CHAPTER 13

ROYAL COURSE, AMSTERDAM, 1606

The Royal Course had been designed by Maurice of Nassau’s father, Prince of Orange, leader of the first armed resistance against Spain before being assassinated.

Like his father, Maurice had been fascinated by sticks, always having some kind of stick in his hand, whether it be sword or golf.

But today his stick was failing him. “Charlotte! Give me that potion!”

Charlotte pulled out her ‘Dutch Chocolate’.

“Ewww, tastes horrible!” exclaimed Maurice wolfing down the lot.

As they approached the last hole, Maurice felt his mojo return despite continuing woeful golf.

“What joy!” he mused as he whacked shot after shot, not really caring where the ball went, stopping frequently to ponder the landscape.

On the final green, Kintaro promptly knocked the ball into the hole, while Maurice took several attempts. When the ball finally rolled in, he fell to the ground laughing.

The crowd went silent, knowing that nobody would dare beat their Lord.

“What a magnificent day!” Maurice of Nassau exclaimed as he stood up. “Today, the winner is the player who’s had the most shots!”

Everyone was stunned, not least of all Kintaro who knew better than to say anything against the leader of the Low Countries.

Kintaro bowed gracefully, congratulated Maurice, declared thatĀ Netherlands could now build a church in Nagasaki ‘as big as any in Europe’, and silently slunk away with his mind racing.

The next day Kintaro was summoned to the Royal Palace.

Stay tuned for Season II