“Where is your papa?” Mama entered, carrying little Carlos and clutching a bunch of flowers for the table. “He needs to come and wash for lunch.” She laid the baby on the rug. Carlos could now roll over and scoot around on his belly. “Go call him. Clara, you help me here with these flowers.”
Alicia started down to the dock where a dingy loaded with cargo floated on the water. No shipping traffic was anticipated, but here was a new trader. Papa and another man stood talking while Roberto pulled boxes out of the dinghy. As she got close, Alicia could hear Papa’s usual bragging and exaggeration.
“The biggest, the best, the smartest.” Papa’s hands flew up and down emphasizing his tall tales. He was obviously talking about baby Carlos. The scruffy sailor wore a hood over his head and kept nodding as Papa talked.
“What have you got in these boxes? They are not very heavy.” Roberto was trying to keep track of the cargo. Alicia was glad Roberto did such a good job, especially since Papa was distracted by his conversation and ignored the off-loaded goods. There was something familiar about the way this other fellow in the hood stood on the dock.
“Official, eh? That’s new.” The trader raised his head and nodded toward the new government sign. “Those are fine silk kimonos, young man. My wife and her relatives make them. Take care.”
Alicia caught the tone of his voice and the sun caught the glint in Captain Harris’s blue eyes. She hoped and prayed she was mistaken.
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