ࡱ> G lbjbjَ h] ,bbbbbbbb$bbbbbbbbbbbb~b6,m PCHRONICLE OF THE PEARL DIVER S. The Pearl of Great Price Theseus gathered the little parts from the snails that he found and cut open on the beach, Filling his bag with them, which he later boiled in a pot with some fresh spring water To produce purple dye. This dye was the most expensive in the world, and only kings And royal courts could afford to wear clothes dipped in it. For some time he worked To make himself a dealer in purple, which could set him up in any of the major cities Where it was in high demand by kings and princes and queens and princesses. They would pay anything he demanded, he knew, for the high quality he was producing. He had picked up the trade in the kings palace workshop, by observing a master of Purple at his work. To gain the mans friendship, he had run errands for him, as he was Old and not able to move quickly as a boy could. The old man was very grateful for His help and showed him the entire production of purple that gained the king so much Wealth. In exchange, the old man was given very little. He was commanded to stay In the kings workshop to his death, and he could not move away. He was as much The same as a slave, since the king learned of his ability. How he longed for freedom, But now, aged, he could not think of running away. So he had given his secrets to A boy who came to his work area every day, offering to help. What did it matter? He knew the secrets would die with him otherwise, when he died, For he had decided to not give them up to anyone the king senteven on pain on Torture he would not give them up. Theseus, bit by bit, with smiles and willing hands, won the old mans suspicious, Lonely heart, and he learned all he needed to know. Now the palace was destroyed, the king no longer in power, and he, Theseus, Was his own mana master of purple! It was something to be proud ofand he Should be selling it and making huge profits and building a fine mansion for himself, For himself, his wife and concubines, and many children! But how? He had the purplepots and pots full of itbut no way to get it to the Big markets in Tyre and Sidon, Avaris, Illios, and other places. He had to get a ship Himself somehow, he resolved. But how? They cost much money and much labor To produce, and no one was going to lend him one. All he had was purple dye, and They would take it from him in force, and he would be back to where he started A poor orphan, hanging around the palace to earn money anyway he could by Doing the princes and rich people favors. Now he had to reach the worldor his purple and all his work to find and produce It were wasted! He helped his enemy, Daedalus, the Royal Prince, so he could gain the ship Somehow from his control that they were building. He knew Daedalus needed Sailors to man it once it was completed, and who but Theseus could Daedalus find On the ruined island, where even the farmers starved in the hills. Ariadne changed everything! She had given him his love, and now he loved to Please her, dreaming of the life he would make for them together by selling purple To the high and mighty. But there came a time when he had to think of something else. He helped Daedalus build a ship, only to see it destroyed when they tried to escape from being Captured and made slaves. Now what was he to do, his hope of getting off the island With his purple put out like a palace torch thrown into a pool. Going down to the beachwhich bordered the kings royal landshe Thought of something. He had dived for purple, but there was something more In the waters that people the world over treasured and would pay anything for Pearls! It had always been forbidden, on pain of death, for anyone to dive In the kings pearl bedsbut now the kings soldiers and guards were gone. He was free to dive all he liked in the area. Purple could wait! He had plenty of that which he could not sell much ofthough A passing trader sometimes took some (though they didnt have money or goods enough To pay for much of it at a fair price). Pearl, however, would buy him an entire ship. Men would part with their ships, though They be captains and owners, for such royal pearls as the kings pearl beds could produce. He could demand anything and get it. So he started investigating the pearl oysters, and was amazed at the pearls he found In abundance. The king had kept them a secret all his life, and gathered only a few from Time to time for his queen (not needing to sell any to gain more wealth). The pearl oysters Also, further out in the deep water, grew hugely, and the pearls in them were also Giants. He gathered hundreds of pearls, a single one filling his cupped hands, they were so Big and splendid. Day after day, after diving and just before, he scanned the horizon from the cliffs Above the pearl beds to see if any ships approached from Tyre or elsewhere. It was unlikely he would see any sails, as Knossos and the entire island were known to be desolate and Nearly all abandoned, And so there was no trade for merchants to deal in. Exploring farther out, he discovered the kings