Page 71 - January 2021
P. 71


           No one believed the watchman gave the helm to Santiago; all knew that they were
           not friendly. The watchman did not trust anyone with a birth defect because he
           believed God malformed them as punishment for reasons he never made clear. I
           chose not to contradict the watchman’s story because he held our purse. Later,
           when communicating with the men several reported hearing the watchman’s son
           shout, “Father, help me, I’ve run the ship aground!” Forgive me; I silenced them

           Captain  Columbus,  I  knew  you  would  sentence  the  watchman  and  his  son  to
           prison  for  endangering  the  crew  and  cargo,  especially  this  cargo,  our  treasure
           from the New World, our proof of a successful journey, and I did not want that to

           happen. I was the watchman’s second in command, your third, I didn’t want to
           break rank. If the watchman were removed from his station, I would have been
           removed  as  well.  Beyond  my  interests,  the  crew  counted  on  the  watchman  to
           deliver  our  portion  of  the  fortune  back  home.  We  sailors  had  suffered
           considerably on the journey and could not risk incurring greater hardship. Know
           this,  I  would  trade  all  my  treasure  for  a  chance  to  be  forthright  and  free  of
           Santiago’s curse, but this is wishful thinking. I fear my fate is sealed. In an effort
           to right my wrongs, I will continue to detail all I know.

           We  are  not  bad  men.  We  were  uncertain  exhausted,  nauseated  from  eating  the
           sickening  biscuits  thick  with  maggots,  and  far  too  sober  for  too  little  wine.  I’d
           never endured such physical toil on any ship. None of us have ever sailed so far.
           To  these  ends,  I  pray  you  understand  why  I  did  not  confide  in  you  about  the
           watchman and his son. The watchman was familiar to many onboard. We’d sailed
           with him before and he’d never made any grievous errors and, moreover, he was
           familiar, whereas you, sir, are from a foreign land. I know my duty is to obey the

        litterateur                            1                                          january 2021
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