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La más romántica de las historias

lunes, 5 de septiembre de 2016

The Most Romantic Story


In 1880 a Scottish lord travels to South-america for business related to the train wheel constructions and meet a young girl named Martina and an even younger boy called Martin. Their destinies and their's friends will be attached forever when the ship sank.
They'll have to survive.
Martina promised with her girl friend never get married without love, but her afraid to loose her father will rush her decision. It will bring unpleasant consequences and will have to fight to accomplished that promise or living without love.

Chapter 1: Departures

Martina goes back home and meet some gentlemen  in the ship that will affect  their destinies.


By D.C.A. Savia

Copyright© D.C.A. Savia, 2016
All rights reserved. It’s strictly prohibited without the written consent of holders of the "Copyright" under the penalties provided by law, the partial or total reproduction of this work by any means or process, including reprography and computer processing authorization and distribution copies by rental or public loan.
Safe Creative #: 1 607190 240972
Spanish 1st Edition, February 2016. 

In memory of “Don” Coco (Felipe), my dad, who was a great reader, taught me music, read my first stories in high school and laughed with my laughter when venturing in Mafalda’s cartoons.
In memory of “Doña” Aida, my mom, who’d tried I follow the path of God, had expected to exercise as an accountant, and had relived passion when I had got excited assisting a Boca Juniors’ matches.
To Facundo my soul mate, my love, my pillar.

