Read an extract
Should you wish to read sequentially the beginning of The Rising Sun Chair, click on the link here below. It will download a Pdf file (290Kb) with its first two chapters. Should you prefer to leaf through its pages, following are a couple of excerpts that you may like.
The founding of Louisiana
…This is adventure in its purest form. Unknown to him, king Louis was on that day and by those words, empowered of countless subjects and of an immense territory of lakes, forests, rivers, mounts and plains whose bounds none could begin to size or measure. Had the realm of France doubled? Trebled? The pluvial basin of the Mississippi was so vast, so feral and unknown that no one, none of us, not even La Salle could begin to discern. Still, why would we care?! We had won; we had reached the ocean from the lakes. New France had met New Spain in the New World.
We were a gang who had achieved the impossible and whose names all nine Muses now would sing. But, immortality is a mortal word. With time and a few storms, the mark of our achievement, the very timber that bore the Fleur de Lys was lost for ever and carried by the tides. Few weeks after we had gone, nothing was left on that forlorn sandbar as proof of where we had been and what we had done. We had but our maps, our letters, drawings and our spoken words to tell our story to a mistrustful world.
That this brave people would come from the Great Lakes through thousand perils to do this? Risk their fortune, their life and limb to plant an ephemeral staff on a desert beach? Piffle! Yet, this is the way it is with fellow Christians. Glory and fame are the ghosts that haunt such actors till they forget the counsel of their wits. These two phantoms blur the traits of most their human issues, give moment to their impossible beliefs, and when the quest is over, they return laughing to their graves with scraps and remnants of such pointless deeds. Yet, if hope may hide at the bottom of a broken vase, than beauty is present in such senseless feats. In the morning signal was given by the drum, and we headed up-river to New France…
Patrick, the hero of the story, reflects on his useless education
…There I stayed and, dispensing with the short, and in my case disheartening count of my other blessings, I reflected on my troubles and on the few options that were open to me for the urging future. Lord was I ever a scholar and a pauper! I could intimidate chancery with my legal jargon; I could speak and write three languages and a few Indian tongues. I could find the stars, sail a ship, discuss theology, logic, Christology, patristic, scholastic, ethics and philosophy, to say nothing of geometry and arithmetic, with the best of my tutors yet… I had a sore bum and not a farthing towards my next meal. Had my masters directed my education to falling timber, husbanding or pounding nails I would not find myself in such quagmire. Still, so are devoted teachers. If they encounter per chance an alert mind, despite their indigent life and dingy prospects, they can’t resist making of him the continuation of themselves. So there I was, embracing the cross of my futile erudition and considering its meagre chances of ever it being exchanged for cash. I could preach in one of the minor churches, where the faithful might not be picky as to the orthodoxy of my views and qualifications. I could be a tutor in a merchant’s home. Effective as these traders were in the art of making both children and money, they would splendidly assuage, through their proclivity in the former, my need for a token of their ability in the latter. Moreover, brushing aside years of training in turning the other cheek to foes and assailants, I even considered joining the navy or the militia. But I was far too young and miserable for any such appointments. Who would entrust his flock or offspring, his sails or sword to a youth in tatters whose referees were in the best case dead and, in the worse, scorned or infuriated? On all accounts, the night was getting near and, if I wanted a bed and a meal, I needed to act faster than any such chimeras might provide. To such immanency I could only purloin the market place, beg by the church or labor on the docks. By my experience, the three professions had proven to be conducive of risks, humiliation and fatigue. But I had no choice, I was hungry and in need of immediate results.