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"Please, call me Captain Ambroise."
This article is about a subject that lacks an official name. They're known only by their nickname, title, or alias.

Know this, this stone has been in my family for something like three centuries, ever since the siege of Calais. It has fueled the men in my family with great spirit, but also madness. You know, inspiration to the point of obsession.

Ambroise, about the star-shaped soap stone in his possession — May, 1839

Captain Ambroise is one of the main characters in the Remember - Amnesia The Dark Descent short story "Old Friends." Ambroise was a French army officer, serving as a member the colonial pacification force in occupied Algiers in 1839 CE.[1]

Information[]

In 1839, Captain Ambroise was stationed in the recently conquered city of Algiers in French-controlled Algeria at a time of significant unrest and rebellion.[1] Sometime in early May, while moving his patrol through the harbour, he spotted a group of men unloading unmarked crates from a ship.[2][3] Suspecting smuggling, he ordered the dockworkers to stop their work.[4][5] The owner of the cargo, Abd-al-Qadir Bahij, tried to stop him by informing him that the crates already had been inspected, and that all the papers were correct and in order.[6][7] Still suspicious, Ambroise demanded that one of the crates be opened, only to find it filled with grain.[5][7][8] However, noticing Bahij's subtle relief at the apparent innocence of the discovery, Ambroise kicked the crate over, revealing smuggled rifles.[9]

After the rebel smuggling was revealed, Ambroise and his men raided Bahij's granaries and storehouses to search for other caches.[10] This stirred up resistance among the people, and Ambroise and his men were forced to fight the rebel forces at the city docks.[10] They managed to beat back the agitators, who scattered and fled down into the narrow streets of the Casbah.[10] Ambroise and his men then chased the rebels through the city's narrow streets and managed to pin down Baki, one of the rebels and a nephew to Faraj, inside the latter’s house.[10][11] In desperation Baki took Herbert hostage, believing that a European hostage would give them leverage over the soldiers.[11] Despite the danger to Herbert’s life, Ambroise ordered his men to fire, killing all the rebels but also murdering Faraj as well, who had stepped in between them to save Herbert and to try and work things out.[11]

Later in the evening, Ambroise unexpectedly showed up at the opulent hotel where Herbert and Daniel were staying.[12] He accosted Herbert at the restaurant and handed him Weyer's map, from the confiscated belongings of Faraj, and threw his star-shaped soapstone onto the map.[12] He asked Herbert what the stone was and why there was a picture of the stone on the back of the map.[12] He then informed Herbert that the stone had been in his family ever since the siege of Calais—the setting of the Remember short story "With the Blessing of a King"—revealing that Sokal was his distant relative.[13] Ambroise told Herbert that the stone has brought his family great inspiration and spirit, yet also pain and "obsession" throughout the years, then handed the stone over to Herbert, remarking before leaving, “I'm not doing you a favor, Englishman. This is for my father and my father’s father and so on. It is on you now.”[12]

Quotes[]

  • « I'm not doing you a favor, Englishman. This is for my father and my father’s father and so on. It is on you now. »

Trivia[]