"I write to relieve myself 
without any hope of being read."
Jorge Luis Borges

FIRST PART: Back to Home

1.      Departures

There are loves that await us a whole life to mature, to apprehend them hard and not let them escape. This is the case of these youngsters that met teenagers and had to learn to apprehend each other.
There is no doubt that the point that united them forever, was the moment in which faith separate them unexpectedly.
Atlantic Ocean, September 1880.
The storm had passed; rowdy, the crew ran from side to side.
“Where do you think we are at this point Martina?,“ asked Lionard.
“The crew I found earlier said me that we were near the Port of General Lavalle. So I figure we are a little further south, in Ajó, the easternmost territory of Buenos Aires.” This is what she’d loved to express in English, but since she didn’t dominate it completely, she only said, “In Ajó, around 400 km south from Port of Buenos Aires”.
Exhausted, they felt asleep each one sitting in a corner of the cabin, where had to wait obediently that they come looking for them.
Later, strong boat’s shudder awoke them. They were no longer hearing the crew running around as before. Lio and Martina went up on deck to understand what was happening. They noticed that the coast was near but saw no one crewing the schooner.
The sun started to appear from the dense clouds, on its way down toward the cleared horizon. They ran to a side of the ship to realize that the lifeboats weren’t there. “What’s going on,” asked Martina extremely alarmed.
They ran to the other side, and neither the lifeboats were there.
“This can’t be happening!,” cried Martina hysterically in Spanish.
“Calm down Martina. We’ll get rid of this. You’ll see,” said Lio, having understood.
“We’ll get rid? We’ll get rid?! How?!,” 
She was speaking Spanish, he was speaking English, but they were understanding each other.
“I don’t know yet, but we are not far from the coast.”
“It’s getting dark Lionard! If the ship doesn’t aground soon, eventually it will shipwreck! Do you understand?”
Big waves that were resisting due to the constant wind, buffeted the schooner. The deck was wet either by the previous storm, the waves that punished the walls of the vessel, or the seawater’s drizzle, lifted by the wind from its surface. Martina crying, held onto the railing. Lio, helpless, didn’t know how to comfort her.
Suddenly the ship leaned into starboard, making the girl losing her sustain, retreating to stabilize herself in the slide that formed the cover to the axis of the vessel. Then, as a malicious ending announced, it turned violently to port, making Martina slide uncontrollably, then it rose her into the air and hit her with extreme brutality in the belly, against the railing. She couldn’t grasp neither it nor any of the other slippery objects or surfaces.
She gave a piercing scream, while Lio, who was strongly holding from one of the ropes shaken by the wind and the wobbling, tried to reach and grab her. He saw in slow motion, as Martina flailed desperately trying to hold from any object in its way down, without success. 
Before he could get to her, she was falling. Martina was pulled out from cover and the safety of the Margaretha, crudely thrown into the violent waters of the ocean.
Port of New York. Five weeks earlier.
Martina Antúnez Almaraz anxiously walked the Port. She came and went under the 138 feet’s shadow of the anchored schooner. Standing on tiptoes now and then, she glimpsed at the constant rattle of staff that came and went loading and stacking boxes, barrels and other gear that they’ll have to transport to Chile, or any of the at least two intermediate ports that would touch the schooner before reach their final destination.
On one side of the boat you could read "Margaretha", the name of the boat carrying the German flag hoisted identifying its nationality. It was built of dark wood and three large masts that had not yet unfurled its sails. Martina wondered if the schooner really was as beautiful as she thought of it or were her eyes that embellished the majestic ship due to the purpose it was intended. It would take her to her horses, her dogs; the big lakefront house always cherished by the weeping willow. That calm lake constantly toured by the duck family living in the land, unless they were disturbing the geese and turkeys, in the food hours when they throw them bread, leftovers from the meal of the day, or vegetable no so fresh.
She would arrive to Buenos Aires in spring, by late September.
She was anxious to wake up with the sound of the wild animals that often visited their land in those latitudes. The caracaras or caranchos, the great kiskadee, or "ugly bug” as they call them due the similarity of their song with those words in Spanish, the running of the rheas, the house with flowery gardens and wooded parks by jacarandas, ombus and silk floss tree or “drunken sticks” called that way due to the shape of their trunk. Native life that not resemble much to the one she lived in, across the ocean, in this other hemisphere. Her land’ sounds in Buenos Aires were not the same as she had been hearing during more than a year that she left her friends and her father in Argentina to study piano, painting, sculpture, literature, French, English, manners and protocol in France.
