Occasionally an author will create a character of such vivid personality, such charmingly human attributes, that he ceases to be a "character" and becomes, to the reader, an individual — a friend. Mr. Wallace has done this with Mr. Augustus Tibbetts, called "Bones."
f the cloven-hoofed goat.
He had told her many things.
"Light of my heart," said he, "our lord Sandi is my father and my mother, a giver of riches, and a plentiful provider of pence. Now it seems to me, that though he is a just man and great, having neither fear of his enemies nor soft words for his friends, yet the lords of his land who live so very far away do him no honour."
"Master," said the woman quietly, "is it no honour that he should be placed as a king over us?"
Bosambo beamed approvingly.
"Thou hast spoken the truth, oh my beloved!" said he, in the extravagance of his admiration. "Yet I know much of the white folk, for I have lived along this coast from Dacca to Mossomedes. Also I have sailed to a far place called Madagascar, which is on the other side of the world, and I know the way of white folk. Even in Benguella there is a governor who is not so great as Sandi, and about his breast are all manner of shining stars that glitter most beautifully in the sun, and
Francis Augustus Tibbetts is an ass and if you don't believe me, ask him, he will be the first to tell you so.
But how so? Well he's a bit pompous, a bit of a bungler, sort of presumptuous and kind of a self flatterer. However, he's always lucky and well looked after so he always getting the long end of the stick, so to speak.
This is a collection of stories about his adventures along an African river and it's a good way to spend a lazy afternoon, or a cold evening by a fire.
Recreational reading at it's best, a little adventure, a little humor, a little nostalgia, not a lot of drama but a good deal of fun.
This collection of episodes in the Commissioner Sanders series continues Wallace's subtly humorous look at colonial Africa. Bones is the nickname of Francis Augustus Tibbetts, lieutenant of the Houssas, seconded to British Africa under Lt. Patrick George Hamilton and Mr. Commissioner Sanders. He is both raw and utterly self-confident, a devastating combination, particularly since Sanders is away for most of these episodes. The stories don't seem to be arranged chronologically, which makes me think they were originally published separately and collected in no particular order.