Friday, August 9, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 68

< Chapter 67                                                                                                   Chapter 69 >

A second shift of workmen threaten to discover David and Martin -- but what of Callan and her negotiations with the desert tribesmen?


The desert tribesmen insisted we take their translator with us.  Tristan didn't say anything, but I'm pretty sure the tribesmen made the offer out of respect for him.  When the translator joined us on board the Pauline, he turned out to be the son for whom the tribal elder wanted to buy me.

The man wasted no time prostrating himself before me.  "I humbly beg pardon for my father's foolish attempt to buy you, Lady Death!"

"No apology is necessary.  Please stand," I said.  "And call me Princess Callan or Your Highness -- not Lady Death."

The man started to rise.  "As you command, Lady Death."

His face turned red and he threw himself down again.  "I humbly beg your pardon Lady- um, Princess Callan!"

"Think nothing of it.  Rise."  I could see why this man was still single.  "What is your name?"

"Treb, Your Highness Princess Callan."  He bowed from the waist.  At least he didn't drop prostrate again.

As the Pauline rose into the air, the squadron commander brought his ship alongside.

"Have you concluded your business with this desert tribe, Your Highness?"

"I have, Captain Dorrin."

"Then perhaps Her Highness will finally share the particulars of her destination with me?"

"Of course, Captain!"  I smiled across at him.  "I'd have gladly told you had you asked!"

"And I'd have asked had my airship been able to catch your little ship."  The good captain looked to be grinding his teeth beneath his smile.  "But I am asking now."

"I plan to send an armed force into the tunnels -- one which can't be traced to Mordan.  I thought trogs would do nicely."

"Trogs?  Absolutely not, Your Highness!  Return to Beloren or I will have no choice but to board your ship and take command!"

What can Callan and the crew of the Pauline do against the will of the squadron commander and the might of four Mordanian warships?  Find out in Chapter 69, coming Monday!