Character: Edward Malone (The lost world)
Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to 'The lost world'. Written for fun and with love and not for financial gain.
Summary: Edward decided not to submit this letter to his editor, Mr McArdle, afraid that perhaps it wouldn’t show enough respect to his fellow-travelers. It was found, years later, by Edward’s son, when Edward himself disappeared, while looking for Atlantis.
Writer's note: Written for the fanfic-competion on Matthew Rhys Online - Assignment: write a fanfic based on one of the characters Matthew Rhys played. This one is actually more based on the audio-book read by Matthew Rhys (Mhmmm 8 hours of Matthew Rhys!) rather than on the BBC mini-series, but that doesn't really matter as it fits in both medias.
Dear Mr McArdle,
In retrospect, our first few days here on the plateau passed quicker than expected. Though the days were extremely warm and the nights were rather chilly, I was glad to find myself in the company of men who felt that they could tackle any problem that came our way. I could almost not imagine what we would do without Lord Roxton. His calm way of dealing with the two professors was an inspiration indeed. However the continued arguing between Professor Challenger and Professor Summerlee were sometimes very taxing on our patience.
Only last night there was yet another argument. This time the topic of their heated conversation was a flower, that we had noticed earlier in one of the trees, near the stream of water we were following. It was very pretty. It looked like a hibiscus-flower, but it was actually so gigantic that Summerlee argued that it must have been a predecessor of our hibiscus, but Challanger believed that it was another new flower altogether. Oh, if only they could watch it up close…
“…The difference of opinion could be settled in a minute.” Summerlee sighed.
“I doubt it. Because you’re not willing to admit that you could be wrong.” Challenger nodded.
“Because you assume that you would be right.” Summerlee immediately replied. I looked at Lord Roxton, who, like me, tried to ignore the latest argument between the two professors.
“Then perhaps you should climb up there and watch it up close.” I suggested tiredly. “You’re both very good at mountain-climbing. Such a small tree shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Young-fellah-me-lad, would you please consider the advanced age of our professors.” Lord Roxton scolded me gently, but I caught the light in his eyes. And certainly, both professors immediately jumped on Lord Roxton’s words.
“Advanced age!?” spluttered Challenger.
“Are you suggesting we couldn’t do it?” Summerlee wondered, insult in his voice. Lord Roxton managed to hide his smile well.
“No….” However from his voice did come the feeling of not entirely speaking the truth.
“I have you know that I can easily climb all the way up there.” Challenger said.
“Yes, so I can I.” Summerlee added.
“Still…” Lord Roxton sounded hesitant. Challenger growled and took his rope and flung it up. After the first branch, came the second. Summerlee wasn’t about to be left behind and grabbed the rope as well. Lord Roxton and I watched both men climb higher and higher.
“This will give us a few minutes of peace.” Roxton replied with satisfaction. I tried to write down some of my impressions of our last few days, but I was too tired and lacked inspirational words, when loud words took me out of concentration.
“Back already?” I wondered, but Lord Roxton looked up and shook his head.
“Their arguing is just very loud.” He replied dryly. We watched how the two men carefully came down from the tree again. They were still arguing by the time they reached to fourth branch.
I will never know what prompted the latest fight, but all I could hear was:
“But, that is what I said…” Summerlee insisted. I looked up and opened my mouth to say something, but Lord Roxton grabbed my arm and signaled me to stay quiet.
“No. You said that…” Challenger never finished his sentence. There was the sound of breaking wood and a rather bloodcurdling scream, followed by two loud splashes, one after the other.
“That should be refreshing.” Lord Roxton said with a pinch of a smile.
“They could be hurt.” I said, though I tried not to laugh. I jumped up. Lord Roxton was less concerned, but still he took it upon himself to get up and join me in looking for the two professors. It didn’t take us long to find the two men, who were just climbing out of the water. T
hey were completely drenched and looked like two wet cats. Challenger’s usual boisterous voice was suddenly silenced and Summerlee’s lips were pressed tightly together as they passed us by without saying a single word. Lord Roxton and I looked at each other and we both began to laugh.
“I hope that this will keep them quiet for a while.” I said.
“Yes, me too.” Lord Roxton smiled and we both resumed our walk back to our camp, where we found the two professors huddled close to the fire and they were trying to get dry. As by silent agreement, Lord Roxton and I didn’t ask for an explanation. Neither did we wonder if the disagreement had been settled. We merely tried to continue what we were doing before the two had fallen from the tree and into the water.
Lord Roxton cleaned his gun, as he did every night, and I tried to write, inspiration still lacking. The silence was enjoyable and my sentences were starting to form. I looked up long enough to see Summerlee and Challenger glaring at each other over the fire. I assumed their difference hadn’t been settled just yet, but I was too focused on my writing and I wasn’t paying attention to them.
The sounds of the night were taking over. The large mosquitoes were getting closer to the fire once more and we knew it would soon be time to retire for the night and get some sleep, because tomorrow would be another long adventurous day.
“Still. I was right.” Challenger said suddenly, after his long silence. I put my papers and pen aside with a sigh. That was it. I would not be able to write again tonight.
“You didn’t let me look at the flower long enough to confirm or deny.” Summerlee protested. Lord Roxton grabbed his gun and placed it next to his sleeping bag.
“Nonsense! You didn’t want to look closer, because you were afraid that you would have to admit that you’re wrong!” Challenger replied. I crawled into my own sleeping-bag, not in the mood to listen to more fighting.
I caught the look on Roxton’s face as he too decided to get some sleep. I gave him a wry smile and he replied by rolling his eyes.
I pulled the bag over my head to protect myself from getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes. As if in the distance, I could hear Challenger’s deep voice, followed by Summerlee’s lighter voice.
As annoying as it was to have them fighting once more, it was also a comforting sound to have these two men near. If not even a cold bath could silence these two, nothing would and that was a reassuring tought. I closed my eyes and I fell asleep within seconds.
Signed: EDWARD MALONE