The Travels of Herbert T. Eustace
This is the story of a time and place many of us would wish to recognise, but have never experienced; a place where time and distance are often unreliably fluid. This is also the story of a relationship, a very special relationship between one man and a dog. Easily described as a cross between ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘Wallace & Grommit’ the two main characters, Herbert and Grumpy, become lost in a unique series of travel adventures; adventures that force them to confront prejudice and inequalities in a sometimes confusing world, a world where animals and humans are able to communicate at an equitable level.
Herbert T. Eustace is single and of indeterminate age. He lives in a particular historical space, perhaps even a future space, where Nations are at peace with one another and ‘pollution’ is a word of the distant past. Animals and not humans are now in control of planetary destiny, ruling with a quiet, conflict free even handedness. Grumpy the dog is a companion to Herbert and in command of most proceedings making up their day to day existence. So when an unusually independent decision is made to go travelling by Herbert, Grumpy makes sure he is included in his plans. Being a qualified traveller, and having a certificate and a badge to prove it, Grumpy is sure there will be no unforeseen circumstances capable of fazing such a very capable individual. Herbert, however, is no quite so sure.
The choice of direction by the two travellers to destinations north, south, east or west becomes influenced by media opinion and pre-conceived ideas about the social and physical environment they wish to explore. However, as Herbert and Grumpy investigate the world that truly surrounds them they are often surprised and sometimes confused by the actual reality. The morals and politics of life in other lands are revealingly dictated by the environment, the myth and even the magic of individuals in a time where fake news still runs rife and a traveller’s lot is often a very precarious one.
With Herbert suddenly confronted by a substantial financial windfall and links to a wealthy benefactor he had previously known nothing about, he becomes involved with high level politics and a bid to become President. However, now target for a disgruntled ex-employee, Herbert survives a particularly close assassination attempt. However, this has only come about with the bold and fearless intervention of his friend Grumpy and the assistance of a donkey called Dudley. Having taken a bullet for the Presidential candidate, the dog’s life hangs by a thread and the event gives cause for much reflection by Herbert.
Fortunately, Grumpy recovers over a period of time with Herbert resolutely by his side; someone not only turning his back on any ambition to become President but giving his substantial fortune away to a newly formed charitable foundation. But will the adventurous pair ever go travelling again, especially with a new and most entertaining friend named Dudley on board?