The world of journalism starts to get exposed as Boot joins up with an agency reporter on the boat taking them to Aden. There are some pieces of dialogue that have aged badly and now seem incredibly racist but given the context of the time sort of understandable.
“You know, you’ve got a lot to learn about journalism. Look at it this way. News is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read. And it’s only news until he’s read it. After that its dead.”
Highlights from chapter five
On the way to Ishmaelia Boot meets a mystery man who shared his plane from England, his train from Paris and now is on his boat going to Aden and you sense that this character is going to be important. On the boat Boot makes the acquaintance of Corker who works for a news agency but has done some work for Boot’s paper the Daily Beast and starts to induct him into the world of journalism before going down ill with food poisoning. After receiving a telegram telling him that the agency is going to work with the Beast the two reporters agree to work together. Meanwhile back in London the other Boot catches up with Mrs Stitch and asks what happened about the war reporting job only to be told that according to the newspaper he has already been sent.