Javascript is either disabled or not supported by this browser. This page may not appear properly.
Passage Southward (continued)
The vivid display culminated in a splendid golden waterfall, and as this died away the foc'sle was seen illuminated in green light. As the eyes of the onlookers became accustomed to the light they saw the nocturnal visitors grouped abaft the forward hatch. The group consisted of the Clerk of the Court, the Chief of Police and three grotesque representatives of the equatorial bears.

The Clerk of the Court carried a large scroll and a package of papers. He unrolled the scroll and commenced to read it aloud. Meanwhile the bears roamed around the foc'sle and appeared
to be engaged in jettisoning every piece of detachable gear within their reach.

Captain .                    "Welcome, Clerk, and please convey my most humble greetings to your king."
Clerk of the Court .  "Hear, then, this proclamation:

          "We send greetings to you, Captain William Gladstone Agnew, Commander of the Bath,                           Commander of the Victorian Order, Distinguished Service Order and Bar, and to the
         company of His Britannic Majesty's ship Vanguard on this her first visit to our equatorial                       waters.
           Information laid at our Court instructs us that you proceed on a mission of high purpose and   
        that you convey persons of exalted and noble rank. We desire that our greetings shall be                        conveyed to them, and hope that we may be honoured by their presence at our Court.
           So that this may be, you are instructed that our Court will be convened on board at 0900                          to-morrow, the 10th February, 1947.
          You are strictly charged to offer at our Court the courtesies by custom decreed and to assemble             for our purposes those novices under your command and amongst your passengers who have not           been initiated into our mysteries, and also those who are charged with offences against our
       decrees and whose names are contained in the list I bear.
          We further charge you to observe and execute such directions as to the apprehension and                       indictment of malefactors as we shall require and to afford our Police and Bear such assistance as         is necessary for the proper performance of their duties.
          Given under our hand and seal this Doomsday Eve, at our Court on the Equator.

                                                                                                                    (Signed) NEPTUNUS REX."

Captain                      " Your commands shall be obeyed. I will send my Secretary to you now to collect
                                       the record of indictments."
Clerk of the Court     " Thank you, and farewell until to-morrow."

The Clerk of the Court, Chief of Police and Bears then disappeared.

Although the Clerk of the Court, the Chief of Police and Bears had said farewell to the Captain, they were in fact seen later in the evening, when they were introduced to the Royal Family.

Immediately after the foregoing ceremony a signal was passed to H.M.S. Nigeria, who was in company as escort, informing her of the proclamation that had been made.