Part 22

 Part the Twenty Second: Hope Considers Her Options

That night, once the candle was put out and Captain Sanders turned in, Hope stayed awake in her hammock staring over at this woman who had captured her.

 

For the first time, she could see her without hate-

 

No, Hope suddenly realized, not without hate but without fear.  It was fear of Sanders that had driven Hope’s hatred, she understood now. 

 

And seeing Sanders’ as an enemy, the way she felled the Dutch ship master and his crew, she knew better what that woman would be like were she a true adversary.  For all that she had done to Hope, Sanders was by no means cruel.

 

Hard, yes, she had to admit.  And from what Hope had seen and the tale Sanders told, hard is what was required at sea, she had to admit.

 

Hope tried to imagine what would have happened had the King Charles made it to Carolina.   She imagined life on the plantation with her family, far from everyone she had known outside her family in that far-away land.

 

A land she had no say in going to.  A land that she would be hard pressed to leave without the intercession of her father.  Or worse, a land that she could be ripped from by her father at any time, even if she loved it.

 

The thought of life with her family being as much a state of captivity as that with the pirates made her angry.  No matter where she turned, she was to be like a pawn on a chess board, forever moved by the hand of another.

 

She looked over at Sanders in her hammock, swaying side to side with the pitch of the Raging Gale, under the scabbard of Dyck’s sword.  Part of her wanted to hate the woman, this time for being free while she was forever going to be chattel, her fate in the hands of others, and now in Sanders’ hands-

 

Although…

 

When Hope confronted Sanders about the Articles, Sanders did not tell her she was barred from joining up…

 

And if her life was indeed going to be nasty, brutish and short, Hope thought, should it not at least be her choice how she was going to suffer?

 

Hope considered going from captive to crew the rest of the night, with not a wink of sleep to be had…

 

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All content Copyright © 2008 James Ryan

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