The Broken Throne: Chapter 2

 November 21st, 1454

The cold, relentless days grew shorter as autumn left the island. The promise of snow and ice hung in the frigid air. Cadherra saw winter nearing as the mountaintops had already turned white some weeks ago. The noblemen and royal family kept inside Adelton Hall as the fires in the grand chimneys were lit. Lavish parties were held by the monarch and his doting wife. It was a way to keep the aristocrats occupied during the dark nights, when stepping foot outside the castle was not an option.

Philip's quick steps brought him from the throne room to his chambers, eager to see his spouse and child after a long and tedious day. The assemblies always drained him, for his advisers never seemed to agree on anything.

When Philip arrived at his quarters, he was caught by surprise as a small boy jumped right into an embrace.

"Father!" the youngling said, the little time they had been separated had been too much for the boy who admired his father so. Philip released a small chuckle and looked to the corner of the vast chamber where his wife sat reading by candlelight.

"Were you bored without me, Edmund?" he asked.

"Mother does not wish to play. She only reads," the young prince said, wrinkling his nose. His auburn hair tousled and fell into wide blue eyes. Marianne looked up from her book and smiled mischievously. Her dark blonde tresses fell in small waves around her face — the silky curls long and luscious.

Marianne Urdun was the daughter of Duke Jeremiah Urdun, Lord of the North. Their marriage had been political. Philip had sought to ask for her hand to stabilize the power in the country.

Marianne put aside her book and went to her husband, letting him embrace her and plant a kiss on her front. Outside the frosted window, bathed in the silver beams of the moon, big snowflakes floated down to cover the meadow below the castle. The lights from Hayes were obscured as the snowfall grew thicker — the winter winds gently coaxing the flakes to dance in the silence of the night.

She whisked something hidden from her wide sleeve, giving it to him as a sly smile spread across her fair features. It was a sketch, a small portrait that had been framed in light cedar wood and outlined in gold leaf. The sketch was the very likeness of Philip. Even though he had had many portraits made of him as he took the crown, they all showed the king, not the man. But this portrait was humane, showing another side to him. The man who looked back seemed more caring and patient. Truth shone in his eyes — truth, and understanding.

"You have seen thirty-nine winters, my love. I cannot give you much for I know you care little for gold or riches, so I give you this," Marianne said as she pushed the small portrait into his hands.

"A gift?" Philip asked, bewildered. He stared at the face on the parchment as if he were staring into a mirror. Edmund reached for the sketch, for the eager child wanted to see as well.

"Remember our trip last summer? I had that young painter you liked so much draw a sketch of you," she smiled, pleased that her husband liked her present.

Philip looked at it again and his cold body turned warm at the memory of their early summer spent on the coast. Marianne had come with him. Magnus had stayed in Angloa, taking care of matters of the court while Philip took a momentary break from his duties.

He gently pried away the picture from his son as Marianne picked up the young boy. "I shall always treasure it." Philip put it with care on the table next to their wide bed. "As I treasure and love you both," he said, going in for a loving kiss.

March 16th, 1459—Cadherra

"You have to keep him steady, Edmund!" came the smiling voice as he watched his son on the horse. The young prince let out a heartwarming laugh as the beige pony took an eager jump forward.

Philip, Magnus, Marianne, and some courtiers attended their first picnic of the year. The snows had melted a week ago and the last few days had been uncommonly warm. Some flowers had already sprouted, not that usual for that time of year. Philip had decided that it was time to get out of the constricting castle walls. His heart swelled at the warming sight of his family.

Marianne's face was aglow as she conversed with one of her ladies-in-waiting. His son giggled from deep within his belly, as he sat astride the cheerful pony. The eager horse carried him in circles around the meadow below the castle. A pageboy ran at his side, and kept a steady hand on the animal.

Philip's and Magnus' gazes crossed for a brief moment. They exchanged knowing smiles, albeit Magnus' grew strained when Philip looked away. Magnus had married only a few weeks earlier, to a modest beauty from a northern region named Rebecca Trienne. She was already with child.

But it seemed a balance needed to be kept during his joyful afternoon. Where Philip found happiness, worry and trouble soon followed. The early spring day turned darker as a new presence made itself known to him.

"Your Majesty," came the harsh and slow voice from his left. Philip turned to see one of his advisors. Lord Adam Flannigan, a prominent member on Philip’s father's council, now tainted Philip's own advisory with his presence.

