Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

My Photo
Name:
Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, May 25, 2009

NAIROBI NEWS: 1920 “THE GLORIOUS DEAD”

Today, being Memorial Day, it is only fitting that the blog topic focus on those fallen in Wars. It was a thought no less in the minds of the post WWI Nairobi-ites who labored long and hard to erect a War Memorial.


The Memorial “erected in memory of the Fallen” on the Muthaiga estate north of Nairobi proper, was officially unveiled by Governor Northey at 4:15 pm on Friday July 23, 1920. By permission of Colonel T. O. Fitzgerald, M.C. and the officers of the King’s African Rifles, the KAR band played from 4 to 6 pm for those attending the ceremony. Later that evening, beginning at 9 pm, a “mask and domino” ball was held at the Muthaiga Club. Attendees could hire their masks and domino costumes at the club.

This memorial to “bear in memory the glorious dead,” was not without its controversy. We’ll examine that next Monday. For today, let us all remember those who have given their lives for their country. (photos taken from The Leader of British East Africa, July 17, 1920)

NEXT WEEK: Issues Leading Up to the War Memorial.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, all available in trade paperback.. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, IS available in hardcover. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com and follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, May 18, 2009

NAIROBI NEWS: 1920 “A NAIROBI SCHOOL TRAGEDY”

Headmaster Wells took over as headmaster of Nairobi’s European School on June 22, 1920. On Monday, July 5th the school let out for a month’s holiday at the end of the three month term. On Thursday, July 8, student boarder Willie Hall was shot and died of a bullet wound. The shooter was another student boarder, Jack Kirwin. The two boys lived in different dormitories.



Headmaster Wells testified that the school had no written rule regarding students possessing firearms. One week prior to the shooting, he found out that Kirwin had a revolver. The boy was told that ammunition was not allowed.

Mr. G. G. Stansfield (whose position at the school was not given) had seen one of the students named Tarlton, with an air gun before, belonging to Tarlton. He felt there were no objections to a boy that age having an air gun as most of them were competent with firearms. But he felt it had no purpose on the school grounds. It seems that two boys were allowed firearms as there had been burglars entering the dorms at night.

Mr. Kirwin, Jack Kirwin’s father, said his son had asked for a revolver but was refused. He was told he could practice fire arms at home. But Jack Kirwin got one anyway. He purchased it from Tarlton who lived in the same dormitory as he, paying 10 rupees. A student claimed to have seen it under his pillow. Tarlton himself had a Remington repeater rifle that he got in trade for some other item. He kept this rifle behind his bed and had 50 rounds of ammunition which he’d purchased from Newland, Tarlton & Co. Kirwin, speaking of his revolver, said he remembered loading the revolver the morning of the incident but “did not know there was a cartridge in the chamber.”

It’s a classic line in shooting accidents.

The judge at the inquest decreed that the deceased met his death by “accidental discharge of a revolver fired by Kirwin.” Once again, the reader is left wondering. How did the gun go off? Did Kirwin think Hall was an intruder and shoot? Was the boy just showing off the weapon? These questions were never answered.

NEXT WEEK: Out and about around Nairobi

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, all available in trade paperback.. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, IS available in hardcover. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH will be released September 1, 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com and follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, May 11, 2009

NAIROBI NEWS: 1920 “SAVE THE KIDNEYS!”

If you lived in 1920 Nairobi, you would most likely have attended the recent race week events. You would have placed some wagers, perhaps won some and likely lost more. You’d have gone to some private parties and attended the gala fancy dress ball at the Muthaiga or the New Stanley hotel at the conclusion. By the end of the week you might have felt the strain of the week; headache and backache. You’d have overpartied, overeaten, over-worried, and under-exercised. And if your arm started to tingle or your legs felt week, you might have really become concerned. What should you do? Look no further than your local newspaper advertisements for advice. These gentlemen shown in the 1920 East African Standard ads below would have had some for you.


One man feared he’d never be free of his chronic rheumatism. He’d lost the use of both of his legs and his right arm. He was told he’d never do a day’s work again. The man was only fifty years old. He’s now sixty-six and swears by his Backache Kidney pills.

The second gentleman advised everyone to thank their kidneys and take care of them by lightening the work, getting simple exercise like daily walks, reduce the food and stimulus intake (alcohol was counted as a stimulant in 1920 along with coffee), and take Backache Kidney pills to strengthen the kidneys. He cautioned the pills should be started BEFORE any serious kidney disease for maximum efficacy.

The product? Doans Kidney and Dinner Pills. In 1920, the pills (kidney shaped and colored) contained oil of juniper and potassium nitrate along with wheat flour and starch to bind. The Doans dinner pills, used to treat digestive disorders, contained oil of peppermint. The advice? Take your pills and thank your kidneys.

NEXT WEEK: a Nairobi school tragedy

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, all available in trade paperback.. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, IS available in hardcover. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com and follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, May 04, 2009

NAIROBI NEWS: 1920 “NAIROBI HORCE RACING – AND THEY’RE OFF!”


Race week was a big event, especially around Nairobi. All of society turned out, especially as many of them had horses in the race. This included Lord Delamere and Beryl Markham’s father, Mr. Clutterbuck, many of whose horses Beryl herself trained. So the races of the July meeting were eagerly watched with special celebration. His Lordship Sir E. Northey (the governor) and his wife Lady Northey had returned to the colony from a visit to England and, on their return, Governor Northey had officially declared that the British East African Protectorate was now The Kenya Colony.

The turf’s condition for these meets was declared to be “excellent” and the Kings African Rifle Band “rendered pleasant music” while people watched and mingled in the afternoon. The event was overseen by many officials. There was a “timekeeper” and a “clerk of the scales” and a “clerk of the course” as well as a handicapping committee since betting on the races was popular. Of course, a veterinary surgeon was also on hand as well as an auctioneer as many animals were sold before and after the races.

Horses with names such as Redwing, Joffre, Karego, Jimmy, Delphic, Miss Tucka, Chongo, Mbwe, Wiley Scot, and Refrigerator ran in the Divided Pony Handicaps, A Kenya Steeplechase, the Produce Stakes (whose prize was 100 pounds), the Jardin Lafitte Cup, and an Open Selling Handicap where the winner would be sold afterwards. This year, the winner of the Open Selling Handicap was a horse named “Joffre” owned and trained by C. B. Clutterbuck. The horse was “knocked down (purchased at auction by) to Mr. Greswolde Williams for 1,000 Rupees. After the races, “the whole of Mr. H. Tarlton’s stable” was sold with the exception of “Redwing” who placed third in the sixth race. All Jockeys were Englishmen.

Balls at The New Stanley finished up the festivities. By 1921, The Jockey Club replaced the long standing Turf Club.
NEXT WEEK: more Nairobi fun!

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, all available in trade paperback.. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, IS available in hardcover. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com and follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

The cover of The Leopard’s Prey is also an online puzzle. Go to http://www.allstarpuzzles.com/picture/index.html, scroll down, and click on “It’s A Mystery” (if you are reading this as an archived article and the puzzle title doesn’t show, then it has been archived. Go to the bottom of that page and click on puzzle 2221)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,