royal landmark, which once inspired terror, As it meant that any trespassers would be killed and cut to pieces and fed to the man-eating Fish in the kings big pool at the palace, just to entertain himself and his banquet guests! Now he Could do what he wanted with hated kings landmark, and nobody would know or careexcept Daedalus, of course, and he wouldnt know. Theseus returned the next day with a rope. He hauled a rock up to the top of the landmark And then lifted it up and brought it down with all his strength. How he hated the kings marker, And only meant to knock a hole in the roof if he could. He was amazed when, instead of a hole, the entire structure crumbled and collapsed into Billowing dust. He swam up to the surface, wondering what had happened. Then he Thought how a particular rock he had learned about in the palace workshop, which was dug Out of a mountain on a neighboring island, was so light it could Float, and maybe this was the reason. The rock used to build the landmark was easy to work into whatever shape The king wanted carved, then his sailers floated it out to to the royal pearl beds tethered between Two ships and then let down to the sea bottom with heavy bronze weights on long ropes. Once anchored On the bottom with the bronze weights as anchors, the ropes were drawn up. But it could never be touched, because a slight blow would destroy The landmarkit was so delicate. And no one had dared touch itnot until now! The sea bottom, he found, erupted with hot water and also melted rockout where the Pearls grew to the giant sizes he sought. The beds there had never been touched, He decidedand the pearl oysters had never been touchedsince the kings divers Feared the razor-toothed fishes and the smoking pots on the sea bottom (for the Holes in the bottom that shot hot water, smoke, and fire, looked like smoking pots with Fire in them). He had started diving for pearls in the tidal pools just off-shore, and had found Many pearls, but the giant sized jewels all lay in the deep waters where the smoking pots Spewed hot water, smoke and fire day and night. They provided the only light for him To see what he was looking for, while in the tidal pools he had brilliant light of day. He had to be more careful, though he had killed a many-armed, sucking beast that Attacked him, flying out at him from a cave in the rocks under the water. The pearls, However, were so big and marvelous in beauty he soon forgot the big fish with Teeth like razors that prowled the area. He could scarcely carry the big pearls to The shore cave where he hid themthey were so heavy. He found an immense pearl oysterwhich he feared would not produce a pearl, Or would never be open when he went to look. Day after day he dived and Visited the pearl, but it was always shut. Then, at last, he found it wide open! It was sending out its seed on the waters, And so was defenceless during those moments! He could dive right to the glowing Spot inside where he knew a pearl was hidden. What he found nearly took all his remaining breath away. He tried to pull out the pearl, but it was too heavy! He tried again and again! His movments must have disturbed the oyster, for he noticed the remaining light Was disappearing. The shells were closing him in! He would be trapped and drown There inside the giant oyster! He kicked and got out just in time as the giant shell closed. But he had moved So fast he shot right into a mass of green hella stinging jellyfish of monstrous size. He kicked and pushed himself out of it, but not before it had stung him hundreds Of times. His body felt on fire. Gasping and screaming in pain, he shot to the surface, unmindful of the Sickness of divers who came to the surface too quicklyand thendarkness. Where he was, he had no idea. He could not see anything. He felt only Pain spread over his entire body, making him twist like a worm In the fire. He choked and gasped, and water Poured from him. He was so sickthe sea water, the stinging pain, the poison Of the jellyfishhe was out of his mind. He couldnt move where he lay in the surf, his head down in the water As he thrashed weakly about with his hands and legs. Then he felt strong hands seize his arms and pull him upwards. He felt himself heaved up, then slung across a mans shoulders. He Knew nothing moreonly days and nights of pain as he lay somewhere, With water and sometimes a little bread soaked in wine put to his lips to Eat and drink. He was a fever, a raging heat, but gradually it died, and Strength returned to his body. He could move his limbs again. He Looked up to see who had nursed him back to life, and it was Daedalus! Ariadne also helped, as he knew she would. But it was his enemy! As he lay recovering, he thought of ways he could get back to the Pearl of great price that he had discovered. He considered whether to tell Daedalus his secretthen decided against it. As the Kings son, the prince would naturally claim the pearl as his own property as the kings heir, And he, Theseus, would get nothing! He knew Daedalus, though saving his life For Ariadnes sake, would