Friday, 20 September 2013

Domenica and the pirates

"When the last of the pirates had entered the warehouse, Henry started his engine again and they began to inch towards the other side of the jetty.  Domenica watched carefully.  This was extremely exciting, and she could already imagine her telling this story to Angus Lordie or James Holloway, or Dilly Emslie -- to any of her Edinburgh friends, in fact.

'There I was,' she would say.  'There I was with my good friend Henry, creeping up the jetty to peek through the windows of the pirate warehouse.  What would I see within?  Chests of booty? Wretched captives tied and gagged by these ruffians?  Things that can hardly be described ...?'

There is a certain self conscious pleasure in describing, before the event, one's more distinguished moments, and that is exactly what Domenica experienced, sitting there in the boat, waiting for the adventure to unfold.  And it did unfold."

[.......much later, at Domenica's home-coming party:]

" 'But you've finished with pirates?' asked James. 'I really think that we've had enough pirates.  Hunter-gatherers are fine, but pirates....'

Domenica nodded.  'My pirates proved to be rather dull at the end of the day.  They were a wicked bunch,  I suppose.  Their attitude to intellectual property rights was pretty cavalier.  But bad behaviour is ultimately rather banal, don't you think?  There's a terrible shallowness to it.'

'I couldn't agree more,' said Antonia.  ' I would have found Captain Hook a very dull companion,  I suppose.  Peter Pan would have been far more fun.' "

Love over Scotland Street  A. McCall Smith

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