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February 5, 1677

The Dutchman

Peace at long last, and a bit of time to post. It cannot have been much more than 14 days since that beast from hell, my mother-in-law, insinuated its way into my home, but I feel as though I have lived many lifetimes in those two short weeks. Yesterday was spent mostly in prayer (she, often vociferously, for my soul, and I for a quick death), and for the better part of today we discussed the deficiencies in my grooming habits. I have taken the precaution of installing Sean in the stables (Mrs. Turner does not take kindly to papists), which situation he did not bemoan as much as I had anticipated. Indeed, he appears to have formed a strong attachment with my horse, which is exceedingly strange to me. I had thought that Bucephalus had better taste.

My mother-in-law: an artist's rendition

Patrick, that scoundrel, is nowhere to be seen, though he may perhaps be excused for taking his opportunity to escape the monster's clutches. Better men than he have quailed at her fearsome approach.

Despite this adversity, I am not beaten; indeed I am quite pleased with myself this evening, as I am near to closing a deal that will, I believe, solidify my interests in the tea trade. Next week, I am to meet with Hans Broekman—a Dutchman from the East India Company—to present a proposal for backing one of his ventures out East. He informs me that some of the most important personages in the business will be present at the meeting. Many of them are very well known in the trade, though I am particularly curious to meet two mysterious new players—a wealthy Irishman with a large stake in East India stock, and an academic with powerful connections to Indian royalty. I shall be very interested to see how this meeting turns out.


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