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Friday, 06 March 2009
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Foreword and Chapter 1: Thoughts of Nobility
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Chapter 1: Thoughts on Nobility

A small cockroach landed on the balustrade. Duarte looked at it for a moment. Quite an interesting creature, the cockroach. Not just because it was almost completely invulnerable either. They lived to survive. Survive and mate, that really was all there is to the life of a cockroach. It was capable of little else beside that. That, that was the difference between man and cockroach. Perhaps between man and animal in general. Men were capable of other things, besides mating and surviving. We had art, beauty, skill and love, but was this true for every man? He doubted it. Surely the peasants, out on the fields, not the vaguely intelligent ones, but the regular ones, surely they could not do much besides mating and surviving? When had anyone ever seen a peasant, one from the fields, create, or even just admire a work of art, a book, a sculpture, a painting? Anything, any sign of sophistication. He had not seen it. How much was peasant’s life truly worth then? More than that of a horse, for example? At least a horse could pull a cart. On the other hand, a peasant could control the horse. It was a difficult matter, it needed some time, some thought.

More time and thought than he had at the moment. Joáquin was waiting for him at the stables. Apparently, João had bought a new stallion from the market of Belmoz. Arabyan pure, he had said. Not that Duarte cared much about horses, it was more João’s thing, but a new stallion was always worth a look. He’d take it for a ride into the hills, most likely. He could use a break from writing.He walked inside. His desk was covered in empty parchment and half-written scrolls. He wasn’t much of a writer, he couldn’t really keep his head at the task. His thoughts were far more valuable, but they were too quick and too complex to really write down.  Nonetheless, he tried. As he walked down the stairs to the courtyard, he thought about the recent affairs. Opiedoso had returned, although João hadn’t realized. He hadn’t recognized him, but had appeared to Duarte that Opiedoso didn’t want to be recognized either. It was a strange matter. Crossing the grassy field between the Fazenda and the stables, he could see Joáquin holding the reins of the new stallion. Quite a handsome young man he was. There was a sort of primitive beauty in his stature. The nobleman’s physique, but with the radiating dark heart of the peasant. There was no escape to his true nature, but one of noble birth could easily recognize the lack of true virtue in Joáquin, even if his presence was so proud and, yes, perhaps even noble. He could have been his son, he could have been.

“Is he ready?” Duarte asked. Joáquin bowed, humble avoiding his eyes as he ought to.

“Yes sir, is there anything I can do sir?” He said.

“Yes, yes in fact there is. Some merchant, Robert was his name I think, has his ship docked in the eastern part of the harbor, has requested a cart-load of grapes. Not wine, grapes. I’d like you to bring them to the harbor tomorrow. “

“Yes, of course sir.” He said and he bowed and left.

Duarte watched him leave for a moment. He was a good peasant, disciplined too, for a peasant. Ezquirre was getting old, he was going to need  a new squire sometime. Joáquin was an option. True, he was not of noble birth, but he was of noble stature, perhaps more so than Ezquirre. Ezquirre of Tiãgo, fourth son of Hernandez of Tiãgo, if he recalled correctly. Worthless as a squire, but as long as it was peace, there was little harm in having a useless squire. Servants could do the real work. Yes, yes maybe he should make Joáquin his new squire. He would tell him tomorrow. Now, it was time to take this new stallion into the hills. He was old, but he was still a knight of Myrmidia.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 March 2009 )
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