From the records of the Colonial Office and from the dead man's diary we learn that a certain young English nobleman, whom we shall call John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, was commissioned to make a peculiarly delicate investigation of conditions in a British West Coast African Colony from whose simple native inhabitants another European power was known to be recruiting soldiers for its native army, which it used solely for the forcible collection of rubber and ivory from the savage tribes along the Congo and the Aruwimi.
And so the Colonial Office appointed John Clayton to a new post in British West Africa, but his confidential instructions centered on a thorough investigation of the unfair treatment of black British subjects by the officers of a friendly European power.
Political ambition had caused him to seek transference from the army to the Colonial Office and so we find him, still young, entrusted with a delicate and important commission in the service of the Queen.
In justice to young Halpin it should be said that while in him were pretty faithfully reproduced most of the mental and moral characteristics ascribed by history and family tradition to the famous Colonial
bard, his succession to the gift and faculty divine was purely inferential.
They went into the multitudinous divisions of the government, took service in the colonial
possessions, and by tens of thousands went into the various secret services.
We need not only men of acknowledged bravery, but men of administrative talents to superintend the affairs of our colonies, and we have no doubt that the gentleman selected by the Colonial Office to fill the lamented vacancy which has occurred at Coventry Island is admirably calculated for the post which he is about to occupy.
When the Marquis of Steyne came abroad after his accident, the Colonial Secretary bowed up to him and congratulated himself and the Service upon having made so excellent an appointment.
He kept Macmurdo in cigars and sent over quantities of shells, cayenne pepper, hot pickles, guava jelly, and colonial produce to Lady Jane.
Chained to a desk in the thick of four millions of men, he considered himself the victim of an ironic fate - the same, no doubt, which had brought about his marriage with a woman exceptionally sensitive in the matter of colonial climate, besides other limitations testifying to the delicacy of her nature - and her tastes.
His memory evoked a certain old fat and wealthy native chief in the distant colony whom it was a tradition for the successive Colonial Governors to trust and make much of as a firm friend and supporter of the order and legality established by white men; whereas, when examined sceptically, he was found out to be principally his own good friend, and nobody else's.
In the immediate vicinity of the post he had been directed to occupy, dwelt the chief of one of those ancient colonial
families, which had been content to slumber for ages amid the ease, indolence, and wealth of the Spanish provinces.
Official policies encouraged the "Anglicization" of Indians, but in practice many British colonials
found any attempt by Indians to emulate them profoundly threatening: imitation was the sincerest form of mockery.