Monday, May 12, 1650
The passengers on board are directed downstairs and into the hold of the ship. They are separated into two groups - one, much smaller, moves into six private cabins. Salvador takes his leave and follows this group. The remainder move into a large, common room, nearly fifty men, women and children.
Fully two thirds of these passengers are gypsies, looking like refugees, with few possessions and homespun clothing. They gather to one side of the room, unrolling blankets and spreading them out together on the floor, settling down to mend their clothes, play games or speak together in hushed whispers. The children look dull-eyed and do little more than sit and stare - they are unused to travelling and seeing others, and so their eyes catch every detail.
A Catholic priest and six acolytes also move together - it can be seen that they are missionaries bound for the Holy Land. The priest lays out a heavy leather bag which the party can guess is filled with stuffing, and begins to sleep. The lesser fathers take out their books, make notes, or rest sitting up, eyes closed, their lips gently moving.
Three of the passengers are low-end merchants, all Egyptians. Another passenger is a mason, a large German fellow who picks a place on the hard board and lays on it, his back to the room. There are two singers, who begin a gentle cant that underlays the murmuring in the room without disturbing it ... they continue for twenty minutes or so before beginning to talk to each other.
Two others are hard to guess at; one is clearly a Persian, and an unpleasant looking fellow. He seems to be familiar with one of the merchants. The other is an old, Libyan woman, between sixty-five and eighty. Her only companion is a white and black cat, which sits on her lap and watches the room. It seems to the party that the cat in particular watches them.
The ship has moved into the Adriatic, but there are no portals in the hold. The party begins to feel some of the symptoms associated with seasickness ... but whether it will cripple them for the journey will not be known for some hours yet.