What Do You Call A Man With No Arms and No Legs? Bad Ass.


When Arthur Cavanagh was born his aristocratic Irish parents were horrified to discover that their brand new baby boy only had rudimentary arms and legs, meaning he just had skinny little stumps.  This being 1831, when people with disabilities were generally treated like raisins in cookies (not wanted by the general population), Arthur's future wasn't all that bright.  At least that would've been the case if he hadn't been born into a family that was rich as shit.  Not wanting her baby boy to do without, Arthur's mother went out and found a doctor who liked money enough that he was willing to spend all his time with a single patient.  The doctor forced young Arthur to do vigorous exercises until his stumps were strong and dexterous enough to allow him to use them to the maximum of their potential.  Before reaching adulthood he was taught to paint and write (both using his mouth), fish, shoot a gun, and even ride a horse using a specially designed saddle.  A special wheel chair was also designed to allow him to move freely around the house.  

Arthur's mother provided him with the best of tutors.  It was with one of these that she traveled with Arthur, then age 15, on a two year tour of Italy, Palestine, and Egypt; the tutor carrying Arthur on his back in a specially made basket.  Upon their return to Ireland, Arthur got caught up with a group of youthful nationalists who dreamed of freeing the country from British rule.  Now one might think there wouldn't be much of a place for a man like Arthur in an armed revolt, but he was such a fine rider that he was made a scout.  Unfortunately the Rebellion of 1848 was long on poets and intellectuals and short on people who had any damn idea of what they were doing.  The revolt collapsed before it even really began and most of the leaders were shipped off to penal colonies in Australia.  Arthur escaped such a fate because he wasn't seen to be much of a threat.  Being rather put out by this lack of respect for his abilities, Arthur did his best to prove himself as all young men do, by plowing every willing woman he could find.  His mother was less than impressed, especially after a few of the serving girls were left with bastards in their bellies.  Fearing shame on the family name, she sent Arthur to Sweden, accompanied by his brother Thomas, which seems a strange choice given that Sweden was most definitely just as full of women as Ireland.  

Perhaps it was the language barrier, but Arthur soon grew tired of Sweden, and convinced his brother that they ought to go travelling the world.  Their mother was fine was this idea, as long as travelling didn't mean any more lady involved chicanery.  Together the two brothers traveled throughout the Nordic countries, into Russia, down through Iraq, and then into Persia; most likely getting stared at wherever they went.  It's no everyday you see a white aristocratic gentleman with no arms and no legs riding around in a basket on his brother's back.  Though such things did have advantages.  When Arthur fell ill in Iraq, a local sheikh allowed him to be cared for by the sheikh's harem for two weeks.  However, it also had it's negatives.  In Persia Arthur and Thomas were imprisoned in a cage in a town square and pelted with rotten fruit for a time.  The whole experience soured them on Persia, so they moved on to India where Arthur took up tiger hunting.  

Unfortunately, as is always the case, the fun times came to an end.  Thomas grew ill and decided to go to Australia, leaving Arthur behind.  He never made it, dying on the voyage over.  Soon after word finally reached Arthur's mother of his two week time in a harem.  Quite scandalized, she cut off his allowance, leaving him virtually penniless.  Arthur though wasn't the type to give up.  Instead of freaking out, Arthur made his way to the nearest East India Company office, which virtually controlled India at the time, and asked for a job.  It goes without saying that the company men were rather shocked at this turn of events, but being apparently some pretty easy going folks, they gave him a job delivering messages on horseback.  He remained there for a little under a year before earning enough money for the voyage home, arriving some five years after his initial departure.  Upon arrival he discovered his elder brother had died, leaving him lord of the family estate.  

Arthur proved quite capable at running the lands now under his control.  Where once things teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, money began pouring in.  At the age of 24, he decided to marry his cousin.  At first the girl's father opposed the marriage, claiming he was worried that Arthur's lack of limbs may be hereditary.  However, Arthur disproved this notion by introducing his prospective father-in-law to his fully limbed bastard offspring.  The couple had a total of seven children, not one sharing their father's disability.  Soon after getting married Arthur got into local politics, working his way up the ladder until he was elected a member of the British Parliament at the age of 35, a seat he held for the next 14 years.  Arthur died of pneumonia in 1889 at the age of 58.