Monday, February 07, 2011

At Alghero town

Alghero (Sardinia), 29th August 1713

Lady Elisenda could not prevent the rapid feint of her opponent and suddenly saw herself immobilized, with a sharp dagger pressing her throat. Surprised, the young lady dropped her rapier with a scare.

-You should watch better your adversary's left hand -Fiona McGregor sharply said. She then smoothened voice to humbly add: -My apologies, Your Highness.

-No need to apologize, Fiona. -Lady Elisenda replied with a sigh. -I believed to be a good fencer, but you've umpteenth time proved to me I'm definitely unable at this.

-By no means, Milady -Fiona answered in a smile. -You are quite good at sword and foil indeed, but your fencing is too... how to say? ...sportive. You'd have a number of winning chances at any fair competition, believe me. However, hand to hand fighting at war is a dirty and unfair business Milady, where no rules or chivalry should be expected from your enemy. Your elegant, masterly fencing would be almost useless at a life-or-death dogfight. If unwatched, your adversary's left hand might deliver death to you, as you've just learnt. Have it always in mind, please.

Then a group of men irrupted in the gym room. It was the elder of them who spoke, after a short hawking: -Beg your pardon for this interruption, miladies. But we shouldn't have our ship waiting for us much longer.

-It's we who should apologize, dear Count of Erill. -Lady Elisenda answered, charmly smiling to the men. -Please allow us a few minutes for a fast tidying up.

At the small but well-protected harbour of Alghero town, the Maltese frigate was patiently waiting for her distinguished passengers to embark. Standing on top of Magdalena Bastion, General Prado was absently watching the scene while immersed in musings of his own. Much of the Nation's hopes would be travelling along with the personalities the frigate was about to host: Viceroy of Majorca Marquis de Rubí, Viceroy of Sardinia Count d'Erill and, for a still intriguing reason, that enygmatic young countess -Lady Elisenda Folc de Cardona. All them had been urgently summoned to Vienna by His Royal and Imperial Majesty -nobody knew why apart from them, perhaps. Perhaps.

While the reasons of that outstanding travel were still kept in secret, the rest of the Nation was expected to faithfully fulfill their duties, to keep resisting every onslaught they were delivered by the Two Crowns... It was a hard duty but, as far as he was concerned, he would perform at his best on his own duties. And these consisted in raising the highest possible number of battalions all around those territories of the Crown of Aragon still unoccupied by Philip V. At his own arrival, Prado had found an almost complete regiment already raised by the Alghero Municipality and guilds, under the wise surveillance of Colonel Llorach, who was in charge of Sardinia's defence. That was an really promising start, but he was still quite uncertain about the actual manpower capacity of the island. He then remembered he was expected to hold a meeting with that Colonel Llorach, whom he had been told highly -so he was anxious to know that seemingly courageous man, who had managed to organize a decent defence system of that depopulated island. He decided to still wait a few minutes else, until the personalities embarkment operation was completed, before attending the meeting.


abdul666 said...

Those two remarkable Ladies would be the pride of Monte-Cristo!

Soldadets said...

As a matter of fact, both did actually spend some of their teens' years at the Presipality, as it can be deduced from their resolute, desinhibited behaviour ;)