A Red Son Rises

Herb Sakalaucks, author of The Danish Scheme and The Battle for Newfoundland, teams up with new ROF author, John Deakin, to bring us the next Ring of Fire story set in the New World. It tells the story of a young Pequod warrior returning to his native land after experiencing the trials of a servant to the spymaster for King James of England, and learning the harsh truths of how modern Grantville’s culture can challenge one’s faith.  It’s a poignant tale of a young man growing up quickly in a world that is experiencing its own growing pains as the effects of the Ring of Fire continue to expand.

 

 

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Ripped from his homeland to become the companion of an English spy, a young Native American is thrust into the turbulent world of a Europe staggering under the impact of the Ring of Fire.  His newfound Christianity is shaken by the loss of his master and a life-threatening injury.  Following after his Mennonite friends, he finds Grantville and is overwhelmed by American culture shock.   At last, rediscovering his faith, he plans a return to the New World as a missionary.  Only half a dozen warring powers and thousands of miles of ocean can block him, until he’s almost stopped by an unexpected event; love.  A storm, a baby, a near-shipwreck, and a timely rescue finally see him back in his homeland.  Now, all he has to do is to reach for his dreams.

The Journal of Sir Edmond St. Clair

In 1629, my work changed. Under King James, I’d been a trusted and valued advisor. I’d traveled throughout the Continent and even to the New World, establishing contacts and buying information. James understood the value of knowing what his enemies and friends were planning. Often the information on friends proved to be of greater value. We seldom met face to face. My most valuable asset was my anonymity. When Charles became king, it became my biggest millstone. My secret work and the relationship that went with it hadn’t been passed on to the new king. I was an unknown. It took many months to procure an audience with Charles and reestablish my bonafides. Even then, Charles’ financial problems left me with bread crumbs compared to his father’s support.

Troubles were brewing throughout England. The Puritans were getting out of England as fast as their black-clad legs could get aboard ships. They were pouring into the New World at Plymouth, Boston, and Salem like migrating geese. With Charles’ ongoing feud over funds with Parliament, I’d be getting money and an endorsement to investigate the situation in Massachusetts on the same day that cows learned to fly. He simply didn’t care about anything in North America. It seemed to exist across some horizon that turned everything beyond it to fog. If I thought extracting gold from Charles to maintain informants in Europe was painfully difficult, obtaining so much as a bent shilling from Charles to investigate the New World was impossible.

Perhaps I’d been mistaken when I thought my profession was generally a secret. Someone certainly knew: someone who did have an interest in North America. I was approached by representatives of the Virginia Company and the Merchants Adventurers. Evidently, the new residents of Massachusetts were being less than forthcoming about how conditions really were, and their competitors to the south were worried. The investors were prepared to pay well to send me to the colony to bring back a full, unbiased report.

In April 1629, I joined the Higginson Fleet aboard the Four Sisters, Capt. Harman commanding. Capt. Harman was of the same persuasion as Capt. Pierce had been four years ago on my earlier voyage of discovery. Money bought silence. It wouldn’t have been smart to let the Massachusetts residents know just how closely I’d be observing them. For the right compensation, Capt. Harman simply forgot to enter my name anywhere in the log or passenger list. I didn’t dress like a Puritan, but I didn’t dress like a nobleman, either. It took us more than two months of contrary weather to reach the colony.

Massachusetts Bay was turning into a settlement hotbed. The Puritans were expanding in every direction. Fifteen more ships had already made the round-trip since my last journey there in 1625. The fur trade was suffering, however, because Miles Standish had gotten too violent with the Indians, as I’d feared. He was a short man, and an Indian had insulted his height and bald head. He’d treacherously killed a pair of Indian leaders after he’d invited them to negotiate a peace pact. Instead of settling any controversy with the natives, the whole colony was on the verge of an Indian war, and the supply of furs was a mere trickle. It didn’t take me long to get the information my clients wanted. Divisions within the Puritan communities ensured that there were disgruntled people that would talk freely. I was able to take the Four Sisters back to England as soon as she sailed on her return trip.

Once we were past Cape Cod, Capt. Harman was more than happy to allow the Four Sisters to be “blown off course,” in the general direction toward Long Island and the Connecticut River, for a reasonable amount of coin. The Wampanoag tribe, who’d once been Plymouth’s friends, had become cold and distant, as the white settlers grabbed more and more land. The Pequod tribe, to the southwest, were still behaving in a friendly fashion. They’d acquired more than enough tribal territory, and they were making friendly noises about trading some of their land along the Connecticut River to the English colonists. Unfortunately, they were also making the same friendly noises toward the new Dutch settlers south of them.

