Shadow of the Mast
By L. J. Martin
All rights reserved
1001 E. Broadway, #2
Missoula, Montana 59802
September 3, 1827
Late afternoon shadows darkened the cobble-stoned streets.
Without breaking stride the young man bent and retrieved a small loose stone and tossed it into the air, wondering what distant sea had polished it smooth, knowing it had arrived as ballast in the hull of some wandering vessel. He glanced back at the harbor, its ships toy-like now, and thought fleetingly of far away lands he would never see. Then stately brick town houses again blocked the sun, enveloping him with a shudder, so he quickly strode on continuing his own small journey.
A frigid nor'easter varnished the early fall landscape with ice. Trees adorned with a million diamonds glistened in the slanting late rays of the sun.
Even though the snow had not yet come in earnest, ice crackled underfoot and chamber pots froze beneath beds and had to thaw upside down in the sun to be emptied.