A letter fragment, dated Singapore, 1821:
"I have, I fear, at last determined the cause of our poor Leopold’s sad disappearance. You will recall that I sent by the Borneo a very considerable collection of [illegible] … identified one variety as the sinister exile’s rose of the Bosphorus. Sophia had long admired their colour [illegible] … gardens here about the Government-house [illegible] … although here they call it ‘lion’s rose’. Singapura is Lion City in the Sanskrit [illegible] … There are of course no lions here, though many tigers. I would not mention this except that when I dream of Leopold, as still I often do, it has always seemed to me that there is an great cat present, the colour of sunset, which is also the colour of the roses…"
That this is an (imaginary) letter fragment of Sir Stamford Raffles, probably sent to his only surviving child, Ella, is quite clear. He’s also mentioned in another sidebar: "What is the Correspondence? They say it’s the letters Raffles wrote about the Cat that never were published." As founder of the Zoological Society of London and the London Zoo, we could call him "the man who brought the tiger to the Labyrinth." But beyond that? Is he just an elaborate in-joke to lead us astray? Or is there more to this, maybe in connection with the Exceptional Rose? Or even, Parabola?
edited by Rupho Schartenhauer on 3/24/2015