Carruthers is a less modern (and less likeable) Indiana Jones. He channels the classic adventurers of the past: Alain Quatermaine, She, Beau Geste, the Land that Time Forgot, all mixed in with my father’s adventures in Africa in the 1930s.
Exactly how many Carruthers there are is a mystery. Does Carruthers get reborn, or does he have nine lives? Is he an escapologist? How does he find the time to father legitimate offspring, as there is a Carruthers XXIV who turns up in a futuristic adventure. Who is the long-suffering wife at home? Or are they all clones? Some Carruthers-like explorers have different names, but they are all from the same old school—and probably wear the same tie when they visit their club in London.
Among these flash fiction stories (generally c1000 words each) there are other collectors and receivers of ancient or dubious goods that maybe should have been left behind. Some are even quite nice people. There are also tales of what retribution might be meted out, and my vision of hell, where someone works hard to give them what they deserve.
Whoever these reprobates are, I think they all deserve what they get. Mostly.