Barcelona, Spain. January 31, 1523.

Mendoza, I hope this note I write will eventually come into your hands for there is much you should know of. Father does not know that I have read your log or that I am writing this message now, but he has had other things on his mind.

We were all surprised when my father told the crew that we would not be remaining in Lisbon, but were even more surprised when you left the ship alone. I could not understand why you left especially since you told me to take care of the niño until we reached Barcelona. It was only after we had sailed on that Father explained what was going on. I should have seen that the niño wasn't your son, but I can understand your reasons for lying. But this isn't what I needed to tell you.

We arrived in Barcelona safety, but father was very busy with the business of the cargo and left it to me to find Maria. Taking the niño with me, I easily followed your instructions to her home. She was very surprised to meet us, but when I explained what brought us to her, she was overwhelmed with joy. She thought that you had died at sea. You have probably heard by now heard that the last ship of Magellan's fleet managed to return to Seville, but that most of her crew had perished during the long voyage. The Victoria's remaining men have been welcomed as heros and your King sent for her Captain, Juan Sebastian del Cano, shortly after they arrived in Spain. He is being hailed as the great leader whose guidance and intelligence made up for Magellan's bungling. Isn't it ironic! The mutineer has become the hero and the great navigator has been turned into a villain!

In spite her joy at knowing you were safe, Maria still has much sadness in her life. When we met, she would not allow us to come into her home as her brother's family are very ill and did not want to expose me or the niño to the sickness. So I have kept Esteban with me aboard the Estrela. Oh, that is the name the niño has been given. As soon as Maria learned that he was not christened, she took both of us to the Cathedral to a priest she has befriended, Father Rodriguez. We were both witnesses as the boy (he must be three years old wouldn't you say?) was baptized, but there was some problem choosing a name. It was Father Rodriguez who made the final decision. Esteban. I think it suits him.

Time has passed and Father has become anxious to return to Portugal for he has a new voyage in mind. He has spent much time talking to Hisoka and has learned that, among the many places our strange friend has claimed to travel to, he has been to Cimpangu. I need not tell you how rewarding such a voyage could be and my father has convinced Hisoka to guide us there. Father hopes to make a treaty with the country's leaders and arrange a trade alliance that would increase Portugal's influence and wealth. But we have had something of a dilemma as to what we should do with Esteban. Maria's family is still very sick so we could not leave the boy with her. Father Rodriguez has offered to care for him until it is safe for him to live with Maria. He is a kind priest and I know he will take good care of the boy until they recover. Good luck to you, meu herói.

Andeanna Camões