Eldorado part 5.
Okay I’m a wee bit nerved up getting on board I’ve been iffy with boats and rivers and stuff. It’s us not in my experiences as things go and all. I lead my horse up the ramp and I’m followed by Daniel and the she’s talking in a few languages and as soon as we’re on the desk there’s a hiss of steam and we’re movin.
Alrighty I’m right surprised by a whole lot of this thing here. The boat’s made of metal more obvious on the inside than outside but they have a stable here with four stalls and I get some help with my horse as the sailors here are helping out.
I know a little Portuguese when I hear it but they’ve got some of those East Indian fella’s there too with the turbans and such and I see most of em have these long curved daggers and small pistols too.
Alright…some of these fellas are bare breasted but girls I think with really tiny breasts it’s very strange and exotic and there’s even a few other folk I’ve never seen before. But y’know these boy-women East Indians look kinda tough.
Actually I’m a wondering if they might be like me even. There’s a very sort of a something there like that. And I think that there’s something packin in their pants that live born and natural women folk don’t have.
Daniel’s joined me and he looks like he’s done this before here.
I look at him. “So how do you know Doctor Faraday?”
“She’s an agent of the Dominion of Canada.”
“Agent, like a spy?”
“Well something like that she’s brilliant and at the same time she’s a woman.”
“Well what is that supposed to mean.”
“It means that a lot of people completely underestimated her. Like they did with you in California.”
“Oh, you heard about that.”
“It had certainly been that much of a thing that it drew attention.”
“So am I in trouble back home now?”
“From what I understand it’s actually been hushed up.”
“Well there’s still a strong Mormon contingent there that doesn’t want what you did and what happened to get any more attention that what it had gotten.”
I frown and get the brushes as I take my things off of my horse. “I’m not sure how to take that.”
“I’d just go with it; sometimes you don’t want a spot lantern on you.”
He helps me take care of the horse and there’s a bit of a return to our time together before in that and we stick pretty close as we come from there back onto the deck.
That’s still kind of…
Like I said before I’m not one for men folk all that much even the ones that are good with the way that I am. Daniel seems so entirely different though and just thinking of that has my body warmed from the thoughts.
He leads us to this strange cabin. My word it’s a nice idea actually it sort of reminds me of a river boat with this part glassed in ay the top of the rear section of the boat and there are all sorts of gauges and things that are fascinating.
I can recognize and figure most of them out too.
There’s a ball map a globe set in this stand and there’s this metal arm that has a pointer on it and from what I’m seeing the globe moves under it as we’re traveling. How it works I don’t know but it definitely is showing us moving away from Santiago.
Then there’s a compass, and a dial for steam pressure and another for our speed and another for what seems to be wind speed along with several others. Dr. Faraday is there and she’s reading a book and consulting a map table with a glass top of our current coastline and she’s talking in East Indian I think as she’s using a grease pencil to mark out and chart our course.
“A very interesting ship ma’am.”
“Why thank you very much Miss Steele, it took a lot of funds from my estate to build it and many more years before I could be allowed to really test out my theories.”
“Some folk need real proof before they’ll believe a lady.”
She smiles at me. “Indeed and sometimes not even then if you’re a woman.”
“I know that song quite well.”
“So I have heard. Would you care for a tour?”
“I think that’d be a good idea, seeing how dangerous things might get if we catch up with that son of a bi…sorry excuse my language ma’am.”
“Oh think nothing of it the man is indeed a true cad in every sense of the word.”
“I wish I knew that from the start.”
She smiles and gently slips her hand onto my arm and I think she’s giving me this look like my girls give me when they’re interested. But there’s friendliness there too and I can see some kindness in her eyes as well.
“There’s no shame in giving a man or a woman the benefit of the doubt Miss Steele.”
I smile back a little.
“You sound like my girls; I’m generally a wee bit less charitable than that honestly.”
Daniel coughs. “Nicole you chose a girl’s life over revenge, that’s charitable.”
I blush a little. “She hadn’t done nothing but be in the wrong place at the wrong time and while I’m not all that religious I’m thinkin the good lord would rather see me showin mercy over wrath given there was an innocent involved an all.”
She gives me that smile that some women have that sort of sometimes make me forget that I’m the woman I’ve become and feel like the good fella I might have been all that long ago…or that that part of me is still alive and kickin.
Yes, even as happy as my life has been I still have all these hurts and doubts over my condition and later the things that I’ve been through.
And I am good with being me most of the time since there’s naught to be done with it anyhow but we all have these moments.
And this is sort of actually a good one.
Ma pa said this was called feelin yer spurs…walkin tall.
I blush again. “Well I’d be right grateful if I could be shown to the jakes.”
“Oh well we should get you settled to your cabin then and I can show you the ladies WC while we’re doing that.”
“Oh water closet love.”
“Oh…well lead on doc my need’s getting urgent.”
She shows me there first and it’s smallish like made for a ship but there’s a lot of brass and copper and porcelain here and there’s hot and cold water in the taps and a french toilette that flushes and then there’s this wonderful thing she calls a shower.
“This is wonderful I think that if I can afford such a thing I might have to install these things back home.”
She gives me a roll of this soft, soft cotton paper that’s like gauze.
I have no idea what it is.
“Papier de toilette.”
“It’s rolled paper gauze and you use it to wipe with.”
“It’s originally a Chinese idea but they used a box of sheets, this is catching on in a few places these days and I imagine it will be mass produced soon.”
I look at the roll. “Where’d you get this?”
“I have it shipped from a maker in Singapore.”
“I will have to get their post from you madam this is another thing that my ladies would just adore and would punish me for not bringing in no matter the expense.”
She smiles. “Of course, I’ll leave you to it.”
I do mean it I’ve heard of people using all sorts of stuff and rags being the more common thing aside from the local foliage or whatnot and some places just make me cringe with the thought of what they must do.
Thankfully I’ve done that business before we left but I still sit down to make my water.
It just don’t seem right given how I am to do it and stand.
I use a little to wipe the drip and flush it away and I feel like a darned kid watching that.
Mighty nice to have soap and hot water on demand too.
I come out and she and Daniel are there waiting and I sort of blush at them being so close to such a personal thing and all but they don’t mention things and soon we’re show to our quarters. They’re small, just enough for our things and a folding cot from the wall but it is private.
I look at Daniel and I see him blush as I do as we likely had the same idea. That these beds will not be comfortable to make love in or on.
She catches the look and then she’s looking at Daniel with this look of …oh really…and it’s the oh really you slept with her too look.
I look at her trying to be a straight shooter. “We did, I hope that that won’t be a problem will it?”
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