Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Scout's Honor - Chapter 107

< Chapter 106                                                                                             Chapter 108 >

David proposes robbing the treasury and kidnapping Prince Rupor this very night!

            "Tonight?" Callan and Martin said.
            "Sounds like fun!" Milo said.
            "We can't afford to wait," I said.  "If we're still here when Raoul arrives, we're finished.  King Damon will have Rupor and Callan wed immediately, Callan's parents will be killed, and they'll find some excuse to throw me in the dungeon to rot."
            "Perhaps a little haste is called for," Martin said.
            "Agreed," Callan said, sealing her instructions to the treasury guards.
            "Milo, learn as much as you can about the treasury," I said.
            "Okay, David!" Milo said, slipping out the door.
            "I'll be going, as well," Martin said.  "You two be careful!"
            When we were alone, Callan stalked to her wardrobe, flipped through racks of clothing, then pulled out a suit of riding clothes.  Tossing her dressing gown on the bed, she began pulling off her shift.
            I spun to face the other direction.  "Callan!"
            "What?" she replied.  "Oh, did I embarrass you?"
            "More like surprised me," I said.
            "Well, stop being surprised and come help me get dressed," she said.  "We're going to be married soon, so you'd better get used to seeing me naked."
            "If I ever get used to seeing you naked," I said, buttoning her blouse, "throw a wake and bury me!"
            Callan's lips brushed mine, "You say the nicest things, David."
            We were discussing the best route from the treasury to Callan's room when there was a knock at the door.  Hand hovering over my sword hilt, I opened the door.  One of the castle guards stood in the hallway, a hand tightly gripping the collar of Milo's shirt.
            "Captain Rice," said the guard, "we caught this boy stealing from the royal treasury!"

Apparently, the temptation of such wealth was too much for a poor street thief!  Will this derail our hero's plans?  Find out in Chapter 108, coming Friday!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Scout's Honor - Chapter 106

< Chapter 105                                                                                             Chapter 107 >

Raoul has escaped from Martin Bane's custody!

            "How?" I asked.
            "Ardan Windslow," Martin replied.  "He recruited some street thugs and ambushed my crew when they were taking Raoul to the ship."
            "What about Kim?" Milo said.
            "Your sister is fine, as are Tristan, Sarn, and Tal," Martin said.  "They were already on the ship.  I waited until we were ready to leave before sending for Raoul.  Windslow ambushed them and got away with Raoul.  I ordered all airships grounded for one day.  That ought to delay any family reunion Windslow has planned, but that's all."
            "It's not your fault, Martin," I said.  "I should have made the search for Windslow a priority."
            "No, I-" Martin began.
            "Stop it, both of you!" Callan said.  "The two of you can argue blame to your heart's content after we've rescued my parents."  Callan's smirk returned, "Though I hope David can find better things to do with his time!"
            Martin laughed, "You're a lucky man, David."
            "I won't be unless we act fast," I said.  "We need an excuse to have Milo enter the treasury.  I need a scouting report on it."
            "I'll send him to fetch my tiara," Callan said.  "I'd be expected to wear it when meeting King Damon."
            Callan sat at a desk and began writing.
            "Martin, can an airship approach the palace undetected"
            "No, the steam engines make too much noise," Martin said.
            "Could one drift in on the wind?"
            "Maybe a small ship, like Tristan's Pauline, could do it," Martin said.  "And Nist is a better pilot than me."
            "Okay, send your ships around the city and north.  You ride with Nist.  I want the Pauline at this balcony by midnight," I said.  "We're doing the job tonight!"

How can our heroes hope to rob the treasury and kidnap Rupor with no time to plan?  Find out in Chapter 107, coming Wednesday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Scout's Honor - Chapter 105

< Chapter 104                                                                                             Chapter 106 >

Our hero proposes kidnapping the heir to the throne of Tarteg.  Plus robbing the Mordanian treasury.  And all in the next two days!

            Callan frowned, "Won't King Damon realize that we're on to him and then kill my parents?"
            "He might figure it out, but I'm working on ways to throw him off track," I said, "Either way, I don't think he'll risk killing your parents.  After all, we might retaliate on Rupor."
            "We'd never do that," Callan mused, "but Damon won't know it."
            "Dishonest men tend to assume all others are dishonest, too," I said.  "That should work to our advantage."
            "So, all we have to do is rob the treasury, kidnap Rupor, and escape past a Tartegian naval squadron," Callan said.
            "See?  Nothing to worry about!" I said.
            "How silly of me to worry," Callan said, kissing me.
            Time was starting to slip away when we were interrupted by a knock at the door.  I gently disentangled myself from Callan's embrace and opened the door.
            Milo strode in, carrying a tray laden with food.  His eyes widened at Callan's open robe and short shift.
            "Has David been guarding the royal body again?" Milo smirked.
            Callan returned his smirk, "Assiduously!"
            Milo blushed bright red and searched for somewhere to place the tray.
            Pulling her robe closed, Callan asked, "Have you been able to do any spying, Milo?"
            "Some, Your Highness," Milo answered.  "I found out why your uncle isn't Regent."
            At Callan's nod, Milo continued, "A mining tunnel collapsed in his province and he went to oversee the rescue.  An airship was sent for him when your parents disappeared, but it hasn't returned.  I bet the Tartegians stopped the airship!"
            A voice came from the balcony, "There's worse news."
            We whirled to see Martin Bane step into the room.
            "Raoul has escaped!"

If Raoul ever reaches his father, King Damon will learn that our heroes are wise to his plans!  What will our heroes do next?  Find out in Chapter 106, coming Monday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Scout's Honor - Chapter 104

< Chapter 103                                                                                             Chapter 105 >

Once Callan is safely married to Prince Rupor, the Regent plans to put Rupor on the throne of Mordan!

            "Crowned king?  But my parents aren't dead!" Callan protested.
            "All Mordan prays you are right!" Elias said.  "But I misspoke.  Prince Rupor will be appointed acting king."
            "I...see..." Callan said.  "All of this excitement has overwhelmed me.  I believe I'll take dinner in my room and then rest.  Rupor, please deliver my regrets to your father?"
            Concern for the health of his betrothed shone in his eyes as Rupor assured Callan he would do so.  She retreated behind her door and everyone except me left.  A moment later, Callan shooed her ladies-in-waiting out the door, shutting it firmly against their protests.  Several of them turned simpering smiles upon me.
            "All the palace is talking about Her Highness's mysterious new captain," one said.  "Please, please tell us of your adventures!"
            "I but did my duty," I said, "which also forces me, reluctantly, to ask you ladies to move along.  I cannot allow such beauties as yourselves to distract me."
            Giggling and whispering, the ladies-in-waiting also left.
            A moment later, Callan's door opened and she pulled me into her room.  She wrapped her arms around me and, for the first time since Rob died, wept.  I held her until the tears ebbed and waited for her to speak.
            "What can we do, David?" she asked.  "If Rupor gains the throne, I'm certain his father will kill my parents!  But if we run off, King Damon will guess we're onto him and he'll still kill my parents!"
            "Not if we rob both kingdoms at once," I said.
            "What do you mean?"
            "In the next two days, we're going to rob Mordan's treasury," I said.  "Then we'll kidnap Prince Rupor!"

Plot and counterplot!  But, with only two days to plan, can our hero ever hope to rob the treasury and kidnap Prince Rupor?  Find out more in Chapter 105, coming Friday!