Part the Two Hundred Seventy Eighth: Stuck On the Sand
The sound of flapping sails drew Hope’s attention.
Since the crew boarded the launch, her focus had solely been on Abigail. Every time Hope ran her fingers over her face, she watched for a reaction, any slight sign from Abigail that she felt her touch. The sound of water being paddled and splashing against the launch was tuned out as she listened for Abigail’s breathing. She watched her captain’s chest to see if it rose even slightly during the trip, looking for any sign no matter how slight.
Her vigil’s end came only with the sound of the Black Swallow’s sails flapping in the gusts that grew stronger as the sun rose.
Hope smiled as she cooed to Abigail, “Soon, we’re going to be leaving here soon. We’re going to-”
“Maldita sea al infierno!” Samuel cursed as the launch came up to the Swallow’s hull.
“Now what?” Hope asked, barely able to raise her voice until she set Abigail’s head down.
“The tide’s still out. It’s left the ship even more aground than when we went ashore.”
“How long until it comes in again?”
“Can’t say,” said Samuel. “I’ve never beached a ship in Cuba before.”
“And I suppose your ‘captain’ would know when the tide rolls in again?” Mullins asked, barely containing a slight sneer in his voice.
“She might very well, thank you,” Hope shot back, the anger at being challenged making her skin feel hot. “She might very well indeed be-”
For a brief moment she cast her gaze at the faces of all the crew, watching their expressions, seeing the desperation in their eyes.
“She might,” Hope continued, “but we don’t need her to tell us, because we’re going to get out of here on our own, as fast as we can. With half of us towing the ship, hauling a line off the back of the launch, and the other half giving our backs into it against the hull to loosen her up, we can get her going off the sands.”
She bit her tongue hard to keep from adding, Can’t we…?
“Si,” said Samuel, “with a little luck we should.”
“Aye,” said Mullins, nodding slowly at first, then more enthusiastically as he spoke, “aye, that we could, we could.”
“We’d best,” said Hope, “else it’ll be us working the estate of de Colera as their newest slaves if they don’t hang us first.”
All content Copyright © 2010 James Ryan