Chapter 4. A Small Fleet
Blackfish and Cúliath, sister ships built by the great smiths in the land named after the Florentine navigator Vespucci.
This land now called America, with cooperation with the natives that lived in the lands had met with Conn a number of times in the years after their arrival.
The chief of the tribe at first told the homeless Irish to go home over the water.
The Conn agreed, that was what they wanted to do, but so long as the hated red-coat wearing empire was in control, they would have to fight for their lives where ever they would live.
One gathering, Conn traveled to the village of the tribal leader, bringing food and music with them.
Food shared, to the beating of the Irish drums and a fiddler that excited the tribe into a clapping, laughing dance. Trade of one drum for another between musicians went for hours until their tongues were tired, their feet ached. And the fiddler played up all the songs and shanty’s he knew.
In the end, promises were made, no papers, a gift of the bow of the fiddle was offered, but rejected. Only a tin whistle that they gave another flute in exchange was accepted in friendship. Even the old chief who never smiled, clapped his hands as the angels of both villages danced in grace and beauty that brought tears to the eyes of the parents of the children.
The spinning dances, the wise woman blessed the Irish with the most sacred of prayers.
Sleep that night in the warm evening came late, and the morning people rose late.
Smiles and tired waves, the two groups, the permission for remaining in the land followed with promises to treat the land like their hearts. Drums beat on the walk back until the the sounds faded in the distance of the forest.
Conn walked in silence, followed by the rest of the musicians and by his two sons, Keegan and Dana, along with the other lost children who came home.
All the children walked together, in the months that followed their return, they did everything as one.
Granuaile, the dancing strawberry blond girl of the night before, smiled with a look that Conn would have to write in his journal. This young lady who all the children said she did more magic with a cannon that any sailor couldn’t match, had eyes for their son.
The chief of their neighbors promised Conn their support against the red coat if he would support them in their struggles during the cold of winter.
In the long talk of the night, the chief’s eldest son would guide strangers to the land where and how to cut trees for the big ships and many big guns.
That night, the prince of the chief lay down to sleep on the floor with a simple blanket.
Keegan showed the chief’s son, Fighting Bears, a hammock saved from the Grampus. After some time with struggles, Fighting Bears got into the hammock with some embarrassed laughter. But fell asleep quickly.
Later, he kept the net-like bed he slept in, then gave Keegan a knife made for scraping and one for hunting.
Such was the state of the cooperative help with the people from across the water. Fighting Bears nodded, he told how the water ebbed and flowed. His ideas that the single ship was not enough.
Under his prodding, Conn built two ships, prepared for combat with the skills of every artisian and metal worker that escaped the burned and poisoned villages in their home land.
Conn had his own fleet.