Let's Talk Blogfest - Dialogue Snip

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Here's one of the most important dialogues in Rose's story - the moment when her Uncle Santiago, a sailor with Columbus, tells her the truth. Rose has joined him on the Santa Anna on the day of his departure:

Uncle San stopped walking and leaned on the rail, peering closely at her. “You can’t come with me, I’m afraid. There’s barely room for most of the crew and Senor Colon is quite particular over his arrangements.”
She nodded but continued to dwell on the freedom of sailing away, to watch the shore sink slowly behind one and to find only the horizon ahead, day after day. She leaned beside her uncle on the rail, looking after a school of [tench] passing beneath the clear water, tails flickering. “No chores, no responsibilities...” she murmured.
“No chores!” Her uncle laughed, waving a hand at the men scurrying to and fro behind them. “Yet I know what you’re trying to say. Sailing does not seem a chore. The work is certainly backbreaking, but there’s many an evening of smooth sailing, under fair winds, with a warmth in the air rising from the sunwarmed wooden planks heaving beneath you... then the men gather to tell stories, sing songs...”
He had been staring across the water as he’d spoken, but now shook his head, as though sloughing off a dream, and turned to face her.
“We haven’t much time, and this is not what I meant to discuss at all.”
Something in his voice made Rosa pull her eyes away from the flickering fins and look up at him. Uncle San had turned around, so that his back rested against the rail, and his arms were crossed before him, as though he was cold. Cold, in August! She put a hand on his arm and felt his tremor at her touch. What was the matter? Could he possibly be afraid that he might not return from this voyage? That was absurd; as long as she'd known him - all her life - he'd always come back.
"Rosa," he started, staring at his sandals. "This voyage of Senor Colon's... It might take... a long time to return. He wishes to find an alternate route to the spice lands." She nodded. They'd talked about this on that winter night months ago, when Uncle San had first mentioned the voyage to her family.
"You always return, Uncle San. Even if months go by. You'll bring us back presents, won't you?" She asked, hoping to bring a smile to his face. He had never once returned empty handed.
It worked, for an instant. A flicker came into his eyes, then disappeared as his gaze met hers.
"Do you know why I always return, Rosa?"
"Why? But you're family! Of course you would return!"
"Family, yes." He growled, suddenly, in his throat, startling her so that she dropped her hand and stepped back. Uncle San angry?
"Family," he repeated. "Well, I am that. Rosa, I'm your father."
When Uncle San had announced at dinner that he would be sailing with Senor Colon to find an oversea route to India, she had noticed her mother and father clasp hands under the table. When her father had announced that the family would be leaving Spain forever, and travelling to Constantinople, her mother and father had once again held hands. Now, despite the fact that Uncle San's announcement made no sense, she reached out a hand for his.
He grabbed her fingers, wrapping them in both rope-roughened hands, and repeated himself. "Rosa, I am your father."
This time the words reached her heart, which closed its doors against them. "No, you're not!"
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