In Bedd y Dyn Gwyn [White Man's Grave], the multifaceted Bob Eynon takes Welsh learners straight into the gung ho world of the classic comic, The Boy's Own Paper.
It is February 1895 and young Welshman Cris Hopkin is newly arrived in Lagos. His mission is to penetrate deep into the jungle to map the course of the River Yorba. Tough, hard-drinking John Carter agrees to be his guide.
Hopkin meets pretty, young Wendy Benson, whose father disappeared while exploring the same region. She begs to come on the trip, hoping to find out something about her father. Surprisingly and very out of character, Carter not only does not object, but positively encourages her.
The story unfolds with all the components of a classic adventure tale fitted into just under 50 pages: man-eating crocodiles, warring tribes, treachery, treasure and Lise, the mysterious and beautiful young witch doctor.
After many trials and tribulations, the good get their just rewards, the wicked their come-uppance and all is as it should be.
Although this is not the sort of tale I would normally read, I did find it a lot of fun. The language was relatively easy to understand, with a helpful vocabulary at the back of the book. The story line made a welcome change from the tedious over-emphasis on mundane life in the official course book that I have to follow for my class.
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