PERDITA – A lost Child

Our Mistakes



Beatrice was ecstatic to have received such able help and generosity. She started off with Johanna in the pouch on her back, and Consuela following. She soon found the old sailor in the bright yellow boat. He said he was Torrance indeed and when she told him what the Harbor Master had said and delivered her coin, he made all haste to accommodate the women in his little skiff and began rowing them out to the great ship furthest out in the moorings. Torrance tied the tiny skiff to the chain of the anchor and told the two women to wait till he returned with the Captain, and scurried up the rope ladder. Soon, he returned and rowed the little skiff in closer to the great ship and helped them navigate the rope ladder with the babe and their cloaks and packs.
Safely aboard they were met by the captain, a burly man, but bowing and telling them they were welcome on board his ship.

Beatrice now tired from struggling up the ladder, asked if they would be leaving soon. The captain said not until the tide, and that they could go and find a place to rest. He apologized that he was not expecting them, and his being a cargo ship did not have proper accommodations for ladies, but that they should be comfortable enough in the room beyond the galley, a storage room filled with bags of beans and such that they could use to be out of the elements and rest upon.

Later…

“But surely ye know, no one goes to Jasper Isle from Babur’s lands, these days.” He said mockingly.

“Then where are you taking us”, true hysteria was starting to take hold of Beatrice now.  Jumping up, in the dark she was trying to reach the man, and Consuela, still holding Johanna, jumped up to grab hold of her, to stop her, and try to calm her.

“I’m takin’ ye fer slaves, to Babur.  I can get good money for fresh un’s like ye be!”  He said softly and reached up to rub Beatrice’s cheek.  Beatrice drew back in horror, but the man grabbed her fore arm and slapped her and said, “Ye need to start learnin’ to be nice!” And shoved her back down into her seat, but Consuela had moved right behind her and the action of Beatrice falling had pushed Consuela against the side of the boat, and over the edge, with Johanna into the dark sea.

The men did not see what happened, but Beatrice had felt them behind her, and then not, and knew what had happened. Before she could cry out the man was upon her, “And I can start learnin’ ye right now,” he said pulling back to strike her.   Beatrice in utter horror shrank as far back into the side of the boat as possible, whimpering “My baby, my baby!”  One of the other men crowding around grabbed him before he hit her saying, “Oh no ye don’t.  Don’t go spoilin’ her or we won’t get good money.”  As they pulled the man back and left her lay there.  Then they started looking for Consuela, and she told them then, “They are gone.  My baby and Consuela are gone.”

They were very soon at the shore, and Beatrice followed their instructions soundlessly and without reaction, as they bundled her hands behind her back and pulled her through the streets of a dark town to a building near the docks.  Inside they sat her beside a wall and she sat unresisting while they had their mead and talked of the coin they would receive for the young woman.  It did not matter to her now, if she lived or died; only that Johanna was lost in the dark waters.

 

 

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