Contemplate, if you will, the imponderables of fate and random chance with the duet of time and circumstance. Do these mix randomly or with the logic of a knowing hand? Tis not for us to know with pure empirical scientific certainty in this life. Yet there is sufficient reason enough to have faith for those who think deeply and weigh evidence about such matters that there are really no coincidences or inexplicable human collisions.
Are the story lines of life complex? Surely yes. Do they often seem part of a plan? What about free will? Well, all depends on our contemplations, doesn't it? The temporary answer may be no. I say the final answer is mostly yes but about this do not be troubled. Simply carry on as you must like a branch thrown into a torrent. It, like all of us, must race ever onward in the river of life without always knowing every hazard and turn or what these may mean until the end of our journey. Let not your hearts be troubled.
Upon the stage before you, the confusing mixtures of virtual lives are no different. Recent discombobulations and confusions tell us this. However, dear reader, please sit back and let me unravel the meaning and destiny of some of it. I speak naturally of the seemingly imponderable collision of events and people of Tradgardland, Gallia and a new entity hurled into our electronic arena. Now....enter into your imaginations as the curtain rises on Scene #1 offshore of Scotland aboard the Royal Gallian ship Alerte.
Premier Officer Henri: "Monsieur, the little vessel has heaved to. All seems well and she is outgunned. She has no longboat and...."
l'Capitaine: "Pass my compliments to Enseigne Nicolai and ask him to take the cutter over to ask the commander to come here to speak. Maintain vigilance mon trés cher ami. Keep the guns run out."
Narrator: A half hour later the commander of the other vessel boarded Alerte and stood before l'Capitaine. They exchanged pleasantries and descended the companion ladder. Seated in the little cabin we learn our guest is a....
Scotsman: "I thank ye Sur, for the honour to speak to ye. We have an interest in the affairs of Gallia and certain ideas that may be valuable for us mutually. I apologize fer stopping ye, but may I ask ye, what is your business off our shores?"
l'Capitaine: "Propitious perhaps ... but we shall see. I am looking for a fellow countryman known to have been recently taken away to your shores Sir. I am bound to find him."
Scotsman: "His name?"
l'Capitaine: "Chevalier du Nord."
Scotsman: "Propitious indeed yer honour. Fate has been kind to ye and if I may hazard it, perhaps for the cause."
l'Capitaine: "The cause?"
Scotsman: "Let me explain it this way yer honour by means known beyond us mortal men. Here Sur, a letter from your Chevalier du Nord!"
Narrator: [l'Capitaine raises an eyebrow, takes the message and reads]
"My dear Capitaine,
This morning as I arose within Castle Dunkettle my destiny seemed fraught with uncertainties complicated by surprising ways and means of gaining my attention. I write of my sudden and unexpected transportation to this place from Shetland. I settled into acceptance of my fate awaiting the revelation of my purpose here when I noticed your unexpected sail on the horizon. Knowing it to be Alerte, my dispatch vessel, gave me new hope as you drew ever closer though you did not know I was here. I became certain destiny had brought you offshore to somehow find me. Surely there would be no other reason."
"I have been brought here to explain the position of our King relative to 'the cause.' Depending upon your discretion and orders, I should be honored to learn if l'Comte de Albany has followed through with his hopeful plan to come here. If you would be so kind as to raise and lower your ensign three times, I will know he is coming and that I can reveal something of it to my hosts."
Should I not see the signal, I shall know the plan has met with a change of some kind and will explain things as best I can. In any event, I should be obliged to board Alerte when you think practicable as I remain."
l'Chevalier du Nord
Narrator: We are now outside Castle Dunkettle. The Chevalier du Nord as you may recall was asked to address the multitude encamped there. He commences....
du Nord: "SCOTSMEN! I have been brought here by the guiding hand of destiny to speak to you of news. Good news gentlemen. News ... you have longed for. The dreams you speak of quietly beside your hearths and campfires will no longer dwell only in the realm of thought, hope and desire.
Just this morning my dispatch vessel, Alerte, not by fate, but by unseen guidance delivered the news you have longed for into my hand. She signalled me 'the cause' moves forward. I have in my pocket a note written by the captain of Alerte confirming this as well. It was brought by the commander of the vessel that carried me to you and who spoke to Alerte out to sea. You watched the drama offshore as Alerte and your vessel drew near, stopped and then parted.
Alerte sailed without a moment to lose to bring none other than l'Comte de Albany to you. He is near. Let us wait upon our joint destiny my new companions and then listen to his words, the words you seek. Until he arrives I am at your service.
Gentlemen, three cheers for l'Comte de Albany!"
Narrator: Indeed three cheers were loudly proclaimed. The next morning a powerful Gallian squadron appeared offshore. Alerte worked her way inshore, lowered her cutter and brought a man known as l'Comte de Albany back to his countrymen. The cutter flew his flag from astern. The flag of the previously incognito ... Charles Edward Stuart.