Esperanto Hepatitis is probably one of the most famous gentleman explorers of the Victorian era. It was an era of great explorers, of course, but few could match the exploits of Hepatitis. The pinnacle of his career came in 1888, when he set out to discover the then mysterious source of the Digestive Biscuit, somewhere deep in the heart of unexplored Africa.
Only five years previously, Hepatitis had won worldwide fame and notoriety when he had discovered the origin of the chocolate chip cookie in a small Mayan corner shop deep in the heart of the South American jungle.
Although, during that expedition, tragedy struck when Hepatitis lost seventeen bearers, the whole of his expedition's supply of tea and cucumber sandwiches, and his loyal old school-chum Catamite Bedwetter-Spanking, when the expedition team unwittingly crossed a very busy Peruvian main road without looking both ways.
Despite those setbacks, the expedition itself had been a major success, finally proving the Out of the Jungle Cookie Thesis once and for all.
So, when Hepatitis announced his plan to search for the source of the Digestive Biscuit, it made headline news all around the world.
Some years previously, another of the great Victorian explorers, Dysentery Trailblazer, had managed to trace the source of the Digestive Biscuit back to an area just inside present-day Zimbabwe before he mysteriously disappeared into a tobacconist's shop at the edge of a small jungle clearing. Trailblazer was never seen alive again.
However, Hepatitis vowed not only to find the source of the Digestive Biscuit, he also planned to discover what had actually happened to Trailblazer, but only if he could pick up Trailblazer's original route and - therefore - locate that actual tobacconist's shop.
Unfortunately, although Hepatitis eventually located the correct tobacconist shop, he was unable to resolve the mystery of Trailblazer's whereabouts as it was half-day closing and the tobacconist was shut for the rest of that afternoon.
Undaunted by this setback, which would have certainly severely tested a lesser man's resolve, Hepatitis took his expedition deeper into the bush.
As the expedition continued, Hepatitis lost several of his native bearers, each offering a spurious excuse such as "I need to do some shopping", "the mother-in-law is coming for dinner", and so on. Once the expedition lost five bearers who all claimed they had tickets for the theatre that evening.
So, five months into the expedition, there was only Hepatitis, his brother-in-law Pungent Bowel-Disease and their native guide, Steve, left from the original expedition. They were also down to their last bottle of hair shampoo. It seemed that disaster was only a few days away.
Suddenly, rounding a bend on the local native ring-road they were traversing they came upon the fabled lost supermarket, T-Heshchko, source of the Digestive Biscuit!
But then, less than half an hour later, just as the three remaining members of the expedition were congratulating themselves on their good fortune as they began to unload their trolley full of Digestive Biscuits onto the checkout conveyer belt, Hepatitis realised that he had left his wallet at home, containing both his debit card and his store loyalty card.
Crestfallen, the expedition members sneaked out of the supermarket empty-handed and made their long slow weary way back home.
Hepatitis never spoke publicly about the expedition and died a broken recluse three years later. When his butler discovered his body, Hepatitis was found to be clutching an empty Digestive Biscuit wrapper in his cold stiff hand.