The party is gathered for dinner, including MacGregor, both Witherspoons, and the two Azar. In keeping with Society tradition, the food is excellent, and flavored by spices and dishes from a truly international palette. The Azar decline a couple of the dishes, notably anything with curry.
Before tales are begun, Lord Henry addresses the assemblage, "As you might have inferred, my motives for financing this expedition were not solely uncolored by mercenary overtones. I had asked young Enrique here to be on the lookout for anything that could recoup the costs of the voyage. Although he has told me of a few wonders that would doubtless be the foundation of more than one fortune, I think that the scientific value outweighs those concerns. At the moment.
"In the meantime, though no formal declaration was made at the time, I think the Society should petition the Crown to consider those waters a British Reserve, with the Society acting as conservator. Until the value of the find is properly assessed, and the threats that it implies are weighed, any congress with the outside world should be constrained. Until the matter is settled, I ask that any public references to your expedition should contain no hard dates or geographical indicators that might allow those with unscrupulous motives, such as our late German adversary, to disturb the Kamuan lands or peoples. What say you?"
"Also, I must further apologize to Mr. DaSilva. Enny, my lad, your skills are invaluable and well-developed, and have served the Society upon a number of occasions. But here, I am afraid, I sent you into a situation you were totally foreign to. You are very adept at working within civilized environs and charming society's best, but I threw you into something that would have taxed even my skills, honed by the wilds of deepest Africa. Still, by all accounts, you have acquitted yourself in admirable fashion and I'm am more than satisfied with your performance. You began this endeavor with a debt to the Society. Consider that debt paid in full. You are a free agent, once more." He pauses to lift a glass in Enny's honor.
"Now that you have unlimited prospects, however, let me offer to enjoin you to a position within my personal sphere of holdings. I have any number of affairs that are better suited to the ministrations of a resourceful man of your talents, and hope you might be swayed through the enticement of significant remuneration?" He smiles.
After that, the serious business of the conversation begins. Tales are told and certain details withheld(?), with the narrative passing form person to person as each gets their chance to shine. Lord Henry listens to all of this with a credulous manner, though he does ask for multiple descriptions of the dinosauria. "Good lord, wouldn't the head of one of those great brutes be a centerpiece on a hunting wall? Probably have to move the wall back, eh? Still, I don't envy any of you the task of convincing others of their mere existence. Dashed shame about the camera and notebooks."
"Ooh, all my samples and notes at the bottom of that blasted infernal sea of mists!" moans MacGregor, who now walks quite spritely, though carries a newly purchased silver-handled walking stick for the affectation. Pachmar notices that the head is shaped into the likeness of the head of one of the flying reptiles of Kamua. Doubtless custom work.
"Well, I fortunately managed to keep hold of my linguistic notes," adds Emma, "though they are a great deal less sensational than the natural history discoveries, they shall doubtless add tremendous insight into the root of human language. I suppose I will fin some way of referring to... extra-planetary influence as an isolated primogenitive influence, or some such nonsense. What we discovered along those lines still bears a great deal of exploration and corroboration."
"I encourage you to at least record your private theories and suspicions. Tolliver Bode would likely find them a fascinating addition to the Society's Secret Archives."
Emma looks a bit confused. "But those are reserved for Society members."
Lord Henry smoothly replies, as if he has not led the conversation to this point with great patience and skill, "Dash it all, you're right. I suppose we shall have to do something about that. I had a short chat with the Colonel and a few phone calls to enough members of the Governing Board before dinner. Damned useful things, these telephones. They see no impediment, so long as you have the recommendation and sponsorship of at least three Society members in good standing. Around this table, we have four, including myself.
"Miss Emma Elizabeth Witherspoon, in light of your resourcefulness in pushing back the darkness of human ignorance, despite personal danger and hardship, and exemplifying the finest qualities of character set down by our founders, Charles and Abigail Venture, I formally nominate you for Society membership, with all the rights, responsibilities, duties, and conduct that entails, and ask for members present to support that nomination."
He looks about the table, particularly at Brady, Pachmar and Pope. "What say ye?"