Part 271

Part the Two Hundred Seventy First: Reintroductions

Hope became intensely aware of her surroundings when a hand gripped her shoulder.  As though she had awakened from a dream, everything came into full view.

There were more people around her than there were before she killed de Colera.  Different faces, but in the aggregate more, not all of them staring at her.

The biggest difference she noted was that the Spaniards no longer surrounded the crew.  Most had dispersed, some running in flight from riled slaves who were settling accounts with their former overseers, though a few Spaniards were dead around the yard.  There was one still alive, on his knees before Mullins, who held a blade to his throat.

Also still standing among the crew were Charity, Samuel, Osei, Goddard and de Flanders.  They had picked up what arms they had at hand, either what they carried before they were waylaid or those abandoned by the Spaniards, on the ready should the surviving Spaniards regain their senses and the upper hand and turn their attention to them.

Among the new faces were Mason, Redhanded Jack and Edward.  She was glad to see them, even Edward, though he looked less like a boy than an imp as the figures behind him ran for their lives.

“Sorry bunch, this lot,” Hope heard to her right.

She turned to face Mason, who looked more like a huntsman coming off the estate after taking down his game than a brigand or buccaneer.  The way his thin blade dripped with blood, it seemed the image that made the most sense to her…

He continued as he went to a knee beside her, “They were too easy to keep ahead of, had no sense of me as I got behind them, and could be collected as easily as a young girl picks flowers in a meadow.”

“Colorful way to put it,” Hope said, slightly detached.

“Ah, well, I’ll give them some allowance, with the slaves riled and letting their anger out on them.”

“How resourceful of you, to bring them into the fight.”

“Credit where it’s due.  Wasn’t me who thought to get them to come to our side, but him,” he pointed to the edge of the fray, to a figure coming into view.

“Who, then?”

“It was I,” said Jukes as he came closer.  She could just make out something in his hand about the size of an apple with a tail emerging from the side.

“So that was why you stayed behind,” said Hope, “to get us allies for the fight.”

“That, and materials.  A few moments alone allowed me to improvise with the charcoal dust to come up with a few small grenades.  More noise than force, but their shock value proved advantageous at the right time.”

“So how much merde did you have to piss on?” Charity asked.

“How I made them, I share that only with my apprentice, should I ever get one.”

“Which we can look for later,” said Hope.  “We’ve got the Spaniards on the run, which won’t last forever.  The sooner we make our way to the Black Swallow the better.”

“But we can’t,” said Mullins.

Hope girded herself for the next crisis…

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All content Copyright © 2010 James Ryan

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