|Subject: Captain Naveaux's Diary Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:37 pm|| |
25th February, 1720Dear Diary,I am sorry I have not written in so long, I have been occupied much recently. I have just returned home from a pleasant stay in Tampico, New Spain. I very rarely am allowed to visit a port unless it is of a business nature so imagine my delight when dear, sweet Monsieur Hew McDraig invited me to holiday at his Villa. You see I had the pleasure of conversation with Hew on the docks in Grenville and we were discussing my recent trip to South America. I had fallen absolutely in love with the climate, scenery and people that I was lugubrious to leave it. It is then that Monsieur Hew tempted me with Tampico, and I accepted whole heartedly. I informed my crew the following day that we would depart for Tampico that Wednesday and they inquired as to what business we should be attending to in that part of the Caribbean. They were pleased to discover this to be entirely a trip of leisure, I have never seen them ready a ship for a voyage in such a quick and efficient manner…..it makes me wonder if we should have more pleasure trips…I shall have to think on that a little more. The trip to New Spain was dull and uneventful. We passed several merchants and piraticals and although they were tempting to take and my crew awaited my word to strike, it never came. Monsieur Dubaise (first mate on the L’Orque) approached me after one fat galleon lumbered passed loaded to the gills with luxuries and gold, and asked why we would allow such a sow to slip through our fingers. I merely smiled and said that we were on holiday. Our arrival at Tampico could not have come at a better time, I was beginning to get itchy for some merchant sport myself and I certainly could not give in to this desire after denying my crew so many other opportunities during our voyage. Monsieur McDraig had arranged for his butler, Monsieur Sancho to escort me to his estate which is located just beyond the town. Monsieur Sancho arrived in the most enchanting red chaise. I was very impressed as I was not aware that the Scottish indulged in such luxuries, they so very often opt for the practical. The ride through town was interesting enough, full of sights, smells and sounds unfamiliar to my French palate. We passed a delightful little market where the local women with their dark hair and features offered up their intricate weaving, pottery and delectable goods. I made a mental note to return to this market and purchase a blanket I spied as we passed. We continued beyond the town, winding down an ancient path set down by the Aztecs, so I was told by Sancho, and I have no reason to doubt him. Tampico, although hot and dry, is quite curiously surrounded by swampland and mysterious lagoons with the Panuco River lazily winding down to the gulf. Sancho informed me that the present town of Tampico was not the original, apparently it had been founded by a Franciscan priest and was located north of the Panuco, however constant raids from pirates forced the people to re-establish the town on the south side of the river. Sancho also informed me that before the Europeans came, the area was full of water dogs but unfortunately they had been hunted so severely that no more could be found in the area. As Sancho concluded his history lesson for me we arrived at Monsieur McDraigs estate. The main home was again, a surprise, very opulent, in the Spanish style with obvious French influence: tall windows with Baroque pediments, and balconies at every window on the second floor perfect for a senorita to gaze down at her lover serenading below. The building was painted in an orange that is reminiscent of the sunset over the horizon and above the main entry were the McDraig coat of arms. I felt as if I were entering into a dream and that at any moment a handsome Duke would sweep me away to his bedchamber for a night of passionate love-making. I was awakened from my dream when Sancho stopped the chaise. I noticed a dark, portly lady with a toothy grin in the door and curtsied my hello. This was to be Momma Camilla, Monsieur McDraig’s cook and Sancho’s wife. She spoke in broken French and I spoke with broken Spanish but our feelings came across as such that we both liked each other immensely. I knew this was to be a wonderful and relaxing holiday. Now I won’t bore you, dear diary, with my first few days at the McDraig estate, I spent it in luxurious laziness an indulgence I so rarely am allowed. However on my third and final day I managed to ride into town with Momma Camilla as she was in need of items not farmed on the estate. I followed her around the market until Momma Camilla sat down for a long chat with, what I could make out to be, were her relations. Probably a sister, I am