Page 69 - January 2021
P. 69

Santiago



















             As you know, the island’s natives lead us to believe they were harmless, friendly
             cowards; regrettably, sir, it is now clear we were wrong. They are fierce savages
             to be met with force upon your return. Their gleaming smiles were false, a mask
             to  hide  their  violent  nature.  It  appears  that  the  assistance  they  gave  us  before
             your departure was a plot to reduce our numbers, a way to insure they succeeded
             in  their  attack  of  La  Navidad.  If  I  am  wrong  about  their  nature,  and  the  natives
             were sincere to us when we first met, then I can only assume that the curse that
             Santiago cast has possessed them and turned them into savages. I can think of
             no other reason for them to attack their superiors.
             For now, I am alone in the ruin of La Navidad praying you will, by some miracle,
             return today. I know, of course, that for you to do so would defy the length of the

             journey, but it is all I have left to believe in and so I do.
             My head is bleeding and I am most thirsty; my throat is drier than the parchment
             beneath my quill. At times, unless my eyes deceive me, I swear that I’ve seen one
             of our ships in the distance. If it is a mirage, it is one that gives me hope.


              Afternoon


              No ship has come. If I do not survive, I must explain why Santiago cast a curse
              upon us before he passed, for it cannot be a coincidence that the natives changed
              their disposition so soon after we learned of it. I hope my writing these words will
              clear Santiago’s name and break the curse before I expire.
              In truth, Captain, it is difficult to explain. It was as if madness came over we men
              as  your  ships  vanished  over  the  horizon.  The  dwarf,  Santiago,  tried  to  restore

              order, while the rest of us fought over gold and women. The lawlessness grew
              until the crew turned their ire on Santiago whose rationality was raising tempers.
              Small  as  he  was,  he  felt  like  a  threat  to  our  relief.  To  silence  him,  a  few  men
              carried Santiago as portage in one of the rowboats to the top of the closest hill as
              punishment for his intrusion upon our activities. Upon my life, I did not know the
              men’s murderous intention until the first sailors returned.








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