Chapter 1

Tashkent, 14 June. The planning is over. We have reached our start point and are in passably good heart. As leader of the expedition to climb the Snow King, I, Trevor Node, shall issue brief reports of our progress at weekly intervals. I was first here and during the past week have been joined by the other four members of the party; Amanda Flatpole, Ridley Gannett, Hugh Pugh and Desmond Thoroughbrace.

It all seemed so simple when we conceived it three months ago, over drinks in the London headquarters of the Peripatetics Club. However, I must say that I never expected our undertaking to be frictionless. Indeed, when I proposed conquering the great peak, my initiative was immediately contested by Pugh, who observed that the mountain had already been climbed by nine other groups. I silenced him with the reply that there was more than one way of being first, and that I saw no reason why we should not be the first party to take tenth place in subduing the giant. My logic was endorsed by the others and we soon had a plan on the back of an envelope.

We apportioned responsibilities today. Pugh was the natural choice as pathfinder, since during his university days he made the trip from Putney to Mortlake, accompanied by only eight others. Gannett, an ex-grocer, was an obvious selection for quartermaster. Thoroughbrace, a former woodwork teacher, was always destined to be our technician and transport officer, while Flatpole, a health fanatic and linguist, takes charge of hygiene and communications. I, having no speciality, am to be expedition leader. I think it was unkind of Pugh to remark that this was akin to appointing as cricket captain an all-rounder, equally incompetent at batting, bowling and fielding. Sooner or later, this fellow will be troublesome. We shall set out tomorrow.


The second Node Bulletin will follow shortly.

For the rest of this story, you need to Log In or Register

Story tagged with:
Humor /