The High Pamir Book 2: The Ley Lines of Kashgar
Jefferji Tamisen, the principal protagonist of “The Wild High Places,” is a young man fully immersed in a mystical thread of relationship with the Divine, especially when the Divine reminds him of Shikander Beg somehow. He’s got a developing sideline in intrigue and exploration funded by the British in about 1841 not-yet-Raj India, and has been some months working his way into westernmost China to reunite with Shikander Beg Kavkazki. He’s not alone in making the journey from Rajputana into the great markets of Yarkhand and Kashgar, of course; mercantile establishments centuries-old, dealing in grain, cloth, ironwork, medicine, and luxury goods which include spice, gems, and up-market slaves.
One unfortunate victim in that last-mentioned category is an Englishwoman with but one friend in the world who has come to Mumbai/Bombay in search of her only remaining kinsman, a British officer named Broderick Holyoke. It doesn’t end well. She finds someone to take her north by north-east to a place where she’s promised she’ll find him, and she does, but not in a fashion she’d ever dreamt of. On the way from here to there unfortunate experiences have reduced her to the status of property, albeit very valuable property indeed.
On the way from England to India she’d struck up an acquaintance with a very young, very seasick, young officer coming out to India to be taken under the wing of a distant cousin-uncle several times and several decades removed named Captain Fontenoy. When Corbeck “Cora” Willoughby makes her daring (and as it turns out, adventurous but ill-advised) move to leave any orb of British protection on her quest, young Fontenoy determines with equal rashness to find her and rescue her, since Captain Fontenoy has been forced to share some secret information.
So there’s the beginning for you. I haven’t said anything about the genial Chinese gentleman, though if you’ve read the teaser chapter at the end of “The Wild High Places” you’ve been introduced. Not a word has escaped me about the (deleted text) or the unwelcome intruder from the past suddenly alive and kicking in Kashgar when he should have been dead, and would have been, if he hadn’t left Boy’s burnt-out village before she started killing Cossacks. Why, there’s hardly time in the story for Jefferji to talk Shashka into showing him how Circassian men learn how to dance en pointe. But they’ll find the time. Because Jefferji Tamisen hasn’t come all of this way for a demonstration of Circassian dance-steps.
Please keep “The Ley Lines of Kashgar” in mind for later 2021!