Part 63

Part the Sixty Third: The Musician is Wooed
  
“Mister Samuels,” Osei asked their new surgeon, “what can you tell us of the cargo aboard this sloop?”
 
“According to the louts the captain listened to,” he said, “this vessel was charged with taking items that had somehow gotten lost on their way between Vera Cruz and Seville to an interested party in Saint Augustine.”

 

Sanders looked at the bowl and the silk.  “The Manila Galleon,” she said as she examined them.  “The Spanish trade with the east, through Mexico.  They say the ships used on the Pacific are larger than any vessel on the Spanish Main, five times easily the size of the Gale, so if any caballero fino had wanted a few items for himself, they be easily procured and not missed by anyone along the route.  We be dealing with a gentleman with fine tastes, lads,” she said with a laugh.

 

“There also be these,” said Campbell as he came through the hatch with a small lockbox, opened to show its contents.  “There be two more like these as well.”

 

Sanders ran her hand through the coins in the lockbox, some gold ones among the silver reals.  “Sink me! He be rich as well as with tastes, now.”

 

Charles looked at the neck of a dead man before him and used his cutlass to touch the thin silver chain of a charm the corpse wore and maneuver it off his neck.  “Mon capitaine,” he said, “do we have provision against claims on personal items found in combat?”

 

Sanders looked hard at Charles and stated, “There be no such provision against, save the dictates of manners and grace.”

 

“I shall keep to that provision, though I see no problem with ma petite action,” he said before he claimed the charm with his free hand and with a bow presented it to Hope.  “I believe this, ma chére mademoiselle, is fitting prize for the one who I heard spotted the sail, no?”

 

Hope stared blankly at Charles and the charm he presented her, not sure how to react.  She gave a glance at Captain Sanders, who seemed extremely annoyed, and at Andrews who seemed even angrier at him.

 

Hope took all of a few seconds to weigh her actions before she recklessly went ahead and smiled.  “I accept your token,” she said as she looked at the symbol on the bronze charm:

 

 

“I know not what it means,” said Charles, “but I wish you to would wear that in good health-”

 

One of the defeated crew jerked up, rising to his knees.  His gaze was met by several drawn blades as he focused on his surroundings.

 

He fallado usted , Barón de Colera,” he said, before he expired.

 

Hope found herself in Charles’ arms close to him when the man died, and under Andrews’ angry gaze.  Captain Sanders hovered over the dead man, looking at him as though she were examining a chart.

 

“Who is Baron de Colera?” Osei asked his captain.

 

“I don’t know,” said Sanders.  “I do not know at all…”

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All content Copyright © 2008 James Ryan
 
 
 

 

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