Her great aunt Doña Antonieta, Spanish by birth and French by marriage, had received Martina in her mansion in Paris countryside, shortly after the girl turned 14 years old. There she had lived the last year, surrounded by governesses that hounded her day and night without rest. At least that’s how she perceived the arduous hours of study. But the truth is that she often had time for horse riding. She always hovered around the stables and chicken coops; with the five greyhounds, upsetting the servants who granted all their whims, as they do at her home in Buenos Aires. However she showed to her governesses the manners she had acquired with endeavor. Before returning to Argentina, Martina was brought to New York by her great aunt, where she had an apartment, and accompanied by her great aunt’s personal maid. They spent shopping in the big city a few weeks, before Martina should go home.   
At any time, the bell will announce all passengers and crew to board, to left behind their affections. Gust of melancholy flooded the air from time to time. She didn’t know when she’d return or if she would at all.
She had a long journey ahead for about a month. Her great aunt and Mariette, a servant girl of 15 years that Martina had grown fond and endearing during that long year in Europe, mitigating her longing for their land, came to say goodbye. “Doña” Antonieta had agreed with Capitan Johann Hinrich Ramien, who was an old friend of the family, that he will take care of Martina throughout the journey and would ensure her welfare and health. So she rested assure in that matter.   The trip to Paris had been done in company of her father, that needed to close some livestock export business to Europe. But Don Felipe Antúnez had to return two months later to take care of his business. 
“The bell Martina!,” observed Doña Antonieta.
“Of course aunty,” confirmed Martina with mixed feelings throwing herself upon her granny’s neck. Both burst into tears trying to comfort themselves, exchanging promises and affection’s words.
The personnel bringing Martina’s luggage, rapidly delivered them to the crew, providing the owner’s information and cabin number where it had to be sent.
The Margaretha wasn’t a passenger’s ship, but a cargo one. Anyway it had some space for some crew’s acquaintance.
“I’ll miss you aunty. Keep writing me about the news please. Also about the horses and dogs. I want to know everything,” asked in Spanish, her natal language.
“Of course my child. Go with God, Go on”.
“Goodbye Mariette”, bade farewell Martina turning into the slim figure looking at her with tears in her eyes and offering her open arms.
“‘Au revoir Magtina’, I’ll ‘wgrite’ you ‘vegry’ often,” sobbed Mariette pronouncing the r’s with its typical French guttural sound.
They had been saying goodbye during the hole week, and didn’t have much to say rather than repeating the promises to keep in touch and the recommendations to the young lady to be circumspect and careful.
By the catwalk that reached the Margaretha, a crew member approached to the group that had a hard time leaving her go and spoke: “The captain has sent me to lead Miss Martina aboard.
“Oh! Oui, oui! Martina, go child. God bless you and accompany you in this trip. We’ll be praying for you”, expressed her granny and kissed her in the cheek.
“Certainly, thanks. I’ll follow you,” addressed Martina in English to the crew member.
On Margaretha’s prow, the captain waved cheerfully to Doña Antonieta and Martina who was leaving behind her granny between tears and smiles.
She went to meet the captain who had already acquainted in several opportunities when he frequented Doña Antonieta’s house. He was an old man in his forties with elegant bearing in his captain’s uniform. He didn't speak much Spanish, rather than German mainly, English and French. She preferred French since she had used to it during the year lived there. They didn't talk much, due he needed to resume his duties. Then he asked one of his grummet to guide her toward her cabin to accommodate and make sure that all her luggage had been properly loaded. He had given indications about dinner times, and other necessities, and had offered her disposal for whatever she’d need.
They went down to the cabins, walking the halls until get to hers. She thanked him, settled herself quickly and ran to the main deck to see if she could find among the many heads that swirled in the port, Antoinette and Mariette's umbrellas that protected them from New York summer’s sun. She saw them distantly. Gesticulating frantically caught their attention. They began to cast off when she felt a knot in the stomach of deep nostalgia. Waving a white handkerchief, fervently he shouted goodbyes to her friend and her great aunt until the ship began to move away from Port, and she could no longer see them.
She walked the deck for a while, enjoying the view offered by the pelicans and gulls hovering some points in the water and plummeting in shifts, where it was clear that there would be some fish shoal. She tried to spot some marine animal in the water transparency. Then amused herself watching the crew get down to their tasks. Mostly, they spoke in German so she did not understand what they were saying. She saw the captain on several occasions but did not want to interrupt his job. Anyway didn’t have much to say. He was an old man to her way of seeing.
One thought led to another and then another and suddenly she was calculating the number of persons on board. She had counted about ten crew members and twenty passengers, which only five of them would be under twenty-five years old. The rest would be all elders of thirty or more. She had not seen any lady and thought: “this would be a long trip if I can’t manage to do something fun”. Maybe she could write letters and read since she had several books that had acquired in France. Also she had some in English to improve in it. Suddenly, with his kindness, the captain interrupted her thoughts:
“How are you dear?,” he asked her in French
“Do you have everything you need?
“Well, actual—”