uncertain, again my Spanish is not so good. I excused myself to wander the town on my own. I managed to find the lady who had woven the intricate blankets I had seen while driving through town and was able to buy one and was tempted to buy a few more however the noise from a group of children playing near by caught my attention. They looked to be just slightly older than my dear Celena and it was then that I felt the pang of homesickness. I could not bring her with me on my trip to Tampico, I never take her on board my ship for I fear what may happen in chance of an attack. I watched the children chasing a very small creature that looked like it could be a cross between a very small dear and a dog. I attempted in my broken Spanish to ask what on earth this intriguing creature could be. Techichi they chimed in unison. Well, may I buy your Techichi I asked, no said they, an older girl stepped forward and informed me that the Techichi is sacred to their people and could not be sold. Now this was just ridiculous to me, because the little dog, for it is a dog although it is the smallest I have ever seen, seemed to belong to no one in particular, looked to be underfed and dirty. I thought I could tempt the little urchins with sweets and even ventured to offer up my ruby and sapphire rings, but still they would not budge. While I was bartering (trying to) with the children I did not notice a man walk over and pick up the dog. It seemed I managed to attract the attention of a rather nefarious looking fellow who leered at me with a gap toothed smile beneath a dirty and unkempt mustache. Had I not led the life I have, I may have been a little frightened of this man, however, I always carry a pistol and at least a dagger even in my finest of dress. The children had noticed the man as well and had fled the area leaving me alone with this devious man. “I know you” said he, “We’ve crossed paths before Naveaux”. Now diary, I admit, it was only at that moment I was a little frightened because he did indeed know me, but I did not know him. Had I been in the company of my crew I would not have felt such a foolish delicacy, but I was alone in an alley in a strange port and I am certain that if he were to murder me no one would care. “You don’t remember me?” said he, “Perhaps you will remember this” He pulled off his glove and revealed three missing fingers. Dear diary, I began to laugh, because I did indeed remember him, he was at one time very attractive, wealthy and influential privateer and I had fancied him, he was a Spaniard and you know how I feel about Spaniards. We had managed to meet in Havana and after consuming a vast amount of Tequila in the tavern, stumbled out into the street where I had ran into another of my Spanish amours, Roberto. The two gentlemen, both equally drunk, began to berate each other until an impromptu duel broke out between the two which resulted in Eduardo shooting Roberto dead but not before Roberto managed to get a shot off ripping Eduardo’s fingers clean from his left hand. It was only later I discovered they were brothers and so I have managed to avoid Havana, and thus avoid Eduardo. I suppose laughing at him now in this alley in Tampico did not help my relations with the man, he pulled a knife and lunged at me and I only just managed to not get stuck. I produced my pistol which was hidden away in my garter and shot him stone dead. The little dog which Eduardo had tossed as he lunged at me, lay whimpering in the mud and so I picked up the pathetic creature and wrapped it in the blanket I had purchased earlier. It was then I heard the sound of footsteps, no doubt attracted by the sound of the pistol, and so I decided it was time to make haste from Tampico. As I ran I heard many voices yelling in angry Spanish, but two words kept sounding out the clearest, asesinato and Techichi. I ran with all my might and made it to the docks where Monsieur Dubaise waited with the dinghy to ferret me back to the L’Orque. He didn’t ask what happened, he just shook his head and stifled a laugh as we pulled out to sea with the sounds of the voices of the townspeople still shouting asesinato and Techichi. It was only when I was safely in my cabin that I pulled the little dog out from the blanket and had a good look at it. All that fuss over such a small creature, for I am certain the townspeople were angrier over the loss of the Techichi than over the death of Eduardo. Hopefully they will not take their anger out on dear Hew when he returns…..All in all it was a pleasant trip and now I have a nice little present for my Celena and so dear diary I must rest for I am absolutely exhausted from my holiday in Tampico.
|Subject: Re: Captain Naveaux's Diary Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:50 pm|| |
[hehe, cute story...and cuter dog!]