Paw-Paws and Pith Helmets

It is 1909 and a group of German hunters have inadvertently crossed the Rovuma River into the Portuguese colony of Mozambique. A young and inexperienced Portuguese District Officer on patrol in the area for the first time mistakes them for a full German invasion and succeeds in convinces his seniors that the matter is extremely serious. The Portuguese approach the British to provide some assistance in securing their remote colonial border. The Treaty of Oporto is rapidly signed and Colonial Office people from England and the colonies are assigned the task and dispatched. The suitability of individuals for the task however soon makes it apparent that it was not a priority to those that did the recruiting. Godfrey Carruthers as recent graduate in Law applies and with some devious help from his father is appointed to the ‘Treaty Territory.’ He arrives after some adventures and catches the steam launch ‘Victoria’ from the logistics station at the mouth of the river to the ‘head office,’ a camp on the river where he is assigned a place to erect his tent and is accepted into the heavy drinking crew. Patrols upstream of the camp become a frequent feature of the work and it is apparent that the greatest deficiency in the region of all is the lack of any medical facility for either the service people or the natives. A doctor and three nurses are hired and the group has to adjust its ways. Relationships develop and ultimately, after overcoming the influence of an ambitious witch doctor by devious means they make some progress. Things go very well but at the end of their first tour of duty some of the people are assigned elsewhere and there is a change in the senior individuals, a change that makes continuing for a second tour very unattractive. The hero, his new wife (one of the nurses) and his brother (married to the eldest daughter of the owner of the local ‘dukkah’) take a decision to leave the Service and set up a safari and big game fishing business instead.
ISBN: 9781803022116
Type: Hardback + Dust Jacket
Pages: 274
Published: 11 October 2021
Price: $15.05

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