See also 'Lakjaw Manor', 'San Serif', 'Barracuda' and 'The Loom O'Shean'
Casa Lardo, Don Lardo D'Graspo y Lobby y Corridor's settlement on the Negra
Don Lardo has reopened the old Mayan silver workings in the foothills of the Sierra Argento
The local population having long since died of smallpox Don Lardo is forced to import labour. New arrivals are greeted by Father Dominic while Pizarro brandishes his latest scalp and shows them his hunting dogs so they understand what happens to runaways. Meanwhile De Soto the hangman demonstrates the cost of disobedience.
Watchtowers at either end of the compound add the finishing touch
Once inside the fetters are struck off - shackles are expensive and there's no need here
The excavated ore is now washed, crushed and smelted in the new Lardo Mill, the sluices, helves and bellows all driven by the mighty Lardo Wheel while the waste is washed away down river. Modern industry at its best!
The rough ingots are then stored in locked chests under guard
The garrison is provided by a detachment of the Regimento Irlanda
To save effort the medical tents are placed next to the burial area - Yellow Jack, Black Jack and River Fever will take half before their tour is over.
Meanwhile the Hidalgo himself and his young bride are roughing it in the nearby hacienda
Down in the shade of the pergola J.S. Clutterbuck and his Rococco Rocksters, do their best to ease their suffering
While up on the terrace Don Lardo takes coffee and white rum and catches the breeze off the river
Elsewhere young Donna Quibab is also trying to keep cool - which is more than she is doing for her staff
Down on the South Quay the 'Sancho' unloads a few little comforts to help make life more bearable while across the river the 'Panza' delivers the blasting powder needed for the workings - both will go downriver loaded with chests
Don Lardo makes his daily inspection, carried by four specially imported Senegalese amazons, a fifth carrying his wig in case of need, young Don Rodrigo y Limpo y Vapido clearing the way - you have to admit the lad's a snappy dresser even for 1690!
A bored sentry takes a pot-shot at something that moves in the jungle - who know's there might be wild-pig or roast tapir for dinner
The response is totally unexpected and abruptly fatal
Surprise lost Calico Jack Chinless orders the trumpet sounded and launches his attack - suddenly the fetid forest is full of filibusters in their filched and faded finery - damn, there go the teeth again! Forewarned the sentries have time to rally and get off a ragged volley - but with so few they cannot hold long enough to reload!
Meanwhile a second party, led by The Barracudda herself, heads directly for the river bank and the pontoon
But they are already too late, roused by the crackle of musketry the rest of the Irlanda have come at a run. Under the direction of young Donna Quibab, who seems to have taken charge - surprise, surprise - they have already set up a firing line to cover the pontoon while a second squad sprints for the Mill.
While up on the terrace even J.S. and the Roccoco Rocksters are preparing to sell their lives dearly, with Fra Domenico standing by to give instant absolution if they actually hit anyone.
Back at the compound the Irlanda have retreated to the Mill and are now sniping from the windows. Armed and organised by RobRoy McChickenNuggets ' The Celtic Corsair' the newly liberated slaves are more than willing to try and storm the place, but Calico Jack has vetoed the idea - it's a natural fortress, no value in spilling blood pointlessly, even if it isn't his. Meanwhile Pizarro and DeSoto pay the price.
On the North Shore the pirates set up a firing line of their own, but without much enthusiasm, there's too much live powder around. The only good news is that Don Lardo was forgotten in the retreat. Great news if RobRoy's people don't insist on butchering him too!
Time to trade - The pirates strip Don Lardo of his fine silk coat, and Don Rodrigo of slightly more, before sending him with young 'Fingers' Moody to arrange a parley.
Of course negotiation is too delicate an art to be left to male machismo - Baracudda first offers to release Don Lardo for the silver, no takers; then she threatens to release him unless she gets the silver, still no deal. Which leaves only the big stick - either she gets the silver or she uses the blasting powder to blow the Mill into the river and the mine into the middle of next week with Don Lardo inside! Now there's a deal they can shake on!
Robroy McC. shepherds his maroons back into the shrubbery, it's a long march to the coast.
Meanwhile the Sancho and Pansa prepare to head downstream, fully laden as usual, but with The Baracudda and Calico Jack in command
Restored to his wig and coat Don Lardo seethes in impotent rage and vows that the next time he meets these..... people, it will be on his terms, with an army at his back. Meantime.... a word, or two, with his lovely young wife on the exchange rate for husbands!
you can find more Bayko Baron at planetdiecast.com - just search 'Bilfred' in the members area