First Encounter: Diary of Captain T.E. Lawrence
January 22nd, 1917
A shadow larger than two-and-a-half men blotted out the noon-day sun as they crested the dune. What approached me was a hybrid creature, whose top-half was a crisp British officer in khaki drill, giving me a formal salute and whose bottom half was a naked man-ape. My puzzled brain reached into the annals of mythology for an answer: Was this a faun? A centaur? No, this was my new charge: Browntrout riding on Stanley the Saysquack (Sasquatch) “piggy-back.” As his acting-superior officer, my first command to Lieutenant Browntrout was to dismount Stanley and present me his papers and Stanley’s vaccination records. As Browntrout attempted to swing his leg over Stanley’s shoulder, he lost his balance. His officer’s hat fell off, his papers went flying, and he toppled over backwards, boots in the air. I reached for his hand but caught his hat instead. He did not break his salute during his entire fall. The man before me is—at age 46—the most wizened, heavily perspiring officer I’ve ever seen, and his sidekick, a retrograde simian that can only communicate in grunts and squeaks, to whom I am to convey complex battlefield tactics. These are two chaps I shall be training to send to certain death. God have mercy on their souls.