I skimmed a few pages to get to the part where I entered his life.

Enter a Red Man

Iremember the day well. The day my adopted son entered my life. The Four Sisters had been surveying the coast from a safe distance, as per our agreement, when the storm struck. It was a quick squall, but very violent. Because of a sharp-eyed lookout, the captain had been able to turn directly into the monster wave that might otherwise have swamped the ship. Even then, she was carried d back,  toward the unknown coast.

Suddenly a cry went up, “Man overboard!”

Even in the pouring rain, sailors ran to the port side and heaved a rope to the man in the water. That was enlightened self-interest. Next time, it might be themselves in the jaws of an angry sea. The waterlogged floater released the wreckage to which he’d been clinging and held weakly to the rope. Strong hands reached down to pull him aboard. Only then did a crewman exclaim, “Say, ’tis one of the natives!”

“I care not if ’tis St. George himself!” Captain Harman shouted from the quarterdeck. “Work this ship, you jumped-up landlubbers, or we’re all on the rocks!” The sailors dropped the boy in a heap and raced back to lines and pumps. No one was left to move the half-drowned Indian into the shelter of a cabin . . . except me.

The Four Sisters incurred incidental damage, inevitable on such a voyage. The storm-surge wave and the storm itself had simply been the last straws. The flexed seams had begun to leak more, and the uppermost spar of the mizzenmast had snapped in half, hanging by its chains. Certainly, it could be repaired, but the repair would be a patch rather than a permanent fix.

Nevertheless, off the coast of Long island, I had another, more immediate problem. I gathered up the half drowned native, carried him down to my small cabin, and laid him on my cot. I stepped back and surveyed what I had before me. In my bed lay a feverish native man, not much more than a boy, with some flecks of face-paint still clinging around the corners of his eyes. I had no idea what to do with him. I had plenty of thinking time, because no wise man would be going on deck until the crew cleared the storm damage. The sailors were doing their jobs professionally; I’d have simply been in the way. I wasn’t prone to sea-sickness, but the still violently swaying cabin was making even me queasy.

I tried several mental pictures of a possible future for the Indian lad. I immediately dismissed the idea of returning him to his people. The needs of the ship outweighed the needs of the boy. Perhaps he could be impressed into the ship’s crew. That, however, was a brutish existence. Captain Harman, though not a cruel man, might simply sell the boy as a slave. He certainly didn’t have the time to teach the lad English. He probably would be put on display somewhere like a caged beast. I made up my mind: I’d just acquired a ward. No matter what else happened, the boy would be forced to become English.

No one in all England had an American native as a companion since Pocahontas, though I’m not sure a wife is exactly a “companion.” Without consulting him, I decided to make my new acquisition into an Englishman among Englishmen. I’d train him to be a companion and servant, but his features would immediately identify him as foreign-born. His exotic origin would open doors for me, and that was exactly what I wanted.

With salt-water, I washed the last of the paints from the young man’s face and sponged down the feverish torso, admiring the musculature. Because of my work, I prided myself in being a prime specimen beneath my nobleman’s coat. The youth put me to shame. I removed the breech-cloth and moccasins and a leather bag on a thong around his neck. I plucked a bedraggled half-feather from the native’s topknot. I went on deck briefly, noting that the storm was diminishing, and I threw all the items overboard, except the moccasins.

It never occurred to me. The lad was a Pequod. I could have trained him to become an English translator and agent. I could have requested the captain to return to Boston. With him, we mght have outflanked the Dutch in the matter of the Connecticut River Valley. Still, no one was standing by with an offer of funds to undertake that type of venture. Instead, I forged ahead with my own plans.

I arranged with the purser for trousers and a shirt from the ship’s slop-chest. The boy slept for two days, but the fever broke well before that. Exhaustion stretched out his sleep-time. The ship had caught a favorable wind on the backside of the storm and was on a course for Ireland. Landfall was still weeks away.

