I haven't forgotten about the good father. Just reached a stage in writing Leatherjacket Soldier where I don't seem to be able to find the time to continue the story.
But also maybe because he now pops up in the novel!
In 1751, totally without the faintest idea of what it was about, Sergeant Fernando Rivera gets called to Loreto. Captain Bernardo Rodriguez died in Dec '50 and everyone expects either Lieutenant Riva or Sergeant Gutiérrez to be promoted to fill his place as commandant and governor.
Nobody expects Rivera to be the one. After all, he's young, uneducated - no college, and lacking experience.
Guess what? Wanting someone not indebted to the Rodriguez family, the Jesuits skip over everyone and promote Fernando Rivera from sergeant to captain.
Can any of us even begin to understand or appreciate the shock that came with that? I certainly couldn't. It would compare a store clerk being promoted to general manager. Or a receptionist being given the position of a company's CEO.
And, to make matters more interesting, '51 is the year when 3 new Jesuit priests are sent to California. This is where my story line gets a bit interesting – and complicated.
There are only two ways the new priests can get to California – a launch from Guaymas or a supply ship from near San Blas. And, who would be captain of that ship but Basilio de Rivera. Fernando's half-brother.
And, one of the new fathers is Father Baegert. During the time the good father gathers his strength and gets over the sea sickness, Fernando makes it a point to visit all the missions in the north that he's never seen. And, after doing that, he is part of the escort who takes Father Baegert to Mission San Luis Gonzaga.
To make the story interesting he will escort one padre south where he will encounter Lieutenant Riva, the man he once worked for and who he was promoted over.
Won't that be fun?