“Your Excellency.” Padre Bartolomé bowed his head and waited, a flick of his hand to the lad behind him, Bori-Damaso.
Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar looked up from the papers cluttering his makeshift desk.
Padre Bartolomé took that as permission to say more. “You enquired of the crops these Taino-folk grow.’
“Of the leaf, sí, that they do not eat.”
“It is their god.”
The lad, Bori-Damaso, waiting behind him, grunted something inaudible, his shaken head vehement that Bartolomé had said it wrong.
“Let the boy speak,” said de Cuéllar.
“Not god,” Bori-Damaso said. “Voice of god.”
De Cuéllar sat back to consider him. “Voice…? As in our Bible?”
“Sí, our grandfather-god sent tobacco to take his place among men. When we smoke, we talk with him.”
“He speaks good Spanish,” de Cuéllar observed.
“My son,” Padre Bartolomé said.
Written for What Pegman Saw: Cuba