"Yes, Flannigan?" the king muttered in ill-hidden annoyance. Flannigan was vicious and selfish at his best. He rarely took action unless it would benefit him. 

"I hear you have yet to give an answer considering our proposal on moving court," Flannigan said haughtily.

"I am yet to decide, my lord." Philip turned around. "But I can promise you that it will not be New London." There was almost a hint of malice lacing Philip's voice. Lord Flannigan hailed from New London — where he held powerful connections. Moving court there would give the old croak a more powerful playing ground to get his bills and laws through. Flannigan's lips pursed at the answer, but whatever other emotions had surfaced, he kept in check. His hazel eyes squinted as he continued speaking.

"You should at least bring it up today during the council meeting. We all know Cadherra is not a suitable place to hold court," he said, forcing the same dishonest smile most wore at court.

"My father seemed to think so. As a member of his close council, would you not have played a part in the move?" Philip asked, enjoying the flustered look growing on the old man's face as he questioned him.

"I deeply respected your father — may his soul rest in peace. The court had to be moved briefly out of necessity and only Adelton was available at the time. Alas, when his life started reaching its end, even he realized that he could have chosen a more strategic place."

"I will consider it during this meeting. But nothing is definite yet," Philip said forcefully, marking an end to their conversation.

February 24th, 1520 – Málaga

He was awoken by the light tapping of a windowpane. The curtains were drawn back as the fresh morning air seeped into the room. Tristan opened his eyes and was met by a blue sky, not a cloud in sight.

He first noted the chill that came in through the window. But it was not unpleasant. The wind felt good on his skin. He moved his gaze away from the window and stared at the ceiling. Tristan scoured the rustic beams, observing a spider building its web, preparing its trap for any flies that would enter the room. But it was futile, he thought — the days were still too cold for flies. The spider would have to wait a bit more — until the warmth of the sun reached the earth.

He grew disoriented. The shirt he wore was still wet from the previous night's sweat, making him shiver. His limbs ached when he moved. As he did, a dull ache extended in his left arm and shoulder. It was nowhere near the pain he had felt the previous night and it indicated that the severity of the infection was slowly improving. He would heal, but not fast enough.

Tristan rested his head against the pillow, giving up the strain of leaving his bed. Instead, he opened his ears for if he could not look out the window, he could at least listen — to the people walking on the streets, to the chatter of the Spaniards. A twinge of nostalgia washed over him. He had lived here with Sofia once, a long time ago. Tristan had been but a commoner during that time, but he'd taken the burdens of much more. Seven years seemed a lifetime to him.

The door creaked open slowly as a head peeked in. Zoráida walked to his side and sank down next to him as she noticed him finally awake.

"How long have I slept?" his voice croaked. It was stiff from lack of use and there was still weakness in it. Zoráida's hands carefully went to his shoulder, and they pushed aside the thin cotton shirt. She started removing the bandages, steadily, setting into a rhythm as she worked.

"It is midday. We did not wish to wake you," the young woman explained. The words rolled off her tongue pleasantly, and she sounded like Sofia when she spoke.

"Joseph, Lucius, and Ashiq?" he asked as he looked around the room, noticing for the first time that they were absent.

"I sent them with my brother to see the city. They were getting restless." 

She removed the final bandage and revealed the open wound. The swelling had gone down considerably and there was no new formation of puss. Zoráida released an exasperated breath. When she had arrived with Lucius the previous night, the young woman had feared for Tristan's life, certain that he would not last the night. She was glad that she had been wrong.

As she continued taking care of him, her eyes went up and down, looking at a friend who had changed much since they had last met. He had been a young man then, just out of his teen years. He had been tall and lean, still growing into his limbs — which had been too long and his step awkward. Seven years had done him good when it came to his physique. He was as tall as ever, but she now noticed definition along his limbs. His countenance had changed as well. He was no longer the hothead with the temper of a fury, who would get into fights, to get away from the stigma his burlap mask held.

"Where is Sofía?" she asked casually as she slowly started removing the herbs from the wound and cleaned it once more with alcohol.

"We went our separate ways a few months ago. I do not know where she is now." 

Tristan grimaced at the alcohol and the memory of Sofia. He missed her — every moment of being in such a familiar place reminded him of her. Zoráida's caring hand came to rest on his arm.

"You will see her again if Allah wills it," she reassured him. Her words made him smile.

"You still don't talk like a Christian," he scolded. "I thought you said you and your family converted."

