“Morre lentamente quem não viaja”
Pablo Neruda (1)
La Chascona é a Casa Museu de Pablo Neruda em Santiago do Chile.
(1) Pablo Neruda é o pseudônimo de Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (Parral, 1904 — Santiago, 1973), poeta chileno, um dos mais importantes poetas da língua castelhana do século XX; foi cônsul do Chile na Espanha (1934 — 1938) e no México. Neruda recebeu o Nobel de Literatura em 1971.
Outras referências a «Viagens»
Ainda a propósito do acontecimento relatado em anterior postagem, (1) do Arquivo do jornal de Hong Kong, «South China Morning Post» (2) recolho outro relato desse acto de pirataria com consequências nefastas.
“Pirates burn ship, 300 people die
At least 300 people died when pirates tried to seize the steamer Tai On in the Pearl River estuary on April 27, 1914. The attackers, who posed as passengers, set the vessel ablaze when officers, crew and two Portuguese guards refused to surrender.
The death toll was one of the highest in the long and bloody history of piracy on the China coast. The attack occurred as the vessel, bound for Guangdong port Jiangmen from Hong Kong, prepared to enter the mouth of the West River.
The gang carried heavy Mauser pistols, sturdy and reliable guns made by the thousand in Chinese factories. At about 11pm half a dozen men stormed the bridge, which, after previous attacks, had been turned into a steel fortress. Shooting wildly through grilles, the pirates fired at the master, mate and chief engineer. Behind bullet-proof shields two Portuguese guards, both former soldiers, shot back, killing some of the attackers and driving away the rest.
Meanwhile, officers set off flares and fireworks to alert the crews of passing ships, and four other steamers headed for the Tai On. By this time about 50 pirates had begun rounding up and robbing the passengers, including one carrying $100,000 in cash for delivery to a business contact.
Passengers were also told to approach the bridge and beg the ship’s officers to surrender. If they refused they were shot dead. The pirates then began killing passengers indiscriminately, and lit fires throughout the vessel. Blazes spread rapidly, forcing the passengers, crew and pirates to leap overboard; 165 people, including some believed to be killers who had disposed of their weapons, were picked up by rescuers.
When the charred hulk of the Tai On was towed to Hong Kong, 90 kilogrammes of molten gold and silver were extracted from the hold, along with many burned human remains. An inquiry was highly critical of the ‘universal practice’ of the carrying of non-paying passengers such as cargo brokers and livestock attendants, some of whom were believed to be spies for pirate gangs.
For years the Post had called for fortification of engine rooms and bridges, the searching of all passengers, more gunboats on the Pearl River estuary and the posting of six Royal Navy sailors aboard every vessel. Its suggestions had gone largely unheeded.” (2)
(2) «South China Morning Post» 1913 – 1922
Retirado (disponível na net) em:
The Directory & Chronicle for China, Japan, Corea, Indo-China, Straits … , 1904, p. 492
Retirado do BGU, Abril de 1962.