The Weird, The Wild, The Southeast: a Tourist's Guide
by Jonas Birdsong
[From the chapter on Donnetown.]
Diederic van den Dorpe never spoke of his family and life back in the Low Countries. He was known to refer to his landing in America as his "rebirth". In 1670 he married an English girl, Reformation Bannister, and by 1690 they had their own family: daughters Restoration and Prudence, and sons Dierick and Dwight.
November of that year brought two unexpected arrivals: a charter from King John II recognizing Donnetown as part of the English colony of Virginia; and, among the new colonists, one Lodewijk van den Dorpe, the younger brother whom Diederic had left behind so many years before.
Lodwijk arrived with no prior notice; it was by sheer happenstence that Diederic and Reformation were at the docks, awaiting a shipment of wools. Diederic (now about 60, but vigorous and opinionated as ever) was holding forth from the Carte of Governance (still pulled by his donkey Libertine, now well past his prime).
Reformation, serving as she had for many years, was busy with her pen, ink and notebook, recording the matters of the day brought forth by various citizens. It is because of her habitual thoroughness that we know of Lodewijk's first words upon arrival on the Donnetown docks.
Lodewijk was a stocky, red-faced man five or six years younger than his brother. Reformation, in a letter to her sister, said that she could scarcely imagine him as the slight, sickly boy he'd been when last the brothers Van den Dorpe had seen one another.
Nevertheless, when Lodewijk strode into the crowd surrounding the Carte, and stood directly in front of Diederic, thumping his walking stick on the wooden boardwalk, Diederic paused in mid-speech -- a thing seldom seen.
Mein Gott, is het minn broer? he cried, forgetting, in his astonishment, the English he always spoke in public.
Lodewijk's face, according to Reformation, "pass'd through Smiling Joye, Tears, and Very Terror and Confusion," arriving apparently at the Shores of Rage, for in answer he shook his stick at Libertine (inoffensively chewing on a carrot) and bellowed in imperfect English, "I shall whip they ass!"
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