There was one more week till the wedding and there were plenty of things to do for the eager groom. Including getting accustomed to help in the inn in the free time. It pained him that two days ago he had learnt that he couldn’t keep sailing with Captain Beppin, Aatami, Thurenza and the crew to Africa. He had never been so far away, and he would have been curious to see the strange animals the captain was telling about. He had heard about them from other sources before too, but seeing them from close would have been interesting. And, who knew, he might have left his name somewhere on the map… But he was warned that Margareta couldn’t make this voyage without risks of having her health worsen again, and he couldn’t accept sailing without her anymore, so he had kindly asked his captain to allow him to remain ashore. Captain Beppin agreed, with the warning that he had to find another man in his place for this voyage. Aatami would help aboard too, but the route was difficult enough to need actually ten strong pairs of hands in the rigging and about, split into watches. The boys, all three of them, came only as a bonus.
Fernand understood all these. A sacrifice in name of love – it would be welcomed, since Margareta was now his wife and she loved him as much as he loved her. The captain had promised him that he’d talk with his friend the maestro marangone to put him to test and give him a place in a team of ship carpenters in the Arsenale. But he’d get to his new work after the wedding. For now, they were all busy.
Right now, for example, he was on duty in the inn. He had learnt not only to serve the tables, but also to reserve rooms. He wanted to prove in everything that he was hardworking and his in-laws could rely on him.