The New World
The man who doesn't have to pay for his own drinks.
A sailor, until of late at loose ends in Tortage, of Montaignaise origin. He left his provincial town, where he had been apprenticed to his father, the baker for a more interesting life and he has certainly found it. He had recently concluded that he indeed lacks the correct degree of venal instincts and callous disregard for the welfare of others necessary to be a successful pirate, but not before others had declared this, and he had been cast ashore in a den of pirates. His tenderness of feeling is surely suited to some other vocation, he realizes. Perhaps a baker ?
Less than a day later, Baptiste Boulanger’s fortunes have taken a turn. Oppressed by worry, hollow bellied and with debts he could not pay, he couldn’t have anticipated that the next sunset would see him laying in the infirmary of a foreign ship, something of a hero. He was loitering in the scrub, above Tortage trying to conceive ways out his several predicaments when a soft looking functionary climbed the hill, and informed him that a berth had been arranged for him. His companion, a disinterested looking swordsman, with the languid swagger of a bravo suggested that this was not the kind of opportunity that a wise man doesn’t grip with both hands. He was surprised that the clerk knew his name. Captains with places to fill had been entirely indifferent to him.
But he was less surprised than he would be, when he found himself lying on a slippery, besmirched deck, hanging on to a man (or demon ?) he knew to be his better, the melee swaying and convulsing around him, as his life depended upon it, saying to himself “Je n’est pas mort, Pourqoi, me n’estque pas mort?” over and over again.