Tales from the Boiler Room – excerpt

The crystal ball had been taken to Granada, Nicaragua in 1590 by gypsies who had sailed from the south of Spain.  For nearly three centuries it remained in that handsome, tile-roofed city, but on a sultry night in 1857 a worried caretaker had cast it into Lake Nicaragua soon before Granada, “The Hapless Troy of Nicaragua,” was torched by William Walker, the American filibusterer.  Over the next forty months the ball drifted south in the lake and then slipped into the Rio San Juan, eventually popping out in the Caribbean Sea.  There it was found by a Miskitu fisherman who put it in his dory beside an overturned tortoise and carried it to Bluefields.  The ball had stayed there one hundred and fifty years with successive generations of a prominent Creole family.  Henry David had obtained its use for a few hours by trading it for an electric circle-saw.


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