“In a few minutes I'll introduce you to some guys of your age traveling with us. You know that you can disturb me whenever you need. Actually you won’t disturb me at all.” The captain was speaking without waiting for an answer and interrupted her every attempt she made to answer him. “Don’t worry about anything. You know Bernard, the cabin boy accompanied you to your cabin, you can also ask him whatever you need if I am not available. He has indications of being at your service. This will be a wonderful trip, you'll see.
"Boatswain!" —he broke off—, "apologies me dear I have some things to attend but as soon as I get a moment, I'll introduce you to the rest of the crew and passengers, which some are my guests. If we don't see us, we will meet at 20 pm for dinner. If you get hungry, you can go to the kitchen and they will tell you how they can please you." Then he moved away to the bosun that was answering to his request and coming toward him.
Martina was stunned by the twist in the captain's behavior which was overwhelming when executing its role, unlike its quiet ways in social visits. He had not let her say a word. She suddenly remembered that among many things, Mariette had seen to prepare her, delicious cookies and several flavors breads of the so famous French bakery. They had also sent as appetizer, some green apples in order they get ripen throughout the days. Mariette knew that the kitchen would address any need that her friend had, but Dona Antonieta, knowing the whims of her niece, had insisted, so she would bother as less as possible to the crew. She ran downstairs to her cabin, when she tripped on the top step and slammed in a skirt commotion, to the floor of the dining room, revealing more than the ankle under the horrified gaze of several passengers who had gathered to play cards and hang out. She fell right on the shoes of a gentleman. She looked up slowly and ... there he was!, a tall, great mood young, handsome, broad-shouldered, though somewhat thin, fair-skinned like alabaster and wavy brown hair, with eyes like the ocean that looked pedantically to her jet black eyes. He would not be more than 18 years old for his young face.
The boy mumbled something in a language that Martina did not understand, then he spoke in English:
“Lady… Are you alright?”
“Yes, off course. My apologies.”
“Oh, for your accent you're neither French, nor English, nor German,” pointed him sardonically. “Are you going back home?”
Several passengers had interrupted their card game, startled by the abrupt, remaining attentive to the situation.
“That’s correct. I am from Argentina. Precisely from Buenos Aires. What about you sir?”
“I’m from Scotland, but I was educated in London, England.” —turning to the other passengers, he added lowering his voice—: “If she understands the difference.”
A jubilant laughter celebrating the snide remark to which were added other more hurtful and full of cruelty.
“Lionard McNair, at your service,” He introduce himself extending his hand to Martina who was still kneeling on the floor, trying to stand up.
“Of course I know the difference!,” she exclaimed angrily, withdrawing her hand and jumping up, but well aware that she actually had a hard time unraveling, for her, the tangled political and geographical division in the UK.
During the abrupt laughter that arose from the sayings of Lionard, Martina had perceived some of them referring to her homeland as a savage land; something about South Americans hardly know where England is on the map and other such meanness that couldn't understand. Not only that, but to exhaust the subject of education in South America; the whispers continued with moral questionings about the girl, her lack of decorum among everyone and the lack of supervision of a governess.
“Excuse me Miss, I did not mean to create this commotion...”
She didn’t finish to hear Lionard’s answer, that she came out in a rush as if the devil took her through the cabin's aisle. Embarrassed for having fallen in front of everybody, being ridiculed, with a wounded ego, she remained coming and going from the door to the porthole in the small cabin, filled with rage and indignation at such a demonstration of little gallantry, clenching her fists on the sides of her body and mumbling: “Who does he think he is? So daring and insolent! Let's see if the gentleman can speak a language other than...? Sure, I think he speaks German. So educated! Does that entitle him to belittle whoever crosses him! Does that entitle him to embarrass a girl. How old can he be? Not much older than me as to pretend to be honored after what he did. He lectures me?! To me?! What about those other conceited? I a barbaric? Much less a little girl! It was just a fall! At home I always fall from trees and swings, or dogs or ponies. Not for that I am a barbarian!”
Martina recalled the delicious cookies that Mariette gave her, so she rummaged through her things until she found them. She attacked them furiously, as if the cookies were the artisans of the misfortune that handed her to the vile trap at the bottom of the stairs to take her into the jaws of shame and despair. She remained lying there waiting the bell calling for dinner, until she fell asleep. It had been a long day even for her energetic fifteen years old. She lived passionately all big and little things. Everything was hell or heaven, the worst or the best, black or white for her. Her vision of pride, shame or humiliation was exaggerated. She was a teenager who did not intend to grow fast, but did not want to be treated like a child. She had girl friends in Buenos Aires that were already engaged to be married but she would not allow for her something like this so soon. She was very happy living with her father at home and didn't have wife's ambitions. She wanted to learn how to manage her father's fields she would inherit some day and continue writing romance novels. He had educated her with all privileges of a male child. He taught her everything he knew about his business, about his favorite sports, about horses, turf, about machines, electricity or technology. He had hired instructors to teach her biology, astronomy, physics, music, all subjects in which she was interested to supplement her education as a teacher.