A sad smile spread on her plump lips.

"My family did convert, but we can never leave centuries of traditions behind. I trust you, I will not pretend here, Tristan," Zoráida said. She frowned as she placed a thin needle with tongs over a lit candle before drenching it in alcohol. She placed the thread in the clear liquor as well.

"Is that why your father was taken by the Inquisition? Because they unmasked you?" 

A stiff silence followed as she waited for the needle to cool down. Somewhere a bird chirped, landing on the windowsill — looking around for some food it might steal. When it found none, it flew away.

"No. Even if we remain true to our roots in our hearts, we try to blend in as much as possible. We go to mass like the rest of you, I even sneak in a confession here and there," she said, threading the needle, preparing to prick it into his skin. She spoke openly with Tristan, knowing he would not judge her. Zoráida knew that he had never been one to follow religion tediously or blindly like so many others. He had been accepting of her family's way of life. She always felt a sense of peace as a child, knowing she did not have to act whenever she was in his presence.

"They will never accept you," he echoed her innermost thoughts. Tristan locked eyes with her before she started sewing. He ignored the small stabbing pain of the needle as it plunged into his skin.

"This city fell to the Christians many decades ago. I have never known anything else but this; living in secrecy, afraid that every day will be my last." A church bell rang somewhere in the distance — a lone bell that sounded once. It ripped through their conversation like a dagger ripping through fabric. "You should understand, to some degree," she said after the bell had died down, nodding at the mask.

"I hide my face because I have to…," he muttered, a hiss escaping him as the needle plunged deeper than Zoráida intended.

"You once told me that when I was old enough, you'd show me…"

"Don't change the subject," he argued as if scolding a sister. Tristan felt a fatigue rush over him as he settled back into the fluffy pillows.

Zoráida diverted her eyes from the wound, her frown even more prominent as she scalded Tristan with her gaze. She settled back into her rhythmic sewing.

"Málaga was taken when my parents were young. I'm certain my father told you all about it when you were here," she continued.

"It was all Musa would ever talk about," Tristan sighed, remembering the light that shone in his old friend's eyes as he spoke of another era, another time. "He said that he frequented Granada under the reign of Boabdil."

"He would tell me stories as well, every night before bed," she lamented as she sewed monotonously. They both turned silent as they remembered the past, a past that now seemed foreign to them. The world was slowly changing into something new, something they had never seen before, and they did not know what to make of it.

"Why was he killed?" Tristan insisted.

Zoráida hesitated as her hands froze mid-air. She let her dark green eyes wander over to meet his. He waited for her answer, for her to reveal what she had been trying to ignore since the loss of Musa and her brother.

"He was a great physician but whenever he failed to cure a patient, he would be blamed for it. Even if the illness was great or the wounds deep — it did not matter. A few years ago, my father decided to retire but one night a wealthy merchant came running to our house, saying his pregnant wife was dying. My father went with him, alone, and did all he could to save the woman and child, but it was no use, they both died. The merchant blamed my father and said that he killed them deliberately because they were Christian and therefore my father must hate them. The Inquisition got wind of these accusations and came one night, taking him with them. They said they just had some questions and that he would most likely be back in the morning. But he never returned." Zoráida spoke with a strange detachment as she gently guided the needle, slowly closing the wound in his shoulder.

"They tortured him for days, or so they told my mother. He died after his heart gave out on the third day; the pain was too overwhelming for him. My brother soon followed the same fate after protesting," she whispered. An empty look spread in her eyes as something akin to hatred emerged from them. "I hope those priests end up in a similar situation someday so that they will feel the same pain they inflicted on him." Her jaw squared and her voice shook slightly as the words shot like arrows from her mouth.

"There is a saying in the East," Tristan began, his own thoughts grim. "They believe that whatever you do — good or bad — it comes back to you." There was a slight pause as he let the meaning sink in. "I am sorry to hear what happened. Musa and your brother never deserved such treatment," Tristan said, watching intently as she finished stitching his wound and put an herbal paste over it.

"I hope that saying is true," she murmured softly, placing clean bandages over the wound. She was satisfied with her work and used it to push away the growing sorrow she had worked so hard to bury since her father and brother's passing.

Both wallowed in the other's company. They felt like children once more, unaware of the world around them, protected by their innocence.

"I hear you are chasing after your fiancée," Zoráida murmured as she stared out the window, the song of the seagulls turned louder as the day continued its mellow pace.

