“Captain, I think you should come to the bridge, sir.”
“What is it, Mably?”
“Here, look through the glass, sir. At three o’clock. A ship, sir.”
“Closer in, sir.”
“I still don’t see it.”
“Oh—that. That’s not a ship, Mably. That’s a boat. A dugout canoe.”
“What could they be doing all the way out here, sir? They’re making straight for us. Do you think they need to be rescued?”
“If so, it won’t be by us.”
“But, why not, sir? Their little boat hardly looks seaworthy.”
“They’re attacking us.”
“Are you serious, sir?”
“Am I laughing, Mably?”
“Well, yes, sir. A little bit, sir. But—how can they attack us, sir?”
“See those little blowguns? When they get closer, they’ll try to hit us with poison darts.”
“Poison darts, sir?”
“Don’t fear, Mably. Unless they’ve found a new way to fire them, out of their arses or something, those darts won’t make it halfway up to the gunwales.”
“That’s—a relief, sir.”
“You’re laughing, Mably. Am I funny, Mably?”
“Yes, sir. I mean, no, sir. Sorry, sir. May I ask how you know their, ahem, strategy, sir?”
“It’s the same tribe that came out to us the last time we were by these islands. You can tell by their hair. You weren’t with us then. They’re the Moral Midgets of Microndria. Miserable little excuse of an island. But the inhabitants can be rather annoying if they get close enough that you have to hear them. Rather the opposite of Sirens.”
“Can we use them for target practice, sir? The boys could use some fun.”
“They’re not worth wasting ball and powder on. We have real enemies out there we’ll be meeting soon enough.”
“So, what should we do, sir?”
“Ignore them. They hate that.”
“But—if they get too annoying, sir?”
“You see that storm front out there to the east?”
“Ah, yes, sir. I apologize for not spotting it earlier.”
“Distracted by the wee ones, weren’t you? Don’t let it happen again.”
“Aye aye, sir. Should we warn them about the storm, sir? Their craft doesn’t look terribly seaworthy.”
“Perhaps you should ask Mr. Darwin, Mably. Anyway, invite him up to the bridge. He’ll want to see these.”
“Aye aye, sir.”
“I’m going below to play the cello. Have the first mate get us underway after Mr. Darwin gets his sketch or two and has a quick gander at them. And tell him, no specimens. The one we took aboard last time was complaining about the food within an hour. We had to throw him over.”
“Aye aye, sir.”
* * *
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Readers love Genesis, Part I of Idolatry … In the twilight of the Roman Empire, a sculptor struggles to keep an 800-year dream alive while honoring the love of his life and raising his adoptive son. Part I of the epic five-part Idolatry series, in which a wealthy young heir and a devout Christian girl find themselves at the heart of a 2400-year struggle for the soul of Western Civilization.
“Beautifully written, on the order of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, with the historical insight of James Michener, it brings to life a time of great thought, great art, and its clash with religious fanaticism. Cordair writes with a poet’s sense of scene and nuance and gives us a great deal of insight into the mind of a sculptor; I found this an exciting and easy read.” ~ Alan Nitikman
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