Feminist in Blue
Summary: She was the daughter of a British Lord and a Asian merchants daughter. After loosing her mother to a fatal experiment, young her father uprooted their family from the East back to his motherland in Europe. There the widowed Lord sends his only daughter to Cambridge University where she must masquerade as a man to attend these colleges.
Chapter 1: Newly Arrived
The journey across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and finally the Mediterranean Sea finally landed us in Italy, Sicily was truly an exotic sight. Never having seen the Western lands before the Empires in Africa were more of a familiar sight to me than these Sicilian peoples.
The Arabs in Egypt had been a fascinating people. Their views of the darker skinned Africans had been deplorable to me. They were a great nation and a great civilization, but their morals were greatly lacking as well. And their overall intake of gender left a rather bitter taste in my mind. Theirs was not a nation I would not adjust to very comely.
As of the moment I was awaiting father to return to inform me of the ship we would be boarding to the English Isles. While I sat awaiting his arrival, I took it upon myself to go and purchase a novel or two for the long journey across the English channel.
As I was surveying the markets looking for a traveling Book Seller I saw a rather marvelous hair pin on a jeweler's stand. The Pin reminded me of the hair pins we had back home. The beautiful Geishastix Hair, the stick was made out of Pink purple limestone, and at the far top of the stick a beautiful limestone Sakura blossom was planted. The flower too my breath away.
The Jeweler saw me scrutinizing his piece and immediately came forth. The bulky old man came forth with a smile on his face.
"Aye. I see that exotic piece has caught your attentions young sir. It is truly a marvel that piece. And there is a rather noble story attached to it." I raised a doubtful eyebrow at his comment knowing full well that whatever tale was attached to this piece of jewelry would involve a woman, a knightly man and perhaps an everlasting love. Or something of the likes.
"Pray you tell me of this Noble story sir." His eyes twinkled and his smile grew broader.
"Well the story is, a young noble man in Sicily- some stories claim that the noble man is the Lord Agosto Giordano from the Agosto family, he had disappeared for several years and reappeared several years later in the middle of the night. And after his arrival he refused to emerge from his bedroom for weeks. When the Lord's father finally managed to get him out of his chamber he was garbed in Eastern Cloths and he had carried with him a number of Eastern treasures, jewelry and clothing. A raid occurred a few months later in the palace during the civil upheaval and it was there was a rumor that the young Lord somehow managed to loose all of his jewelry. Agosto never married, anyone and enraged his father named his Cousin his heir. Several years later Agosto received word from an Eastern Spice Vessel heading to Spain, a young woman descended the vessel with a babe in her arm declaring the babe was Agosto. Agosto brought the woman home to his father and introduced her babe as his. There was a woman who had wanted to be courted by Agosto who became enraged by this change of events, she claimed the woman a liar and did all she could to dishonor that proud young Eastern woman. They found out that the woman used to be a Eastern Gaaisha...which is like a harlot here, and Agosto's heard broke." I listened intently not wanting to interrupt him by correcting his pronunciation of the word Geisha, or the actually definition of it. Many people who were not of our world did not understand the beauty that was the Geisha. Mother's mother had been a Geisha before she met grandfather and had mother. She had taught me a large deal of the secrete of the Geisha world and the artistry that decorated the entire profession.
"Anyways, Agosto still could not bring himself to turn her away, so instead he offered to ignore the aligations, but his cousin who was no longer the heir became enraged by the whole thing and managed to kidnap the girl and get her skipped back to Asia, there several sailors tried to have their way with her, the young girl jumped into the ocean carrying her babe in a crate to keep her warm, the woman swam to shore, but died before arriving her babe made it to shore alive, but gravely ill. Agosto was so relieved to have his child back, but never forgave his cousin. His cousin was hanged for attempted murder. But the young mistress who had wanted to be his bride thought she could still get her hands on him now that his harlot of lover was dead, but Agosto refused to marry any other. Angry and bitter the woman thought that if she could perhaps get rid of the child, then she could force Agosto to forget all about that woman and finally be his for the taking. There were rumors circulating that she poisoned the babe, or that she poisoned the babe's wet nurse who gave the babe poisoned breast milk. Whatever happened, Agosto saw fit to kill that poor Maria with his own hands, before ending his own life in the very Oceans that his wife passed away. There is a grand stone statue in the port that Agosto's dying father constructed in their honor. But 'tis not more than a perching post for the sea birds now." I looked at the pin and nodded, his story was truly interesting. It was as usual romantic, but the tint of tragedy it held was somewhat nostalgic. I dug into the breeches of my trousers and took out four golden coins and two silver ones; all the money I had with me at the time and more than enough to suffice for the Geishastix. The man's shook his head.
"'Tis too hight a price for this piece young man." I looked at him and smiled kindly, any reminder of my home was worth all the amount of money I could muster. I had a feeling it would be a rather long time before I saw it again. And his story did stir something in me.
"Not for the purpose it would serve sir." He chuckled and took the coins. He wrapped the pins in a white silk cloth and placed in in a beautifully intricate box.
"Whoever the fair lady to whom this gift goes would be 'ere more fortunate. You will make a woman one happy groom lad." I smiled at him.
"Its not for a young lady sir." He crocked a brow.
"Then whose it for?" I smiled and accepted the box in time to see my father make his way across the market place to me.
"Dear god child. Can a father not go off to business for a second and expect his own daughter to heed his warnings. I near died in hearth-ache when I came and you were not in the carriage." I ran up to him and gently pecked him on the cheeks.
"I was looking for a book to read papa when I saw something very interesting here. No need to worry. We can be off as soon as I get my novels." I heard him groan knowing full well that I have every intention of getting my reading material.
"I shall get you all the novels you want, but I would appreciate my little pearl not wondering too far away from my sight." I nodded once and turned away catching a glimpse of the Jeweler's shocked face as he took in the information.
Surely he was not accustomed to seeing young women such as I. I already knew from my experiences back home that most women did not wear their hair this short, nor did they adorn men's trousers and carry themselves with a "masculine" air. But I did not understand why. Women were as resilient as men and I had every intention of proving that true.