and since we are about 1000 miles off the Western coast of Australia I can't see exactly how he is going to join her, but he is feverish after all.

Later in the day I am told by James Jackson that poor Charlie raised himself up from the bed and cried out "Take me not Lord, I an unfulfilled!" I assume that by this he refers not to domestic matters best dealt with by his good lady wife, but to his future ambitions in Holy Orders.

"Take me not Lord"! For pity's sake! Such nonsense.

For a start, if the Lord did take Charlie Howard He'd return him soon enough once he realised what a prize boring arse He'd lumbered Himself with for eternity.

But really. To hear Charlie talk, when his time comes he intends to walk through those Pearly Gates, offer God a few useful hints on how He can manage things better, then sit down with Moses and explain Deuteronomy to him. If he meant it he might be looking forward to it. Or at least keep fairly equable about the business. Instead, the first hint of a bit of sickness and it's "I'm too young!" Silly sod.

But after such a diverting start to the day things took a turn for the worse.

Poor Charlie stayed at death's door all day and was unable to take Divine Service. So instead, two of the emigrants - whose names I have not learned, nor, after their performance today, do I so intend - volunteered to raid Charlie's library and read us a sermon.

In the morning a man I suspect of being a turnip farmer or builder's 3rd rate assistant read us one of the published sermons of Dr Wilson (Bishop of Sodor & Man). I say "read", but honestly,what with tripping over every third word and droning on and on in an unintelligible monotone, "reading" is hardly the word. His fifteen minutes of Dr Wilson had me longing for the second hour of Charles Beaumont Howard on lesser known aspects of Habakuk.

Charlie may bore us rigid, but at least he has professional standards when he does so.

In the afternoon the competition was on. Although it was the emigrants who had the idea of diverting us with readings from  the dying Howard's library of ponderous tomes, the younger passengers, perhaps having seen the standard set by the turnip farmer, decided that they could do better and rival camps were established of prospective readers for evening service.

The emigrants proposed to read from Charlie Howard's own book of published sermons, printed, according to the title, by the subscription of a grateful congregation on his leaving the parish. I dare say I'd be grateful too if Howard was leaving the parish, but to print his sermons in a gesture of "we have suffered, so why shouldn't you?" seems a most unchristian act.

The passengers were having none of this and proposed to read from some classic of Anglican piety. I was asked to adjudicate but declined. Truth to tell I would be quite happy with neither parry reading anything and silently wished them both to the devil. I would have preferred to spend my Sunday evening with a blanket wrapped around me reading "The Heart of Midlothian".

In the end the passengers finalised the affair by stealing Howard's book of sermons from the turnip farmers and hiding it in a secret location, meaning that the turnips had nothing with which to entertain us.

And so, this evening James Fisher minor read from the sermons of Jeremy Taylor (Bishop of Dromore). Young Fisher has a belief in himself as a thespian and his reading of the sermon was, in consequence, rather more dramatic than Howard's usual practice. Young Fisher's parents have a belief that he is gifted beyond his years.

With his hand waving gestures and his vocal tricks young Fisher managed to turn an old, dry sermon into the mad scene from King Lear, to the evident delight of the half man half rabbit. All we needed was the effect of thunder and lightening and we could have been at the Drury Lane with Macready before an adoring audience. Unfortunately we were at Divine service on board ship so that the whole performance seemed to be an exercise in excess. Howard may have no taste, but that is surely preferable to the execrably tasteless.

I made the mistake of mentioning this in the hearing of the doting Mrs Fisher who flew into a rage and  upbraided me, saying, amongst other reflections on my family and lineage, that if anyone disparaged my daughters I would be "utterly offended". In point of fact, if anyone disparaged my daughters I would be the first to agree with them, but thought it best not to say so, since Mrs Hindmarsh might hear of it.

Mrs Fisher had her revenge later by letting it be known to the turnip farmers that the secret location where Howard's book of sermons was hidden was a storage locker on the poop deck usually reserved for my personal use.

