Monday, August 12, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 69


< Chapter 68                                                                                                   Chapter 70 >

The naval squadron commander rejects Callan's plan to recruit trogs to attack King Rat's underground lair!

Callan

I gave Captain Dorrin the benefit of my most effective glare.  It had everything; an arched eyebrow, folded arms, canted hips, a tapping foot.  Rob had called it my Princess Glare and was one of the few men who was unaffected by it.

The airmen shrank back from their captain, as if expecting him to burst in flames under the weight of the Princess Glare.  I held my silence and waited for the captain to wear down.  Captain Dorrin stood his ground, responding with a level gaze.

After nearly a minute, I was forced to admit the glare was not working.  "We could simply outrun your squadron, Captain."

"Not before my men could attempt a boarding," Captain Dorrin responded.  "Considering the risks of such a maneuver, I am confident you'll not force me into such action."

He was right.  I relaxed my stance, nodding my head.  "Of course I wouldn't, Captain.  Would you, perhaps, come aboard and allow me to explain my reasoning to you?"

"It will not sway my decision, Your Highness,"

"Please?"

A paternalistic smile spread across the captain's face.  "I see no reason why not."

As Nist brought the Pauline alongside Captain Dorrin's ship, Tristan murmured, "What is your plan, Princess?"

"Have you examined the good captain's left hand, Tristan?"

He did so.  "All I see is a hand."

"Exactly!"  Tristan still looked bewildered, so I added, "No wedding band.  That means no wife and, more importantly, no daughters.  Captain Dorrin is about to find out what he's missed."

Tristan shuddered, backing away.

As I spoke with Captain Dorrin, I released the emotions I'd held in check since David left.  My lips quivered.  My breath caught.  My breast heaved.  Tears streamed from eyes.

An hour later, we left in search of a trog settlement.

Meanwhile, in the tammar pit, David and Martin are about to be discovered by King Rat's workmen!