Gentleman's Swimming Hole Tree
Gentleman's Swimming Hole Tree
Notes by Journal photographer George Furman on the occasion of the Safari to the Gentleman's Swimming Hole.
1 ) The safari for the Gentleman's Swimming Hole was marked by a long journey to Rugby Tennessee by motor car to a rock outcropping which locals said denoted the beginning of the trail to the hole.
2) On first sight, the expedition archaeologist Prof. S. Stewart took an interest in the curious circular formations in the rocks. Having never before seen such a feature Prof Stewart requested we remain awhile to take notes, but time is fleeting and the safari pressed on – to Prof Stewart’s disappointment.
3) After a vigorous hike, we came upon a grove of trees with exposed roots. Thinking the ladies might be fatigued I suggested we take a rest in the shade and have a bit of hard lemonade as a precaution against the vapors.
4 )In short, we fell upon an ancient trail which promised to deliver us to the Gentleman's Swimming Hole. Making our way, Mr. Summerlin -a veteran of the Bosnian Conflict - at the fore, rang out in alarm. He returned to announce that a porter had been attacked by a beast and that the porters arm -which Mr. Summerlin now held in evidence of the attack - was all that remained of the porter. Prof. Stewart wanted to know how we all felt about the trauma and what action might be taken. After some discussion, we pressed on.
5 )We came to a rocky pass with water. We filled our canteens and Dr. Lovelle took a moment to make a stunning and someone heroic portrait of me at my labors documenting the landscape for the museum. I was flattered. After some discussion, we pressed on.
6 ) We kept to the shade and followed the river, and it was upon this course we were set upon again by the beast. Its roar both fierce and .terrified a porter who broke rank and ran in the direction of the monster. The beast took him and dispatched the man at the quick. Mr. Wilson got a shot off and was sure to have hit the beast, as Mr. Wilson’s service in Afghanistan had rendered him a right smart shot. The beast appeared to have fled. After some discussion, we pressed on.
7) Moral in the ranks wavered as we pressed downriver. The beast tracked us and taking his advantage in the foliage the beast took three more porters as its leisure. The Lady Petra and Miss Tiffany -not to be trifled with - each took a rifle and showing some sass took positions on the right and left flank of the group – so as to give the beast what for. Their sass encouraged us all, The gentlemen let out a cheer for the ladies. After that rousing moment, I pointed out that we were losing porters quickly and were in danger of having to carry our own bags. Manual labor does not appeal to my temperament and after some discussion, we pressed on – at a run.
8) After a rousing constitutional fleeing from the beast , we came upon the Gentlemen 's Swimming Hole. I stood on its banks and basked in its natural beauty. It was not long before comrades pointed out that this journey was ill-conceived and the loss of life in the discovery of the forgotten swimming hole was not well worth the loss of life. I agreed and pointed out that the return trip was uphill and likely to be just as unfortunate. The companions agreed and after some discussion, we agreed to send the porters back the way we came as bait as we swam downriver to safety. In parting with the creature comforts in our kit bags, I did not forgo a final taste of hard lemonade – to forestall the vapors.
9) A collection of photographic documentation of the journey to the Gentleman's Swimming Hole has now been made available by the royal museum.