So now, of course, the rumour has got around that the book was stolen with my collusion and that I was the instigator in stopping the emigrants from reading at evening service. Nonsense of course, but there are dark looks aplenty for yours truly.

The whole day has, I am afraid, been a proof of the adage "Be careful what you wish for."

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tuesday 15th November - Saturday 3rd December 1836

Editor's note: The three weeks from 15th November saw the Buffalo make good progress across the Pacific towards the western coast of the Australian continent.

During this period Hindmarsh's diary contains little more than the usual navigational and weather details with a few incidents worth mentioning.

The Proclamation was finally drafted: 

November 16th: Mr Stevenson has given me his final draft of the Proclamation. Other than a few spelling corrections and one or two run on sentences (for which I marked the paper "see me afterwards") I have approved it and placed it in the strong box in my cabin. I know Scoop has worked long and hard at this and I do appreciate his efforts. Sometimes he can be an arrogant sod, but he can be a decent stick at times.

A whale was sighted:

24th November: A whale swam near the ship after sporting with two or three others nearby. It swam up and surveyed us before heading back to its fellows. As Mrs Hindmarsh was on deck at the time taking her constitutional, dressed  in a large black crinoline, I am certain it turned tail and fled when it realised that it was unable to compete. I imagine the report it gave to the others was not entirely favourable,

Keeping the Governors animals continued to cause problems:

26th November: In order to keep the animals well watered I have had to strike an extra pint of water off the allowance to the passengers and and emigrants. Loud has been their whining and complaining, but I really cannot have the animals suffer and I think it unreasonable of the people to expect me to allow it.

Of course I have had the usual whining from the usual whiners, saying that they have but two quarts of water for cooking, drinking and washing, saying that the ship would move he faster if we made full sail, that our destination might be reached the sooner, but be buggered the lot of them!

We had less water than that on the Bellerophon when I was a young officer and we beat Napoleons and  the French at the Battle of the Nile. They all just need to toughen up.

Sadly, little Wilbur, the runt of the litter of pigs born as we entered the harbour at Rio, does not improve as I would like. I have had to keep the mainsail at single reef for the past month for when I allowed full sail a draft blew upon the piglets and this I cannot countenance. If little Wilbur should take a chill it would be the end of him.

My sister Anne offered to sit up through the night and watch the little fellow. Imagine my surprise when I went out in the early hours of the morning and found her nowhere in sight. After an anxious moment or two when I thought perhaps she had gone overboard I saw her emerge from the Galley, saying goodnight to the cook. At first I feared that something untoward was afoot, but she assured me that the cook had needed help getting breakfast ready and she had been helping him turn his salt pork.

I reminded her of her duty to little Wilbur and she settled down for the rest of the night.

Now I think of it, we did not have salt pork at breakfast that morning...

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Monday, 14th November, 1836

With a little over six weeks remaining of the voyage, people are beginning to get a sniff of the new settlement and what will happen when we arrive.

Endless meetings with Gilles (or, as I prefer to call him, "Mr Moneybags") Fisher, the half man, half rabbit and Scoop Stevenson, ace newshound.

They keep telling me that, despite what I was lead to believe at the job interview, as Governor I do not have limitless power within the colony and must share decisions with Fisher, in his role as Colonial Resident Commissioner. I said that I would happily share half the power, if Fisher agreed to share half of the arguments with Mrs Hindmarsh every time she interferes, but he seemed to think that this was not within his purlieu.

Scoop Stevenson has let it be known to all and sundry that the Proclamation of the New Colony is soon to be written and suggestions will be welcomed.

Welcomed, bollocks! As welcome as a fart in a bottle.

 Apart from the obvious: "Why can't we all just get along?"  the trite: "With great power comes great responsibility." and the platitudinous: "A smile is a curve that connects us all", there have been several stand outs in the ranks of the half witted.

My daughter Mary handed me a sheet of paper that seemed to be mostly about making the new colony a place where horsies and ponies can run wild and free and a girl can hold hands with a boy when ever she wants, without the girl's father getting all cross. I discarded it without much regret.