The young man would need a name, and his native name was sure to be unintelligible. I was struck with an inspiration. The youth’s name would become Eliezer, after Abraham’s steward: a man so faithful that Abraham had been considering him as a potential heir before either Ishmael or Isaac had been born. Eliezer might have been the loyal, dependable steward that Abraham had sent after Rebecca, who became Isaac’s bride. His last name would someday become St. Clair, after his master’s. I went to sleep with a good conscience, in a hammock swung between two beams in my quarters.

When the boy woke, I had my hands full. I knew not so much as a single phrase of his language, and mine was certain to be strange to him. I tried to speak gently and soothingly to him, but he was obviously dangerously frightened. His eyes were rolling like a horse ready to bolt. Before he could try to smash his way out of my cabin-prison, I opened the door for him. Then, he did bolt.

When I followed him on deck, I found him high in the Four Sisters‘ rigging, staring in all directions with dismay. I let his fear burn out for a few minutes before sending the bosun up to try to fetch him. I’d primed the crew about the situation. Having saved the boy, they felt slightly proprietary toward him. The bosun was gentle about it, which was almost unnatural to his usual behavior.

The naked boy finally crawled back down from the mast at a snail’s pace. I brought the clothing I’d bought and saw to it that he was dressed. It took four sailors to hold him down while they got the shirt and trousers on him. After that tussle, he didn’t resist as I led him down to my cabin. There was no better time for language lessons to begin.

I gave him his new name, which he accepted more readily than I’d expected, and we began with English names for everything. I simply ignored any words he might utter in his own, heathen language. Over the next weeks, with access only to English, his skills improved daily. In Eliezer, I had a project that fully occupied my time until Ireland’s south coast appeared on the horizon. He continued to be my primary occupation as we turned toward our destination in Falmouth.

The need for Captain Harman’s services ended there. He’d make a tidy profit from the furs and rare lumber he’d traded for in Plymouth and the bribes he’d accumulated. Some of the stiff-necked Puritan commanders had fierce ideas about any of the colonists abandoning the new settlements. At least one of the “crew” had bribed his way aboard and worked his passage home. My bribes had added to his haul. The Four Sisters‘ company unloaded my few trunks.

Just after we set foot on the dock, I thought I’d die laughing. Eliezer had never seen a horse, and he was terrified by the one that arrived with our transport! I don’t think he ever quite got over that.

We set out along the Fal, with a young man driving the horse and carriage. Eliezer still feared the horse was going to eat him, but eventually he subsided into a quiet watchfulness. I watched the English countryside roll past. It was a beautiful late summer day. I love Cornwall, and I was in a good mood. I’d been abroad for some time, and the driver seemed an intelligent lad. Foolishly, I asked the wrong questions. The answers the driver gave me chilled my mood. The fact that I’d returned to the England of Charles I came rushing back. Things had gotten much worse in the time I’d been away. I was in a black funk until the last bit of drive to Leaning Oaks came under our wheels.

From the time of his coronation, I’d criticized Charles for being flighty, but I myself had been flitting here and there like a butterfly, sometimes for months. I realized that I was about to have to do the same thing again. The Virginia Company and the Merchants Adventurers would want their report — in London. It was up to them to decide what that report meant. The Massachusetts Bay colonies were a going concern, growing stronger each day. Anglican Bishop Laud’s pronouncements were acting as a push for the Puritans to migrate to North America. I hardly wished to remain in England myself, with Charles I on the throne, and he was less a friend of the Puritans than he was my friend.

The year 1629 had seen Parliament dissolved, and no one knew how long that situation would last. It had also seen the Massachusetts Bay colonies given a royal charter. I think that the Puritans were genuinely glad about that. They shouldn’t have been. Where a royal charter goes, royal taxes can follow, along with a powerful royal governor. Once a royal charter exists, its maker can send it somewhere else. For the right money, perhaps Charles’ royal charter might end up becoming, say, a Dutch or French royal charter.

I’d never be able to calculate which way the political winds were blowing while living in Cornwall, no matter how comfortable or lovely my surroundings. It was obvious that I had to return to London. In my haste, I almost forgot Eliezer. He wasn’t ready for London. Since I was about to turn many of my lands’ judgmental duties over to the St. Clair vicar, I decided to turn Eliezer’s development over to that same man. Eliezer was no longer my primary project; I promptly forgot him.

Two to Europe

The Virginia Company and the Merchant Adventurers were like a clutch of squirrels scrambling after the last walnuts on the tree. They knew they needed something but weren’t sure that what they had would answer their need. That wasn’t my problem. I’d render my report and then move on to larger problems. They had other sources on the continent besides me. Reports from those sources had them worried.

