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part three.

Part three
Cadiz, Spain
Mallos had not had a decent argument with someone for over a century. He was rather enjoying himself.

“Preposterous!” He shouted, taking great delight in the attention he was attracting. “The King entrusted this mission to me. This is my show.”

The honourable Duke of Medina Sidonia, Alonso Pérez de Guzmán folded his arms, making no attempt to hide his smugness, although his eyes flashed with a Spanish fire. “The King entrusted you with the preparations. Your job was to ensure everything was ready for me. He has chosen me to lead the attack against the tiresome English.”

“I find it hard to believe that the King would entrust the greatest navy in the world to a man who has never before been to sea.”

“Are you implying my incompetence, senore, or His Majesty’s?”

“Inability to understand simple Spanish. I shall add that to the list of complaints I intend to present to His Royal Highness.”

Guzmán leered at him. “Complain away, your Lordship. The Armada sails this afternoon. I warn you now – if I find you on one of those boats I will not hesitate to judge you a stowaway and have you thrown overboard.”

Confident that he had won, the Duke tipped his hat in a gentlemanly fashion and swaggered away, smirking to himself. Several weeks later the ships returned, hailing land. The honourable Duke had mysteriously succumbed to seasickness, and the condition was serious enough to warrant the need for a new captain. Guzmán was returned to his grand home, where he was greeted by one of his maidservants with a bouquet of flowers and a card. Ripping the envelope open, Guzmán discovered it was a get-well-soon card – dated several days before anyone on land had learned of his illness. There was no signature, but the beautiful, loopy handwriting could only be that of a gentleman’s.

Shortly after, the Armada set sail again with a new leader – the respectable Lord Mallos, who had gracefully accepted the offer to take the Duke of Medina Sidonia’s place.

    • part four. -
    • part five. -
    • part six. -
    • part seven. -
    • part eight. -
    • part nine. -
    • part ten. -
    • epilogue -

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