Vox Populi Forum
His Eminence, Wischard Percy, Archbishop of Marseilles,
My apologies for the delay in this missive. Events seem to have conspired to require my presence in Paris, amd the immediacy of action of the voyage delayed the opportunity to write.
As you requested, Nemo McMoridin and I had travelled to Kleef to retrieve Alexander Pope and escort him back to Marseilles. Your information was correct - Pope had been held captive in Burma, despite reports of his death in the Mughal lands.
The crew of "Thor" was jubilant upon disembarking in Oslo. To the surprise of McMoridin and myself, we learned of the engagement of Pamela Maurice to young Fortuno Bonaventure! Captain Olaf Porse had given his Officers and crew leave to celebrate, and we were hard-pressed to find the members of the Vert amongst the bustle of jubilation.
We located Louis Brighteyes and Mal de Merd-a-din in a tavern engaged in conference with Thomas Guy and Hector Szelbano Corteau; both sailors aboard "Thor" I had briefly met during Thor's outboard voyage. The quartet were discussing fresh rumors that Henry Capetian's childlike mind was, in fact, a cunning ruse. The soldiers of the Valliant wished to travel to Paris and investigate these rumors for themselves, with an eye to determining the potential impact on our designs for Lord Bonaventure.
McMoridin and I interrupted their musings with a request to be shown to Alexander Pope. Szelbano and Guy could not conceal their surprise at the question. Brighteyes and Merd-a-din were also astonished, but a few subtle signs from McMoridin reassured the two Valliant.
To my shock Szelbano informed us that, a couple days out from Oslo, Alexander Pope was found dead in his stateroom aboard Thor. According to Brighteyes, Pope showed signs of one of the tropical illnesses that abound near Burma. The crew of Thor, superstitious sailors, already uncomfortable with the mere presence of the dwarf, grumbled darkly of demons and plague. To assuage their fears, Captain Porse had Pope's body wrapped, weighted, and buried at sea.
Your Eminence, I hesitate to even risk the appearance of criticism, but, if I had been informed of your suspicions of Pope's incarceration in Burma, I would not have withdrawn myself from Lady Maurice's expedition. My own skill as physic, and knowledge of tropical illnesses might have served to diagnose and treat Pope, and ensured his safe deliverance into your care. To discover the man lived, only to have hope dashed, once again, disturbs me greatly. Pope's skill with words is, I admit, far beyond my own poor efforts. His wit and erudition would have been a valuable asset to our plans. I mourn his loss.
I write you from aboard the Moorish Galley we have chartered to return us to Paris. We set west from Ansbach, across the Strait of Strasbourg with the intention of following the coast all the way to Paris. I shall keep you apprised of how matters proceed regarding Prince Henry.
I remain your humble servant.
Lord Bailey Bayley Baileigh
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