I'm sending the next episode for acceptance and if you've the time to put
it on the site. Regards Viv Dodd
Series 1. Prog.7 PASSAGE TO PERNAMBUCO. By Cyril Abraham.
Description by Viv Dodd.
James sails for Lisbon leaving Anne to move into a house and persuade
Elizabeth to marry Daniel Fogarty. Anne tells Elizabeth,'You can be married
quickly and quietly and no one the wiser', but when looking at her she asks
`what are you scheming now? I've seen that look too often in James' eyes'.
Elizabeth states `I'll not be a sea captain's wife. Never, never, never'.
She and Albert discuss elopement.
In Lisbon, James finds Senor Braghanza troubled by a disease that has
attacked his grape vines. He needs new root stock from the wild vines found
in North America or else it will mean ruin for his business. The Charlotte
Rhodes has to return to Liverpool with a cargo of wine but James persuades
Braghanza to buy a ship called the Pampero that is for sale with her cargo
of salt and corkwood bound for Pernambuco in Brazil. James proposes that he
and Braghanza have half shares in the Pampero until he has the money to buy
the ship outright and in exchange he guarantees to source and return with
new vines within 60 days. He is obliged to sail to Pernambuco as passage has
been bought for some peasants banished from their land in Portugal and their
overseer, Don Vasco Baptista.
Albert and Elizabeth elope and marry but Robert is philosophical as he tells
an exasperated Anne, 'Frazer will make an admirable husband. If, and I say
IF, their union should be blessed, it will give no one greater satisfaction
than Sarah and myself'.
When the Charlotte Rhodes returns to Liverpool with a new captain, Robert
brings Anne a short letter from James telling her about the Pampero but
Robert's missive is much longer and has orders for him to sell the cargo and
find another to keep the ship working.
The passage of the Pampero is slow, `time is our enemy Mr Baines – time!'
James says and the peasants are frightened and treated as slaves by the
overseer who will put them to work on his master's property in Brazil.
Baines befriends Phillipo and his wife who can speak English – the man's
father was from Huddersfield! James decides to head for Baltimore to sell
his cargo and collect the vines despite the protests of Don Vasco Baptista
and James assures him that he will get to Pernambuco.
In Baltimore, James advertises his cargo for auction but the local dealers
boycott him. He has an idea to sell his salt direct to the market and goes
in search of the men, mostly Irish navies, building a railway across
America. He finally exchanges 850 tonnes of salt for labour to gather vines.
The peasants are also used as labour and, when the lure of higher wages
entices most of the crew to join the railway workers, they are signed on as
seamen, even the women, meaning they are under British law and not that of
the overseer. Senor Vasco protests but he is given the job of cook and the
peasants are allowed freedom on the ship and start to enjoy the voyage –
joining James and Baines in a lusty rendition of `Ilkley Moor bar tat'.
However, tragedy strikes. The cargo of grain that James has bought begins to
smoke, Senor Vasco allows Phillipo to fall into the hold and despite Baines
Robert had bought 2,000 rolls of linoleum, having been assured of a ready
market on the continent but, after a bad voyage, eating his substandard
provisions, makes a profit of only £37.10 shillings – before expenses. `Oh
Robert, you have much to learn', Anne says in exasperation.
James has had to jettison the cargo of grain and decides to cut his losses
and return to Lisbon as soon as possible. Senor Vasco is put aboard a
Portuguese ship bound for Brazil, despite his protestations and his peasants
are told they are free to go where they like. James has the last word ` All
hands aloft. Shake out the sails Mr Baines, lets get underway again. Senor
Braghanza's awaiting his vines'.
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