Yesterday was a beautiful day like every day that smiles upon Lisbon, and it was followed by a more beautiful night still, so warm and full of fragrances, and alive with music and laughter, and with the taste of wine on the very air.
I was in a welcoming establishment that bears the name O Espadarte, and in good company too. The cards had been most unkind to my wallet, and so I was of a mind to find a merrier way to divest myself of my absentee fortune.
We were out and about, drinking and being merry, when my companions and I chanced upon an old mariner who was rather keen on regaling us with tales of the great untamed depths of the masterless sea. And at first, I must admit, we were not quite as heedful of him as we should have been. But eventually, his ageless vigour, and his boundless passion, and his drunken verbosity won our sympathy.
“Tell us, old sailor,” my friend Emett exclaimed, “what is the greatest place you have ever visited?”
“Now, that is a good question, boy,” said he, rubbing his grizzled chin. “Paris is the City of Light, and then Rome is the Eternal City. And Tokyo and Beijing are the greatest cities in the East, and London and New York their only equals in the West.”
The venerable seaman paused for a good while, and he took a long sip of wine.
“But the greatest of all, that which shall have the greatest fate among the cities and principalities of men shall be the freest of them all, and none is as truly free as Far Coast, for it is as free as the streams of the ocean upon which it lies. Mark my words; all who listen, the Negroes have made a great gift to the world by casting away their chains and founding the only true Floating City. So, to you, my answer is thus: it is Far Coast that is the greatest of all the places where I have ever set foot, and its name will only be made greater by the passage of time.”
And as he spoke we drank a graceful toast to the Men who were slaves no more, those who had taken their freedom for themselves.
Then and there, I did pledge in my heart to one day sail to the city of Far Coast, where all are truly free.
Entry for July 5th, 1922, from the personal journal of Arthur Badellar, poet