Peru’s heart swelled at the thought of what little time remained separating him from the girl he loved. True, that little time was measured in months, but every breath he took shortened those months to moments; he could only view the coming days as a time he would look back on as a split second in his life.
With the sky clear and the wind at their backs the crew worked the ship in a pleasant mood. None would admit it, but secretly they were all hopeless romantics. Leaving their homes and families behind felt burdensome, but to see such a strong desire in the prince to gain what they already had left them feeling eager to see his heart fulfill its greatest desire.
A few days into the journey dark clouds gathered on the horizon and a storm swept the seas in a turbulent riot. The men fought hard to steady the ship but with one great gust the boat overturned and all were cast into the sea. The storm raged on for many more hours and only those God saw fit survived, catching hold of debris to cling to for survival. Peru was one so lucky, and save two more all others perished. Staying close to each other the men drifted at sea for many days, hunger and thirst biting at their throats.
“We are all going to die,” one man called to the two others, seated on a plank of wood from the ship. “We will perish and it is because of the young prince and his foolish whimsies.”
“Bite your tongue.” The other man said. “The cause of our demise is the sea and nothing more. Do not blame a hapless boy for fate.”
“Because of you,” the sailor said to the prince. “I will never see my wife and children again. I will die and they will become beggars on the streets eating rats from the gutters to survive!” He continued raving until all sense fled him and he fell into the sea in a fit, drowning.
The remaining crew member floated hopelessly across from the prince, who felt the sailor’s words deeply and could not shake the debt he felt he now owed. Impossibly the picture of Florette survived the wreck but was smudged by dampness. Peru took it from his pocket to dry and swore by her to honor the men who had perished and their families should he survive.
The next morning the pair washed ashore an island, green and wild.