Chapter 8- The Survivors
Situated in the green Corfu and having thousands
Of olive trees and flower-strewn countryside, Prinylas is
A nice, Adriatic-style village; its square and narrow paths,
Mansions and alleys are far away from the rifle bullets' whiz.
Its wealthy inhabitants had built it in a picturesque
Position at an altitude of two hundred and seventy
Meters above the cove of Agios Georgios, but picaresque
Adventures happened there; even so, the people have steadily
Prospered from one thousand and two hundred A.C. when
'Twas a Byzantine seat; in the Agios Nikolaos church,
People had the same name; they were regarded as being near kin.
Fargo bought a Venetian house after a quick search.
'Twas situated on a panoramic hill; Geraldine
Was in front of the house and looked at the landscape of olive
And citrus groves; she told Carla, '' astonishing view! '' „Divine, ''
Carla replied, ''Did you hear some sounds last night? '' ''It's hard to live
In a new place, '' replied Geraldine, '' It was like someone
Was walking in the house.'' 'Do you think they've found us? '' „I don't know.
Let's search together. If someone was here, he was alone.''
Fargo said, '' I must be in Corfu Town in two hours. Let's go
To buy a horse; we must move quickly; any lost minute
Means losing a life on the ship; I know them very well.''
''Don't force your horse to run too fast, '' he said, „I know its limit.''
They followed the winding road to the ringing church bell
And to a cobbled street; down from the hill, some stone–built houses
Were arranged in a wide arc around the small valley.
Immediately after that, they entered the square; the horses
Were beautiful; the women cut through a new alley,
To go to the church; he started to negotiate a horse
''Look at that mansion, '' said Carla, 'it's enclosed in carved stone walls.''
A short winding hillside track took them to the Lord's House.
Geraldine said, ''I'm Muslim, ' ' Bewildering are the God's calls, ''
Carla continued, 'I'm catholic', „like Frederick, '
Said Geraldine, 'look, it is written-Agios Nikolaos, ''
While entering, she used a face cover for her mouth and cheeks.
„It’s the name of the Saint Nicholas; is this marble? ' To rouse
Some Christian feelings in Geraldine, Carla made an effort.
'It's constructed in the 14th century- a Holy jewel.''
''Do you want to buy this horse or not? '' said the merchant. „What sort
Is this horse? '' '' An Arabian one- look at him, he’s not a fool.''
''I want to be sure that this one fits my personality.
What is his average speed? '' ''It can run eight miles per hour.''
'' I buy him, '' he told Carla, ''let's go to our new reality.'
Fargo left the village; Geraldine said, '' he has power.''
(Fargo took the money, the precious stones, and the documents. He went to Corfu Town. Geraldine and Carla returned their new temporary home.)
They lived in a two-story house having eighty meters
Of stone walls; the former owner used it to store his olive
Oil; it had not been inhabited for ten months; wood heaters
Guarded the entrance leading to the ground floor- a space to live.
In a corner, it was a rest of oil equipment.
The entry had two transition points at the openings to
The hallways. Carla said, „stone and wood- it's all so different, ''
''The stone colors pick up the tones in the wood to make these two
Materials look good, '' said Erica; at the ground floor
They saw two halls, a dining room, a living room having
A seating with red cushions, the stairs, and the terrace's door.
Maya called them from the upper floor having an entrance facing
West; from there, they could see the view of the street; this floor
Consisted of ten bedrooms, two wood stoves, two indoor stoves,
A kitchen, and storage rooms; Geraldine said, ''Before
Eating, let's drink tea, '' ''A neighbor told me that this house
Is a haunted one and this is why the owner sold it, '
Said Erica, 'These ghosts can affect anybody in
Prinylas, ' said Maya, ' you can't convince them the house to quit.
People practice exorcism here.' „Look at that place we have been! ''
(Carla turned the index finger of her right hand towards the window overlooking the sea.)
„There are spiritual healers getting in touch with those spirits
To ask them why they are present, ' said Erica. „Usually,
When you call them, they come to tell you some secrets.
Some sad lovers that passed away can't leave this world peacefully.''
„They can be demons, too, ' said Maya. „We must talk with the priest, '
Said Geraldine. „Let’s search in the storage room, ' she continued,
„We’ll find something, and we'll face this truth together, at least.''
''I hear the steps of someone walking away from this window, ''
Said Carla.'' Maybe it's the rain tapping on the sill, ''
Replied Geraldine. Surak opened the window and said,
'It doesn't rain; in the soft wind, I hear only the birds' trill.''
''But I've found some books in a big box for safe keeping instead.''
(Maya and Erica went to buy fresh fish from one of the many fisheries existent in that village.)
Fargo entered the Spianada, the largest square
In the Balkans, which was created by the Venetians.
The sound of the sea waves was like a stir in the air.
The peaks of the Old Fortress looked like swords of the Titans.
He passed the lighthouse tower and entered the underground
Tunnels that linked the Fortress with the main parts of the town.
