Part the One Hundred Sixty First: The Mark of Prudence
Samuel showed surprised at the greeting Goddard Zoutman offered. “Oh! Baruch H’bah! I hadn’t expected anyone else; if I’d known you were coming I would have been at the docks to offer a proper greet-”
Goddard held up his hand. “No, not me. I’d go to the Jodenbreestraat a lot on business, and sometimes just to watch the caballeros strut, and I’d pick up a few words here and there. I didn’t mean to vlieg te verkeerd vlag on you, sorry.”
“Oh. Well, kacha h’chayim. Please, do come in.”
Goddard strode through while Charity took tentative steps. “You look to have made a good life here in the New World,” he noted.
“Yes,” said Samuel, “si, we have. Much of the sugar on Nevis is moved by my family, and in some ports we know well the refiners, which gives us helpful connections.”
“Ah, all this on the sugar trade alone?”
“It’s our main business. We do have other trade dealings, which we engage with many other partners.”
Hope meanwhile noticed that Charity moved slowly into the room, her eyes darting about with suspicion. Hope came up to her and asked, “Why are you acting this way?”
“I’m… these people whose house we’re in,” Charity noted in low tones.
“Well… they’re… they’re Juive.”
“I see,” Hope nodded slowly.
“I mean, doesn’t that… bother you?”
“Says the woman who walked the streets for money after she was discovered making love to her neighbor’s daughter.”
Charity seemed more startled at that declaration.
“If being at sea with you has taught me anything,” Hope continued, “it’s that if your heart speaks to you on a person’s behalf, and if that person is able to provide something of their own accord regardless of where they started, then go with your heart. And if Señor de Cadiz is who we need, then so be it.”
Charity sighed. “If I were you, I would still keep an eye at all times on his hands.”
Hope thought about his hands, and how they felt against her own-
She shook her head and caught the end of Samuel’s statement, “…way that I can show my thanks for what you’ve done for us-”
“Actually,” Hope said, “there is something.”
“I’m here with my associates, looking for an introduction on our behalf to the Governor. We wanted to discuss a venture with him.”
“How interesting,” said Samuel. “What kind of venture would this be?”
“Piratas,” said Samuel’s mother. “Son piratas mi hijo!”
Hope, Charity and Goddard turned to look at her.
“They want a letter of marque,” she continued, with a disinterested wave of her hand. “Another desperate crew looking for a license.”
Hope looked at Samuel.
“Well,” he replied, “I don’t think we’ve been asked to intercede with the governor before by such a lovely person. I hope that for the mitzvah you granted us, Hope, that this introduction will be more than enough.”
“That would be ever so kind,” Hope said with a smile.
“Oh would that I could do more than that, offer a hand in other ways.”
She remembered his touch and briefly embraced the idea with abandon…
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