CHAPTER 9

Amsterdam 1605

Kintaro became the toast of the town. Parties on the Red Seal ship were frequented by Amsterdam’s social elite fascinated by Kintaro’s unique charm, bizarre fashion, and tremendous good looks.

Charlotte became a frequent visitor on the ship, gently probing the samurai way, but the conversation somehow always turned to golf, which bored Charlotte to death.

But at least she discovered that the leaves used to make those superb golf balls also had medicinal and spiritual purposes.

“I have some here.” Kintaro picked a few off one of the plants growing on the ship.

Kintaro suggested mixing it with honey, but Charlotte pulled out a blob of dark sticky stuff that had become all the rage in Amsterdam after the Spanish brought it back from the Americas, melted it in a bowl over a candle, and added the leaves. When it cooled, they broke off a few pieces and ate it.

“Sweet! I’m going to call it Dutch Chocolate,” giggled Charlotte as she nestled into Kintaro’s arms, eventually falling into a deep sleep.

The next morning, while Kintaro lay asleep, she put the rest of the chocolate into her pocket along with some drawings she had found of Harold’s golf club. “My master will be interested in these!” she thought.

Charlotte raced to the Royal Palace.

“Lord, I have some news,” Charlotte announced kneeling.

Maurice of Nassau, back from a series of seige campaigns, was relaxing on his throne, amused to see his spy looking so flushed and ravishing.

“The samurai is building a new style of golf club. I brought you the plans,” she said proudly while unravelling a brown-smeared sketch of Harold’s golf club.

“Excellent! Give it to my squire so he can make me a set,” replied Lord Maurice, a mad golfer, “and invite this samurai and his embassy to a banquet one week hence.”

–> Chapter 10