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for the full pirate saga visit 'Bayko Baron' - 13,14,15,16,34,37,38,40,44,45
'Lakjaw Manor','The Rescue of Calico Jack','San Serif','Casa Lardo','The Loom O' Shean','The Frantic Frog','Isla Isabella','Auto De Fe','La Hachada','Eldorado'
The settlement at San Ignatio on the Caya Rio. Like all Spanish missions the church is built for both refuge and prayer; though there has never been a need for defense here where the Franciscans, unlike their Jesuit brethren down on the coast, win their converts by example rather than force.
Into this paradise crashes the Regimento Irlando
Followed shortly by Governor Don Lardo y Graspo. Having caught wind that he is soon to be replaced after the Castelbranca fiasco (see 'Bayko Baron 40'), Don Lardo is determined to take one last throw at making his fortune. Like many before him he has been seduced by native tales of 'Eldorado' the 'Man of Gold'. Unlike others, Don Lardo put the particular native to the torture and got precise instructions.
In short order the mission indians are rounded up, their livestock commandeered for transports, the men conscripted as bearers and trail-cutters, while the women and children are taken as hostages.
The expedition strikes out down a long forgotten trail
While the troops struggle forward in the clammy heat....
....Don Lardo supervises the porters
Yet as the column plunges ever further into the forest their progress is not unobserved, Yaruro tribesmen shadow every step.
After a week of hacking through the impenetrable underbrush the trail-blazers uncover a sudden encouragement - a Toltec signpost, long engulfed by the forest, but still pointing the way
Invigorated by the thought of profit Don Lardo leads the way, heart racing at the first gleam of something in the dusty gloom
Problem - how to get a nine-foot tall piece of solid gold down to ground level without wasting time rigging winches and pulleys?
But even as the last golden clang turns to a mossy thud a new sound intrudes, a whispering hiss followed by a cry of anguish as the Yaruro intervene at last
Casting off all but his litter-bearers as now-useless mouths and his supplies and wounded as unwanted baggage, Don Lardo hastens back down the trail
While back at the temple the Yaruro take care of the fallen and a lone warrior climbs the steps, dons a magnificent feather headpiece and summons the faithful to revenge
As the forest closes in the musicians play to quicken the pace, keep up spirits and hopefully frighten off the natives
But every few miles another flurry of whispering death signals that their pursuers have kept pace. At first the troops halt and fire back, but to no effect and by the second day they are content to simply hurry on, leaving the stricken where they fall.
While back at San Ignatio the garrison commander, seeing the pirate cannon, has realised that attack before they are unloaded is his only chance and is forming a firing line to hold the enemy at the quayside
Until RobRoy 'The Celtic Corsair' and his crew of maroons, unloaded downstream for just such a moment, attack from the flank. Resistance collapses as each soldier tries to save himself.
With the result that when Don Lardo and his exhausted survivors stagger out of the jungle they are confronted by ramparts instead of refuge
With the courage of desperation the Irlanda survivors launch an assault. Against the ragged pirate musketry it might even have worked; but the sudden, bloody revelation of the cannon, even though only one fires because Father Ambrose will not let the helping women commit murder, shreds their morale in a single blast.
The Yaruro deal with the fugitives while Don Lardo is taken prisoner
Hurrying to finally capture their arch-enemy the victorious pirates come face-to-face with a lone and jabbering chieftain. They understand not a word, yet the message is perfectly clear - and a wagon load of golden teapots will surely ease their disappointment
A week on and many of the mission men have returned, guided home by the Yaruro, the village raises a rousing chorus of 'okumaleefathful' while the skirl of a pibroch from Gregor 'The Pipe' reaches out over the jungle. Already 'spliced' in pirate law as 'Calico Jack'and 'The Baracudda', the pair have decided to take the rare chance of a friendly priest to renew their vows and so - 'James, 9th Lord Chinless, do you take Ethel, spinster of this.... mission.'
While out in the jungle Don Lardo is also involved in a religious act of re-dedication
If you have a Bayko model you'd like to share or show, or just want to chat, ask about or discuss the Bayko Construction Set - there is now a public Facebook Group called 'Bayko Builders' - anyone can join, anyone can contribute.