Mrs Gorton, mother-in-law, God help him, of Scoop Stevenson - is most interested in the welfare of the natives and has come up with a draft of a poem to be read as a part of the proclamation. It seems to depend upon the conceit that ebony and ivory keys can live side by side in perfect harmony on her pianoforte keyboard and "Oh Lord, why can't we?"

I have to say that I have heard with my own ears Mrs Gorton's idea of "perfect harmony" on the pianoforte keyboard and if that is what we are using as a basis for our  relationship with the natives, then they haven't a prayer.

Charlie Howard outdid himself with a dissertation on Judges 18:7 Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man. in the process going through the history of the tribe of Dan and their settling in Mount Ephraim.

The thing was 48 pages long. 48 pages! I suppose the advantage of only working Sundays is that you get the other six days to sit in your cabin and scribble. Even so, 48 pages! The man must be a writing machine. Of course he has the advantage of working for quantity rather than quality and not having to write sense.

One young man, Thomas Oakley, announced to me that "I needed to connect with the young ones, because they are our future." It would seem that these young ones don't want to hear all that old fashioned talk. They want to be free. They want to do what they want to do! (he said) As a result he has given me a copy of a proclamation that is, he says written in the language of the youth of today.

I append it here as an example of the God be buggered, damned, arse ridden stupidity that I have to put up with every single day of the week from the complaining, self satisfied nincompoops and oafs that make up the best and brightest of this new colony, may they all rot and leave me in peace!

Draft Proclamation by Thomas Oakley

How dost do my nibs and noddies, rum dutchesses and judies?

We've heaved our peters, pogues and rogers on Andrew Miller's lugger here to the new terra firma and now what'll it be? 

Will it be nuts for us? Or will it be dick in the green?

My coves, we can twig it plummy and be down as a hammer if we are flash to every move of Old Nick's policies and give each other a rank pull.

No clanker, no gammon, no randle. I'm smoking you, so hang it on swell nobs.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Sunday, 13th November, 1836

No divine service today as a result of a slight faux pas on my part. Last night the weather was not good and the thought of sitting in the rain listening to an hour or so of that dull arse Charlie Howard explicating the finer points of 2 Thessalonians 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (as he informed me beforehand he proposed to do) was too much for me and I issued an order that Divine Service be postponed on account of inclement weather.

Came the dawn and a brighter day never shone from Heaven, damn it! Howard was overjoyed and came and saw me to give me the good news that Divine Service might go ahead.

It might, but I decided that it wouldn't as the weather might change in an instant. Truth to tell the barometer was rock steady, but I just couldn't face the whole dreary business.

Had the pleasure of the company of the Captain of the whaling ship "Woodlark". His ship left Rio ten days after we did and has overtaken us in good time. A good whaling ship running before a strong wind is a damn fine thing, while the poor Buffalo is a much more sedate old girl.

The Captain brought a letter from Sir Graham Eden Hammond. He tells me that Miss Leopoldina Concepcion Iphigenia Branquinho has agreed to work as an agent of His Majesty's government and work against the old enemy. Placed as she is within the inner circle of Emperor Louis Philippe she will be a most valuable asset.

It seems that what convinced her to work for our own government was Eden Hammond's offer to place her on board the Woodlark and allow her to come and pay her respects to Mrs Hindmarsh. At the mention of my wife Miss Branquinho signed on the dotted line so fast that Hammond nearly lost a limb.

I am pleased that my wife has proven to be of value to her government and her country, even if only as a terrifying threat.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Wednesday, 12th October, - Saturday,12th November, 1836

Editor's Note: On 12th October the Buffalo made sail and left Rio for South Australia. During the period between 12th October and 4th November, life on board the Buffalo settled back in to the routine of shipboard life after the excitement of Rio de Janeiro.

The donkeys were on board. but needed to be housed in the ship's boat. Despite Hindmarsh's reluctance to allow Mrs Hindmarsh her donkeys, he seems to have acquired a number of hogs (" at a bargain rate", he records) and guinea fowl for himself that needed to be put in with the other poultry he had on board.

