Part 52

Part the Fifty Second: The Captain Lays Down the Law



Abigail broke the silence in her cabin and spoke first. “You are flattered by the attentions of Charles de Normandie?”


Hope just nodded.


“Well isn’t that a fine one! What say you when those words prove to be mere flatteries and there be nothing behind them?”


“And what if they’re true, then?” Hope asked. “What if he meant every one of them?”


Abigail’s eyes widened. “Oh, that would be something if that were true!”


“And why should you care if I agree to some young man’s attention?”


“Some young-” Abigail started to sputter before she steeled herself. “Are you aware how such tensions could sink this venture? How the trading of charms between crew can lead to bad feelings among others and from there to mutiny?”


Hope shut her mouth as Abigail started to take a commanding tone with her, speaking now as captain to her crew.


“If we be allowing such congress freely,” Abigail continued, “then ye be at the mercy of Andrews or any other man who felt he could take advantage of ye. And if ye said yes to any of them, then others ye not blessed would take it badly, be less willing to work with others as a crew, and soon on be ready to mutiny. That’s why ye had me keeping Andrews from ye.”


Hope nodded in understanding.


“I hope that will be the end of it. There be no fraternization with the crew on this voyage.”


“I understand,” Hope replied. “I will be keeping my affections for him to myself then?”


Abigail looked at Hope with a sharp gaze.


“And why should my feelings not be for him, even if I keep silent and share my feelings with no one?”


Abigail said nothing; she just gave Hope a look with a subtle sigh implied by it.


“Well, why should I not?” Hope finally pressed.


“I be thinking,” Abigail finally said, “by the heading of the French, that she be bound for Saint Augustine. Fineries like that, there likely to be a few prizes there that may be worth our-“


Hope didn’t care whether Abigail lanced her with her sword as Hope gave a growling cry of frustration at the renewed avoidance…



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All content Copyright © 2008 James Ryan


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