Part the One Hundred Thirty Third: The Powder Monkey’s Tail
It was late in the afternoon two days later when Charity finally asked Hope, “Is la Capitanne likely to keep looking at me like that for the rest of the venture?”
Hope was flexing her fingers after a long day of playing the cittern, looking out the stern windows. “Looking at you in what manner?” she asked.
“She seems angry with me, ready to have me knot my own cat at any time.”
“I think if she were that upset with you, you’d have been dealt with by now. And for all her displeasure, you must have something you offer to keep you here.”
“Faites-vous pensent vraiment ainsi?” Charity asked.
“Well, there was the fact that she was unhappy with you ruining her ruse, but didn’t tell you to never attack anyone again. I would imagine that despite the desire for finesse, there is still a demand for brute strength.”
“C’est bon. I am not sure I want to test her wrath.”
“And I suppose mine is a bit easier to weather,” Hope asked as she narrowed her eyes while speaking to her.
“The bit about wanting to change dresses? I admit, that was a bit of good sport at your expense-”
“And nothing I did back in Tortuga mattered? I thought us finished with this, when I spent my entire stake from the venture to sate your desires, but obviously you are too greedy! And if I had managed to get the whole of the Ottoman Sultan’s harem to lie with you, would you still try and come for me?”
Charity looked even more shaken by Hope’s rebuke than she was by Abigail’s. Part of Hope started to regret the tongue lashing she gave her, albeit a part that was in a very small minority…
The door to the cabin flew open then, startling both women. “Didn’t ye hear the cry?” said Abigail as she rushed in, stowing her backstaff.
“The call for mess? We must have missed it,” Hope said with a slight delay after a quick glance at Charity.
“No, not that.”
“What? What else happened?”
“Another sail to broad starboard,” Abigail replied as she retrieved her sword from the bulkhead. “The light’s getting low behind us, so we have the advantage in being able to see her well before she spies us.”
“No ruse this time?” Charity asked.
“Nay, swift speed for this. And Mister Collins is expecting ye to be a fast powder monkey for him. This be yer proof to us all.”
Abigail left and Hope started to follow, but stopped when she noticed Charity was just standing there.
“Come on, you,” she said to her. “You heard her giving you another chance, didn’t you? Or do you just want her to whip your arse over the guns anyway?
“On second thought, don’t tell me, just come!”
All content Copyright © 2009 James Ryan