"I wish to set sail tomorrow or the day after. I…must find her," he said somberly. 

Zoráida felt him tense next to her. Determination and a hint of fear reflected in the way he held himself. She did not ask the specifics. Tristan had never been one for explanations or long conversations, especially not when it came to his personal life.

"I never thought of you as the marrying type," she continued. His eyes snapped up to watch her intently.

"You knew me when you were thirteen, how much could you have perceived then?"

"You have changed greatly, Tristan. Years ago you were different, a free soul, searching to flee the constrictions that society would put on you. That is why you stayed with Sofía — and that is why the mask tormented you so. I never thought anyone would manage to tie you down."

When she had known him seven years ago, he and Sofia would travel from town to town, province to province, country to country. They never stayed long. Tristan would speak of his travels to her, speak of the wonders he had seen in France, Portugal, Italy, and even North Africa. But her favorite stories were when he told her about the East, about a monastery he had spent the better part of his teenage years. He spoke of men with amazing fighting abilities, of a way of life very different from what he had seen in Europe. He spoke of philosophers and warriors.

Tristan remembered that time as well. When he had first met Sofia, she had taken him East, far up in the mountains, an old acquaintance of hers gave them hospice, and as a young boy he was taught and trained with the rest of the students his age. When he became older, they would frequent a large neighboring city and he made friends with an old, retired general who lent him heaps of tomes about the art of war. Through sheer curiosity and will, Tristan would read the books day and night, having heated discussions with his friend who was amused that such a young boy would be interested in such things. But, in the end, his studying had served him well.

"She is just a woman I am to marry, Zoráida," Tristan muttered.

"No, she is much more than that, or you wouldn't blindly chase after her in such a state."

"I care for her, yes. I made a promise, I gave my word to her that I would return to her, and I do not plan on breaking that word."

Zoráida scoffed. "You cannot lie to me, Tristan. I see that there is more than care in your heart. For you to sacrifice the freedom you have guarded for so many years means she must be more to you."


February 25th

There came a moment when Christine’s inflamed back impaired her movement. She continued resting face-down on her bed, unable to move a muscle when Braun came to check on her. Her eyes would wander to the thick glass windows that stared at the never-ending sea.

Tristan was dead.

The thought hurt more than she could bear. Christine felt how she slipped, how she stopped caring. At first, she had fought against it. The only fuel to keep her going was her hatred for Braun. But soon she embraced it. Her mother would live out her life well in Adelton Hall — the only person left alive that she truly cared for was safe and it was all that mattered.

It was morning when Braun entered her quarters, the golden rays of the sun gliding across her face, warming her features. Behind him entered the ship's self-acclaimed physician. Alas, the man was barely a physician, he was a barber who had found an easy job working at ships with decent pay and housing. When he saw the young blonde sprawled on the bed, her back and shoulders bare where her beige dress had been torn, his eyes widened. Christine's eyes locked with his for a moment as he neared her, but she made no move to turn away from him.

"I've been sent by his lordship, miss," he said nervously, feeling the intense stare of Braun on his back. She remained unresponsive.

The barber sat down next to her and viewed the damage. He could remove the splinters, but there was little he could do for the infection. As he explained this to Braun, Christine stared at the sea outside the window, letting herself be calmed by its rocking motion. She was surprised when two rough hands started removing the embedded splinters. The young woman screamed out in pain as the hands forcefully plied away the pieces of wood.

When all was done, she let out a painful breath of air, biting back tears of pain that threatened to spill. The wounds had reopened, and droplets of blood spilled from them. The barber frowned at the sight.

"She will need a real physician, my lord. I cannot treat these wounds here." He turned to face Braun and gathered new courage. "We should dock in the nearest harbor and search for someone there," he said.

"The nearest port is Málaga. That damned storm a few days ago set us off course," Braun murmured pensively. He looked at Christine's small form and his brow furrowed with worry. He did not wish to lose her to infection. Sleepless nights of worrying and thinking had finally given him an answer; he had other plans for her. "Let us dock there then," he decided, almost as if on a whim. The barber nodded and scurried away, leaving the two alone.

As soon as the door closed, Braun came over with a bowl of fresh water and some clean cotton cloth.

"Keep still," the older man murmured as he plunged the white cloth into the cold water and carefully cleaned the reopened wounds. She shuddered at the cold touch. On her brow dotted pearls of sweat as she squeezed the flat pillows she lay on. Christine hid her face in the pillow, hiding the disgust extending on it as Braun hovered over her.

