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.

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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, February 22, 2010

1921 – “STAMPEDE”

With the exception of the last two pages of Treasure of the Golden Cheetah, the first 5 episodes of Jade del Cameron’s mysteries are set during the dry season. There’s a reason for that. I don’t care to write about rain and rain makes for messy adventures. The upcoming (Sept. 2010) book: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace is no exception. And now, while researching for a seventh Jade book, I find that I might have to finally write about rain. Then I saw that 1921 was a year of drought. I may have a reprieve and Jade may stay dry yet.

By Mid May, 1921, this drought had taken its toll on wildlife. Water holes that generally replenished from March-May were still dry. Grass wasn’t not growing back fresh. The great herds of zebra and antelope grew desperate for food and water, bringing them closer to farms that irrigated from wells or into residential areas. And thus began the zebra stampede of May 13, 1921.

“Approximately twenty zebra entered the town from the Kilimani (Ngong) direction” … “breaking many fences and destroying many flower beds.” Having run many miles, the animals congregated near the railway area and became trapped by the fences and "coralled in Nairobi public parks."

Other zebra stopped when they reached “the Swamp in the heart of the town and fell exhausted beside the Nairobi river.” Ten animals died from exhaustion or from injuries, having collided with cars. The article did not state what was done with the living zebra but presumably they were given food and water before being released out of town.

Next week: More Nairobi news
Clip and quotes taken from The Leader of British East Africa. May 14, 1921

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, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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Monday, February 15, 2010

1920 – “NAIROBI FOOTBALL”

Nairobi was nuts for sporting clubs, and running right up near the top were the “football” clubs. While some of these were “rugby football,” most were soccer clubs.

Soccer season officially began in mid May with the Dobbie Cup, a “first division competition restricted to Nairobi.(*)” The match was first held in 1907 and played by teams from the Gymkana, Parklands, and Town. During the war, games were not held. in 1919, the Kings African Rifles team won, but after that, the Nairobi Railway team and the Caledonian Club won more than any other team.

Play was always intense but in 1920, a reporter represented the enthusiasm of one player, a Mr. Miller, in the Gymkana vs Civil Service match as unsportsmanlike. As a result, a referee (Major Perkins) wrote a letter to The Standard, setting the record straight. “I consider it my duty, in fairness to Mr. Miller, to point out that at no period of the game did I consider it necessary to give him ‘marching orders’ and your statement that the penalty was awarded against him was incorrect. Mr. Miller’s play was of a robust, but not of a violent nature, and it may be of interest to state that the offenses given against him were chiefly for ‘holding’ – due no doubt to over-eagerness. Both teams displayed indulgence in heavy play.”

The sports editor replied, “We are not prepared to change our opinion concerning the play of Miller. Certain of his tactics, some of which were not detected by the referee, were in our opinion anything but clean and in the case of such an experienced player and exponent of the game as Miller is, it is all the more to be condemned. The criticism appearing in the report of the match was in no way meant as a personal attack on Miller.”

It was all for naught. Railway won the cup anyway.


Next week: More Nairobi news
* http://www.rsssf.com/tablesk/kenyacuphist.html (Kenya: List of cup winners)
Photos taken from The Leader of British East Africa. May 14,1920
Quotes taken from The East African Standard, May 15, 1920

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, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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Monday, February 08, 2010

1921 – “THE BIG MATCH” IN NAIROBI

Sporting events were large attractions in early Nairobi. We have already seen in past postings the importance of Race Week. Amateur sporting clubs also abounded for the gentlemen, but the big event in February, 1921 was the Boxing Tournament. There would be “six contests for purses, value 1,750 Rupees.

For the first time ever, this event was not being held in the Theatre Royal, but at the Railway Institute. The house looked to be packed and wagers were made. Even His Excellency, the Governor, Sir Edward Northey was in attendance.

The featherweight competition opened the event with 8, two-minute round bout won by Coulson. Everyone anticipated the next battle between McArthur and Engeland to be a good match. Both men weighed in at 11stone, 5 ½ pounds. The bout was scheduled to be 10, two-minute rounds, but Engeland was “floored below the ropes” in the first round. Heavy-weights Brown vs Cottar only lasted 3 rounds before Brown forced Cottar to his knees. And so went the evening. Lightweight Lambert knocked out Wetherall in the first round. Welter-weight Andrew vs Jones was to be the evening’s highlight with a 15 round match. The referee stopped the fight in the third round “Jones being floored so frequently that in any case the knockout would have been merely a matter of time.”
Next week: More sporting news.

Photo-clips and quotes are taken from The East African Standard. Febr. 12, 18, and 19, 1921.

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, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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Monday, February 01, 2010

1921 – A LOOK AT THE NAIROBI WANT ADS

When adventurer Jade del Cameron is not on safari, she resides in a little bungalow on Lord and Lady Avery Dunbury’s estate at the northern edge of Parklands. But at times, she’s considered moving into rooms elsewhere so as not to be a burden on her friends. Just where would she go? In 1921 Nairobi, there were no apartment complexes.

Some people took rooms at the larger hotels such as the Victoria or the New Stanley. Others, especially men, belonged to a “club” and kept a room there. But in the newspaper want ads, there were notices looking for lodgers.

Some room and board offered amenities, such as desirable locations on the Hill and access to tennis courts.
Others offered board with a family atmosphere. And of course, there were always rooms to be had at the YMCA, but not for Jade.


Next week: More Africa news.
Clips and quotes are taken from The East African Standard. Febr. 11, 1921.

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, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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