Friday, February 10, 2006

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

V-man opines that the story of Stanley and Livingstone would have made a great movie. And he's probably right, as usual.

His fear is that, made today, the story would be debauched. But of course, that already happened more than 100 years ago. The whole episode was nothing more than a publicity stunt to begin with.

Stanley, a native of Wales, had come to the United States to seek his fortune, somehow wound up here in Arkansas at the outbreak of our late unpleasantness, and enlisted in Company A, Capitol Guards, 6th Arkansas Infantry.

Captured first time out of the chute, he found it expedient to renounce his loyalty to the noble lost cause and enlisted in the Union Army.

Later, as a reporter for the New York Herald, he endeavored to spend as much of the newspapers fortune as possible, hiring thousands of porters and guides to help him find someone who was not lost and then insinuated himself into the poor man's entourage forcing him to share some of the limelight in his discoveries.

He then became a serial killer in Africa before returning to Europe to marry an Ann Heche type artist and go into politics. He died in 1904 gasping, "St. Peter, I presume?"

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