I spent some time in London, trying to get a sense of the political atmosphere in England and what might interest clients. As it turned out, my clients wanted me to find out what was happening on the continent. My bigger problem was that being gone so long to the New World, I hadn’t maintained my contacts in the Old World. My shattered network hardly counted anymore. Informers who aren’t paid tend to find new clients to inform. The French, via New France, were up to something. The French, under Richelieu, were always up to something. English investors in North America had to be constantly on the lookout. Unlike King Charles, Richelieu wasn’t miserly in opening his purse when obtaining information became vital.

I didn’t fancy traveling to the continent in the dead of winter. My clients wanted nothing less than my re-establishing my entire spy network, reaching from the Spanish border to Denmark, and they were willing to provide the gold needed to accomplish that. I found the idea of being well away from the autonomous rule of Charles I, King of England, Scotland, Ireland, and North America, for a good, long time, at least as important as the gold. I agreed to leave in the spring. We finalized the deal, and I left for Leaning Oaks, cold weather or no cold weather. It was beginning to be almost pointless to own my home there. It was only going to be a short stay. The vicar, for all practical purposes, “owned” it as much as I did.

This time, I wasn’t going to make the mistake of trying to function alone. Eliezer was about to have an adventure in traveling that he hadn’t foreseen. He wouldn’t like London, and it was a virtual certainty that he wouldn’t like many of the other areas I had to visit. However, it was time that he understood the master-servant relationship. He was a young man, and his world was about to be broadened, whether he liked it or not.

I was home for only three days. Long enough to pack for a lengthy journey, settle my affairs with the vicar, and inform Eliezer that he was going on a long trip. We were lucky with weather for that time of year. The southeastern English coast was relatively clear, with only a few moderate waves and a strong breeze stirring the puffy clouds. As we pulled up the Thames, I noticed his nose wrinkling. I suppose that I was so used to the smell that I’d ceased to notice it. He looked uncomfortable all the way to my London house.

I hadn’t yet planned to leave for the continent for a few weeks. I attended one or two social gatherings, as much to let Eliezer acclimate himself to a servant’s role among servants as to gain any enjoyment from them myself. He seemed to have no difficulty with the role of chief footman and majordomo. As isolated as he’d been in the country, I doubt very much that inquisitive servants acquired much information from him.

Business began to call. We attended a performance of Hamlet at the Globe Theater, but I was closeted in a rented private box with Albrect van der Hoorne, an important contact from Amsterdam. The Dutchman had contacts by letters all over Europe, but he was extremely greedy. I hadn’t yet received my monies from the merchants for whom I was to spy. Van der Hoorne wasn’t a man to take a promissory note. Because I was unable to pay him any large quantity of gold immediately, he only passed me a few of the less important letters. The entire incident was unsatisfactory. I kept being distracted, watching Eliezer, laughing at the play. Hamlet had never struck me as a comedy.

I was looking forward to one of my few visits around London with someone who wasn’t one of King Charles’ toadies. Sir Thomas Roe was recently back from India, which meant that his news was fresh. I’d brought a bundle of furs back with me from the Massachusetts colonies, and I planned to make myself even more welcome with some furs for his wife, Eleanor, upon whom I knew that he doted. India wasn’t noted for its furs. Even better: I knew that he lived far enough outside London so that his Woodford mansion lay beyond the London stink.

I was pleasantly surprised. Thomas seemed eager to hear about conditions in North America and just as eager to share some new information about India. Charles had just informed him that he’d be going as an ambassador to the court of King Christian in Copenhagen. He’d personally been strongly involved with the Hudson Bay Company, which made his curiosity about the New World understandable. As I had myself, Thomas had run into a stone wall from King Charles’ inner circle. He hadn’t been able to discuss anything beyond the ambassadorial appointment, and the monarch seemed ready to let the entire Hudson Bay project go by the wayside. Letters he’d received from contacts in Denmark indicated that King Christian IV was up to something. Sir Thomas strongly indicated that I should make it a priority to visit that fat, old drunk.

Neither of us had to explain: A fat, old drunk King Christian might be, but he was a sharply conniving monarch, with his fingers secretly in a lot more pies than anyone suspected. The item of information that spurred my interest the most strongly was the fact that King Christian and his courtiers had been closeting with French agents and some others that Sir Thomas suspected of being Spanish agents. Worse, he’d heard that the French and Spanish agents had much the same agenda.

