Part the Two Hundred Twenty First: The Parley is Convened
When she had a moment of consciousness, Hope had her answer ready to go.
“Why no sir,” she said with a slight slur, “I just rested my eyes anon; please do continue with your…”
As her vision cleared, she saw that Henry Morgan had left her in the common room. Before her instead were Samuel, Charity, Osei and Goddard.
“Oh, I am so happy to see you!” she said as she reached her arms out, hugging both Samuel and Charity close to her. She nuzzled her head between both of theirs for a moment before slowly disengaging.
“Dios mio,” said Samuel. “Are you drunk?”
“Blame Morgan for that,” said Hope. “The gentleman likes to drink, and the more I tried to be social and keep up with him, well…”
“Henry Morgan, the most notorious drinker in Port Royal?”
“Amongst his other talents,” she replied with a slight smile.
Charity turned around, grabbed a spittoon quickly and placed it under Hope. “Just in case,” she said to her. “Aim for the center.”
“And these… ‘talents’ you spoke of…” Samuel asked with concern.
“Oh, he was very good with what he shared. We shared, I mean. Did you know, he was not aware how well Abigail can read the wind, and thought it brilliant how often we would have that advantage? And he shared quite a bit about how to interpret a letter of marque to the best of your advantage.”
“So what you shared,” asked Osei, “were tips on the Sweet Trade?”
“Yes, yes,” said Hope, noticing how relieved Samuel seemed to be at that, which made her smile inside… “That’s what we did, yes.”
“But why?” Charity asked. “Why try and drink with this… this buveur? What led you to do that?”
“I was hoping to get what I could, after our working together. Some tips on how to go about what we need to do, what the best way to do them.”
“I see,” said Goddard, looking confused.
“Although I must confess, how much he’d drunk before, if I could have had him imbibe enough to change his mind to come with us, but I guess his heading south was too much of a draw to make him change his mind.”
“You speak riddles, girl,” said Samuel. “Where are ‘we’ going?”
“I can tell you on the way,” she said as she got up…
…and pitched forward. Luckily, Samuel and Charity were there to catch her, Charity grabbing the spittoon to put under her.
“I don’t think you’re in any condition to go far,” said Osei.
“Then we should at least go to the corner there,” Hope nodded in the direction she wanted to take them. “Mind the blood when we take our table.”
“Um… Whose blood is this?” Goddard asked.
“John of Mersey’s, the bastard’s.” Hope added as she saw the shock on their faces, “Morgan’s words, not mine.”
“The captain who told us where we could find the Little Plate Fleet?” Osei asked.
“Yes, he did. He sent us right where De Colera wanted us.”
“So he’s responsible for Sanders’ death?” asked Goddard.
Hope leaned closer. She pushed the spittoon aside that Charity propped under her and grabbed everyone’s attention with a stern gaze.
“She’s alive,” she said to them. “Abigail is alive!”
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