Quadrivial Quandary:  Logophiles, Rejoice!  Each day we give you four unusual words.  Can you fit them all in one illustrative sentence?

Attempts to resolve the Quandary:


"We were in Freetown, Sierra Leone, last year, My Lord, and encountered an old sea dog in his cups; he told us of his many escapades, but one in particular impressed us," said Darcus, "it was about twenty years ago, or thereabouts; he was second mate on a merchantman carrying goods and passengers to that port, and one of them was an African who had been converted to Christianity and was bound for his homeland as a Missionary, the old man said his name was Tom Jenkins – he was a fine, upstanding man, quiet in his demeanour, polite and respectful, without being a nebech, who spent much of his time reading the bible and during a storm did much to calm the other passengers, few of whom had any experience of the wild nature of storms at sea; the old man said that without Jenkins' calming presence, there could have been panic, which was the last thing the crew needed as they fought to control the ship, furling the sails and lashing down anything which might have caused damage by sliding and rolling about; when the storm abated, the ship was becalmed – several of the sails had been torn asunder and the ship drifted with the currents, but heading away from the direction of the African coast; the captain needed volunteers to man the rowing boat and try to tow the ship eastward; the first volunteer from among the passengers was Tom Jenkins, showing that for a scholar he was prepared to risk molochizing himself for the safety of his fellows, and his example did the trick, drawing enough able-bodied men to add their names to the muster; the boat was lowered and a mixture of passengers and crew took the oars; they pulled and pulled and exhausted though they were, it was the example of Tom Jenkins that kept them at work; after two days the coast of Africa came into sight and by this time enough of the sails had been sufficiently repaired to be slung up and were enough to catch the wind; the rowing boat and it's hands were brought back on board and the ship limped towards Freetown; the Captain and the crew and all the passengers knew that they owed their survival to Tom Jenkins; they fêted him and even sang hymns – at his request – thanking the Almighty for their good fortune; it seemed that Tom's career had reached it's auge, to have succeeded in bringing the ship and the souls it carried through the valley of the shadow of death and with the Promised Land on the horizon, but their trials were not over; an Arab dhow armed with cannon crossed their path and by firing across their bow forced the ship to stop, for in it's poor shape it could never have outrun the other; a boarding party came onto the ship and declared themselves to be pirates and masters of the high sea and claimed their right to seize what they could; all were heavily armed and nothing or no-one could stop them; Tom Jenkins tried and he was knocked to deck by a sword-hilt, and when the goods the pirates could take were transferred to their own vessel, they took the trussed up Tom Jenkins with them; in Freetown. after discharging their passengers and what goods the pirates had not taken, the ship's captain reported what had happened to the authorities; and that seemed to be the end of it; then a couple of weeks later, our informant told us he had observed a line of slaves, shackled and manacled, being led to a British slaver bound for America, and one of the slaves, he swore to us, was Tom Jenkins – he still wore the trousers and shirt that he had worn on ship, though they were now torn and shredded; the sailor tried to speak to one of the crew of the slaver but was shoved back and threatened with a beating, or worse, if he tried to hinder their work! so he had not been able to prevent Tom from being loaded aboard the ship with a great many others, headed for the plantations of Carolina or one of the other slave states; that was all he knew, except for the name of the slave ship; it was The Hesperus!" at which Lord Minto's face drained of colour: "but I know of that ship, my father had shares in it! but we abolished the slave trade in '07, how can this man claim it was still being carried out twenty years ago?" and MacFarlane said simply: "Homer nods; robbery and murder were banned by The Almighty in the Ten Commandments he delivered to Moses, yet they are still committed, Britain may well have abolished the Slave Trade, but it still supplies slaves to the American states, and if the old sailor's story is true – and we do not doubt it, that is where Tom Jenkins may be found – if he did not die at sea as so many are said to have perished on the crossings, crammed into hulls with no sanitation or medical aid; Darcus and I wish to pursue the trail: it is twenty years old and who knows whether Tom Jenkins is still alive, but having started our quest, we feel ourselves obliged to continue, which is why we have come here, My Lord!"

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for Thursday, February 15, 2018 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7814 sentences — each one a surprise — to QQ's unique and growing library. Explore other Quandaries through our word list or the calendar below. View yesterday's QQ resolutions or pick a day at random.


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