Meanwhile, in the dining room still they were whispering about Miss's manners. Lionard was playing cards, but made no comment. He was rather serious and reserved. He was impressed by the courage of that annoying girl, who had not let him apologize for his impertinence. He wondered how old she would be to behave so foolishly, running down the corridors and stairwells. Literally, ‘down’. A well-educated young lady would not do such a thing. Surely she wouldn't be older than fourteen. But it was strange because he had not seen anyone with her. Those eyes said something else; such deep black eyes, in that little face of always tanned complexion. Her long light brown hair and curly due to moisture. She combed it in loops of golden highlights when a sunray reached them...
"Lio. Lio! Your turn! ,” Bahl took him out from the reverie that had been submerged, completely forgetting the poker game.
“Oh, of course, yes.”
“What planet were you at?”
“Forget it. This game needs to be spiced up. I raise.”
“Oh, I see what you intend,” pointed out Bahl and followed his game.
“How will you handle your studies while you are abroad?,” asked Paul O’Connel to Lio.
“Oh, really!,” said Collins. “You go to Oxford University. Right?”
“That’s right,” confirmed Lionard. “My father made an agreement with the Director. I’ll take exams at my return without having to attend to classes. I will be studying at ‘University of Buenos Aires’ with a very prestigious academic. Dr. Ignacio Pirovano. He studied with Dr. Pasteur in France. Do you believe it? The very one Pasteur!”
“Your ‘fazer’ must have many connections at ‘Univerrrsities’,” wondered amazed Sencondat in its distinc French accent.
“Oh, Philippe, you have no idea how many he has, and how much he influences,” Lio replied him.
“What ‘arrr’ you going to do in Buenos ‘Airrres’? Won’t you be delaying ‘yourrr’ studies?,” questioned Philippe.
“It’s possible, but my father wants me to acquire experience on the family business. He wants me to travel and help him. I agreed under the condition that he allows me to finish my medicine degree, because I actually would like to be a medical investigator.”
“Parents!,” exclaimed Paul. “How could you please them, other than doing what they demand?”
“You are right,” said Lio. “Parents… we owe them all in life. What about you, Bill? Have you decided if you will stay with me at Buenos Aires or you continue to Chile? Gentlemen, Mr, William Richardson can afford to travel around the world without having to provide explanations to anyone, and deciding his destiny in the way. Not even his parents. 
“Please Lio. I won’t let all the fun just for you. I’ve been told that creole ladies there in Argentina have been blessed by goddess Aphrodite and that British like us, can get down any of their defense system.” Collins, O'Connell, Philippe and Bahl exploded in loud laughs.
“I just came out with a great idea!,” interrupted Collins. “What if you come to Rio with Bahl and me before continuing the travel? We’d be so much fun the four of us. Excuse me Lionard,” —interrupted himself—, “you are cordially invited, but I understand that you have commitments to be attended immediately in Buenos Aires.” —Turning again to the other three guys, he continued—: “I have many connections in Brazil. Whenever you need to continue your journey, you can take the next ship to Buenos Aires or Chile. You’ll be a few water’s days.”
“Oh, I’m not sure my friends, let’s see,” apologized Bill without commit himself.
“Think it well Bill. Do you know Brazil’s beaches?”
“Actually it is the first time I’m coming to South America.”
“Well, they are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in my life. You can’t imagine the good life we could have there. My father owns a house near the beach, full of servants to our disposition full time. I assure you Bill, you won’t regret it. 
“What about you Philippe?”
“I’m not ‘surrre’ why Bill wouldn’t want it, but… I’m in Daniel! I wouldn’t miss it in the world!,” replied Philippe.
Collins continued providing reasons to Bill in favor of his great idea and the rest of the guys joined him projecting big dreams of partying and uncontrolled fun. The beaches and all the prospect was tempting enough, but Bill’s second thoughts were, about leaving his very best friend alone, just the days before he could be set in a new city.
Lio couldn’t stop thinking in those deep black and tender eyes that looked at him from the floor.
A few hours later, Martina was deeply sleeping when someone called to the door of her cabin and awoke her.
“Miss Martina, I’m Bernard, the captain sent me.”
“Yes, Bertrand, tell me please,” answered her without opening the door. “How can I help the captain?”
“Oh, no miss. The captain sent me to inform you that the dinner time is about to come and he wishes to introduce you to the passengers and the crew.”
“Oh, of course! Tell the captain that I’m coming.”
Very well miss, I’ll tell him”
She washed her face, combed her hair and settled her clothes to rush into the dining room.
“Martina!,” exclaimed the captain. “Finally girl!, come near, you’ll have to practice your English because it is the language common to all the presents. Come, come here. Sirs! Your attention please. I want to introduce you miss Martina from Argentina. I’d like to ask you to be chivalrous to her who is my protected on this trip. 
