Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 41


< Chapter 40                                                                                               Chapter 42 >
Last seen hanging onto an airship's line, the prince and princess are nowhere to be seen when our heroes catch up with airship!

            I had Nist maneuver the Pauline up close to other airship and hailed the airship.  I didn't understand the reply, but Tristan did.  After several minutes of shouting, Tristan signaled Nist to fly away.
            "Neither the captain nor his crew saw anyone hanging on the rope," Tristan said.  "He said the ship had a gas leak about an hour ago.  They got close to the ground before patching it.  He thinks the prince and princess jumped off then."
            "Do you believe him?" I asked.
            Tristan said, "No...  He had all his answers ready and didn't ask his crew anything.  He's hiding something."
            "Probably the prince and princess," I said.  "Turn like we're searching.  We'll come back after dark."
            An hour later, Nist held the Pauline steady above the other ship's gasbag.  The larger ship's engines drowned out our own engine.  I looped one rope over my shoulder and tied another to the rail.
            "When my line goes slack, drop below the other airship.  I'll signal when I find the prince and princess then lower them to you," I said, then slid to the gasbag.  Climbing to the deck below, I hugged the shadows, avoiding the night crew, and found my way below deck.  A crewman bumped into me, balancing a heavily laden food tray.
            Eyes on the tray, he muttered something at me.  I just grunted, stepping away from him.  Concentrating on the tray, he went aft.  I padded after him, assuming the food was for the captain.  Knocking, the crewman opened the door farthest aft.  Within, the captain was laughing and pouring wine for another man.
            The other man was Prince Raoul!

Why is Prince Raoul drinking wine with a man who denied he was aboard?  Is the Princess Callan also aboard?  Find out in Chapter 42, coming Friday!