I didn’t like what I’d heard at all. I could kick myself for allowing my Continental informant network to deteriorate to the point that it had. Winter or no winter, it was time that I was on the move. I ate well and drank well at Woodford, but I made a somewhat hasty retreat. On the way back to London, I made certain that Eliezer knew that we’d be leaving England immediately.

✽✽✽

We boarded a ship to Bordeaux, bound for a land where the residents spoke little English. I was at home in French, Dutch, German, Spanish, and Danish. The fact that we were bound for places where Eliezer would be helpless in the language didn’t trouble me at all. That would limit the errands on which he could be sent, true, but that would make him doubly difficult to suborn. He was a faceless Pequod-Englishman-bodyguard instead of a person, except to me. I had become very fond of the lad aboard the Four Sisters.  Perhaps I should have married and had children of my own, but I was “married” to my work. I confided more and more to him. Though most noblemen had stopped even perceiving servants as other than invisible extensions of their own will, my best sources were servants. I didn’t want my own business shared with inquisitive enemy agents the same way.

I think my “lone spy” journeys had made me lonely. The voyage gave me time to find out more about Eliezer’s past, and I found myself enjoying his tales.  Imagine: trying to row all the way around Long island! I was surprised to discover from which tribe he’d originated. I’d missed an opportunity there. Inevitably, he picked up many French words, especially those in the crabbed Brittany dialect. He could order food or oversee care for the carriage horses, but he wasn’t about to strike up any conversations. He still treated the horses like they might decide to eat him, given half a chance!

Bordeaux wasn’t our final destination, anyway. On the French side of the Pyrenees, the Kingdom of Navarre and Bearn, and the Duchy of Albret, were still generally independent of France proper. France and Spain had been fighting for decades over exactly who’d dominate them. I’d rented a coach, and we’d traveled southward to the tiny provinces. The roads were, to say the least, not very well maintained. We frequently had to help the coachman clear downed trees from the road or walk afoot around deep mud-holes. Thank goodness that Eliezer was as strong as he was. Eventually we arrived at our destination, exhausted by the trip.

Tucked as they were against the Spanish perimeter, the border duchies received the freshest Spanish gossip. I’m sure they also transmitted the freshest French gossip to Spain. Every third person was probably an agent for one side or the other. Because of that, I had few noble contacts there. I intended to be neutral, lost in the crowd, even if the crowd was mostly spies.

News from the south filtered through there first. If it happened in Spain, they’d hear about it in Bearn. Similarly, coded letters from Spain proper had come to my agents in Albret. There had been quite a pile of those waiting for me when we arrived. Sadly, many repeated old tales. The lack of payments had reduced most of my contacts to simple gossip. Important news required hard coin.

I resorted to other means to gather information. I made it a habit to find a way to observe the servants’ entrance of various noble households, usually from a sidewalk café. When the correct servant exited a mansion, I’d nod, and Eliezer would follow him until he could hand him a silver English penny and say: “Here; you dropped this.” in Brittany-French. The servant-agents often simply accepted the silver penny from him without the you-dropped-this routine. That set up my meeting in a nearby tavern that night.

At the tavern information-drops, I personally only carried enough gold and silver to pay the single agent involved, and I negotiated that price downward if at all possible. Eliezer’s size was there to intimidate. With his hunting knife strapped to the small of his back and a walking stick that was a step short of a war-club, he also had under his clothing a money belt, heavy with gold coins. I never left monies in our room. Servants, of course, would never be carrying that much gold. He’d always seemed puzzled by the gold-silver-copper coinage that Europeans found so desirable. Stealing the fortune he carried would never have occurred to him, for a dozen different reasons. A person could only love such innocence.

If the contact failed to show up after three nights, I’d mark him from my list: He’d gotten his silver penny; I’d gotten to tighten up my list. Once contact had been re-established, the servant knew to gather information for me, to be delivered on my next visit. He also was encouraged to suggest other likely servants who might provide information on other nobles. The servants had their own networks in the towns.

I became just another tourist, shopping and visiting the homes of a few rich friends. Some shops also had a large pile of letters for me. We attended no church services. Only Catholic services were available. Eliezer evidently remembered the vicar’s stories of the burning stakes. French Huguenots, who were something like Englishmen in belief, were under constant threat.

