CHAPTER VIII - A RECONQUISTA
1501 ANNO DOMINI, October and November
By October 25th the native rebels were submitted to the Lusitanian supremacy, and were the first hundred (a holy number for the Lusitanii) settlers sent for. These were primarily nobility and anyone who could pay enough to be the first to return to Portugal PROPER.
Jorge’s great army had only lost a thousand or so soldiers despite the natives having half of their army mounted on the equine creatures, the cabalhos. Meanwhile in Gibraltar the four thousand cavalry awaited Jorge’s orders. Luckily for Jorge the King could not ask him anything as to what the cabalhos were nor why they were in Gibraltar, but not for the reason Jorge thought: Simple ignorance and distance. Instead very simply because Manuel was almost in Algarve, in hot pursuit of Jorge, and arriving after the battle, struggle, and appearance of God, on 6 November 1501.
King Manuel I of Lusitania, on foot like any villain, puffed his way over to Jorge’s quarters in the army camp. His demeanour had radiated it constantly since Jorge’s return from Granadia so many months ago, but now the King was dusty, dirty, and with on his parched lips the grimy slime of protective dried saliva, already solidified in crusts. The King was not fit to rule, but Jorge had a sense of honour despite himself, and controlled his aspirations: This was his uncle-in-law anyway.
Jorge, in his officer’s tent, was looking at the still incomplete map of Algarve. By tomorrow it would be accurate to the pebble, by the greatest cartographers of Lusitania. Seeing the King arriving Jorge turned and made for his comfortable seat. The King let himself fall into it, however, before Jorge could even make out what he was saying.
“Good show, Jorge, but where are the locals?” Jorge knew Manuel would want to meet with the barbarous tribes. “There are no locals, Your Highness…” he sounded unconvincing however, and Manuel repeated the question, this time more slowly. “Where. Are. The. Locals? I hear much talk in the camp of a struggle, what did you do?”
Knowing full well that Algarve was now purged of aggressive natives- any natives in fact, following his example in Andalusia- he simply replied “The natives attacked us”- this was true- “but we managed to protect ourselves and our country by chasing them back and all the way to the North, over the Portugal River.
“Well then we shall follow them! I must speak with them and find what has happened over the last three centuries!” Jorge knew it was impossible to extract this information. Not only because the barbarians were too aggressive, but even more so now they were all dead… Despite this, however, he ventured: “We shall leave tomorrow then?” “Today!” Manuel responded, “I want to catch them before they spread a ruthless image of our nation.” “Don’t worry, we’ll find them” Jorge said, although very aware that the decimated tribes were situated a mere five hundred feet Westward, dumped in the sea.
“But why did you come to me? I was about to send you a messenger, Your Highness! It’s dangerous to travel alone!” Jorge wasn’t at all surprised when Manuel explained that he only needed the sacred number of 100 men to safely gain passage. The King had become quite a nutter recently, and so Jorge did what he thought was best: He gave the King a sense of security:
”4000men for you, Your Highness, and the rest for me! This way you still travel light, and I do your military worrying for you!”
Manuel was only too pleased…