Part the Two Hundred Thirtieth: The Failed Appeals
“This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen!” Hope protested.
“What’s done is done,” said Samuel as he stared at the two members of the Swallow’s crew.
“But when we discussed this, it wasn’t supposed to be like this!”
“We can’t argue the point now,” said Osei. “That will just make it easier for them to find us.”
“But you said that you would stay behind to continue to appeal to the Am H’Sefer. We were counting on being able to return to Port Royal or Jamestown with Abigail to a safe harbor.”
“Not after this I can’t,” said Samuel.
“Because they turned me down earlier for everything I asked. When I came to them, head bowed, they kept deferring every request I made.”
“So how does taking the Swallow change that?” Hopes asked. “You assured us when you made further inquiries that this wasn’t a ship they had a stake in.”
“And it isn’t. The owners were Gentiles and were doing no business with them. But it’s still an act of piracy, taking a vessel by force, and any involvement in that would not have served our argument well.”
“And you’re only mentioning this now?”
“I paid one last call to Don Hernando,” said Samuel as he looked over at Little and Dale. “I went to him before I boarded the boat, to gently sound him out about where we stood with him. And the tone he took in reply to my simple courtesies, I could tell that he and the other merchants were not inclined to look kindly on any of our actions.”
“So what happens when we finish the rescue?”
“We have a slim chance. If we offer them something of value, some form of restitution, they may well be more forgiving.”
“And I assume,” asked Charity, “that what they may be looking for possibly involves precious metals?”
“Which means,” said Hope with a sigh, “that in addition to everything else we’re trying to seize from De Colera, we need to make more room for additional treasure to take back.”
“So what now?” asked Goddard.
Hope looked at the two former crewmembers of the Swallow. Little and Dell looked shocked since the seizure, and the expressions on their faces remained the same as they sat in the small boat, being towed by the sloop as she hit the open sea.
“Throw them two sets of oars,” she replied. “They’re going alone back to Port Royal.”
Jukes and de Barrer handed them their oars and cast them adrift as the sloop was readied to go under full sail.
“Are you disappointed that I stayed aboard with you?” Samuel asked Hope.
She just gave him a slight smile…
“So what is she now?” Mullins asked Hope.
“Her name. The ship, what are we changing her name to?”
“I thought it was bad luck to change a ship’s name,” said Hope.
“It’s worse luck if she still has her old name and you’re caught on her,” said Osei.
“I see. We do need to think about that, don’t we? What to rename her…”
“How about,” said Charity, “the Bella Swan?”
Hope and the rest of the crew stared at her.
“What?” asked Charity. “What?”
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