“Over here, over here dear,” indicated the captain towards some of the guys. “This is Mr. Richardson from England and Mr. Bahl.”
“Pleasure to meet you Miss,” said both at once, bowing with their heads and removing their hats.
“Pleased to meet you sirs.” repeated Martina bowing as it was accustomed in the high society of Europ.”
“Mr. O’Connel from Ireland, Mr. Collins from England, Mr. McNair from Scotland and Mr. Secondat from France.”
“Oh! Of course, the view was delightful,” pointed out Collin suggestively.
“A pleasure, nice to meet you, pleased to meet you,” they take turns one by one to say hello.
Martina bowed each one of them by courtesy but inside her, she wished to turn around and flee towards the other side of the little salon that hardly could contain 16 diners at a time.
The captain continued introducing more passengers, all males, while they approached to the kitchen. It seems that she had not been lucky in that trip and she was not going to have a girl friend to share the journey.
Once in the kitchen he addressed to the chef and his aprendices.
“Sirs, please meet Miss Martina. She is traveling with us under my protection. I ask all of you please be kind to her as you are with me and please her at anything she requires.” All assented between mumbling and continued their tasks. The captain approach one by one to introduce her individually until they reach the chef. “Mr. Buchanan and his son Martin.” Under the table appeared a head covered by a beret and his owner said: “Pleased to meet you milady.”
“Oh! How sweet can you be?! I’m delighted gentleman!,” replied her to the little boy of around twelve or thirteen years old that rose with a big smile.
“Mr. Buchanan has brought his son to learn the craft at sea. I’m pretty sure he’ll be an excellent company for you dear during this month,” informed the captain.
“Miss, I'm entirely to your service,” said her little namesake.
“I have no doubt that my son will have enough time to dedicate to the lady,” confirmed Mr. Buchanan bowing with his head.
“Nice to meet you sir. It will be an honor to have the company of such a noble gentleman,” she answered to the boy bowing with her legs and head.
The boy blushed although followed every movement she made around while finishing with introductions.
 “Very well Martina, let’s get back to the dining room. You have a chair reserved next to me.” Without any more delay, they went to the table arm in arm.
The dinner went cheerfully between discussions of economy, law, politics and some religion. In the table talk, the wine disinhibited to the young people who started bringing instruments and improvising dances, and singing each one their native couplets. Everybody clapped and sang merrily.
Martina recovered the spirit again accompanied by her young friend Martin, that taught her the songs he knew and encouraged her to sing. She noticed that young man McNair was being called Lionard.  She observed him when she could avoid his gaze and noticed him dismissive with everyone, acting as if sniffing rotten fish continuously. She'd never really seen anyone so miserable who everyone was fawning so intensely. Rightly he believes himself such important thing. He must be thinking that everyone is like those flatterers. Of course she would show him who he was messing with, that cocky.
“Martina, you are the only lady in this ship, dear. Come on, you should dance with the guys. Wouldn't you accept this piece to Lio?,” proposed suddenly the captain, cheering to Lio, gesturing him to stand up.
Lio was caught unprevented and wouldn't want being impolite, so he stood up and extended his hand to Martina that immediately excused herself to dance arguing lack of practice in that particular rhythm. He stared at her with angry eyes. It was evident the contempt made openly before all presents. Nobody could state that needs practice for a simple vals.
The evening continued for some more hours while all enjoyed a delicious dessert and chatted between song and song, between a drink and the next. Lio seemed upset. After her successful scene, Martina felt in the clouds all night. She felt, had given that petulant conceited what he deserved.
Around ten, Martina apologized to everyone and leave to her cabin.
Lio followed her with his eyes. His thoughts bounced from one scene of the evening to the other. Martina taking her hand off him twice the very same day. “How she dares. That smug brat. They should teach her manners. Who knows the barbarian lands she comes from, to behave in a such impolite way? When knows who have she offended to, she’ll regret it, that conceited.”
“How old is Miss Martina?,” asked suddenly Lio to the captain.
“She’s fifteen. Her father is a very important farmer from Buenos Aires. She is a very educated girl. Her father has provided the best teachers for her. She’s very intelligent. You’ll see. She’ve been in France the during the last year to complete her studies. Her great aunt received her in her mansion. They have a very important and influential family. But dear, you are very young and that little girl cannot be taken lightely. Be careful. She’s under my guard on this ship and I won’t allow nobody to flirt with her under any circumstance.”
The rest of the boys started to joke with the possibility of a dead body appearing floting in the sea to whoever dare with Martina. It be in the hands of the captain, the influent family or by herself if all before had failed. Lio was the target of all jokes due to the snubs she’d made him in a few opportunities and how it discredit his reputation with his acquaintances. Laughs out loud due to the wine and following exaggerations about Martina’s courage, were heard in the salon.
The vessel continued its quite but fast way, breaking through the Atlantic’s waters.

