Coagula stands at the railing and stares at the sails. He has stories of his own. She speaks to his profile. He wishes she would not.
" They tortured the servant boy but it was futile. They cut bits and pieces off then flayed his body hoping he would reveal where the mother and daughter were hidden. With huge chunks of skin torn from him, he died, without saying a word about the "two pearls" Perhaps he even didn't know. I don't know how they were discovered but with scoffing, joking. and fondling, that they tried to shake off, they were brought before Admiral L'Olonnais," (I knew exactly how they were found. On the second floor, when three men at once , leaped to strip the ceiling tapestry depicting Crossues where maybe they were hiding, their landing on the floor broke the corner of a slat. The gleam of an eye struck by a beam of sunlight that a fallen mirror had sent betrayed them.)
" The pirates all stared at the pair of pearls. I knew the family well, Coagula, the haughty mother, the daughter, more than a ' little girl ', a sweet young lady. The mother spoke, 'Admiral, in accepting you as conqueror, (at this L'Olonnais flashed a most atrociously theatrical, piratical leer, I thought shey'd faint, she pressed a hand to her breast and shuddered.) I offered you everything in the house. Respect us, I am an honorable mother who has never known any man but my husband, and my daughter, my greatest treasure, who as you can see is still almost a little girl'-( again a leer)
" Marquesa, we are accustomed to 'pearls' as you put it-"
"Captain, I beg you, use me then, but let them leave my daughter alone. I implore you!"
"Hold on madame. Entreaties merely make L'Olonnais angry, and begging makes him furious, You are not to give me orders, you are Spanish and you have been defeated..." His tirade continued, and the women knew they were lost because the men were now lifting their skirts with the points of their swords and ripping the fabric.... When this gang was done more pirates came in.... Finally, they all left ...Mother and daughter set fire to the house and there they died.... Were you there Coagula ?"
The ship Abattoir has sailed into a fog bank.The mist is thick and chill. He has been stroking a belaying pin. He points it at her.-
"The next afternoon, painted Indians waited for us at the plaza. On a wooden platform was the body of the guide. Women on their knees surrounded him, weeping and screaming, striking their heads against the ground. The men were calling out and shouting, walking back and forth. L'Olonais was summoned to see the chief to explain what had occurred. ' I have no reason to explain to anyone! You are savages, I am a Frenchman !'
We shared my bunk-bed. We lay as children, as orphans, my head, as she wished, on her breast, while she stroked my hair. We both understood what was happening, err, what was not happening.The fog has penetrated the cabin. Somewhere in the fog watching us, was L'Olannais, in the cabin bedeviling us.,, a not so jolly menage a trope,