Paul Meinhart left Grantville in the autumn of 1632, but not before he spent several months in the Grantville jail. He'd been imprisoned for such a stupid little thing, yet the Americans had treated him like a murderer. The one good thing that came out of his imprisonment had been knowledge.
He couldn't read English. He couldn't read German all that well. But he had a good memory, and the books and magazines that had been provided to him in prison had shown him wonders. One of the magazines, a serial dedicated to things of a mechanical nature, had been inspiring. Especially the pictures. There had been pictures of just about everything, often in fine detail. Including flying machines.
Paul wasn't able to steal the magazine when he left the jail, but he had been able to copy several of the pages by hand while he waited, tracing the drawings and writing down what he could of the information with them. There was a kind of triangular flying machine that was simple to make, and he knew he would be able to build it. He had the drawings in his pockets when he left.
Paul turned south, heading toward a warmer climate as the year turned cold, and finally made his way to Venice. He gave out dribbles and drabbles of information about the strange people in Germany and their amazing devices to several wealthy men in search of a patron, and finally found one in Don Giovanni Romano, a merchant with ties to many other wealthy men.