When the Uranie finally arrived in Sydney the whole party was welcomed as if they were Royalty. Even the theft of most of their household goods, on their first night ashore, did not dampen Rose’s spirits. ‘What can you expect,’ she laughed, ‘When more than half of the inhabitants have been sent here for breaking the law!’ There were letters from France, most importantly from her mother, and Rose quickly established a friendship with Elizabeth Macquarie, wife of the Governor. After five months at sea it was an absolute luxury to be able to rest on shore and they stayed for six weeks. But Louis was anxious not to miss the good season for rounding Cape Horn and they set out on Christmas Day,1819. At last they were heading home with only that most feared of landmarks between them and France. But alas, it was not to be.
With only the last few Chapters of Jose’s story to go, I have been working long and hard to get the draft away to the publisher. My office is a mess because nothing else is being done, but there will be plenty of time for that while I wait for the feedback.
Meanwhile, I have been keeping up my French and checking authenticity with my friend who now lives on Mauritius, after many years on Reunion Island.