Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Anturiaethau Cymro ar Fawrth

(An excerpt from Anturiaethau Cymro ar Fawrth: y llythyrau Dafydd Thomas (The Adventures of a Welshman on Mars: the letters of Dafydd Thomas, ed. Owain Thomas, trans Prof. Horace Percy Smythe-Bigglesworth, London, 1917)

Dear Nan;

How are you? Please send my love to Grandpa. Also, say hello to Hywel and Gareth and their kiddies. I hope my mother is alright and please keep checking on her like I know you do.

Things here on Mars have become more exciting. One day, some fool of a Midas
(ed. note - a Welsh colloquialism for Martian, based on the golden yellow skin of those first Martians to come to Earth) was jabbering at me in the street, so I clattered him. I was about to throw him into his stall and pelt him with his own vegetables, when a hand grasped my shoulder! I turned to see who was going to get hammered next, but to my surprise it was a very English gentleman. He told me that he wanted to hire me on as a bodyguard of sorts, as he had never seen anyone hit so hard. You should hear him talk, Nan, with all of his "chappies" and "pip-pips" and such he sounds a real english bastard, that's for sure. But his name is Hywel, so he must be one of those Welshmen that went to England with Henry Tewdr back in ancient times, like you told me about. But he is still a rich English bugger alright. So since I was getting on at the shipyard, I agreed.

After a day or so of lounging around and fighting whatever poor boyo got in me and Mr Hywel's way, we met up with a English explorer and his pet Midas, a real savage from the mountains. I am sure you have heard stories of the red indians but these mountain Martians are like nothing anyone has ever seen. They are real bloodthirsty buggers. Along with him was a young english army officer there for protection and I think to keep the mountain savage under control. There is also a doctor, and a guide - a woman, if you can believe it. Soon another lady came and Mr Hywel agreed to find her air-boat that her husband had lost. We had to chase a Martian pirate to a wild city and there the explorer, Mr. Challenger, killed two men in cold blood. I had run up to the pirate, and dropped him with only a few jabs and a hook, but I looked back and the Sais bastard had chopped two martians with a machete, and then we had to stop the savage from killing the pirate too, even though he was already out cold. I tell you Nan, it made my blood cold to see those men cut down like that. I have beaten many men, but have killed noone. Mr Hywel took care of the police, and he tells me that it was alright what happened, but I didn't like it.

But we had to get away quick, so we got away. Then we found that the lady who was with us was crossing us, and had hired the pirate. She was going to shoot Mr Challenger. Before we could grab her and her maid, the treacherous ship captain who we had hired spun the wheel, upsetting the ship. I almost fell overboard to the ground, and Mr Hywel got shot badly, also the guide, Miss Johnson. The young officer grabbed the lady and got the situation under control, but not before the Midas savage killed the maid, an Irish who I quite fancied. She didn't need to die either, but he would have eated her if Mr Challenger had let him.

So now I am in a right pickle. I think the ship captain is not on the level, and wanted some of us to fall overboard. I will see, but if he plays us false I will give him a sore jaw and that is for sure. The explorer and his pet are more a problem, they do not care about anyone and kill right easily. I thought the officer was there to protect them but now I think he is there to protect others from them. I will have to watch my back around them, but you know that God and my ten knuckles will see me through. I hope Mr Hywel will be alright, but now we have to get the boat back from the other pirates.

Love Thomas

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