Friday, March 29, 2013

Cold spreads

Generality Palace, 5th December 1713

General Villarroel was the last one to arrive in the hall where the highest level meeting had to take place. There were not only the six ex officio Generality members, but also other distinguished parliamentarians, including the Mayor and the Bishop of Barcelona city. The thick silence reigning among the attendees was anything but a good presage. Alarmed by such silence, Villarroel occupied an empty chair and waited.

After a nervous coughing, President de Solanell finally found the strength to start saying:

--Dear Sirs, I must acknowledge you that His Majesty King Philip V is... ehem... is proposing to begin formal peace talks. The meeting would take place in Cartagena, within two weeks' time.

Deeply uncomfortable, Solanell fixed his attention on King Philip's letter, avoiding to cross gaze with any other of the meeting attendees who, bewildered, looked in turn at each other without daring to say anything either.

It was the Mayor of Barcelona, Sir Rafael de Casanova, who spoke the first. He energetically exclaimed: --It's a damned trap! Let's ignore it, Excellence!

--A request for peace should never be disregarded --Barcelona Bishop calmly replied--. Contrary, I do state the proposal should be immediately accepted.

After some hesitation while, an alarmed Villarroel finally decided to intervene: --Modestly, I do not see the Generality as empowered enough to make such decision alone. It should be agreed before with Princess Elisenda who, as you know, was entitled the Crown of this Principality by His Imperial Majesty...

--So, don't you know that...? --the Military Deputy Francesc de Berenguer asked.

--According to Spanish military reports, the ship carrying Princess Elisenda back home was sunk last week in Basque waters. --it was Lord Antoni de Peguera, a Nobiliary Deputy, who had spoken. His voice sounded calm, but the gaze he crossed with Villarroel denoted true panic.

Villarroel stayed frozen mute. Silence reigned again over the hall, and again it was Casanova who broke the curse: --I do agree with General Villarroel. This Government isn't entitled enough for taking such decision.

The alluded looked back to him in surprise. How could the "Busca" Republican Party leader agree with him in this circumstance? Then Casanova continued: --May we have lost a Crown, but there is still a Parliament, which is entitled enough to take a decision. Let's call the Parliament, then.

"So it was", Villarroel quietly told to himself.


Francis Lee said...

That's well done and a good read.

Soldadets said...

Glad you liked it --beyond eventual errors, the unavoidable misuse of expressions and other oddities you've most certainly detected ;)

Thanks for the appreciation, truly.