Part the Two Hundred Seventy Third: Where Our Loyalties Lie
“Explain yourself,” Hope said to de Flanders, trying to keep herself calm despite his suggestion.
“I mean, look at her,” de Flanders said as he finally found his voice. “Your Abigail, she’s very sick. Most men would be dead by now after what she’s been through.”
Hope glowered at him in response.
“She’s been through so much as it is. And we could be some time in getting the treasure de Colera hid, and she might not live long enough to see even a single piece of silver be pulled from the well.”
“Oui,” said de Flanders “well, but even were we to abandon this opportunity, even without that, when we set off away from here, it’d be many a day before we find a proper surgeon to see to her. It might be a mercy if she were left at the shore line with a shot for her, to choose when to go.”
“For her to take her own life.”
“I don’t say this lightly, mademoiselle, but as a mater of being practical. If it means anything, I too have lost. Michael, mon ami,” he pointed to de Barrer’s corpse, “he has been with me for quite some time, a traveler through many a venture, and he is no longer with us. I shall miss him terribly, but if he were as weak as she is now, he would understand if I were to provide for him the way I suggest we show Abigail mercy. If I would be willing to do that for him, you could see that such an offer for her is not an act of cruelty or callousness, but a reasonable suggestion, no?”
The air was very still as Hope held Abigail. The only sound she could hear were the labored breaths her captain made in her arms.
“Come,” said de Flanders, extending his hand to Hope. “I can give you a hand as we make our way to-”
For Hope, thought led to action instantly.
She used one arm to cradle Abigail to the ground before she rose to her feet like a mainsail filled by a tailwind. The palm of her free hand found de Flanders’ face hard and true, and he spun halfway round from the impact.
She flowed with the momentum of her spin and grabbed the pistols hanging round the corpse of de Colera’s neck and cocked the hammer of one as she pointed it at his face.
“Now you listen and you listen well,” she said, her words more of a growl. “If you so ever dare suggest that to me, if you even think of such a thing, then by God sir, your next breath will be your last!”
His fear obvious from his expression, de Flanders raised his hands as he looked amongst the rest of the crew for possible allies.
All he received was a wide eyed reaction to Charity, who said, “Vous ne voulez pas vous amuser avec cette chienne folle, Monsieur!”
“Right,” growled Hope. “Anyone else with such ideas?”
The only reaction came from Osei, who came over to Abigail and swept her up in his arms.
Hope lowered the pistol and arranged her captain in his arms to make her comfortable.
“Now,” she said, “let’s go to the well.”
All content Copyright © 2010 James Ryan