Part 158

Part the One Hundred Fifty Eighth: The Tact Up the Hill



“They look like bleached bones on the sand,” said Hope two days later as she looked up from the docks of Jamestown at the fine houses up the hillside.


“Ever les souriante une,” said Charity. 


“Aw, they’re not so bad,” said Goddard Zoutman.  “Nice enough folks up in those houses, for a bunch of sugar growers and traders.”


“The finer folks of Jamestown,” said Abigail.  “None would mind our business here if they thought ye of value to them.  And no man here is more practical and willing to consider a freebooter’s offer than the Governor himself.”


“Are you sure you didn’t take any ships that sailed for any of the families of Nevis?” Hope asked Abigail.


“None I know of.  At least if we had, none aboard said as much.”


“Lovely,” said Hope.


“Come,” said Abigail, “We be needing introduction to the Governor.  I know some of the taverns his men are likely to frequent.  We can choose among us like fishermen taking spots off the coast which of these we will- What’re you standing there for, Hope?”

Hope’s panicked glance over to Charity at Abigail’s mention of going to the taverns hadn’t yet given her an answer to how she could avoid again being in a situation where a brawl broke out; the memory of Andrews’ demise and her captain’s statement that she still wanted revenge on his murderer rooted her legs.


“Oh come now!” admonished Abigail.  “What is holding you back?  We need to hit the public houses if we’re to get our letter of marque and can’t afford to just stare at the houses.”


“What,” added Charity, “are we somehow scarred of the big burly sailors one finds here?  After all you’ve done, you turn lâche now?”


As Hope starred at her, she saw Charity give a slight playful wink even as she spat out her words in disgust.  She realized that Charity hoped to goad her into coming, and offered to see to her back when she did.


Grasping what was going on, she took up the challenge and replied, “Me a coward?  No such thing!  In fact, I…”


She froze again as an insight hit her.


“…I think I have other places to go than the taverns.”


Both Abigail and Charity stared at her with mouths agape.


“If as you say the Governor is a man very much in the style of the well-to-do citizens of Jamestown, who like him are open to freebooters’ offers, then perhaps there is a family that sponsors such ventures who may be a means of introduction.  And of course, if there is some boon we may do on their behalf that may draw some compensation, would that not be booty secured quite easily?”


Abigail slowly nodded.  “Aye, there be some merit to that.  Ye may pursue that tact and let me know the moment ye have made progress.”


Charity and Goddard came aside Hope while the rest of the Gale’s crew headed for the taverns. 


“So who do you know that we can turn to?”  Charity asked.  “How do we choose a patron?”


“Looks like a nice night for a stroll up the hill,” said Hope as she started strolling towards the fine homes of Jamestown.

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All content Copyright © 2009 James Ryan

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