I should have listened to Martines. The wonderful Fadrique was killed some days ago; I was unharmed and managed to escape.
On a fall day, he accompanied me to the Minatoya home; we hoped to acquire some porcelain and handmade goods to trade. The stone road was wet after a recent rain, and the November clouds brought an unusual chill to Nagasaki. We carefully stepped around and through large puddles of water in the road.
Some of the homes along the road were known to be black market silk dealers. Fadrique, looking down at the ground so as to avoid the gathered rain, walked squarely into a man carrying a bale of silk. We both knew enough Japanese to apologize deeply; we bowed again and again. Thinking the matter settled, we continued on our business for the day. What I thought was simply a misunderstanding later was revealed as a provocation.
When we returned home late in the afternoon, we found the man and his accomplices waiting before our door. I yelled for Fadrique; terrified, we both turned and ran for the Hirado-machi street. I ran ahead of Fadrique. I heard him scream briefly, then the street was quiet except for the sound of wet footsteps running after me. I fled for my life, managing to hide in the entrance to a friend’s home until late that night.
Fadrique was cut down by a catan; his killers remain unknown. So too have my dreams of a new life been cut away from me.
May he rest in peace.