Part the One Hundred Ninth: The Offended Captain
The man with whom Hope had collided in the marketplace stared at her over his thin, sharp mustache with dagger-like eyes from under hair that looked raked into place by a rapier.
What struck her was what was behind those cold eyes. The look of disgust and contempt seemed intent on disposing with her. What Hope felt may have been going through his mind was not whether to hurt her, but how.
And the way he looked at her, Hope felt certain that this man was considering a lot of options, each one worse than the last…
She looked around briefly, noticing that the merchant she had been talking with and a few of the men in earshot of her laughing fits stared at the man before Hope in dread and fear. Some of them even turned and left as quickly as they could without trampling shoppers and sellers.
Hope got a brief look at the piece of jewelry the merchant had tried to sell her, reminding her of what she would have done had she still been that person. Her choice of reaction became clear as she compared then and now…
“Sir,” she said as she straightened her shoulders. “My pardons,” she continued, staring at him.
The offended man seemed to stop thinking about how he would hurt her for a moment before he gave a slight nod. “Votre maladresse est notée,” he said, straightening himself up to stare her down into submission.
A man from the crowd came up to Hope’s opponent and said, “Capitaine L’Olonnais, we have some word about the expedition’s-”
L’Olonnais held up his hand to still the man’s tongue before he asked Hope, “Quel est votre nom, enfant?”
“My name is Hope Harvey. I sail with Captain Abigail Sanders aboard the Raging Gail.”
L’Olonnais just sniffed derisively. “La chienne de mer,” he said dismissively before he turned his back on her and went about his business.
“Not a very pleasant man,” Hope said aloud, not to anyone in particular.
“Captain L’Olonnais?” asked the merchant. “He’s one of the most feared buccaneers about. There’s a reason he’s known as le Fléau des Espagnols.”
“What did he do?”
“When he seized a Spanish port, the govenor of Havana sent a galleon to take it back. When the Spanish were defeated, he left only one man alive to send a threat to him.”
Hope asked after a pause, “What did he do to the rest of the crew?”
“It was horrible. They say one man had his heart cut out of his chest, living only long enough to watch L’Olonnais eat it before him.”
“Out of his chest, you say?” asked Hope, slowly.
“Oui. Still beating as he held the heart, from what I had heard.”
“I see,” said Hope, slowly nodding her head. “You mentioned I needed a bath; where would I get one?”
The merchant pointed back to the Blue Dolphin.
“Thank you,” she said, slowly willing her legs to walk, trying not to collapse in fear as she thought of whom she went up against…
All content Copyright © 2009 James Ryan