Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It does rock about so.

I am joining up with Rosamund Gregory in her Character's Letters blog event. Rosamund had the bright idea to do a sort of beautiful-people event in first person, that we might get inside our characters' heads better. This fits perfectly in with my ideas for Scuppernong Days, as I was already planning on having a few letters to and from Nicodemus Murdoch thrown in here and there. So without further ado, Nick's first letter a'sailing to Imperia. He writes in a boyish, scattered hand on kitchen-paper--all he's been able to scrap since being hired on The Scuppernong for a cabin-boy. There are blots here and there because of the rolling of the ship, but over all he keeps things tidy...for a ten-year old boy:


My Imperia,
        I am finally sitting down (on a keg of pickled herrings) to write to you. I know I promised I'd write more often but it's harder than I expected, being a cabin-boy. Garrick--the ship's cook--keeps me busy running errands all over the ship for him. But he's a good enough fellow and he's kind to Black Swan. Black Swan is the ship's cat--you'd love her, Imperia. She is sleek and fat from all the mice she eats in the hold. She's fat, too, from all the kittens inside her. At least that's what Nesbit says. Nesbit is the pilot and knows ever so much about stars and the ocean-paths. He's my favorite aboard ship--he knew Father, Imperia! Fancy that. I was pleased to hear it, and I think he was pleased to see me. His eyes crinkled up like leathery moons and he smiled.
There are lots of first-rate chaps on the Scuppernong but this paper isn't long enough for me to tell you all about them. They'll have to wait for another letter.
I go to bed every night thinking of you. I pray too--I pray that you'll have enough to eat and warm clothes to wear, and that the Blackbird Woman will be kinder. Here's what's left of my pay--it isn't much but if you save it you can buy something pretty for yourself--a doll, maybe, or a hair ribbon. When I make our fortune you'll have all the dolls and dresses and ribbons money can buy and I will buy you a pony--one finer than the bay you admired so much at the fair last May Day. So wait for me, Imperia, and don't worry if I don't write often. I will write when I have something to tell you and when the ship is still enough--it does rock about so. But I'm not sea-sick and that is fortunate indeed. I was so afraid I would be and then I'd disgrace Father's memory and the whole Murdoch name, as we've always been sailors. You know.
Save my letters and someday when the Scuppernong comes back into harbor you'll be waiting for me on the wharf and I'll pour a whole pile of gold into your apron.We'll go directly to the inn and buy hot mince pies, as I'll be hungry for food of that sort--I'm already hungry for food of that sort, having nothing but salt-pork and biscuits for the past fortnight. Write if you get a chance and remember always that I love you.
I am your loving brother,
                    Nick

5 comments:

Miss Dashwood said...

Awwww... this was so sweet! I loved it! Scuppernong Days sounds like a smashing tale already--can't wait to read more about it.

I must ask, though, for I'm quite curious-- how did you come up with the name Imperia?

Abigail Hartman said...

I do hope you don't change the title of this story - or at least keep "Scuppernong" in it, because it's such a darling name for a ship and a book. Naturally I'm eager to see more of this, and of Nick and Imperia.

- And the Scuppernong!

Horse Lover said...

How perfectly charming!

Rachel Heffington said...

@Amy Dashwood: I came across the name "Imperia" while looking for a name for Nick's sister in a Baby name book. It is Latin for "Imperial" and for some reason it took my fancy and flew away with it. I was hoping to dub her something very Colonial in nature and it fit very well. Plus it can be downsized to a perfect little pet-name: "Peria". :)
@Abigail: I am *so* glad you feel as I about the name Scuppernong! I literally saw the name floating about my head and knew it belonged to a ship. Do you like Scuppernong Days? At this point I can't tell if the name will fit the book, but I am determined I shall keep the name. It gives such character to a vessel, doesn't it? :)

Emily said...

Oooooooh, I love this! It's so sweet, and the book has now caught my interest!

Oh, and I'm Emily from A Thousand Words (mythousandwords.blogspot.com). :D