Captivated in a foreign land
Now the question was to decide the specific fragrances that could sell easily. I was highly interested in the perfumes from India and France. The Indian perfumes had a certain subtle, delicate character that could easily be sold to women and girls while the French perfumes had a long lasting, lingering effect, a kind of perfume mostly loved by rich people of refined taste. Suddenly we saw the people in the shop running frantically. Before we could understand something a deep, hoarse voice invaded our ears, “Stop!”
I saw in the direction of the voice I was stunned. He was a huge figure with a large straw hat. I could not see his face clearly because he was standing quite far. However, I could still see his delicately styled fresh beard and highly embellished attire. He was wearing several thick gold chains that glittered even in the daylight. Soon the whispers started and we learned that they were pirates. Pirates were the most dangerous creatures to encounter at an island. And if you are an expat trader carrying lots of fortune, you could freeze to the bone at the very sight of pirates. Our case was no different.
After a few moments of whispers and hushed voices, I came to know that these were French pirates, the most advanced and notorious ones. They were reputed to rob everything their victims possessed, including the clothes, to the last thread. A peculiar thing about them was that after robbing their victims they would take them all in their ship and leave them in a far jungle. The head of pirates issued an order in French and the interpreter interpreted it in local language. Everyone was told to make different, straight rows: staring from the entrance and going towards the exit, at the opposite end of the shop. We were given the time of 3 minutes and each additional second would have been detrimental for us. The pirates were known to respect the time and value each single moment. So without wasting time we formed different rows.
Within 3 moments 5 different rows were formed. Then the chief pirate ordered five of his people to come and take from us whatever we possessed including our clothes. One person was asked to monitor whether the “order were executed perfectly” or not. Each of 5 people took 2 huge bags in their hands and started collecting the possessions of the traders. In one bag they collected all valuables included gold, silver etc. while in the other bag they collected the clothes of traders. To my amazement, the underwear and turbans were spared. The head pirate had a time piece that occupied most of his attention. He seemed to be very particular about time. Within 8 minutes we were completely robbed, quietly and quickly.