Friday, September 3, 2010

Contest Winner(s)!

The contest (see previous post) has its winner(s)!

Now, there were a lot of different answers given, and a lot of them were not technically wrong, actually. But I was looking for something that could be clearly backed up with a stated fact, rather than clever assumptions. Unfortunately, my pick for an answer relies on the reader sharing my thought that the characters Bailey and Gerald are inseparable comrades, having been friends since forever and remaining so until they die. This, however, is never clearly stated in Crogan’s March, and so it is entirely understandable that the “two characters” part of the question threw some folks for a loop.

So, as I’ve alluded to but not actually stated, the two characters in question are Gerald and Bailey, Peter Crogan’s Legionnaire companions.

As to the first part of the question, they met Robert Crogan.

They met him in the Spanish American War. How do we know that?

Bailey mentions that he (and, in my mind, Gerald) fought under a man named “Fightin’ Joe Wheeler.” Wheeler was the general for the Cavalry division of the US volunteers during the Spanish American War, which included T.R.’s famed Rough Riders.

Now, Bailey could have mentioned Wheeler in reference to service during the Philippine-American War in 1899 and 1900, but I plan to have him and Gerald involved with the Boxer Uprising, and they can’t be both places at once (well, they could hop from one to the other, but even so…), and I was thinking of the Spanish American War when I wrote the line.

So! That being the case, the big winner is Eric Newsome! Congrats, Eric. Though Keenan Luciani also got the correct answer, but a hair later. Good job, both of you!

What made me think of the contest in the first place was doing sketches of Gerald and Bailey at different points in their lives, as they’ll likely appear in Crogan Adventures stories. Here are a few of them:

And I mentioned other guesses that weren’t technically wrong. The only reason they weren’t what I was looking for is that they were logical assumptions (albeit correct ones) rather than the “fact tying” I previously mentioned. Some of the submissions that were especially interesting:

From Trevor Verges: “From researching the battles mentioned in Roitelet's past exploits, i see he was present for a short period in west africa a few decades back. The way Peter talks about and defends Roitelet makes me think he's the one mentioned in Peters cryptic speech involving his motives. Now that i review the story I can see that Roitelet is maybe only 8-10 years older than Peter and could still appear to be as young as I assumed he was and that Peter's roughness was only the product of five years service to the legion...met Peter's father Joseph in Africa when Peter was an early teen, where Joseph moved his family to as a miner.”

Trevor, you’re right that Roitelet met Peter’s father Joseph in Africa! Roitelet, like Bailey and Gerald, is someone I plan to have pop up whenever possible.

John Klump suggests John Tolliver Crogan, giving his reasons: “Dr. Crogan states that "Peter's companions" relate his fate to family members after his death. Of Peter's still-living companions, only two of them (Bailey and Gerard) would realistically re-enlist in the Legion (Juarez almost assuredly would leave). A re-enlistment would last until 1917. Battles during World War I that would bring both the Legion and the RFC (and along with it, Peter's brother John) are few, the big one prior to 1917 being the Battle of the Somme.”

Derrick Schisler comes to the same conclusion: “My deduction would be that the two characters would meet John Tolliver Crogan, seeing as John T. and Peter were so close in time and come from the same line of the family, and because at the end of Crogan's March Father Crogan states that "the story was passed on to our family through his companions" (plural noted) (Not part of the contest but I think its safe to assume that it was Gerald and Bailey that passed on the info). Also, seeing as John T. is a pilot by profession in 1916, its also a reasonable assumption that he's a pilot taking part in World War I. Soooo.... the meeting place would have to be somewhere like... North Africa? I'm not sure if that is specific enough, but this is a really difficult challenge haha I've enjoyed trying and trying for the past two days to figure it out, but I'm at wit's end... “

And you guys are both right, too! The plural “companions” does indeed refer to Bailey and Gerald, but their five years in the Legion would be ending at the same time Peter’s would have, and I have a hunch that the might volunteer for the Lafayette Escadrille, the American Volunteer air service. Hmmm…

There were quite a few entries, but these are the ones that exhibited the most thought and effort. It seems like it’d be a shame to only award one, seeing as all five were right in one way or another, so all of the answers featured in this post will receive the prize! I’ll just make sure that Eric Newsome’s is extra fancy. Congrats, and thanks to everyone who participated!


Andrew Wales said...

Wow, that is neat how all these stories will be connected. I can see these things happen in real life -- connections and reconnections. It's a "small world".