Arriving from Africa, Colonel Redbone, of his Majesty's Royal Dragoons, stepped off the ship and surveyed the New York Harbor. His eyes squinted so intensely it looked as if they were completely shut. However, they were not shut.
"Ah, you must be Colonel Redbone," said a rather portly fellow in a three-piece suit with an unfortunate receding hairline.
"I am Jiggins. My employer has been waiting for you. Come with me."
The fellow called Jiggins led Colonel Redbone through a crowd of people and onto a horse-drawn carriage. They silently rode up the island to a mansion on the west side.
"Come with me," said Jiggins upon arrival, and so Colonel Redbone followed.
The mansion was large, as is the custom, but not as large as the estates back home. Colonel Redbone was ushered into a study and asked if he would like a drink.
"A scotch, if it isn't too much trouble."
A wait of well over an hour ensued, but this was nothing new for Colonel Redbone. He was accustomed to receiving urgent requests from wealthy industrialists and aristocrats, and then waiting long periods of time once he had made his way there.
He was nodding off when out came a voice:
"You know, I woudn't have taken you for the great Colonel Redbone."
No one ever did.
The Colonel, roused from his drowsy state, saw a handsome, well-groomed man sitting across from him.
"You come with the highest recommendations."
The Colonel scratched his mustache, which was considerable in proportion, and a dusty blonde color that gave the slightest evidence of turning gray.
"Not one for talking, I see. Very well. Well I suppose there isn't much to say. I've given you all the details I can. You have at your disposal any funds necessary. Once you return a sample of the item in question, you will be rewarded with the sum offered in my letter. Any questions?"
And with that, Colonel Redbone, the greatest spice hunter the world has ever seen, departed.
To be continued...