Monday, July 1, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 51

< Chapter 50                                                                                                   Chapter 52 >

Martin Bane stands before King Rat, but what of the rest of the rescue party?


Concealed under the robes of a desert tribeswoman, I paced around the Pauline's deck.  Waiting drove my mind into dark places where it delighted in summoning disturbing images -- tunnel rats killing David in unspeakable ways, David and Martin being fed to a tammar, and, in my mind's darkest corners, Martin turning all of us over to the tunnel rats.  I didn't believe those last images for one second, positive Martin's turn of heart and his loyalty to David was genuine.  But that didn't stop my mind from wandering there.

I definitely needed something to relieve the monotony!

As if on cue, I spotted Milo dodging through the crowded docks.  A gang of burley men pushed through the crowd behind him, losing ground as Milo slipped through the crowd.

"Nist!  Tristan!" I called.  "Milo's coming fast and he's got unwelcome company!"

Milo charged up the stairs toward our dock shouting, "Cast off!  Cast off!"

Tristan and I ran do Milo's bidding as Nist started bringing the boiler pressure up.  The gang of men reached the dock stairs as Milo jumped onto the deck.  The Pauline was fifteen feet up and climbing when the gang reached our dock.  None of them had crossbows, so they could only curse and shake their fists at us.

I expected our little drama to have attracted some attention but no one gave us a second glance.  Maybe dockyards were as rough and tumble as the air pirate tales I'd read as a girl said they were.

"What's going on, Milo?" I asked.

"They think Martin left the crown jewels on board," Milo said.  Pointing behind us, he added, "And they're not going to give up easily!"

Two airships rose from the docks and swung into our wake!

Callan and company are on the run while Martin and David face King Rat!  Find out what happens next in Chapter 52, coming Weednesday!