Part 292

Part the Two Hundred Ninety Second: Abigail’s Secret Weapon

“Is that the last of the powder?” Hope asked as Jack and Mason hoisted the last small barrel up on deck.

“If there were more down there,” commented Jack, “then we’d have enough to blow the fort off the hill.”

“I’m not as worried about the fort.  Though truth to tell, it may be some time before we ever see Santiago bay again.  What of the fuse?”

“The simplest are these,” said Jukes as he held a set of matches and a small pot with warm coals in the bottom.  “You light the matches I crafted with the coals and place the dry end of them into the charge to burn down and ignite the powder.  It should give you enough time to do what you need to.”

“The pot won’t set it off?”

“Not unless you intend to place it atop the pile.”

“I’ll remember not to, then.”

“We’ve got it,” said Goddard as he presented two rods, one with a piece of the damaged jib attached to it.  “You’ll need a hole to place this one in,” he held up the naked rod, “and hang the other off it by this loop tied to the one with the sail on to this,” he pointed to the dowel inserted into the first rod.

Hope looked at the benches on the launch.  “That could be a problem; I don’t see a hole for this.”

Goddard looked at the benches, then stepped into the launch as he asked Samuel, “That piece of the lines, there; that should do.”

As Goddard with Samuel’s help secured the rod with a dowel upright with Samuel’s help, Osei, Edward and Mason pushed the powder closer in on itself and used the remaining part of the jib to blanket it snugly.

“Is she still to other side of the bay’s mouth?” Hope called up the mast of the Swallow.

Oui,” said Charity.  “The winds are still coming in off shore, and the Casa, she’s not quite herself.  She’s not as well handing the winds as she could be.”

Hope mounted the top of the cabin to get a look for herself.  The distance they put between the Swallow and her pursuer was substantial, and Hope could not quite make out from here what was going on astern.

“Let’s hope we still have good winds a little while longer,” she said as she turned her attention to Abigail.

She was leaning against the cabin, a blanket over her to keep her warm.  Hope looked past the wan face to concentrate on her eyes, which still burned with driving mischief as she stared at her.

Hope leaned in closer to Abigail and said I a low voice, “I think this going to actually work, because I’m convinced I have your main weapon to call upon.”

Abigail said nothing as she locked eyes with Hope.

“I think, seriously, that in all this time, the one thing you’ve always had going for you, has been an outrageous amount of luck and good fortune.  My hope is that, with you aboard, we should be able to call upon it to get us through yet another close one.”

Abigail smiled slightly.

Hope kissed her on the forehead and said, “I’ll see you on my return.”

Hoping that she would…

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All content Copyright © 2010 James Ryan

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