not let him gain any advantageespecially one so great As to be the owner of the worlds pearl. Nevertheless, he had to get a ship to pull the pearl up from the sea bottom. It Was too big for any one man to handle. But how was he to do that, if he couldnt Trust Daedalus not to claim it? With many hours to think as he lay on his bed Daedalus had given Him in the house for his recovery, he had plenty time to make a good plan. He had all the other pearls hidden awayhe could let them prince have all of those he wanted. That would put him off The scent. Then he could get the prince to buy a boat to take the pearls to market. The prince Would be eager to do that, as he was just as anxious to leave ruined Keftiu, where There was no hope, to start a new life somewhere in the world where men still thrived and Had built-up cities and palaces. That was the life Prince Daedalus desired, and Theseus Knew it. He could use that desire to get his own way and become master of the Worlds Pearlfor it was big enough to make him the worlds richest manso he Could get anything he wantedAriadne, a palace, concubines, everything a man desired! As soon as he could move on his own, with Ariadne holding his arm, he went to Gaze out at the sea where his secret treasure, the Pearl of Great Prince, lay deep in the Waters by the smoking pots. How he yearned to return to it! The Pearl had stolen His very soul! He would lie, cheat, steal, even murder for it, to gain possession. Daedalus, when he presented him with a few small pearls, was instantly Taken with their beauty and size and wanted more. I will give you many more I found for you, Theseus said sweetly, his eyes on the prince who couldnt take his eyes off the pearls in his hands. Oh, prince, he added, if only you had another boat, you and we helping you could take them to the big markets in Tyre and Sidon and elsewhere and gain much gold! You could rebuild your palaces here, and bring in many people and good farmers and craftsmen. You could even rebuilt your great rioyal fleet and become all your father was! Well? Daedalus sat down right then and therefor he saw this dream too, and Knew, with such pearls in his possession, all that Theseus had suggested was Easy to accomplish. The pearls were his, by right! He would claim all the pearls, Then command Theseus, when was strong again, to help him get a ship, and Then they would sail off to Tyre and His golden future was assured! Theseus knew, looking at Daedaluss excitement, that he had won the mans heart and soul To his secret plan. Let him dream away! He thought. Once he had the Pearl of Great Price up from the sea Bottom with the first ship they could buy from the traders (he would tell Daedalus about It, of course, and would seek the pearl at night when Daedalus was sleeping!) He would said away with it, taking only Ariadne and the children! They would leave Daedalus behindthat would serve him right for all the indignities he had heaped On everyone! Worst of all his cruelties, Daedalus had forbidden his love of Ariadne, just Because he was half-Keftuian and half-Mycenaean! He could never forgive Daedalus for despising him for being the son of a port harlot and a drunken Mycenaean sailor Out for a good time on the town. Despite the fact he could not name his father, he was a man, fully a man, as much a man as Daedalusand then some! He had proven that by discovering not only the purple-producing snails and then the Pearls, all on his own without anyones help, but by finding the Worlds Pearl, the pearl with no peer, it was so immense and Beautiful and priceless. Theseus hummed little songs as he lay on Daedaluss bed, gathering strength. He walked as much as he Could each day, eating whatever Daedalus managed to find and bring to his eating bowl. Soon, oh Prince, he said to Daedalus once, you will have fine things to eat again, the very best wines too, as you once enjoyed in the palace! Yes, I will! Daedalus agreed, going out to think about his change in forture. He had taken the pearls Theseus had gathered and hid them in a place only he knew. He looked at them often, dreaming of the palace-city with many servants and concubines and Thousands of nobles and their ladies. He would build on the ruins of Knossos. He would also build a mighty fleet, that would Seize back the trade roots and trade cities from the upstart Mycenaeans of the Mainland, and then he, like his father the great Minos before him, command the high Seas and all that passed upon its wine-dark waters. Theseus, knowing what was going through the princes mind, smiled to himself Many times. One day the children came running. They told Theseus, whom they loved, First news of the ship whose sails were on the horizon. Better news soon followed. There Was not one sail, but three! There was no time to waste. He sent the children to start a fire on the high Cliff above the pearl beds! Draw them here, he thought. He would then get Daedalus To barter a pearl or two, then offer more to buy the entire ship. Greed would Gain an entire ship;. The men would try to take them by force, if they