Cher Onc’ Herbert,
Merci beaucoup for sending Drunken Jacques and your grandson Christophe to help manage the goods you have been sending us! You were quite right: Amelie was horribly bored here on Le Blaireau with nothing to do, and she has quite taken to sitting in a comfortable chair under the canvas roof of the new store while Drunken Jacques and Christophe do all of the running around and heavy lifting. She tells me that Christophe is an apt pupil, with a neat tidy hand in the ledgers, and that Drunken Jacques has been quite successful at encouraging the others who are here with us to carry, move and organize the supplies. There were some quarrels over it—apparently some of our people had become quite attached to their own little piles of goods. I don’t know what Drunken Jacques has been telling them, being busy with my own work, but it has been quite effective. Perhaps it is simply that he is so large? At any rate, we are coming to know just what we have and where it all is. It is already helping us accomplish our tasks more efficiently.
Thanks in large measure to their efforts (which are on-going), we now have everyone who was living on Le Rubicon and all of the supplies she carried under canvas on the island itself. She is now more or less as she was taken from the Provençese, and is ready to be carried off and burned. Meanwhile, we are continuing to clear land for living space and, eventually, for crops, and Jacques the Cabinet-Maker and I are fully engaged on the next of the sky-wagons.
We have had to discipline a number of the younger boys, unsurprisingly. One of them, young Bertrand, nearly knocked Amelie off her feet! I sent him to the top of Le Blaireau‘s mast to keep watch for Provençese invaders. In the end, I am afraid it did nothing to quell him, for he has rather been crowing about it to all of the other boys. I was forced to keep him by me to run errands after that.
We must make use of all of this boyish energy. The Provençese will come, and soon; we should establish watch points around the edges of the island and keep them manned—or, perhaps, boy’d—all around the clock. And I wish we could find a way to get our people underground in case of attack! At present, our only hope here on Grand-Blaireau is not to be noticed.
Christophe has been telling me this evening that Marc Frontenac has been training some of the men still in Bois-de-Bas to shoot from our sky-chairs, and also practicing boarding maneuvers onto the roof of my house! Please tell him I trust he will replace any lost shingles before the rains come, and also that I want to hear all about his experiences in this matter. There may be much we can do to make the sky-chairs more useful in combat.