The same process was repeated half a dozen times before we took a rented coach back to Bordeaux. The French, who’d been off-and-on enemies of England, were enjoying a season of neutrality. The “spy” business involved a lot of waiting. Eliezer had packed away three hefty books from my library. He didn’t drink much: beer or diluted wine; but he had a fixation on reading, the like of which I’ve never seen.

From Bordeaux, we boarded a ship that would take us to the mouth of the Seine. From there, rather than endure a coach trip on France’s inferior roads, across half the breadth of the country, we caught a barge up the river to the capital. To Eliezer, Paris was simply a London where they spoke a different language. It was too big, there were too many people, and the whole collection stank to high heaven. I stopped at various homes of other noblemen, plying them with non-sensitive gossip from Spain and the south of France. I called on many others. There was no “official” war on at that moment between England and France, and the French court was quiet, but everyone was on edge. Who knew which way the wind would shift? Good information was always at a premium. I could successfully ignore the city’s stench because I sniffed something suspicious in the political wind. That was a greater stench, but I couldn’t yet narrow that further.

It was actually easier for Eliezer to pass over the silver pennies once I’d informed him which of the servants was my source in a particular household. He was expected to wait with the other servants while I conversed, ate, or sipped wine with some French nobleman. The agent among the staff had usually noticed me already. He or she was often expecting a contact. Whoever it was kept himself or herself close to the Pequod. Since Eliezer could barely stumble along in French, conversation simply wasn’t possible.

Several of my former French agents failed to show at the prearranged tavern rendezvous. That made me nervous, but the majority of my sources indicated that they were still ready to sell information. The year 1630 slipped away before we could leave France. I forwarded what I could verify, along with an analysis of the rumors that were circulating, to my clients back in England and received a large draft, payable in gold to continue my work. By the amount of funds I received, it was evident someone was very concerned about what the rumors were saying. The spring of 1631 was well underway before hints led me to believe that events to the north were where the action was going to be. Eliezer now knew quite a few more French phrases. Now, he’d need to learn Dutch.

We had to return to the French coast to make the short run around to the Dutch Netherlands. The Spanish Netherlands weren’t safe for Englishmen that year. My agent in Amsterdam was just that: an agent. He received letters from the Spanish Netherlands, smuggled across or around the siege lines. He was also a collection point for information from the east. Amsterdam was a key trading center for goods and information traveling west from Poland and the Germanies. He expected to be paid, and paid well, for his services.

I’d had trouble convincing Herr van der Hoorne to wait for future funds when we’d met in London. He only turned over half the letters he’d collected then. Business was business. Herr van der Hoorne kept stringing me along with promises of some key letter sure to arrive soon. The cold of 1631 was effectively gone before I was ready to leave Amsterdam. Few gave much attention to the flash of light from the east in May. That was probably just a powerful spring thunderstorm below the horizon.

We were ready to leave, but no ship was available. I wasn’t desperate enough to travel overland in a wet spring. Roads were beyond bad, and the same peasants who might ignore you in the summer would cut your throat for a bent copper after the snow flew and they’d eaten up their harvest. During the daylight hours, I looked into various Dutch investments, with Eliezer along to discourage thieves and pickpockets. The neighborhood around the Wisselbank was nominally good, but thieves knew those visiting the bank, and businesses in the surrounding blocks frequently carried gold and silver to complete their transactions. One sight of Eliezer was enough to send thieves on to easier pickings. At night, Eliezer read from my books, until I tired of paperwork and we retired for the night. Like any good servant he snuffed the candles nightly. As my work in Amsterdam slowly wound down, I wrote an extensive letter to Sir Thomas Roe, hoping for a reply before we left for Copenhagen, our next stop. Eliezer had learned a few Dutch words, but not many.

Denmark was just around the corner, beyond Hamburg. North Sea storms, however, tended to make that “corner” a nasty lee shore. I kept finding excuses to delay that voyage. There were quite a few expatriate Englishmen in Holland, so I found convivial company with them. They had relatively few English servants, however, so that Eliezer’s communication ability stayed dormant.

An unexpected note from Herr van der Hoorne promised some startling news. He encouraged me to wait in Amsterdam, while he went to Hanover “on business.” He wrote that he expected to return by coach within a week or two, but springtime roads were a sea of mud. We’d made arrangements to cool our heels, without appearing suspicious. After sixteen more days, I received another note to meet at Der Gilden Schwein that night.