saw Daedalus and Theseus were the only men guarding thembut if they offered Only a few at a timewhile keeping their distance in the cliffs above the shorethe Traders would be forced to deal honestly and fairlyto a point anyway. Only if they left a ship behind when they said would they be allowed The pearls they coveted! They had to be baited first with a few at first to; Win their trust and ignite their greedonce the pearls had cast their spell, Theseus could get anything he wanted from them, as long as they didnt see How few they, the men, were on the island. The merchant ships approached warily, as they drove by the coast. The smoke, Along with a flashing from a crystal handled palace mirror that a child had found in Daedaluss Belongings and hidden away until this moment, Continued to signal to them there was a trade on the beach for them to examine. When it seemed the merchant ships would actually come in to them, Theseus Asked Daedalus to have the children spread some of them on a blanket On the beachthey would do all the rest. After the sailors had gonepromising to return with yet another ship in exchange For more pearlsDaedalus and Theseus and all the children celebrated as best they Could with their scanty stocks of berries and nuts and a melon stolen from A farmers garden. It was everything Theseus had planned and dreamedand it had all come true. Now all they had to do was stock the ship with food and water, enough to get them To Tyre, three or four days sail if the winds did not blow them back on their course. They could take the usual merchant route, but that was lengthly and they might run Into the merchants they had just bartered with, and who knows what they might do, knowing That they had more such pearls on board. They might well be boarded and all Murderedfor they could not fight off so many armed sailors as were on The two remaining ships. No, Theseus and Daedalus were of one mind in this, agreeing that it was best To sail straight across the sea to Tyre, only steering wide of any sail if one should Appear. Theseus, sleeping outdoors once again now that Daedalus had reclaimed His house and bed for his own use, continued with the rest of his plan as he had Devised it. Several boys were big enough now to help him, and he counted On them to help him sail the ship and stand by, letting him down with weighted Ropes to the oyster that held the Worlds Pearl. He set out in the dark of a moonlit night, the very first chance he got When Daedalus ran off to the port to tell his lover his good fortune and enjoy Some of her womanly comfort. Theseus knew how to sail the ship (having watched the port ships and Helped on board some of them for a piece of fish and some bread). It was not So big as many were, which helped him and his small crew. The wind was too slight, so they oared the boat part of the way. Theseus e had no idea where the great Pearl Lay, so he had to dive first to fix its location in his mind. Would the oyster be open or shut tight? He had no idea. All he could do was Pray to the godsthe ones the sailors always named when they swore over bad luck At gambling Or a hull lost to ship worms or some such thing. In a short time, he rose to the surface, triumphant. Now it was just a matter of Weighting the ropes with rocks and he knew how to tie sailors knots, so it Was his job. Down he went, this time holding the lines, as he sank without any effort. He had just a short time to do his work, but he was quick and able, having Been born with sea water in his mothers womb. When he yanked, the boys on the ship began hauling him and the Pearl up. They couldnt haul both of them up together, so he left the rope and let It go up as he swam alongside. When the Pearl broke the surface, the boys became silent and almost Let it sink back. Theseus shouted at them. Dont let go! Hold on! Ill help you in a moment, Soon as I get aboard! With his strong arms, he pushed aside the boys and did the hauling himself. It was his Pearl! No one else would touch it, and hed kill anyone who tried to Steal it! When he finally got it on board, careful not to scratch it on the hull by Using cloths to cover it before he pulled it up to him, he could not believe his Eyes. The boys stood around, gazing as much at him as at the great Pearl. He ignored them entirely as his eyes filled with the Pearls beauty And costliness. How could he bring himself to sell it! He knew then that he could not Let the Pearl go to anyone, no matter how much gold they offered. The Pearl Had stolen h is soul, he knew, and he didnt mind that at all. He loved the Pearl with all his heart and soul! He was devoured by it, but the sight gave Him so much rapture that he let himself be eaten. He lay down, his arms around the Pearl. He lost all sense of Where he was, and what his plan was, and the possibility that Daedalus Was on his way home and might find him and the ship gone. It was impossible to tear himself away from the Pearl, now that He possessed it. A boy came too close and reached out to touch it, and Theseus Growled and struck the boys hand away. The