Then, he entered the New Fortress, and when he looked around,
He saw the gates, the sea shore, and the land that sloped down.
(The port has been an important naval base since the Roman period. Considerably, Corfu was called the Gibraltar of the Adriatic. He bought a galley.)
The Ionian Islands belonged to the Republic
Of Venice; they were slowly conquered, one by one, in time.
Corfu voluntarily became a colony; its public
Gardens made the Islands' governor reside on that sublime
Territory; its economy was based on exporting
Raisins, olive oil, and wine, whereas the Venetian lira
Was the currency of the islands; while incorporating
The culture of Venice, these people used a plethora
Of Italian words, because this language was official.
Venice had garrison soldiers, scattered in island forts
With muskets and bayonets made of the iron material.
The impromptu recruits and mercenaries were hired in the ports.
(Fargo started to talk with the infantry captain and with the lowborn ship’s captain.)
'' It's hard to eradicate the piracy from the world.''
''Because of money, the soldiers are recruited as needed.'
''Only with the convoy protection, the sail with the ships is furled.
When it is no longer required, their claims are unheeded.''
''The Muslim pirates attack the Christian ships to enslave.''
''I've heard there are Jewish pirates, too, '' ''Because of Inquisition, ''
''The corsairs are dangerous, '' '' Our ships hardly can face on this wave.''
The Christian navies are weak; don't have enough ammunition.''
''The Muslim opponents are fast; you need a large convoy.
You will be convoyed by us until you enter Italy-
After fighting the pirates.'' ''On our ship, there is an envoy.''
''To let you sail, they wanted some protection money.''
''Europe pays its duty to protect its own action,
But accepts the growth of piracy in Indian waters.''
''The piracy is bad in theory, but usefully practiced-
A cheap way to expand their economic and naval powers.''
''The governments don't want to eradicate the piracy.''
''The anti-pirate campaigns are only documented.''
''These pirates mean business behind the wall of privacy.
In bars and brothels for crews, the money is strongly augmented.''
''This eradication needs a revision to the law.''
'' Only in the Spanish colonies, they are executed, ''
''Spain has a court of officers, '' '' This is a Britain law, new.''
''In return for the pardon, these pirates are persuaded.''
(The captain gave Fargo two galliots, each one having 80 oarsmen and 60 soldiers.)
(Geraldine, Carla and Erica found a letter, which they thought it was an important document belonging to someone living miles away. It was clear that a person entrusted the written paper to a messenger after putting a wax seal on it. The seal was placed on this document in such a manner that it was impossible to read it without first breaking the seal, which was very dry and brittle.)
Carla said, '' Let's read and bring to life the stories behind
These manuscripts, '' ''Let's find who was the owner and who handled
These books and papers.'' ''Some memories come back into my mind, ''
''I love to read; it’s so dark in here, let's light a candle, ''
Said Erica; they saw scribbled notes written on the margins
Of the books and the changing ownership of some manuscripts.
''An Arab medicinal work for Jewish use, that’s for certain.''
''Is it? '' '' It's translated into Hebrew; I think it's fabulous, ''
(… Replied Carla.)
Geraldine opened a book saying, '' This is a Persian
Medicinal work translated into Turkish; it must be
More interesting; they treat using a different version.''
''This copy of the book written by José Vicente.
Has a lot of geographical and astronomical
Information; you can learn to measure the distance;
It contains the main cities, oceans, '' ‘‘It’s phenomenal! ''
''Mapmakers, '' '' it's like a trip to another existence! ''
''It shows which stars are visible or not, the solar cycles
And it is illustrated with tables, diagrams, and maps.''
''Is this a Holy Book? I'm not good in perusing these titles.''
''Yes, it's written by Francisco Javier, a nice one, perhaps, ''
(Geraldine replied to Erica, knowing that she was a Russian not knowing too much Latin. Geraldine continued…)
''It's about a convent established in Mexico City
For any daughter of a conquistador who lacked dowry.
''Look, Aonio Paleario! I think it’s such a pity
To contradict the Catholic dogma; this language is flowery, ''
''It's a copy of a rare book. Does this contradiction mean
The trouble with the Inquisition in these Reformation times?
''He had the most influential protectors I've ever seen.''
But his protectors died; there are notes between the lines, ''
(Carla answered to Erica. Carla continued…)
‘’The Spanish Inquisition is run by the civil
Authorities of Kings after centuries of Muslim
Domination; the execution became official
For the Muslim piracy to turn it down to very dim.’’
(Geraldine intervened in the conversation…)
‘’Spain had asked the Papacy to set up the Inquisition,
But the Papacy refused. Then, Spain threatened Rome
With not coming to give aid against the Muslim opposition.
Their armies sacked Rome and made southern Italy be their home.
The Pope set up the inquisition only for Christians.
Over time, the torture was not to be done more than once,
Was not to threaten life; there were Spanish transgressions
By the lawyers who oversaw this system from hence.’’
(Then, Erica told them…..)
