I just gave you a couple of excerpts from the first novel in which Timothy Beadle, his Indian friend Jaime, and their women follow Father Serra and Governor Portolá north to the river where present day Tijuana now stands.
There, they encounter a British ship taking on water – the very same ship that Timothy had been washed overboard from during a cyclone!
July 1769 —San Miguel Bay, California
Captain Stanhope Carlyle watched the strange group walk upriver. One individual, at least a head taller than anyone else in the group, held the hand of an Indian woman. Two other Indians, a young man and woman leading a horse with packs on its back, strode by their side, the four followed by two men in gray robes and matching flat hats.
“Is that young Timothy, Cap’n?”
“Yes, Gordy. Looks like he’s become a man.”
“Who woulda thought?”Gordy, the captain’s steward, had not talked to the former cabin boy blown overboard during a cyclone far to the south several years earlier.
The crew filled the last water barrel and hoisted it aboard the longboat. The other longboat took the marines back to the ship. Once they finished their task, the crew hauled the longboat into deeper water and heartily rowed back to His Majesty’s Brig Willoughby.
“Time to go, Gordy.”Carlyle checked to ensure his steward had the chest holding a small supply of wine and brandy. The captain had presented one bottle of each to the Spanish Grandee, Don Gaspar de Portolá, the governor of the Californias. When the Bosun finished piping Captain Carlyle aboard, he smiled at his officers. “There was never any danger, gentlemen. Give me a moment and I will tell you about it.”He then ordered, “Hoist the anchor and make ready for sea, First Mate.”
The sailors gathered on the main deck turned from staring ashore and leaped to the shrouds while the anchor gang bent their backs to the capstan, bringing up the anchor.
“I just met the governor of this land they call California. However, all of you will be amazed at the identity of the one wearing the strange conical hat.”When he saw the gathering could not wait to hear it, he added, “That, gentlemen, was Timothy Beadle, my lost cabin boy.”
Jim, his cook who rarely came onto the quarterdeck, could not hold his question. “Was he their captive, Sar?”
Carlyle smiled and laid a hand on his African cook’s shoulder. “No, my friend. He is free to go wherever he wishes and, when I offered him passage, he thanked me. Then, he introduced the young woman at his side as his wife and the others as his brother and sister.”
“What an amazing story young Tim must have.”
“Yes, Master Morrison. And, I feel he is going to have an even more interesting story to tell in the future.”
The offshore breeze carried the fresh scent of greenery and quickly filled the sails. The helmsman steered into deep water. Captain Carlyle picked up his telescope and scurried up the lines to the foretop crow’s nest. He was not surprised to find Will and Cory, the two powder monkeys, already there. As they had been close friends of Timothy, the captain told them of the meeting.
By then, Timothy’s group had crossed the river and followed the strange group composed of the Spanish governor and his retinue of mounted soldiers. The governor followed a group of gray-robed clerics led by the most imposing Father President Serra. A small herd of scrawny livestock, some pack mules and wagons followed.
“He din’t want to come back with us, Sar?”
Captain Carlyle smiled. “No, lad. He’d rather go on a great adventure with his new family than return to England.”He scanned to the north and saw the masts of two ships. One of the lookouts shouted out the sighting. Carlyle recognized them as packet ships or Navesas the Spanish called them. Must be their destination, he thought.
They soon sailed so far offshore he could no longer make out the details of the group. He returned to the quarterdeck, playfully chiding the two powder monkeys for slacking off their duties. He directed the helmsman to point them several points west of north to follow the shoreline.
“July the First, The year of Our Lord, Seventeen Hundred and Sixty-Nine, leaving a river on the coast of New Spain.”The captain paused making the entry into the ship’s log and thought, Well, young Timothy Beadle, you have my best wishes for a full and happy future. Perhaps someday we will learn what you have done and what lies ahead of you. May the Lord look over you.
(I'll be posting another excerpt in a couple of weeks)