Saturday, July 9, 2011

Quotes from the book (2 of 3)

Leith 1698.

In contrast to the quiet streets of the town, the dock was even more crowded than usual. Dockers and some ship's crew milled around on the quayside like partners in some disorganised dance. The difference today was the crowd of passengers, mostly men, who were standing in orderly queues, waiting to be boarded. In comparison to the dock officials, the passengers were a pathetic sight, soaked to the skin from the recent rain. The men who had donned hats for the heavy shower, had removed them, but the women's bonnets drooped dejectedly. Their baggage lay waterlogged in puddles at their feet.

"Looks like the expedition ships are finally gettin' ready tae sail!" Jamie ambled closer.

"It's about time." Gordon nibbled at the hard apple core. "They've been loading the ships for weeks."

Activity increased as they neared the quayside, harbour officials strutted and postured. Orders from both the docks and on board ship were barked across the morning.

"They'll leave on tonight's tide, maybe tomorrow's." Jamie threw his apple core high into the air, landing into the brown chocolate suspension that was Leith harbour.

(Excerpt from "Opportunities; Jamie Leith in Darien, published by IFWG Publishing this month.)

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