Part six of the diary of famed explorer F.H. Longwell.
Longwell and his trusty man servant Tipton continue to search for the Treasure of The Golden Pants!
F.H. Longwell III was a gentleman explorer, a renowned naturalist and a scholar who traveled with his manservant Tipton on behalf of The World’s Most Curious Curiosities Museum in the early hours of the 19th century.
The Yellow Slick Road
June 30, 1830
I noted our exact position so we could find our way back to this landing point once we have the golden trousers. The map clearly indicted we will shortly find an ancient road, paved in, if not gold, perhaps copper or maybe some other yellowish stone.
I’d like it to be a precious metal, but really, hoping for a road of gold is too much to ask for. But I am holding out a tiny bit of hope. As Gran-ma-ma used to say, “Perhaps someday you’ll find a bucket of candy, and inside of each candy will be a golden nugget! But don’t count on it kid.”
We started into the jungle as Tipton’s machete cut a path through the forests unruly beard. I kept watch for any sign of the ancient, yellow road. It’s hard to believe that a mighty civilization once called this jungle home. Now it’s all trees and vines and more biting insects and monkey butts.
Monkey butts? Yes, plenty of monkey butts. The cheeky little devils (12) stayed high in the trees chattering and tossing banana peels and other more unpleasant items at us. Every time I would look up I was met by dozens of mooning monkeys. Their screams echoed in the jungle like spirits calling out when an uninvited guest shows up and demands sweet pudding and tea. I could also hear the monkeys laughing at me. Worse than drunken children the monkeys are.
At lunch Tipton looked at the map and said he believed – the search for the road was nonsense – and once again floated the idea that the locals we had bought the map from had made it all up! His foolishness brought tears to my eyes. Then I realized it wasn’t foolishness that made my eyes water, it was the large, fragrant, yellow flowers all around us. They smelled most unpleasant and Tipton immediately gave them an uncouth nickname.
It was then I realized that these flowers marked the kings road! As their petals dropped to the ground they formed a golden path through the jungle! They seem to be related to amorphophallus titanium (13) but I’ve never seen or smelled plants like them before.
This is a special case in exploring where the amazing thing I found is better off just saying here in the stinky forest. I see no reason to trouble the air of Great Britain with such a reek. I mean really, they could stink up a Manure Festival (14).
It was a slippery path to follow, as Tipton found out on repeated occasions no matter how many times I warned him to be careful. But we moved onward, ever onward towards the ancient lost city and the thirty pairs of golden trousers and possibly several pairs of golden undergarments. I began to contemplate what kind of shoes this king would have worn. I would guess they would be on some extremely rare and valuable material. Diamonds Rubies? Filet mignons? The hunt was on!
12- Longwell’s mistrust and dislike of monkeys will be discussed in greater detail later. Many pages of his notebooks contained lists where he would assign demerits to various animals for unknown reasons and monkeys always had the most demerits.
13- Also known as the corpse flower, the scent imitates rotting meat to attract carrion eating beetles and flesh flies. The particular variety Longwell describes has never been scientifically recorded again.
14- I can find no recorded event in Longwell’s time referred to as a Manure Festival. In fact, I can find no recorded event in history described as such.