Saturday, May 5, 2012
The Castles Part 4
Oscar was relaxed one hand draped across a neighboring chair and an unlit cigarette between his lips. He claimed he just like to worry the staff with just the threat of him lighting up.
"So anyway, after getting things straightened with the Plithoneks they spent more than a decade basically hiding out and building their perfect little town. It was a pretty good time judging from surviving letters and journals, but eventually they began to run out of supplies that you can only get from civilization. This was a sore spot because the Kalas were still afraid that Spain with its strong ties to the Church might remember the Kalas and the prosecution would begin again."
"So what they did instead was make a new town at the big northern bay. It's now known as Scales. The Romanians were great at logging and basic carpentry and the Portuguese were excellent ship builders. Within a few years they had several whaling trading vessels. Several newly knighted Cousins led these ships not South toward Spanish territory but North. They followed the coast and whaled and traded with the natives that were willing to trade. Then crossed along the Aleutian Islands and down to Japan. There they traded with the Japanese and then returned again whaling as they came back. By the time they returned their hulls were full of items from the East and whale oil. It was a great success and those cousins immediately married into the Castles. Members of those families are still in control of Scales. Well not everyone, the Romanian faction had a minor falling out with the Portuguese and they started their own town of Sap down South of Scales. There has been a rivalry ever since."
Oscar realized his wine glass was empty and grabbed the elbow of a passing waitress with two fingers and told her he needed an upgrade to a scotch straight up. "Don't worry, I don't drive except to drive other folks crazy." She nodded took the order and gave the smile you give when you aren't sure is someone is trying to be funny or not.
"So," he says turning back to me, "things are good for the Kalas. Each circuit took a couple of years to sail from Scales to Japan and back, but it was so profitable. Shame eventually Japan would close itself off to trade. The Kalas might have become billionaires decades earlier. Before that happened though there was a change in the Kalas themselves. Count Kala passed on and Maria went into seclusion. Their eldest son, Marko Kala took over and decided to change the policy. He sent their ships south to Spanish territory. He had Jesuits on each ship and instructed them to say that they were a distant mission if questioned."
"It seems the Kalas were either forgotten or no one made the connection. The run down south was quicker but not as profitable as the longer route to Japan. On the other hand, for the first time in decades they got news about the new world and what was going on. It soon became clear to Marko that English and French settlements had potential. The question was how best to reach and exploit those colonies. Going all the way South and back north seemed risky."
"Instead, he knighted his first Cousin by the name of Lemn and gave him a lot of gold and men. They sailed all the way down to mexico and from there bought guides, wagons, and horses. They then went East and North eventually going through what is today Texas. They lost half their men but eventually found their way to Boston. From there he set up offices as merchant and realitor. He passed himself off as a bastard of European nobility now over in the new world to start a new life. He eventually married and became a part of Boston society and a silent partner in many business deals. Lemn never returned to Castlemount, but 30 years later his son would and was treated as a great hero and immediately married to Marko's successor Nina Kala."
"And that was how the Kala's got their fingers into what would someday be the United states. Those fingers have only gotten longer and stronger as the years rolled along let me tell you."