''In England, the person convicted of public begging
Has a limb chopped off; a Catholic priest in England
Teaching school is executed.'' ''There're penalties for bringing
A false witness against someone; England's laws also bind Ireland, ''
(….Replied Carla. Erica continued….)
''There is a secret collaboration between London and
Tsar Peter of Russia.'' '' He is known as Peter the Great.''
''There are notes on a book; while traveling to Europe, he shunned
The persons knowing him, '' ''He wanted to change his country's fate.''
(Carla expressed her point of view regarding what Erica said. Erica continued…)
''He studied new developments in shipbuilding; he lived
In Deptford, at the home of John Evelyn, a writer.''
''This letter is from England and I’m a bit surprised
'Cause this letter should be brought to a Russian.'' ''A fighter
Was this messenger.'' ''Maybe this man is the ghost we feel.''
''Did King William help Peter? '' ‘’He increased trade with Russia.''
''Peter loved a peasant and, wanting his love to conceal,
He made her be his domestic serf.'' I've heard she's from Prussia.''
''She's from Lithuania; her name is Catherine; he married
Her secretly, '' ''But he's married, '' '' He divorced his first wife.''
'' He worked as a carpenter; his interests were varied.''
'' Friend with Marquis of Carmarthen, he started a new life.''
(Geraldine tried to open the letter a little without breaking its seal. '' I think it is written 'Catherine' or 'Carmarthen.' '' ''Impossible, '' replied Carla, ''It would be much more important than any other one and it wouldn't be lost here. Give it to me.'')
'' King William gave Tsar Peter the ship Royal Transport
As a gift; the ship's designer was Marquis of Carmarthen.
As King Augustus of Poland, King William showed him support.
'' This messenger traveled many miles to take his ship again.''
(Erica told them that she feels like she's about to faint. Carla ran down the stairs to bring vinegar and water and Geraldine hurried to open the window. Meanwhile, Erica took a document from the box and hid it under her dress.)
(Erica went into her room to rest. Geraldine and Carla started to read the journal they had found in the box.)
He left England with a ship and sailed east until he reached
Portugal; then, he took a stagecoach and traveled to Venice.
He was in danger of highwaymen who couldn't be impeached.
His coach had a high speed, ‘cause those men could become a menace.
He had made a gold deposit at a goldsmith, who gave him
Some receipts to exchange them with money at the British bank.
Then, he traveled through Europe choosing those pathways which were dim.
There, he missed London and its air being restless and dank.
He achieved knowledge of the Europe major languages.
He was seemingly traveling at his own expense,
Covered, by his own account; in fact, he carried messages,
And any of his messages had an important sense.
He traveled as merchant bringing drugs, rare books, and some
Exotic commodities like pine nuts, pistachios, and coffee
From the Royal Exchange instead of waiting for a false peace to come.
In London, his luxury shops looked like covered in toffee.
(In her room, Erica started to read the document written in the Russian language. It was one of the most fragrant, pleasant smell papers she ever had in her hands. The person owning that document was a Russian one living in London.)
This document was also a letter from the Surveyor
Of the Royal Exchange, to an Indian official asking
Some help to buy some new shops in India; the player
Could reveal the understanding of the retail shopping.
(Geraldine continued to read from his journal written in the Russian language.)
The man described the luxury life of the British elite,
His grand house, which had been built in the rich west of London,
And his horse-drawn carriage used for rides on the main street.
He wanted lead pipes for his house as any rich Londoner.
(Erica continued to read the document.)
That paper had an annexed one about the gold needed
To help a noble lady forced to spend the rest of her life
As a penniless nun; her words about freedom were needed.
Imprisoned as a nun, she was, in fact, an abandoned wife.
The gold was brought with a ship that should anchor in that place.
Ivan was the liaison with that man and had to take that gold
To pay the lady's freedom; tears appeared upon Erica’s face.
Ivan caused the deviation from the ship's course as he was told.
He didn't know that the carrack had been hunted by some pirates.
Erica realized that the merchant had died, but she
Did not know whether the gold had been stolen or not, those bandits
Were still around having the linked letter; she fell down on her knees
To pray for her life; she understood that the ex-husband
Of that lady could torture them to death for having plotted
Against him; she prayed while needing to be many thousand
Miles away and while looking at the hill with olives dotted.
(Erica burned the document.)
(Geraldine became meditative and told Carla,)
''These treatises generate some ideas of magnificence
And splendor; the luxury is realized with the skilled
Workers and the specialized knowledge, '' ‘‘the extravagance
Of these books is declined by the wars, where the life is killed, ''
(Replied Carla. She continued,)
'' These wars bring the decline of retailing, the stagnation
Of building, and the disappearance of a real
Art market, '' ''They use all the methods to fight for their nation
On the waters to protect the land; their strife is a squeal, ''
(Replied Geraldine. Maya entered the room to invite them to dinner. She said that she had seen someone having two dogs and walking around. Suddenly, Geraldine said, ‘’ I think I give birth to my child now. I have a sharp pain. I’m so afraid! ’’)