…some work in progress from the Cazique of Poyais story…
The letter was by far the most shocking thing that the twins had found in the pile of papers on the dining room table. Deeds, bond coupons and a note that read: “Passage booked on Ocean heading to London on 1 August 1823. No cabins available.”
It didn’t matter much now, their argument. The adventure, or whatever it was, now approached a defining moment. With resignation, sadness and a touch of excitement, they made their way from their family home into the unknown. They had packed in silence. There wasn’t much to bring and neither of them had been on a proper sea voyage, so they didn’t even really know what they needed. It didn’t matter much now.
Wandering out the door, they saw Daniel Perez approaching in the distance. Rather than have a final chit chat with the man, they ducked behind a bush and waited for him to pass. The new owner of their house. It was hard to swallow. Jose in particular somehow never thought this day would be like this. Even without the awfulness of Uncle Tito, they would have had to abandon their home and likely never return. It just wasn’t something he prepared himself for. He put his head down and walked by his sister down to the docks of Belize Town.
Belize Town had the stench of too many people crowded into a small space. Given its size, it felt more like a small ship than the town it was and so comparisons to a typically overcrowded urban neighbourhood simply wouldn’t do. The citizens were fed up with the Poyais sufferers and wanted them out. The chief magistrate was under great pressure to do something about the situation.
Many of the sufferers, those that were capable at least, refused to give up on their dream of a life in the new world. They listened to the decree from the magistrate that they must leave and ignored it. Some made their homes on the outskirts of Belize Town and others ventured North to stake their claim. Those who remained were weak, vulnerable or simply fed up and were being ushered to board the Ocean bound for London.
This was the magistrates solution. He would deal with the others if the need ever arose. Though, he thought that was an unlikely occurrence. In any event, it didn’t really effect the Belize Town residents, so it would be ok.
The captain of Ocean wasn’t best pleased to transfer the sufferers back to England rather than proper cargo. Though he would be reimbursed by the Crown, it wasn’t really enough. He walked along the quarter deck inspecting his ship before the hordes were piled onboard, along with some paying customers he had rustled out of the woodwork. It would be cramped and no doubt there would be death. That was best not to speak of though. These people had seen plenty of death and though they hoped the long shadow what stop falling on them, they knew that wouldn’t be the case.