Fancy's Story by Fred Cartan

Chapter Twelve
Fancy's Treasure

They rejoined the others. The canvas bag carried by the Dark Dog's servant was of obvious interest to all present, however they tried to conceal it. The Dark Dog observed this interest with a smile and said that now was the time to conclude his task.

"Before Fancy's father left on his last voyage, he left his trading profits in my care. I am returning them to her." He took the bag and removed its content, a carved teakwood box, and placed it on the table.

The Dark Dog took an ornate iron key from his pantaloons, and opened the lock. "This," he said, "was your father's trading profit and is now, in accordance with his wishes, yours." He then opened the lid so that all present could see inside.

The box was nearly filled with very old gold coins. There were also several intricately carved jade boxes wrapped in fine silk. Fancy unwrapped and opened them one by one. One held large perfect rubies and sapphires. In another of the boxes there was a pair of matched star sapphires. There was also a box of mixed diamonds, agates, rubies and sapphires of various sizes but all of pure hues. There was also a group of turquoise stones, all of good size and almost free of defect.

"Your father was a good trader," the Dark Dog said. Fancy was almost speechless. "I don't know how to thank you," she told him.

"Do not worry about me," the Dark Dog said, "I also profited from his business. I will miss him. But I also miss my wife and family and must return to India very soon. Perhaps, though, we may somehow continue the business he started."

Singlefoot, after a short conference with Fancy, said that he had one final favor to ask of him. Singlefoot explained the need for a formal giving-away-of the bride at the Christian marriage ceremony and asked the Dark Dog if he would undertake that office. He said he would indeed be pleased.

Fancy married Singlefoot three weeks later and the ceremony was the most notable local event for many years. Singlefoot wore the red dress uniform of his regiment. His boots were black and shiny. His saber was in a gold chased scabbard. The Dark Dog and his servant wore their best costumes, rich with silks and gold slippers and carried ornate swords. Fancy had her dress made from white silk. There was some gold thread woven into the hem. The village was quite overcome by the spectacle.

There was a formal wedding dinner at Hoarhound House. All the neighbors were invited, and all came in their best. The best silver was used and some special wines were obtained from the merchants in Hundsmuth. There were candles everywhere and a group of musicians were recruited for the dancing afterwards. Cider and Goodbone were almost driven to exhaustion with the details and the various proceedings. The dinner was, as could be expected, a tremendous success. The dance, with all guests in their finest outfits was indeed memorable. As they danced, Fancy and Singlefoot took special notice of the scrubbed faced children watching the dinner from the balcony railing, just as they remembered doing years earlier. They looked at one another and smiled.

Fancy and Singlefoot arranged to live at Hoarhound House, as Fancy wanted. Natasha and Frowly Snarf soon left for London where he claimed to have business. They returned periodically to visit Comely at the asylum.

Fancy sold several of the smaller jewels, and received a good price. With the proceeds, and the advice of the Dark Dog and the help of her manager she assembled a cargo that he could take with him to India. Fancy was also able to purchase more goods for the trading business in Huntsmuth, and shortly the manager and his wife reported business picking up and were able to afford some more of life's pleasantries.