24

Ik geloof dat ik een fatale fout gemaakt. Ik heb op reis de hele dag, zoals gewoonlijk. Ik stopte met minder dan een uur geleden, om een brand te starten en te eten. Ik zette de brand op het gras. Het is nooit een probleem geweest, maar de demon moet hebben gevolgd me.
Ik ben nu omringd door een cirkel van vuur. Vlammen die lijken geen brandstof nodig, want zij hebben al gebrand de grassen en zijn nog steeds brandend groot en helder. Ik zie geen manier om te ontsnappen.
Ik schrijf dit nu omdat dit wordt een verslag van wat er met me hier. Ik geloof dat ik nog kan gered worden van deze branden van de hel. Maar als het ergste zou gaan gebeuren, dan zou ik niet in staat om het op te nemen na het feit.
Het vuur is te hoog om overheen te springen, maar ik kan dit boek werpen gemakkelijk genoeg, en sla het op als mezelf niet.
Wees gegroet Maria, vol van genade, de Heer is met u.. Gezegend zijt gij onder de vrouwen, en gezegend is de vrucht van uw schoot, Jezus. Heilige Maria, Moeder van God, bid voor ons zondaars nu en in het uur van de dood.
Amen.

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Published in: on 26 June at 7:26 pm  Comments (1)  

23

I have been moving up along the coast since I last wrote in this book. Little has changed. The terrain is still marshy with some rivers that I have had to ford.
I am still filled with unease for no discernable reason. My health is growing worse as well, although I believe there is a reason for this. It is more difficult to find sufficient food while I keep my focus on traveling. These marshes also produce miasma, of course, but they have been doing that since I arrived in this desolate land, and this dizziness only began recently.
Yet I am alive. I intend to stay that way, because rescue is still a very real possibility. I have lost track of the date, but I believe it is still June, and so there is no way for anyone in France to know yet of the disaster that stranded me here. I had planned for the Saint-Mathelin to turn back toward home at the start of July. The earliest that anybody there could notice our absence would be mid-August. Then it would take a few more weeks to send a ship searching for us.
So I will survive until autumn. That is all there is to it.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Published in: on 24 June at 9:36 am  Leave a Comment  

22

I have buried the boy as best I could, and carved his name and a cross on a good-sized board that washed up from our ship. His soul may be let in to heaven. I know not. I believe I have heard that the sins of the possessed do not count against them, and possession is the only explanation for what happened. If he is absolved of those, then there is yet a chance.
Now it is time for me to move on. This is an evil place, full of death. There is water to the south and east, and heading farther inland would only prevent rescue. So I will travel north, staying near the river. I should have left sooner. Perhaps all this tragedy could have been avoided.
Or perhaps not. If it is all God’s will, then I could not have avoided it merely by moving around. Moving now might not change anything either, but I cannot bear to stay.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Amen.

Published in: on 21 June at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  

21

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was before I set off on this voyage.
Saya telah menyebabkan kematian Jehan Beuf, dalam tindakan membela diri. Aku terbangun untuk menemukan dirinya berjongkok di atasku dengan pisau. Aku mendorongnya. Dia jatuh di atasnya. Pisau. Napasnya berhenti kemarin sore. Matahari keluar dan burung-burung bernyanyi. Tapi anak itu mati. Tidak ada yang bisa kulakukan.
My other sins in this place are recorded on previous pages. I am sorry for these and the sins of my past life.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend thee, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
Amen.

Published in: on 20 June at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

20

I have made a fire at last. Jehan is unlikely to be made worse by my action. And with the fire, I am making a soup of sorts. I hope that I will be able to get this down his throat.
I have to do something. There has still been no sign of any other survivors from the Saint-Mathelin. I was entrusted with that ship and its crew, having proven myself in the wars. I lost the ship, and it seems that I lost the crew as well. Except for this one boy.
He may die as well, but I will not just leave him here to die alone. I will do my best to save him. And if I fail, then I will leave his soul in the hands of the Lord. He does not fail; that is our lot as sinners.
I am reminded, in writing this, that it was a fire on the Saint-Mathelin that was the true cause of her destruction. And then it was a fire that freed Jehan from the natives. Surely these fires have no relation. It is only my weary mind imagining their similarity.
Now I must tend to the soup.

