of rancid butter, sacks of shriveled, rotten apples from the bishop’s
orchards and a tub of sauerkraut from Judge’s cellar.
Hurriedly, barrels of fresh water are rolled up on the ship. When
people discover one is empty they fill it with sea from the port –
fools won’t notice. Finally, the gangway is removed, the priest
scurries to spray the ship with holy water, but the Deliverance gets
tugged away by a sinister looking galleon, HMS Cerberus, and the blessed
drops fall onto the calm surface of the port instead of on the worm
feast of the old, worn-out merchant vessel.
people wave from the dock in a mock goodbye. Bon voyage! and Buona
fortuna! exclaim the children who launch their own boat made of tree
bark and scrap wood.
Cerberus’ guns roar in reply, or maybe just to scare the fools before
a good strong wind bloats up its scarlet sails removing both ships from
Even and Odd manage to find a place among the coils of rope on the prow. They see mariners and soldiers of the Cerberus smoking tobacco and pissing in the wind in an attempt to hit the bucket hanging on the side of the grim man-of-war.
wins, gets a quart of brandy and the honor to cut the towline.
sad party on the Deliverance picks a fight over hams. None have eaten
for three days. Those who are tied up are set free. Young Rasap checks
the shredded sails and the dislocated helm, shakes his head in
disbelief. Fair Francesca is chased on both decks by Maddick holding a
rotten apple in one hand and his bulging penis in the other.
intestines of the Deliverance rumble and howl with dozens of sick dying in
ankle deep, stale water.
voyage has begun. The Deliverance obediently trails the galleon. Like a
child being tugged on the ear by an angry mother. The sea is immense
beyond any fool’s hopes.
the noon hour the bell rings for lunch on the Cerberus.
Why don’t we have a bell? – Even asks Odd. There is a whistle and a
twang of rope when the sailors from the man-of-war cut the towline. Some
of them drop their pants to show bare behinds to the fools adrift.
- Oh, my Lord! – screams the scribe Sibelius in an old woman’s voice – They are leaving us all to die!