Erewhon. Chapter 2

In which we meet a young empire-builder taking his first step on the colonial ladder.

Danger: it is unsafe to read this colonial-era text before inoculating yourself with this preamble here.

Olleh dna emoclew

An Erewhonian greeting to you all.

My name is Lord Erewhon.

At the start of my adventure I am like every other white man of my colonial era. That is to say, I wish only to:

  • venture to the farthest corners of the earth

  • subdue savages

  • claim their land for the crown

  • accumulate vast wealth and influence

  • possess myself of a woman of exquisite beauty

(to whit: a pale complexion, unquestionable pedigree and a large dowry)

  • marry her, and;

  • get on her a brood of fine young men

  • bring them all to Christ, and;

  • thus ensure my own salvation

I am christened George (father unknown)

My first adventure, age 8

I escape the orphanage and put to sea. There I am nourished by tales of

Captain Cook

History’s greatest colonist. That’s the kind of man I want to be.

I shall need to find somewhere to colonize.

These days, the pickings are slim. Though the sun never sets on the British Empire I manage to discover a solitary nook still shaded from her rays.

I pay my passage to New Zealand clubbing seals

Age 18. I am a shepherd on the Canterbury Range.

The farthest edge of the charted landmass.

My most treasured possession

My mail order Colonization Kit (First Contact Edition)

Contents:

  • One British flag to raise above undiscovered land

  • One pro forma treaty to confer sovereignty over her natives

  • An illustrated holy bible

  • A pocket watch set to British time

I order the add-on pistol (to make a first impression)

I drill myself constantly by Colonizing my flock of sheep.

As soon as shearing is over and the wool sent off I ask for leave of absence and obtain it.

What lies beyond the range, huh? Who can tell? What infinite reward to the man who finds out first.

My blood is all on fire with hope and elation.

Part 3: Over the Range is next. It’s where this everyday tale of colonization takes a remarkable series of turns, so make sure you

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