The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 82: Not Just Desserts
The Captain looks at the papers. True enough, he cannot read the script, and so does not know to whom he should deliver these documents. Eric puts out his hand for them. They are in Tengwar, penned in an unusual mode, but he can identify and pronounce all the names.
Inspector Lieutenant Nestoris recognizes our ship, and is there on the quay with a set of helpers as we arrive. Teller is allowed to throw some of the lines to the dockworkers. Captain Finwë bounds onto the dock and greets Nestoris cheerfully. He explains that we have brought documents from his countrymen now staying in Lanthil, and that, although several months had passed for the people of these Islands, only a few weeks had passed for us.
Nestoris performs an inspection, since we now have trade goods on board. He asks particularly about plant and animals. Unlike the other goods, the chocolate fruit have been kept in the galley, so Nestoris gets to examine them there. Gently, he informs us that our goods will need to go through further inspection, and quarantine. "Perhaps, as last time, if you would like to dine here again, you should move your ship to the other dock. I can pilot you, if you like."
"Oh, that won't be necessary. Crew, please return to the ship; we're moving to the other dock." The random cluster of Lanthilos gets back on board. Bay restarts the engines, the dockhands release the warping lines, and the captain steers the Tindomë to the other dock. He ably corrects for the nasty crosswind, and neatly brings his flying ship up to the dock. We're tied off again.
The captain, with prompting from Nestoris, points out the goods for inspection, and those for quarantine. We chat politely with the Inspector as the goods start to be moved. We agree that a ship of the Sky Islands should try to follow us back to Lanthil when we return from Darkholme. We take his recommendation of a tavern (the Gilded Cloud) at which to have lunch.
Before we can head out, we here a bell ring three times. "It's the Eagle, coming in fast," remarks Nestoris. We look up, and the flying ship is swooping rapidly down to the dock. Finwë notices that the Eagle's sails are curving backwards; it must be breaking with its sails. "The Lady Nethora is aboard," explains the Inspector. "That flag there," he points, "means the owner is aboard."
The ship pulls gently into dock, and is expertly tied off. Sofa does a showy flip from the deck to the dock, before the gangplank is positioned. With the gangplank in place, the captain and the owner follow her off. After greetings, the Lady Nethora remarks, "I understand you're back to establish trade."
We admit that that is so. "Then let me take you to luncheon. I recommend the Sun Hawk." She gestures up the hill. As we head that way, we spot a young lad pelting down the hill towards us. He slows to a walk as he reaches us, nods at the Lady, and passes us. Her conversation never falters.
We admire a garden that we pass. The proprietor of the Sun Hawk greets us at the door, and leads us to that table with the correct number of chairs (some chairs clearly intended for shorter pople). Course after delightful course is presented to us, and we happily indulge ourselves. The talk is of the trade possibilities between our two lands. Chocolate fruit is mentioned. Soon, the dinner ends, and we wend our way back to our ship. The Lady Nethora is now our guest, and we serve her a chocolate fruit for her dessert.
She is favorably inclined toward our national fruit. We offer her other comestibles, then give her a tour of the other goods we have brought. She proposes that she become our agent. Finwë gently explains that we have already made arrangements. She assures us that, although our ship must stay here, we do not. Then she suggests that we stay with her on the island of her residence, an island that has several excellent restaurants, and a top-level alehouse.
Negotiations concerning the disposition of our trade goods continue on vigorously, if somewhat obliquely. During this, Finwë laments that he has not yet turned the remaining papers over to the Inspector Lieutenant. The Lady Nethora raises her voice slightly, and elven ears detect the light thump of someone dashing off in the direction of Nestoris. He soon appears.
Finwë scrupulously turns over the sealed pages to the newcomer. Nestoris examines them, and adds a seal onto a few of them. "I will see that everything is properly delivered. Nothing seems to be particularly urgent." We are unsurprised; they should just be progress reports. Some papers he hands to the Lady Nethora, who in turn hands them to a minion, for delivery to Caer Netha.
It happens that there are a few slices of chocolate fruit left, and the Lady Nethora sees to it that "Nessie" gets to sample this promising item. She promises to send a sloop for us at four bells. Finwë nods, and surreptitiously checks the watch Daëwen gave him. It is now half past one bell.
Updated: Sep 29, 2007
©2002, 2007 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.