boys now shrank away, muttering to each other. A few Moments later Theseus heard some splashing sounds, and turned, Only to see that he was left alone on the ship. He couldnt care about that, and the time flew as he cradled Thje Worlds Pearl in his arms. He wasnt even thinking about Ariadne. What was she to compare with this Pearl? He now despised The little thing. What did she think she was? He wondered. How could She think the owner of such a Pearl would want the likes of her? She Was no better than a port tramp, whereas he was a great Prince, Richer than even Daedalus had ever been. No king on earth Could claim such a Pearl as this. He, Theseus, was king of the Earth as long as he kept the Pearl. He could not possibly sell it. It gave him power and might and wealth beyond counting. It was Far more valuable than mere gold. It was far more rapturous than A womans arms in love with him. He wanted nothing more than This Pearl. It was everything to himlife itself. Dazed with his love for the Pearl, he stumbled back up the path to The house of Daedalus, intending to give him an excuse why he hadnt Returned the ship, which now lay at anchor out in the open sea. If Daedalus didnt like that, let him swim out to it and bring it in To the shallows himself! He, Theseus, had better things to think About than a mere boat. Theseus ears heard the wailing, but thought nothing of it as He went to the door of the house. Two boys ran out of the house, and two others joined them, and They sped off across the fields toward some thick oak trees. Wondering what had gotten into them, Theseus stood there Gazing after them. He was startled when Daedalus came out The door, almost knocking him over with a blow of his hand. You wretched cur of a harlot and a Mycenaean dog! Daedalus shouted in his face. Enraged, Theseus snorted back at him. Dont call me that, IllIll Daedalus had a knife too, and he stood as if he would reach for it. Youll what? the prince taunted Theseus. Say what you will try to do to me! Dare say it, you cowardly whelp of a bitch and a he-goat! Theseus spun around, his knife in his hand, and his eyes Shooting fire. Daedalus laughed. So you dont like the truth about Yourself! Its still true! You worthless trash! You killed her! Go see for yourself! Theyll look until they find her. Shes Either thrown herself off a cliff or drowned herselfthanks to You! Imagine, her a mother at her age! You were out of your Mind, taking her as a man takes a woman, at your ages! Now Youll pay the price! Daedalus edged toward Theseus, but Theseus no longer Had a mind a fight. The bitter words had sunk into him Like a sword. Theseus let his knife drop. He turned, then ran after the Boys. Daedalus watched him go, then slowly followed. They found her just as Daedalus had said, only it was Not how he thought when he first got the news from One of the orphans out foraging for food. Theseus would not look at his child, which had Never breathed. He saw the shape that could only Be Ariadne, lying small and quiet on her side near a Rushing stream. Daedalus swore by the name of Heaphes, then His face flushed with anger, and he spun on his Heels and left Theseus alone with the body. The little fool, I tried to warn him off her! Daedalus cried as he made his way back to his Cheerless house. He needed a farm tool to Dig her graveand that meant going to where he Hid his tools to keep them from being stolen by the Orphans. Later, when he returned with an adze, he Found Ariadnes body gone. Astonished, he looked for Theseus. Shouting, he heard only the brook answer him Backand he gave up. What has he done now with her? he cried to the air and the brook. Has he gone crazy? With Ariadnes death, everything changed. Theseus no longer wanted to hunt pearls. He had enough of pearls and purple. He gave All he had to Daedalus, because it all meant Nothing to him. He had fallen in love with the Great Pearl, but it had deceived him. He had Come to himself, only too late to save Ariadne. Hell get over it in time, Daedalus observed, watching Theseus in his grieving. Theres always another woman to replace the one thats lost. Daedalus began making plans to vacate The island kingdom. He had nothing to Keep him there anymore. The wide, Populated cities of the word beyond the Sea beckoned h im. With the pearls and the pots of Royal purple Theseus had stolen And then turned over to him, the Rightful owner, Daedalus knew he could Buy ships and clothing and Slaves and concubines. He Would rebuild the palace for Himself and colonize the land With farmers he would bring in From Iliospeople of his own race. Knossos and Amisos, and all of Keftiu eventually, would rise, Phoenix-like, from the Dead, cold ashes! He, Daedalus, Would be a king and live as A king must liveroyallywith A full court, a splendid palace, A thousand noble to attend his Banquests, concubinessons and Heirsentertainments. It had been his wildest Dreambut now it was coming True! As for Theseus, Daedalus Could not care what became of him. He was a nothing to him. 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