My father was always leaving, and over time he came back less and less often. He was from Tintagel, in Cornwall, a place full of fairies and wizards. He claimed to be the grandson of a witch from Man who had a red cat, but then again, he said a lot of things when he got lost in his bottles. I studied at La Valletta Jewish school and then in Cordova with Rabbi Ezra Toledano. It was he who initiated me into the Torah and told me other secret stories.
At any rate, what I remember best is the day I left Malta. I embarked on the Golden Vanity, a magnificent three-masted ship, and ever since then I have been sailing around the world. I have met Rasputin, Jack London, and many others; I learned to dance the tango in Buenos Aires; in the Antilles and Brazil I met Esmeralda and learned about voodoo rituals. Then there were the Indies, China, and the Caribbean islands, with those lazy verandas and shootings; the Pacific Islands, including Escondida–the strangest of them all–among monks and pirates. I saw a train loaded with gold fall into an icy lake in Mongolia; I have shared the desert silences with a warrior, and greenery and tears with a beautiful Irish fairy; and I’ve searched for jewels and impossible dreams along the canals and above the roofs of Venice.
I’m not a hero. I like to travel and I don’t care for rules, but I respect just one: I never betray my friends.
I’ve searched for so many treasures and I’ve never found a single one, but I’ll keep looking, you can count on that; just a little bit further on…