The Naughty Book


Picture: hundreds of men, camped in the hot desert sun., strict Moslem culture surrounding the encampment, war, destruction and death everywhere, and no outlet for diversion. Hot days melting into one another, boredom, and thirst on every man’s mind. No diversion from this nerve shattering environment on the horizon. Moral at a very low ebb. These are the smoldering inhuman conditions in which Cp. Thomas Edward "Pinkie" Heep chronicles in his diary.

Historical Note:

Whilst most of Heep’s original diary is mind numbingly boring, detailing the number of tea cups used at such and such gathering, pounds of sugar needed, number of crumpets broken on the supply caravan and other sterling facts, there are several interesting references to the, here to fore lost "naughty book". Scholars first suggested this tome to be the usual listings of court martial and flogging’s administered under Comdr. Whet-Wissel’s command. However, recent evidence unearthed by this investigator suggest a far more noteworthy literary missive.

The Hunt:

The evidence found consisted of hundreds of faded and damaged photographs. These photos were stored in an old biscuit tin, buried deep in one of Heep’s steamer trunks. On the back of the photos were varying codes, i.e. NB-143, NB-156 etc. Further study and a stiff whiskey later, this investigator suggests the code numbers were in fact references to page numbers of the "Naughty Book". This was all moot unless the Naughty Book could be found. Here the story becomes serendipitous. Several years later, this investigator received a teley call from a book dealer ( to remain understandably anonymous) detailing a strange wallet sized diary, containing the most unusual stories of the 1915-1917 Egyptian campaign known. The calf skinned book, initialed "T.E.H." in gold, was found, of all places, in Texas, USA., hidden under the seat of a rotting Nieuport two seater, itself, languishing in desert. Rumor had the two seater was flown there by two aviators sent by a British officer in Egypt on a mission for "ice, and those little umbrellas". Older locals of the area had little more to offer on the story, but to a person, insisted on the "‘ice and umbrella" basis for the plane’s existence. ( see the "Texas connection" for further details and the chilling tale of discovery.) Was this then the NB? Arrangements were rapidly make and moneys exchanged.

Imagine the joy when the book , written in Heep’s unique handwriting, arrived in my flat! Here then, I deduced, was the "Naughty Book", this deduction was bolstered by the fact that the methodical Heep had inscribed on the first page, "The Naughty Book". Now the full story of the Lost Squadron could be told. References for the following stories are found in this book , referred to as "NB".

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