The wagon and the Oxen we left in a waystation some ten miles south of Cairo. Tom, our driver, a most trustworthy construct, we retained. We also approached Graeme, a most worthy Scottsman and Grafter, formerly of Her Majesty’s service, to outfit us with half-a-dozen bearers. These were all constructs of local parts whom Graeme had built for us on the spot. We never asked where Graeme had acquired the parts for these bearers, nor how he stored them, for when he presented them – already alive and still smelling of electricity – their parts appeared fresh and their wounds grisly and recent. But then, it is in the colonies as it is in England, somewhat rude to ask the Grafter where he acquires the raw materials of his trade. The constructs we placed under the command of Tom, who was after all English in making, and set off on our expedition. We were silent from the time of our departure, apart from Tom hurling obscenities at his localized counterparts.


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