To the ship's stores were also added a variety of plants including banana trees, pine trees and cactus plants. Hindmarsh comments that "these plants will make a Bligh of me yet."

With the additional plants and animals needing extra water, it became necessary to place the passengers and emigrants on short water rations, something that was adversely commented on by many. Also commented on was the Governor's decision to restrict water for passenger's pets while keeping his own dogs and "Tinkles" (Mrs Hindmarsh's adopted cat) on full allowance.

During this period Hindmarsh's diary is essentially just a humdrum log, but here and there he comments on shipboard life.

After Rio there were adjustments to be made:

13th October: Crew not at their best, I fear. Many "ill" after constant intemperance at Rio. Headaches, lethargy and billiosness abound. Hard pressed to get any of them aloft and was told by one AB (young Mr Grabb) to "for God's sake keep it down a bit" when I was shouting orders to the men. Much confusion, I am sad to say.

My sister Anne, who seems to gave spent most of her time in Rio in the company of a stableboy called Pedro - teaching him English, she assures me - says she is "missing him terribly", but is bravely carrying on by  taking the crew midnight snacks and cups of tea to buck them up. At least, I imagine that is what she is doing. I can think of no other reason why she might be making her way to the crew's quarters so late at night.

Shocked to say that Brazilian sauerkraut is even worse than English.

Reverend Howard was upset:

23rd October: A weather change during Divine Service meant that I had to absent myself to set sail. Furled royals, tightened sail and took in reefs. Of course all this makes a bit of noise and Charlie Howard was interrupted just as he was launching into the second hour of his sermon on 2 Chronicles 18:23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?. Apparently lost his train of thought and was unable to continue. I need hardly add that I was the villain, even though I would have thought that stopping his Reverence in his tracks might have been cause for thanks.

There was dancing in the evenings:

26th October: At first the sight of the passengers on deck trying to stay upright in swelling seas while dancing a quadrille or a country dance was amusing, But after three or four months the novelty decreases and even a Mad Robin in heavy seas grows tiresome.

However, whilst in Rio Mrs Fisher acquired one of the local dancer's costumes. She claims to have "Just found it on a street stall" but I think if the thing fits Mrs Fisher's ample frame, than advanced tailoring was involved.

As that may be, each evening she has been giving us her own uniquely disturbing interpretation of Portuguese and Brazilian folk dances. And she sings. Dear God, how she sings! At first I thought the donkeys had met with some injury. The song that begins "Aye aye aye aye aye, I like you very much!" is of particular horror.

One of the more pious emigrants approached Charlie Howard to ask about an exorcism "for that poor woman with the unnatural dancing".

Mrs Hindmarsh annoyed one of the emigrants.

10th November: My wife has managed to be truly insensitive, something which comes as no surprise to me, but has left the emigrants dumbfounded.

Mr Pyke, a baker, is a quiet and respectful man and on the few occasions I have spoke to him he has given me the proper and due deference one expects from the lower classes.

His wife is currently with child and is not a little uncomfortable on board the ship.

My wife went to pay her a visit last Sunday and, as is her way, promised her every consideration and nicety during the remainder of her time.

And, as is her way, Mrs Hindmarsh immediately forgot all about this as soon as she left the Pyke's quarters. Consequently this morning, when the Pykes approached her and asked if she had given further thought to what she might do for them, my wife told them she had no knowledge of what they spoke.

"I am sure that if I had promised you anything I would at least remember your names," she said, to the astonishment of the Pykes and all who heard her. She then continued, in her usual, tactful way, "If you feel you deserve special attention, then perhaps it would have been best not to board the ship in your condition."

Quite the wrong thing to say as Mrs Pyke was not in her condition when she boarded ship.

Once again, I am the villain in the piece and I have had nothing but sour looks from the passengers and emigrants.

By the 4th November the Buffalo had sailed over 10,000 miles from England

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Saturday, 8th October, 1836 (Evening)

Well, a day not without incident.