Chapter2: Departures

Martina finds out the most terrible way of thinking and the family business of the gentlemen traveling with her in the ship. She hang around with her new friend Martin.
The days passed quietly offshore in general. The climate had been favorable for sailing and the sea was in calm. Martina and Lio kept withdrawing each other's eyes, ignoring. They couldn’t stop being pending one of the other, despite themselves.
One of those calm nights of starred sky, Martina was walking the deck when she saw ahead the misfit group that liked to lash out undefended and in distress damsels. She kept out of their sight. They were talking about plantations, slaves and slaving. Not few of their families had made their fortune by this last method, and due to abolitionism, had to evolve to new ones, sometime related. More than fifty years had passed since slavery was abolished in many countries, but people still kept their retrograde and inconceivable ideas, according to Martina’s way of thinking, who loved Dominga, her mulatto nanny who assisted her birth, and raised her as her own, after her mother died in labour.
Something they said caught her attention. She sidled toward them to hear better. Daniel Collins’ speech was related to his family’s business trading slaves to Brazil, which had not yet abolished slavery. Martina turned red with rage when heard it. Anyway she kept engaged in listening what they said to find out Lio’s way of thinking about the subject. He remained in silence listening attentive and bowing with his head from time to time. Daniel‘s monologue condemned the abominable abolishing laws (as he saw them), the projects in that respect that had been pushed in Brazil, and his family’s struggle among other influential families to stop them. He was concluding his journey in Rio, where he was going to help his father in negotiations with some congressmen.
“Can you believe it? Many other countries joint England and the United States in closing their eyes to a scientific truth”, said with impunity. “How  they can’t see that medicine has demonstrated that blacks are inferior to us?.” Martina felt twisting her guts with that infamous lie. “It has been proved that they don’t have the same human blood. Not many years ago it was very well known by everybody that they were not human. What if that was the real truth and they are wrong now? Don’t you think?” said Collins looking for approval. “Lio, you study medicine, What do you think?”

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