En 09b Jon's Revenge

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    9b. Jon’s Revenge

    [065/15] This brings us to the history of Jon:

    (‘Jon’, ‘Jôn’, ‘John’ and ‘Jan’ all mean ‘given’, but this is how steersmen, who are used to shortening everything, pronounce it so they can say things quickly and loudly while at sea.)

    Jon — meaning: ‘given’ — was a sea king, born at the Alderga, who had sailed out of the Flee Lake with a hundred and twenty-seven ships equipped for a great sea voyage, richly laden with amber, tin, copper, iron, cloth, linen, felt, and maidens’ felt made of otter, beaver, and rabbit fur. From here, he was supposed to take writing felt. But when Jon arrived and saw how Kelta had destroyed our famed burg, he became so utterly furious that he headed with all of his men to Fleeburg, [066] to set fire to it in revenge.[1] His watch-by-night and some of his men rescued the Lamp and the maidens. But Syrhed, or Kelta, they could not capture. She climbed the furthest battlement, and everyone thought she would perish in the flames. But what happened? While all her men stood frozen in fright, she appeared upon her steed more radiant than before, calling: “To Kelta, my people!” And the Over-Scheldt folk formed a great army. When the steersmen saw this, they called: “We for Minerva!” A war ensued, in which thousands fell.

    In those times, Rosamunde — that is, ‘Rose-mouth’— was mother. She had settled many conflicts amicably in order to keep the peace. But now that the situation had become so dire, she took decisive measures. Immediately, she sent messengers throughout all the districts to declare a state of emergency, and defenders of the land came from all over. The fighting landsmen were all captured, but Jon saved himself and his men upon his fleet, taking both of the Lamps with them, as well as Minerva and the maidens of both burgs. Helprik, the army captain, ordered his arrest. But while all guards were still across the Scheldt, Jon sailed back to the Flee Lake and further onward to our islands. His men, and many of our folk, [067] took women and children on board and, as Jon realized that he and his men would be punished like criminals, he quietly departed. It was the right decision, because all our islanders and all the Over-Scheldt folk who had fought were banished to Britannia. This verdict proved disastrous, for now came the beginning of the end.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.91 cont.] We now come to the History of Jon.

    Jon, Jôn, Jhon, Jan, are all the same name, though the pronunciation varies, as the seamen like to shorten everything to be able to make it easier to call. Jon—that is, "Given"—was a sea-king, born at Alberga, who sailed [p.93] from the Flymeer with a fleet of 127 ships fitted out for a long voyage, and laden with amber, tin, copper, cloth, linen, felt, otter-skins, beaver and rabbit skins. He would also have taken paper from here, but when he saw how Kalta had destroyed the citadel he became so angry that he went off with all his people to Flyburgt, and out of revenge set fire to it. His admiral and some of his people saved the lamp and the maidens, but they could not catch Sijrhed (or Kalta). She climbed up on the furthest battlement, and they thought she must be killed in the flames; but what happened? While all her people stood transfixed with horror, she appeared upon her steed more beautiful than ever, calling to them, "To Kalta!" Then the other Schelda people poured out towards her. When the seamen saw that, they shouted, "We are for Min-erva!" from which arose a war in which thousands were killed.

    At this time Rosamond the mother, who had done all in her power by gentle means to preserve peace, when she saw how bad it was, made short work of it. Immediately she sent messengers throughout all the districts to call a general levy, which brought together all the defenders of the country. The landsmen who were fighting were all caught, but Jon with his seamen took refuge on board his fleet, taking with him the two lamps, as well as Minerva and the maidens of both the citadels. Helprik, the chief, summoned him to appear; but while all the soldiers were on the other side of the Scheldt, Jon sailed back to the Flymeer, and then straight to our islands. His fighting men and many of our people took women and children on board, and when Jon saw that he and his people would be punished for their misdeeds, he secretly took his departure. He did well, for all our islanders, and the other Scheldt people who had been fighting were [p.95] transported to Britain. This step was a mistake, for now came the beginning of the end.


    1. ‘set fire’ — lit.: ‘light the red rooster’; compare [043/01].

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