Part the Seventy Second: Deliver Us From Evil
As the crew of the Raging Gale watched, the galleon the Casa del Sol bore down on them with all sails trimmed. Even without a favorable wind, the Spanish vessel came with great speed at the brigantine, the light of the burning galleon to the Gale’s starboard giving the Casa the look of a host of Hell raging forth to claim her.
Of the crew assembled on the quarterdeck watching the galleon come for them, Hope saw fear in everyone’s faces, save for Sanders and Osei. Of those two, only Sanders dared look at the Casa directly, and then only when she adjusted the tiller to change the Gale’s heading ahead of her pursuer.
“If ye know a hymn, Hope,” said Sanders as she leaned on the tiller to get the Gale to sail in beam reach, “now we could use it.”
Hope tried to think of one she could sing while still using the rammer on the deck like a drum. In the whole time she had been aboard the Gale, she felt disconnected from her belief. Now, asked for something by Abigail, she found she could not. With this woman having gone from tormentor to friend, with all that had happened to her, she could not now offer what was asked…
In desperation Hope called, “Surgeon Samuels to the quarterdeck!”
Abigail gave a glance, as sharp as it was brief, before the surgeon came up. “Is there an emergency?” he asked.
“We need a man of God now,” said Hope. “And you’re the best Christian we have to ask Him for help!”
Samuels and Sanders stared at Hope, who was still edging the men on with the thumping rammer as she spoke.
“Please sir, I beg thee,” Hope said to Samuels. “Of all of us, you’re the one He’s on the best of terms with, and it would mean more from you than I.”
Sanders had a look of surprise for a very brief moment, the time permitted her by the impending coming of the Casa, before she returned to adjusting the ship’s course. Samuels looked at Hope with surprise a bit longer before he slowly lowered his head.
“Our Father, which art in Heaven…” he began.
“Stand ready!” Osei commanded Charles and the rest of the musketeers.
“Hallowed be thy name…”
“Trim that boom!” Sanders commanded.
“Thy kingdom come; thy will be done…”
Hope continued to beat out a rhythm, THOMP-THOMP-THOMP
“On earth as it is-”
A shattering blast came from the stern of the burning hulk, sending pieces of flying debris into the air.
“It’s a miracle!” Hope exclaimed as she dropped the rammer.
“Aye, a miracle the rest of the powder didn’t go off before now,” said Sanders as she watched parts of the hulk go skyward.
The Casa caught pieces of the flaming debris on her foremast and mizzenmast sails. Spaniards who were in her rigging desperately addressed the fires claiming her canvas.
“We’re getting away,” Hope said aloud. “We’re going to get out of this, and-”
Two more explosions, softer than the one the hulk made but no less worrisome, came from the galleon. Hope felt something come at her from the Casa…
All content Copyright © 2008 James Ryan