Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flashman in the Great Game Chapter 11

The 11th chapter of Flashman in the Great Game is relatively short, and I think it probably could have been fitted into other chapters or left out altogether without much fuss.

Most of it is devoted to the wholesale looting of Indian palaces once the British forces gained control. This was very common for the time, although it was becoming more frowned upon, and the correspondent Billy Russell certainly disapproved of it. Flashman did say that although Russell may not have liked it, but he suspects this was largely driven by the fact that he didn’t have enough money on him to buy things off the looting soldiers. Flashman himself had a couple of enlisted men getting items for him, they actually paid for his Leceistershire estate; Gandamack Lodge.

There’s another passage where Flashman shoots the breeze with a number of other notables from the conflict, dropping names like only Flashman can. Of most interest is Sam Browne, he of the belt fame. Harry doesn’t think a lot of Browne as a soldier, yet he’s the best remembered and Flashman muses that the best way to ensure your legend as a fighting man lives on is to get an item of clothing name after yourself: Cardigan, Raglan, Browne. One does wonder what item would best suit Harry Flashman, the buttons or zipper of a pair of trousers perhaps?  

The end of the chapter sees Harry being posted back to Jhansi to complete the mission he came to India for, get the Rani on the British side. Flashman knew this was going to happen, and he’s resigned to it, in fact even knowing how dangerous it may be he’s rather looking forward to it, as he is besotted with Lakshmibai, no doubt about it.

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