  • Captain Ambroise's fate remains unknown.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Remember: "Old Friends" – "Captain Ambroise of the French army moved his patrol through the busy harbor."
  2. Remember: "Old Friends" – "Why were there so many sealed crates? The majority of the goods shipped to Algiers was grain and oil. Barrels and sacks was a common sight, not unmarked board crates."
  3. Remember: "Old Friends" – "Ambroise followed the men carrying the crates with his eyes. They all moved goods from a single cebec, a small and fast ship common in these parts of the world. Ambroise eyed the growing pile of crates on the docks."
  4. Remember: "Old Friends" – "Call it instinct or experience, he [Captain Ambroise] knew something was a foot. There was something about the merchandise the loaders moved."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Remember: "Old Friends" – "The man nodded to his workers to start loading the crates on a wagon. ‘Nobody touches the crates, until I get some answers around here,’ yelled Ambroise.
  6. Remember: "Old Friends" – "‘Is there a problem, captain?’ asked a calm Arab behind him. Ambroise turned around to face the man. ‘Perhaps. Are these yours?’ ‘Yes, yes they are.’... ‘My name is Abd-al-Qadir Bahij and here is my papers – identification, customs and tariff slip.’"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Remember: "Old Friends" – ‘Open one.’ ‘Captain, they have already been checked and accounted for by the customs. The customs controlled by your government. ‘I don’t care. Open one,’ Ambroise gestured to his men. ‘Captain, you are performing a criminal act by opening that crate. It is not your business.’ ‘My business is the Casbah and what you are trying to smuggle into it!’ ‘No need to get upset, Captain. It says so right on the customs slip – foodstuff!’"
  8. Remember: "Old Friends" – "The crate creaked as the soldiers cracked it open. ‘Captain?’ said one of the soldiers. ‘It’s grain, sir.’ Bahij and Ambroise looked at the long open crate. It looked like a small coffin filled with grain.
  9. Remember: "Old Friends" – "Ambroise noticed that Bahij held his breath a moment before he exhaled. Ambroise turned around and kicked the open crate over. The grain poured out – exposing a stack of rifles."
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Remember: "Old Friends" – “Ambroise ordered the men to fire at the fleeing rebels. Raiding Abd-al-Qadir Bahij’s granaries and storehouses had stirred up a hornets’ nest of resistance. Countless of French soldiers had reinforced the already crowded battle and the harbor had turned into a killing field. The rebels scattered and fled into the narrow streets. ‘After them! Let’s quench this rebellion, once and for all!’ screamed Ambroise and pushed his patrol up the Casbah hill.”
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Remember: "Old Friends" – “The patrol was waiting patiently for their compatriots to lure out the rebels. Two ranks were formed, five men in front kneeling, five men in the back standing. They had their rifles ready and waited for Ambroise’s saber to come down, ordering them to shoot. The four rebels emerged from the house with a white man held as hostage. ‘Put your weapons away, or we kill this man,’ yelled Baki holding his knife demonstratively next to Herbert. ‘Please, don’t!’ cried Faraj from the side. ‘Ready! Aim!...’ called Ambroise to his men. The threat turned the rebels frantic, but had little time to react. The street was narrow – they were trapped. Faraj stepped out between the two sides. ‘Stop this madness!’ Ambroise let his saber fall in a swift movement. ‘Fire!’”
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Remember: "Old Friends" – “Ambroise came up to the table and dropped the map in front of Herbert. He sat down in Daniel’s seat and took a sip from his drink. Herbert didn’t know what to think. He quickly reached for the map. Before he could collect it, Ambroise tossed a stone onto the map. The gilded table below resonated with a clang. Herbert looked around with a slight panic and then down on the map and the star-shaped stone. ‘What is that?’ asked Herbert. ‘That is my question,’ he answered dryly. ‘You are lucky there are so few Brits in Algeria, Professor.’ ‘What do you want?’ ‘I want to know what it is. And why is there a picture of this stone on the back of your map?’”
  13. Remember: "Old Friends" – “Herbert was speechless. He really didn’t know much. Tin Hinan, was that it? He didn’t believe that, there was more. It was what Tin Hinan might have been. Where she came from, where she went. ‘I understand,’ said Ambroise. ‘You wouldn’t want to tell me. We are not exactly best friends. Know this, this stone has been in my family for something like three centuries, ever since the siege of Calais. It has fueled the men in my family with great spirit, but also madness. You know, inspiration to the point of obsession. I never really bought into the whole thing, but I must admit seeing you with this fills me with a sense of purpose and closure.’ ‘Are you giving this to me?’ Herbert was dumbfounded. ‘I’m not doing you a favor Englishman. This is for my father and my father’s father and so on. It is on you now.’”

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