Friday, September 21, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 51

< Chapter 50                                                                                               Chapter 52 >
Princess Callan doesn't believe our hero hired Martin Bane to kidnap her.  But who did hire him?

            "Are you insane?" cried Raoul.  "Some guard gives a sword-"
            "Rob was not some guard!" Callan said.
            "That settles the question of Raoul's intelligence," I said.  "But I still want to question his integrity."
            Raoul started sputtering again as Callan said, "Have a care, David.  Raoul is my future brother-in-law."
            "Perhaps," I said, "but I'd like to know what else happened when he was in the captain's cabin."
            "I have answered that question," Raoul announced.  "I negotiated for our release.  Nothing else."
            "You didn't teach the captain how to call me a pirate in the Mordanian language?"
            "Why would I do such a thing?"
            "I'll ask that question once you've answered the first one."
            "I taught the captain nothing!" Raoul replied.  "Ship's captains have been known to memorize foreign phrases for business purposes."
            "Agreed," I said.  "But why would he memorize a line in Mordanian when he was talking to his crew?"
            "You ask me to explain the actions of a common sailor?" Raoul asked.  "Callan, this indignity has gone on long enough!"
            "Whatever the reason," I mused, "that line was the perfect cue for your entrance."
            Raoul gave an indignant reply, but I barely heard him.  The events of the last few days cascaded through my mind and everything clicked.
            "It was you!" I said, interrupting Raoul.  "Everything that's happened, from the raider plot to kidnap the princess to the fight on the merchant airship's deck.  It was all staged to let you play the hero and rescue the princess!"
            Without conscious thought, the tip of my sword flashed, pressing against Raoul's neck.
            Into the silence, I said, "You hired Martin Bane!"

Is the royal house of Tarteg behind the plot to kidnap Princess Callan?  Find out in Chapter 52, coming Monday!