"I never meant for this to happen to you," he muttered softly. Braun’s eyes wander over her form despite himself.

"Is the mighty Lord Braun apologizing?" she spat, flinching as she moved to look at him. 

Christine's eyes were wild with anger and resentment, as ill-hidden as the pain that formed the desperate frown between her brows. 

Braun's thinning brown hair fell over his high forehead and into his thin face, He had found time to trim his goatee despite their situation. He looked as polished as she remembered him to be. His eyes were cold and harsh, betraying the kind smile spreading on his lips. 

He let out a dry laugh and put away the metal bowl and cloth. "Rest," he said as he stood to leave. "I shall have someone take care of that back of yours."

When the door closed Christine let her head fall down. She bit her lip and moved around on the bed, fighting to sit up — a feat she hadn't been able to accomplish for the last few days. She took the bowl and cloth, taking a part of the white fabric that was not stained with her blood and started washing her skin. It felt good as the cool water dripped down her back, stinging whenever it traveled over the open welts left from the thick splinters. 

Her heart clenched as thoughts of Tristan popped into her mind. Now that they were parted — never to be seen again, Christine confessed to herself that she missed him terribly. She admired him, even though he was arrogant and frightening at times. Her hand clenched around the drenched fabric, water tainted by blood dripped on the floor by her feet. Tristan was dead, she reminded herself resolutely. Her hand shook as she repeated the mantra in her head. 

During the day it was easy to distract herself, listening to the men above deck, shouting, talking, and singing. But not during the long hours of the night. When the ship turned quieter than a graveyard in the early hours of the morning, she could not help as images of her fiancé's body slipped into the crevices of her mind. She imagined he lay on the cold palace floor, alone and ignored. She imagined a bared face — twisted and disfigured, leaving him naked for the world to see.

There was another part of her, more faint, which scolded her. Aye, Tristan was gone but she wasn't. Angloa was safe, and Cadherra remained. There would be something to return to, if she were able. 

As she washed away the dirt and blood, she washed away her indetermination and fears. Her eyes wandered to the glass windows that looked out over the vast ocean hopelessly wondering what would be in store for her.

February 27th

"We have already wasted enough time. A ship sails for Rome later today and I want to board it," Tristan said through gritted teeth. He rested in the confinements of the small chamber. Zoráida paid little heed as she looked over the stitches and reapplied more herbs to the area.

Lucius sat in a small, uncomfortable chair and scratched his head. He knew Tristan was right, they had spent too much time in Málaga. If they wanted to see Christine again they would have to leave soon. Joseph lay on the other bed, sleeping with his mouth open, a slight snore escaping now and then; he was exhausted. He had spent the whole night awake, first walking Zoráida and Ashiq home, then getting lost in the narrow streets. He had returned some hours before sunrise in defeat, letting his shoulders sink further down as Lucius asked him to fetch the young Morisco girl again.

"You have grown more impatient since I last saw you," Zoráida muttered, bandaging the shoulder. "But I guess it cannot be helped. You have a duty and a word to keep," she continued, staring off into the distance. The wound would be fine, Tristan could have left the previous day. Yet, she had asked him to stay. He reminded her of her past, of a time she had been happy — when her father and older brother had been alive. Tristan recognized the look in her eyes and his own expression turned grim. Lucius got up from the chair, moving toward Joseph to wake him. It was time to leave the city.

"We will wait for you outside, Tristan," Lucius said, motioning for Ashiq to come. 

Zoráida gave him a fleeting glance, diverting her eyes as he met her gaze. She had always known what to say to him. Now she found no words. A small part of her had hoped he would remain, however unlikely that now was.

"I hope you find the happiness that has escaped you for so long." She placed a hand on his cheek, her eyes trailing over the mask. "I hope you will be able to discard this prison you live in and be free, Tristan." 

Her words drifted by him like a distant wind, stirring something that he always tried to ignore.

"When we return, you should come with us. You and your whole family can live in peace in Angloa. No one will bother you under my roof," he said, ignoring her words that had rattled him so. Her piercing green eyes grew sadder as she looked away from him — out the window. He did not know what she gazed at but he recognized her distant gaze. It was something he had never truly gotten to feel.

