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Hello, Scrimshaw Doll Lovers,

Diana Layne here. Today I’m interviewing Captain Luigi Santini from my story Pirate’s Proposal. Captain Santini is Captain Gina’s father and the original captain of the pirate ship the Gypsy Doll. Retired now, Captain Santini is a handsome Italian (it’s easy to see where Gina gets her beauty), and although he is in his mid-fifties, his dark eyes are vibrant with laugh lines barely visible and his hair is still black as coal.

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He lives in a hut on a small island in the Bahamas, look at that picture, isn’t it beautiful? What a paradise!

As for the interview, let’s not puzzle too hard how I am living in the early twenty-first century while he’s in the early eighteenth century. We’ll just go with it and believe in the magic of the written word.

Diana: Welcome, Captain Santini.

Captain:  Grazie.Thank you for having me.

Said in his cute Italian accent. I just luuuvvv Italian accents. And he’s not all that much older than me, I wonder– Ahem…clears throat.

Diana: So, Captain Santini, you’re still a young man, younger than Gina’s first mate, Mickey. If I might be so bold, will you share with us exactly why are you retired?

Captain: Heart problems the doctor says. I suspect it was from a broken heart when my lovely wife passed away. I still miss her every day.

He glances off in the distance, the love for his wife glowing in his dark eyes. What devotion, my heart warms.

Diana: That’s so sweet–

 I pause as he continues.

Captain: I wonder if I’d never sailed, if she’d never traveled with me, would she have gotten sick, would she still be alive?

So not over the deceased wife. No wonder the poor man’s heartsick, all that guilt.

Diana: Captain, you can’t blame yourself. She could have as easily taken ill on land as at sea, and it’s for certain, as much as she loved you, she would have been heartbroken and lonely if you left her behind.

Captain: I didn’t have to sail, I could have become a gypsy—

It’s my turn to cut him off. Handsome or not, he’s wallowing.

Diana: You’d been sailing since you were a wee tyke, first on your father’s fishing boat and then as a cabin boy for a privateer. You worked your way up to captain, you knew no other way to survive. Life is what it is, and sometimes those we love die too young. It’s nothing to blame yourself for. While she was alive, you loved your wife as much as any man can love a woman.

He has a sad smile on his face, one that tugs at my emotions. To be loved as much as he loved her-every woman’s dream.

Captain: Si, is true. I loved her. Very much, I loved her.

Diana: And you two have a beautiful bold daughter who earns her living on the seas same as you, her Babbo. Which brings me to my next question, what do you think about your daughter captaining your ship?

I had hoped to change the subject from his wife to help him past his melancholy mood, but apparently I struck upon another tender chord.

Captain:  Bah. Not good! I had wished for a better life for my only child. A beautiful daughter such as Gina should be surrounded in luxury with servants to wait on her.

Diana: Excuse me, sir, but can you really picture Gina living a life of ease?

At last, a smile! Genuine fatherly pride.

Captain: True, she is full of energy. Intelligent. Vibrant! Fearless! Still, it is a hard job keeping a bunch of ruffians under control. But Mickey’s a good first mate and my Gina, she’s a strong woman, a skilled swordsman, and from all accounts I’ve heard, she’s a fine captain. Besides, she has the doll on her side.

I had to blink at that, but then I remember he had insisted on renewing that spell before Gina sailed, so he obviously believes in that doll. Still…

Diana: Why is it you believe that doll has powers? She’s a doll. Made of bones. You know, not living.

He looks at me askance. (I just love using that word: askance.)

Captain:  But of course, she has powers!  How else did my Gypsy Doll escape time after time? She might not have been protecting me, she was protecting my beloved, is true. But always the luck we sailed with, always the luck. Take my word,  that doll of bones may not take a breath but she is much alive. Si, she is alive.

Diana:  Um, Captain, in case you don’t know the ending (mild spoiler alert) one might say the Gypsy Doll didn’t exactly sail off into the sunset?

Captain: Ah, but my Gina is safe is she not? And the doll is with her, si?

Diana: Yeah, kinda crazy how that doll managed to stay with her mistress.

Captain: Exactly.

Said with a smug nod. I’m not even going to argue the point, after all, there is something about that doll…

Diana: So do you think Gina will continue sailing the seas?

Captain: Hard to tell with that girl, but I’m hoping Charles will use some of his legendary charm and talk her into a nice, peaceful landlubbing life.

Diana: There was talk of a land grant in the New World. Would you want to go to the New World?

Captain: Of course, I’d love to spend my remaining years with my daughter and hopefully a few grandchildren to bounce upon my knee.

Diana: With all that gold, I’m sure they could build a nice big house for all of you. Or build you a separate house out back if you want more privacy.

Captain: Gold? They have to find the gold first, carina.

Oooh, carina, I like how that sounds. I like it a– then it dawns on me what he said. They have to find the gold. Mentally, I smack my head.

Diana: Of course, you’re right. The treasure map.They have to find the gold first. But that’s another story isn’t it?

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