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The 30 Best Time Travel Movies
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TOMMY TAYLOR S TRAVELS DOCUMENT Original (PDF)
He is an old man. Unless his father was a sturdy fellow indeed. Against all Kings. Shocking how different this place is from London. By now he should be, perhaps, threescore and eight. But I do not know of a Mr. Drake here. For the man he wants to find might have a very poor character among these people—might already have been hanged on Boston Common, for all Enoch knows. Wharves, smaller and older than the big one, radiate from its shore. The sails and rigging, spars and masts to his starboard combine into a tangle vast and inextricable, as characters on a page must do in the eyes of an unlettered peasant.
Enoch does not see van Hoek or Minerva. He begins to fear that he shall have to go into taverns and make inquiries, and spend time, and draw attention. Ben takes him direct to the wharf where the Charlestown Ferry is ready to shove off. It is all crowded with hanging-watchers, and Enoch must pay the waterman extra to bring the horse aboard.
Enoch pulls his purse open and peers into it. The Christian name varies, depending on which king reigned when each of these coins was hammered out in New Spain, but after that they all say d. By the grace of God, of Spain and the Indies, King. The same sort of bluster that all kings stamp onto their coins. What does matter is that a man standing in a cold breeze on the Boston waterfront, seeking to buy passage on a ferry run by an Englishman, cannot pay with the coins that are being stamped out by Sir Isaac Newton in the Royal Mint at the Tower of London.
Enoch churns his purse up and down, making the coins-fragments fly, hoping to spy a single pie-slice—one-eighth of a Piece of Eight, or a bit, as they are called. The smallest piece he has in his purse right now is half of a coin—four bits. Some quick work with a hammer and that smith could make change for him.
This is more than Ben could have hoped for, and yet he was hoping for it. Though the boy is too self-possessed to say as much, this voyage is to him as good as a passage down to the Caribbean to go a-pirating on the Spanish Main. He goes from wharf to ferry without touching the gangplank. Charlestown is less than a mile distant, across the mouth of a sluggish river.
ART OF TRAVEL.
It is a low green hill shingled with long slender hay-mows limned by dry-stone fences. On the slope facing toward Boston, below the summit but above the endless tidal flats and cattail-filled marshes, a town has occurred: partly laid out by geometers, but partly growing like ivy. The Hypothesis of Vortices is pressed with many difficulties.
Gusts make the anchored ships start and jostle like nervous horses hearing distant guns. Irregular waves slap curiously at the lapping clinkers of their hulls, which are infested with barefoot jacks paying pitch and oakum into troublesome seams. Enoch turns back toward the shore to read the level of the tide from a barnacled pile, then turns the other way to check the phase and altitude of the moon.
Tide will be going out soon, and Minerva will probably want to ride it. Enoch finally spies van Hoek standing on the foredeck, doing some paperwork on the top of a barrel, and through some kind of action-at-a-distance wills him to look up and notice him, down on the ferry. Enoch makes no outward sign, but stares him in the eye long enough to give him second thoughts about pushing for a hasty departure. The slave is very dark, and the arms of the King of Spain are branded into his left shoulder, and so he is probably Angolan. Life has been strange to him: abducted by Africans fiercer than he, chained up in a hole in Luanda, marked with a hot iron to indicate that duty had been paid on him, loaded onto a ship, and sent to a cold place full of pale men.
Assuming that he has been in touch with his brethren in London and that is a very good assumption , he is probably telling the Angolan that he, and all of the other slaves, are perfectly justified in taking up arms and mounting a violent rebellion. Enoch must now be a bit careful. By your leave, sir, looking as you do, and armed.
Lobsterbacks tromping after them in leapfrogging blocks, firing volleys. The white smoke of their muskets rose and mingled with the black smoke of burning warehouses to turn the sky into a blazing, spark-shot melting-pot, wondrous to look at but, as we supposed, unfit to support life.
Our pilot had us stand a-loof until the tide forced his hand. We put in at a pier that seemed to be under the sway of the redcoats. He lent me the horse because he and I are Fellows in the same Society, and I am here, in a way, to do an errand for that Society. Enoch had supposed the boy should be disappointed.
As when your own Judges finally went up to Salem and pointed out that the people there were going crazy. Sir Isaac—who is the President of the Royal Society—looks with disfavor on such. The stallion mistrusted Ben at first for being small, darting, and smelling of long-dead beasts. Now he has accepted the boy as an animated hitching-post, capable of performing a few services such as nose-scratching and fly-shooing. The ferryman is more amused than angry when he discovers a Barker conspiring with his slave, and shoos him away.
The Barker identifies Enoch as fresh meat, and begins trying to catch his eye. Enoch moves away from him and pretends to study the approaching shore. Inland of Charlestown spreads a loose agglomeration of hamlets conjoined by a network of cowpaths. The largest cowpath goes all the way to Newtowne, where Harvard College is. But most of it just looks like a forest, smoking without being burned, spattered with muffled whacks of axes and hammers.
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Occasional musket shots boom in the distance and are echoed from hamlet to hamlet—some kind of system for relaying information across the countryside. It is a mix of pompous sots and peering quick-faced men basting their sentences together with bad Latin. A pear-shaped, red-nosed man in a tall gray wig seems to be the Don of this jury-rigged College.