"This is and always will be my home." The light of day reflected on her tan face. "The way of life for my people has been extinguished long ago here. But this land; its sky, its earth, its winds, and trees — everything — is part of me and I will never be able to leave it." She turned to face him. "I stand like a tree here, with roots deeper than you can imagine. I was born here, and I will die here. Even if I must live in fear of expulsion, I will fight to remain here with all my strength," she said with such conviction that Tristan felt a twinge of guilt for having asked her to come with him.

"You have always roamed this earth with Sofía, a free spirit. There is nothing tying you down."

"There is now, and she is being taken across the sea to a world she does not know," Tristan said. He could not help Zoráida; a sentiment that weighed heavily on his shoulders. But he could help Christine.

Tristan got up from the bed with a wince. His shoulder was stiff and sore, but at least his arm could move again. He turned to the bed, where his now clean shirt and doublet lay folded, courtesy of Hala. Zoráida looked away as he quickly dressed. She started packing her tools, herbs, and potions, realizing this was their goodbye.

They both were like an estranged brother and sister and as they walked out of the inn. After Tristan paid the innkeeper, he and Zoráida stood face to face. From deep within the hood, Zoráida caught a pair of glittering eyes that she knew she would recognize anywhere. In the distance, her brother waited with Lucius and Joseph.

"I was never too good with goodbyes, you know that," Zoráida said, a faint smile spreading across her lips.

"I know." Tristan saw his friends waiting, standing among the masses that kept to the wider main street. "I will try to stop by on the way back," he continued. Zoráida stepped in closer, a determined look spread across her features.

"When you return, Tristan, I will see your face," she said. It was not a request, nor a plea. Instead, the words sounded like a premonition, a knowing that sparkled in her eyes. She caught him off guard and when he remained silent, she gave out a lighthearted laugh.

The wounds on her back had — as the barber predicted — festered. Christine had become delirious with a fever. There was a time when Braun would not leave her side. He kept muttering that it was of the utmost importance that she remained alive.

They docked in the Spanish port early that morning when the sun was not yet up. Braun and his fellow men were on alert as he sent out one of the crew members to find a physician. The older man, Antoine Beauvais, was a Frenchman who had lived in Barcelona for a few years. He was familiar with the Spanish language and customs.

Antoine scoured the inner city, trying to find a suitable physician for the young woman the Angloan nobleman had in the main chamber. Many from the crew who had decided to join Braun had come up with theories regarding her identity. Most surmised she was a courtesan. Alas, a ship like theirs was not suitable for a woman like her, much less in the company of so many men. They had not been surprised when one of the men had broken in and almost taken the girl.

Antoine stalked the streets, the sky brightening every second. He paid little attention to the pedestrians that he pushed elbows with. There was one moment where, without looking, he bumped into someone.

"Excuse me!" he exclaimed in accented Spanish, looking up. His face dropped as he was met by a tall man, hiding his face deep within a hood. Yet, Antoine spotted the throat—the skin — hidden by what he surmised was a tall dark brown collar. The man muttered something and walked past him. He was flanked by two other men. A blond, well-dressed man looked back at him.

"Did he get your shoulder?" the blond asked, a look of worry spread across his features.

"Yes, but the wound didn't open," the low voice said from within the hood. When the other's expression did not change, Antoine heard an audible sigh. "You worry too much, Lucius," the taller man muttered. The Frenchman's eyebrow rose, he recognized the accent: Angloan. It was always strange to see Angloans leave their ships in foreign ports. Judging the trio and their dress, he would take them for wealthy merchants perhaps. Antoine shook his shoulders and wandered on.

Antoine stalked through the narrow streets. He kept his head low, keen on not getting mugged or getting into trouble. He knew it would be difficult to find a decent physician. Braun had told him that money was not a problem — not that it was what worried him. It was Sunday, and soon everyone would attend mass; somewhere he should be too, but he guessed that Braun would not appreciate his sudden devoutness to God. Angloans and their lack of devotion, Antoine thought. He would not be surprised if the whole island soon reformed its religion like some of the other European countries appeared to be headed.

Alas, it was still Sunday. It would be hard to get ahold of people now. Not that Christian physicians were that good, anyway. All knew that the Jewish and even the Moors were more refined and knowledgeable when it came to medicine.

Thus, without wasting much time, Antoine set out for the Jewish and Mudéjar quarters to see if a kind — or greedy — soul would return to the ship with him. It wasn't an ideal situation; like many other Europeans, he was prejudiced against those who weren't like him.