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Hello

About a year ago we cause quite a stir with this post about Gibbons, Banjos and the Diary of lost Missionary Obadiah Melordy, who was the first honky to witness Gibbons plucking banjos in their natural habitat.

Here once again are those revelatory images and the extract from Obadiah’s Diary

It was the American Baptist Missionary Obadiah Melordy in his zeal to convert the peoples of the Bangpang peninsula to all things Godly who discovered their talent.

His diary (published posthumously in 1907) recounts the extraordinary events;

March 23rd 1887

“There is still no sign of my banjo, taken two days hence from outside the tent whilst Mrs Melordy and I succumbed to the steamy surroundings in a rigorous bought of intercourse both sexual and social. My lovely wife had sought to reassure me that my instrument (which in an act of wanton sentimentality I had named Jefferson) would be returned with an immediacy that would allow us to draw a veil over this unfortunate act of larceny and Godlessness amongst the peoples of the peninsula.

Up to this point the natives had shown a typically witless savage charm when faced with superior Godly white folk. At approximately noon today however, they appeared restless and in a state of high dudgeon. Mrs Melordy attaching her seventh undergarment, advised me to draw back the flaps of the tent.

And lo! A sound, the like of which neither I nor my wife would ever have considered and Scripture had never prepared us for, swam around us. Banjos being played like a whispered lullaby.

“Mr Melordy! Jefferson is being strummed!” my wife declared, “I believe I can hear another. Now another! Now a fourth! Look up yonder in the lee of the great tree!”

My dutiful wife, so long a bastion of petticoated virtue fainted. I cast my gaze toward the direction of the sound expecting to see natives playing some simple, godless tune upon Jefferson.

Instead I saw a troop of Western Hoolock Gibbons, idly swinging in the trees strumming banjos, each with a practiced ease that took me back to the front porch of my Father’s stead in Kansas.

Within the notation I could hear the harmonies of a favourite Christmas Carol “Away in a Manger” sung by our small, but spiritually engaged community only three months previous to celebrate Our Lord’s birth. Truly a miracle.”

March 24th 1887

“It would appear from Nincompoop, our one eyed guide and valet that a startling event has unfolded. I had asked him to retrieve Jefferson from the light fingered Gibbons and in his innocent savage way he had set off at dawn eager to please me (They are such a happy people when guided by God’s word!)

He returned only to bid Mrs Melordy and I to follow him. With trepidation we followed. Only the sound of my beloved’s petticoats rustling under my tunic could be heard. Mrs Melordy fainted due to the Christian application of a whalebone corset.

We left a guide with her and moved on.

Nincompoop and I crept forward. Closer to the troop. We were greeted by a sight of such perspicacity and dexterity that I too nearly swooned. For in a clearing sat the large troop of Gibbons with the adults strumming Banjos.

A large male was threading a recently made instrument with steel wire, presumably stolen from our provisions. Around him were strewn several roughly made tools.

We watched. Amazed. Nincompoop produced an ancient revolver (a trophy from the earlier Wesleyite missionary St John Tabard of Sevenoaks, England, whose end has never been fully explained) and took a bawdy aim at the large male. I placed a hand on his shoulder and intimated that we back away and leave the troop to strum in peace.

March 25th 1887

I am pleased to say Mrs Melordy has fully recovered from her fainting fit and we had just completed another rigorous bought of intercourse, both sexual and social, when the Gibbons’ Banjos struck up once more.

This time they played a Waltz! Seized, I am ashamed to say by the Godless desire to dance, Mrs Melordy and I reeled for several minutes as we used to in our courting days before sadly she succumbed to the heat and fainted once more.

I am no longer convinced about the efficacy of Whalebone corsets and have vowed not to wear women’s under garments in the tropics.

As I awaited her revival I studied scripture. There was nothing I could find that  explain how Gibbons, low savage beasts as they are, could construct and play Banjo’s in such a delightful manner. I am perplexed.”

So are we Mr Melordy, so are we!

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