Posted on April 6th, 2011
Country Gentleman and Cultivator
Mutiny Threatens Chick-Pease Scheme
As it is within the purview of this newspaper to follow the progress of events regarding this country’s merchant shipping, it was with no small amount of surprise and consternation that we received yesterday news of the mutiny aboard the RMS Diomede. The coup was led by a malcontentious boatswain’s mate and was promptly foiled by the ship’s officers with the help of a Monsieur Hippolyte Daladier (he being engaged by Lord Crespin to conduct an especial cargo of chick-pease from the Levant to its ultimate destination: the fertile farmland to the south west of Birmingham).
While the Diomede was alongside at Albert Dock, a ruction broke out when the crew sought to obtain, by main force, the consideration of the ship’s master following a disagreement as to the manner and timing of the month’s pay. The mutineers seized their Captain and fortified themselves in the ship’s hold. The ship and its precious cargo were saved when a group of officers led a charge into the hold and a fierce albeit brief fight erupted. The collision was tremendous, but conspirators lost their nerve upon seeing their erstwhile leader struck upon the pate by Daladier.
Your correspondent spoke with the Lord Crespin regarding the outrage and his scheme to cultivate the cargo in England so that it might be used to alleviate the ravages of malnutrition that he observed amongst those toiling in his relation’s Birmigham-area industrial concerns. Crespin, recently returned from his post as adjutant to the Controller-General in Egypt spoke at length about the restorative effect that a local dish made of chick-pease, Hommous, had upon him. As he described, “Though I spent several years amongst the pashas, hareem girls and eunuchs of the Khedive’s decadent court, I found that both mind and body gained the greatest satisfaction from a simple bowl of Hommous eaten with a loaf of the local bread.”
Though Lord Crespin is a keen Occidentalist and claims that he does not normally abide by foreign food, he is firm in his belief that such a foodstuff, were it made available to the working classes of England, would provide them with “a perfect, sustaining nutrition.” Indeed, Crespin foresees an age when the millwright, the chambermaid, the shipper’s clerk, and the Empire itself are all fortified from within by Hommous. He was equally unstinting in his praise for Daladier who, by preventing this act of barratry, saved the scheme from ruin. The captain of the Diomede praised Daladier highly as well, claiming that, “though he is a Frenchman, he could haul down a sail or coil a rope as well as any man aboard.”
Such occurrences as were observed aboard the Diomede are, thankfully, rare though given the size of our mercantile marine we must be ever vigilant so as to preserve the foundations upon which our Empire is built. The mutineers are due to stand trial for their crimes at the Court of Assizes beginning Tuesday next. This column will follow these proceedings, and Lord Crespin’s efforts with great interest.