Part the One Hundred Sixty Second: A History of Tough Negotiations
“Well this is new,” Abigail said to Hope the next morning.
“Pray tell, how?” Hope asked, assuming that she was talking about the two of them walking the streets in proper dresses on their way to the Governor’s Palace for the audience Samuel had arranged.
“That I’d be meeting a governor this quickly without being hung over, sore, or wounded.”
Hope tried to keep her smile at that statement while still walking. “And how exactly did you used to get into such predicaments?”
“Normally there’d be offers made to the men we’d be needing to see. Usually drink would do, a few rounds’ worth being enough to have us in the governor’s office. The occasional shares of treasure might have been required as well for the greedier ones.”
“The price of business. You come to the New World to get rich, by any means ye can,” said Abigail while acknowledging the leer of a gentleman who walked past them, “and by whatever means of trade ye deal in.”
“So some of those meetings leading to a quick audience, they involved…?”
“Heh. There might be an request from them, from time to time.”
“And did you ever?” Hope asked.
“Like any transaction, the negotiations can always be opened again before the deal closes. You might be surprised how many officials wanting affection will accept keeping their lives if the deal is re-opened at the right moment.”
“Hence the wounds, then.”
“Aye, when there’s the chance that someone could end up hurt, there’d be plenty of times it’d be both of us,” said Abigail. “And then it all comes back to booty.”
“The sight you must have presented before the governor.”
“Which I turned to my advantage; you look as though you survived a tough fight, you give the man watching you the feeling that ye can take on whatever is on the waves and return their share to them.”
“Are you saying I should be here with bruises on my body, then?” Hope asked.
“Not if this sponsor ye got us didn’t ask for them. He’s a Porto, you say?”
”Do you see that as a problem?” Hope asked, worried she might react to him the way Charity had last night.
“I’ve done my share of business with them, and they act no more or less than one finds among Christians. As I said, ye come here to be rich in the New World, which be true of all men. And women,” she added with a slight smile.
At the front of the governor’s palace stood Samuel, looking resplendent in the full light of day, dressed appropriately for a man of his station. Hope couldn’t help but smile at the sight of him, at which he smiled back.
Abigail said in low tones to Hope, “The way he looks at you, you certainly made quite an impression on him.”
“You say that as though he were about to commit a crime.”
“Aye, in Europe, it would be for him to look at you in that way.”
“Oh,” Hope said, understanding her meaning.
“To be rich in the New World, in the trade ye want,” Abigail said in a tone more like a toast.
All content Copyright © 2009 James Ryan