Published in: on 18 June at 2:55 pm  Comments (2)  

19

Walter Reeves? There is an Englishman writing in my book? A demon may have been preferable. Those can be exorcised, at least.
But now, I do have a story for you, Englishman. Once upon a time, there was a farm girl whose only distinguishing feature was her faith. One day she started to receive messages from angels and saints. They instructed her to command the armies of France and drive out your kind from our kingdom. By the grace of God she did so, bravely leading our army to victory after victory. Then your people arranged a false trial with a false bishop and had her burned as a heretic.
Oh, but I have not her great fortune of direct divine guidance. Instead, I am counseled from afar by an Englishman. Those reading this account in years to come, take note: this Englishman is clearly a sorceror of some sort. There is no other explanation for his writing in my book. I am alone here but for Jehan.
And Jehan is truly unwell. He has ceased to do anything but breathe, and that is uneven. I can pour water into his mouth, but I fear anything more solid would only cause him to choke. He is only the shell of a human and I fear for his soul.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You know the pain of brokenness, You took our weaknesses upon Your shoulders and bore it to the wood of the cross. Hear our prayers for our brothers and sisters whose bodies fail them and whose minds are crippled by the ravages of disease. Implant a love for them deep within our hearts, that we, disfigured and disabled by our sin, may treasure and nuture the gifts of their lives. May we find You in their weakness, and console You in our care for them. For You are Lord, forever and ever.
Amen

Published in: on 16 June at 12:38 pm  Comments (1)  

18

More writing. I am beginning to suspect that it is this book itself that may be causing this. Certainly the last thing written implies that. But if the book were home to a foul spirit, then writing prayers into it would be impossible. I have done this many times now.
Not demons, then. And they want stories, legends? I could write of Charlemagne, or Renart, or Ankou. I will not, however. I have only so much ink, and it would not serve to be wasting it on tales that any child in France could tell. This book is to be a record of my survival here in the so-called New World. That is what I will use my ink for.
I went back to the burned village, to see if anything useful avoided the flames. I was in luck. They had flint tools that were clearly for starting a fire. Unfortunately, with Jehan still traumatized by his experience, I can not in good conscience make use of these tools.
I also feel as if the days are growing shorter, though I know that to be false with the solstice still ahead. It must be the weather. Though that has not been very bad. It is finally warming up.
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.

Published in: on 15 June at 2:14 pm  Comments (1)  

17

This is very disturbing. That note there, on the page before this one, it asks about Jehan. It must be written to me. But I have seen that the only things near here that could pass for human besides myself and Jehan are dead. And Jehan does not know how to write.
Who are you, writer? A ghost, maybe? If you are, I will have nothing to do with you. It is your own fault for not following the word of God.
Or are you in fact the same demon that I thought I had exorcised from this unfortunate boy? The same demon that is now watching me as well? Begone then!
As for Jehan, he has only a few small burns. They cause him some pain, but he should survive them. Unless he persists in refusing food, for that is what he has done since I found him in between the charred trees. He has said not a word to me since that time. He just stares back towards that place.
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, rule and guide.
Amen.

Published in: on 13 June at 9:20 am  Comments (1)  

16

They are dead. All of them. The whole tribe. It is unbelievable, but true.
Without any good alternatives, I had started to craft a spear to fight them, as hopeless as that battle would be. Kisha moshi ya kuonekana. Nguzo ya kijivu ilikuwa ndogo ya kwanza, lakini ilikua haraka. Baada ya muda, kaskazini ya angani alikuwa tena bluu. Lakini kuna upepo wa magharibi, na hivyo hawakuwa kuja kuelekea kwangu.
I was too surprised to do anything. Jehan was in there, but so were those barbarians. Mkuki Hii ilikuwa uwezekano wa kutosha kwa ajili yao, lakini kwa hakika haina maana dhidi ya moto.
I prayed. It is how I was taught when I was young. Hatimaye ikawa pia giza kuona moshi, na sikuweza kuona moto ama kwa namna fulani.
Asubuhi, hakuna moshi. I did not expect that, but was thankful.
After eating, I went to search for Jehan. Mimi kufikiwa wa kwanza kuchomwa moto, miti na majani nilihisi baridi. Kulikuwa hakuna maiti; walikuwa kuteketezwa chini ya mifupa zimesawijika.
Moto kama moto hakuweza kuwa tu kumalizika. Inaweza tu kuwa katika mikono ya Mungu akampiga wasiomjua haya. Moto asili ingekuwa kuenea.
Na moto ya asili bila kuwa kuepushwa Jehan.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

Published in: on 11 June at 7:09 pm  Comments (1)  

15

I was so close. Knowing that the natives were close, I was watching for smoke from their fires. In a way, it was similar to the night before a battle. You see where the enemy is camped and try to predict how they will attack. But here it was to be me alone attacking. I marked the direction of the smoke in the soft soil.
Then, just before the sun rose, I set off in that direction. The dog followed, as I had hoped.
Once I drew near to their camp, the dawn had broken and the savages were awake. I saw that there were three earthen buildings. I worked very hard to make no noise at all as I crept up to the nearest building.
Then I was betrayed. The dog just walked into plain sight with no concern for stealth at all. I should have guessed that the dog was theirs all along. Of course, after observing it, they saw me.
So I ran. They did not follow me far, evidently satisfied that I was no real threat. That took a lot of energy, and I am still eating little.
I do not know what to do next. I can only pray that Jehan remain safe and that an idea for how to rescue him will come to me.
Hail Mary, full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death.
Amen.

Published in: on 9 June at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment