The Stars Were Bright

The Stars Were Bright

Brussels, Royal Palace Early Spring, 1635   Maria Anna, Queen in the Low Countries, idly skimmed the latest catalogue from Trommler Records of the United States of Europe. As usual, the offerings of the up-time group ABBA were showcased. Understandable, what with...
Up-Timers Must Burn!

Up-Timers Must Burn!

The Buchner Farm, outside Nuremberg Early November, 1636   "Up-timers and their filth must burn!" The crowd around the slender, enraged priest roared their approval. The hungry bonfire threw its firelight across their snarling faces. Demons or humans, it would be...
Genzaburo’s Gamble

Genzaburo’s Gamble

Shimatsuno Village Tosa Domain, Japan August, 1634   Deep in the mountains of Tosa in southern Japan, a tiny farming village lay at the bottom of a valley on the banks of the Yoshino River. The hills were filled with terraces of rice paddies that flashed gold in...
Two Drinks For Rothenburg

Two Drinks For Rothenburg

Rothenburg September 20, 1634   The council chambers were cold and smelled of smoke and the rank of angry men. Councilman Bernhardt Betzold slammed his tankard down on the table to interrupt the other councilors' arguments. "Gentlemen," Bernhardt said, "Please....
One Woman’s Treasures

One Woman’s Treasures

Late April, 1638   Halfway down the next-to-last porch post, Alyse Ballentine set down the draw-knife. She ran a faded blue bandanna over her face, pulled in a deep breath, and stretched her aching back. "When y'all talked me into a front porch," she all but...
Slave of the Slaves

Slave of the Slaves

"I must dedicate myself to the service of God until death, on the understanding that I am like a slave, wholly occupied in the service of his master . . ."—Personal Journal of St. Peter Claver, 1604     Cartagena June, 1633   Whenever sails appeared on...
The Ghost Galleon

The Ghost Galleon

Daikoku (Leona Heights, near Oakland, California) Fall, 1635   "And this," said Rusu Sanemoto, "is what our tea tastes like." He offered a cup to Raven, the chief of the Chochenyo Ohlone tribelet nearest the Japanese mining village of Daikoku. "But be careful, it...