Sure enough, at three o'clock exactly the servant entered and announced Miss Leopoldina Concepcion Iphigenia Branquinho. I bid him show her in and within a few moments the woman undulated into the room, wearing a dress of the most unseemly nature, with a fur covered muff, jewels dripping from every vantage point and a hat that sat high on her raven black hair, covered in what appeared to be fruit. 

"Ah, Governor 'indmarsh," she purred, "So kind to take me into your 'ome."

I invited her to sit and she did so, ignoring the chair I gestured towards, sitting next to me on the chaise longue.

"Now, Miss Branquinho, you mentioned that you needed help from me," I said.

"Oh Governor, I beg you to take me!"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Take me with you to your new colony! If I stay here in Rio my life is not worth 5 reis."

"But why?" I said, all innocence.

"It is a delicate matter," she said, coyly, "involving the wife of a man who... Well, Governor, would it so surprise you to learn that I have had, oh how do you say it in English? That I have had... Boyfriends?"

"It would hardly surprise me at all," I said.

"Governor, some of these boyfriends have wives and some of these wives are jealous. And some of these jealous wives have angry brothers. Do you understand me?"

" I believe perfectly. But Miss Branquinho, I am afraid I am unable to assist. My vessel, the Buffalo, is a small ship, with barely room on board for a couple of extra donkeys. To accommodate you, your , I imagine, extensive luggage, your fans, your jewels, your dango, your vegetative millinery, would be impossible. Sadly I must decline your request."

For a moment she appeared downcast. Then suddenly, as a breeze changing direction, her mood altered. She threw herself at me.

"Then stay here with me. Oh Governor! Can you not see what I try so hard to tell you in my own foolish way! I love you! I cannot live without you!"

"Really, madam! Please!" I tried to peel her from me, but she was like an amourous barnacle.

"Do not deny me! Governor 'indmarsh... Or may I call you 'Indy until I learn what your first name is? 'Indy! Be mine! Stay here and colonise me! I will be virgin territory"

"You flatter yourself madam! Cease this foolishness! I cannot acquiesce in this transpontine melodrama! Desist at once and if you have nothing further to say of any sense then bid me good day!"

She stood silent for a moment and then tried another tack.

"You are right, Governor. You must forgive me. Here, let us drink together as a mark of our friendship."

And so saying she pulled a bottle of wine and two glasses from out of her muff. 

"Let us toast... eternal friendship!"

She pulled the cork and poured two glasses of claret. As she did so she spilled some of the wine upon the table.

"Oh Governor, do you have a cloth so I can wipe away this spill?"

I turned to find a cloth, but in the mantle mirror I saw her flip open the top of the large cameo ring she wore and pour a strange white powder into my glass.

She wiped up the spill and cried, "Come, drink with me!"

I paused.

"Is this a French wine?"

"Why yes, I believe it is."

"Then thank you, but I shall not indulge. French! I would prefer an Italian Chianti or a German reisling rather than taint my palate."

And with that she played her last card.

"Oh you are cruel! Too cruel!"

And so saying she threw herself to her knees, tore open the bodice of her dress and produced, from God knows where,a long stilleto.

"Oh cruel seducer! Would you have me plunge this dagger into my heart? For I will end my life rather than smirch your reputation!"

"Speak sense woman!" I snapped.

She spoke with increasing urgency, not to mention volume.

"Yet think of the scandal if the world knew I carry your child!"

It was at this point that my wife chose to enter the room.

Barely pausing to take in  the scene she gave a cry of "Libertine!" and came down like a wolf on the fold.

For a moment I feared for my life at least, until I heard the voice of Eden Hammond, who had followed Mrs Hindmarsh. With a few words he calmed my Boadicea and suggested that Miss Branqhinho was the real source of the trouble,

We left the women folk to settle their differences and removed to the parlour, where we poured large glasses of brandy. Hammond assured me that British marines surrounded the house and Miss Branquinho would not escape.

I assured him that after my wife had finished settling her differences Miss Branquinko would be in no condition to escape.

"By the by," said Hammond, " your donkeys will be delivered tomorrow."

I nodded. Those donkeys would cheer Mrs Hindmarsh considerably.