Mason & Dixon — chapter notes

  1. Wicks intro, the children and rumpus room
  2. Letters between Mason and Dixon
  3. A drinking night out with the pair as they encounter the Learned English Dog who imparts some wisdom and nonsense, a crew is established, fortunes told and fates warned.
  4. departing the channel their ship the Seahorse encounters a French enemy and a battle ensues, the English ship gets pummeled, 30+ casualties. Mason and Dixon work below assisting Wicks with surgery, and the ship returns to port mend itself and presumably bring on additional crew. M&D end the adventure by getting pissed.
  5. The damaged lick their wounds, and send word of their battle to the Royal Society. Who is not impressed.
  6. Repaired with a new Capt. Grant the Seahorse sets out once again, crew full of nonsense (especially Veevle) and preparations are made to fete Mason, Dixon, and the Rev Wicks as they cross the equator for the first time.
  7. Arrival at the Cape, Mason and Dixon shack up with the Vroom family, and the three pretty and pretty horny daughters therein. After messing about with Mason, the girls leave off and M is ambushed in the sack by a slave girl. They try to figure out how to see the Transit of Venus with all the bad Cape weather.
  8. The boys do everything they can to avoid eating at the foul Vroom table. Of course they’re pestered by the V daughters. They stagger out into the night and the chapter ends with a feasting of mangoes.
  9. Mason gets caught fussing with Mrs. Vroom while a Vroom daughter also makes a move. Of course he falls escapes out a window, ass over tea kettle. The Vroom girls and the slave girl trek over the the boys’ observatory and pester the men, cruel young beauties ev’ry one.
  10. At last the Transit begins, and the boys take their marks and measurements and time-stamps of the event. Much of the town and Vroom contingent gets involved with the astronomy. Afterwards the men wait idle until the winds return, and they leave the Cape headed for St. Helena.
  11. The boys arrive at St. Helena and Mason spots an old flame, one Florinda, whom he met at the Tybrun hangings long ago, after the death of his wife. They joked and flirted and now she’s here–with a grim-reaper looking fiance in tow.
  12. The boys get shitfaced in a bar with Nevil Maskelyne and they talk with a clock. Yes a clock. Dixon is ordered back to the Cape.
  13. Mason on St. Helena sans Dixon. He tolerates the company of Maskelyne, and they try to keep sane while creating each other’s astrology charts.
  14. Dixon and Vroom visit a Cape whorehouse and can’t tell what happens. Ennui sets in, not sure the point of the chapter.
  15. Mason and Maskelyne continue to bug the crap out of each other, and the ghost of Mason’s dead wife shows up to pester him. Dixon returns and hears of this apparition.
  16. We learn of the first meeting between Mason and his wife Rebekah, a cheese rolling festival. Mason was nearly flattened by a 10-foot cheese wheel, until Bekah shoved him out of the way.
  17. Mason talks to a pickled ear and asks for Dixon to return, and lo-behold, they set off back to England. They talk of a plan to survey some land in America; Maskelyne doesn’t want the gig so they can take it.
  18. More of Mason’s past, a remembrance of family time and Rebekah.
  19. Another bar room chapter, talk of time and Jesuits and nonsense.
  20. Mason informs his family of his upcoming trip to America. His sons and others are afraid of him. His father (Charles Sr) laments that he will continue to pay for their upkeep. Ends with a long treatise on bread, the kneading and baking.
  21. Another flashback with Rebekah, and Mason dawdles around London preparing to leave for America.
  22. Some Dixon backstory on his surveying education w/ William Emerson, and an intro to Father Maire, SJ. who attempts to bring Dixon into the Society before he departs for America.
  23. Dixon and Emerson and the Jesuit head to the pub to get pissed. Fr. Maire reflects on a pizza he once ate, and he makes one anew, the first in Brattain. The full moon turns a pubgoer into a song-and-dance werewolf.
  24. Good background on Dixon and his family.
  25. At long last the boys head off for America. Yes, America.
  26. The boys arrive in America and find all sorts of wares being hawked along the shore. They enter Philadelphia.
  27. They meet one Benjamin Franklin in an apothecary shop and immediately decide on a pub visit with the famous founder. Ben talks women and electricity and later they are joined by some of Ben’s female fans.
  28. The boys meet up with one Colonel George Washington and smoke a few bowls of hemp with him, as Martha Wa. arrives with a tray of sweet munchies to sate the smokers. Washington’s black Jewish slave tells a bunch of jokes, and perhaps a Chinese-Jesuit plot is discovered.
  29. More putzing around Philly, visits to pubs, chance meetings of secret societies, wha?