by Elegant Butler

Chapter 8:

Wendy, Alice and Adrian caught a golf-cab at the docks when the Golden Hinde arrived at Spain.

The driver was a middle-aged man somewhere in his early forties with a reddish brown hair and brown eyes.

"We've got some technology on our boat that's going to run out of power soon," Adrian told him. "We need to find a good solar-powered generator."

"Ah! You want La Mercado de Tecnologia!"

"Mercado...?" Alice tried.

"La Mercado de Tecnologia," the driver explained. "It's not open today. Tomorrow it opens to the public. Three days every week in Baja Tecnologia from jueves to domingo. "

"Thursday to Sunday," Alice translated. "We'll have to head back to the ship and stay in port for a night. It's all we can do."

"Is there anyone who might sell us a generator today?" Wendy asked.

The driver shook his head. "La Mercado has become a tradition. To sell on any other day would get that person or shop frowned at by the others. They would be essentially blackballed for unfair sales practices."

"So, back to the docks then?" Alice asked.

"You've paid for the cab," the driver told them. "Why not enjoy a short ride and see some of the sights."

"That sounds fine," Wendy agreed while the other two nodded.

They were treated to sights of various statues of important government and religious figures which had been made with great love and respect by various sculptors. The homes ranged from simple square apartments to a small seaside manor that they had noticed while docking.

"Who owns that home?" Adrian asked.

"La Senorita de Muerte," the driver told them, shivering slightly at the name.

"Lady of Death?" Wendy wondered aloud. "Surely that's not her real family name!"

"It wasn't in the beginning," the driver explained. "It became the family name in the late eighteen hundreds, before capital punishment was banned in Spain in 1978. Before that I believe they were the Acosta family."'

"Why did they change it?"

"It was a name bestowed upon them by President Mendizabal in 1835," the driver explained. "Back then there were three families named 'de Muerte'. In each family, one member was an executioner. In two cases it was the father. But in one it was the son who held the job."

"What happened to the other two?" Alice inquired.

"When capital punishment was outlawed in Spain in the late nineteen-seventies, they changed their family names. I don't know why the remaining de Muerte family did not."

"We'd better head back to the boat," Wendy decided. "Thank you for the tour, it was very nice. I think I could live here."

"You're always welcome," the driver smiled as he brought them back to the docks.

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