Become a Fan
By john k zimmerman
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
Another excerpt from my novel project Chronologically this is after "Altamar" and before "Belle"
Red stood at the gangplank of the sloop Black Merlin. It was blowing the first rains of winter. It was well that it was. She had to take her escape now, before winter and before the campaign that was sure to follow in the spring. She had had a tearful goodbye with Bara. Now she had to say goodbye to Gart.
They had grown close on the Seastone mission and closer since. Gart now commanded a detachment of the legion assigned to guard duty at the keep. They were in contact every day often because of their duties, but more often just for the pleasure of their mutual company. But now she was leaving with no hope of ever seeing him again.
Red looked from her musing to see Salt and Ding carrying her sea chest while Gart and Jocko carried the rest of her baggage between them. She had not expected Salt to be there, but three under officers made short work of loading her baggage onto the schooner that would carry her home.
She pressed a gold piece into Salt’s hand. "’Ave a round on me, Troopmaster.” she said. She stood on tiptoes to kiss hiss cheek. "Watch ‘is back."
"Yes, ma'am" he said. The three made short bows to the riding mistress then stepped a discreet distance up the quay.
Gart took Red’s hand but what ever speech he planned died unspoken. It was raining just enough that their tears were lost among the rain drops. They stood looking at each other while around them the crew made ready for sea finally the Captain came to gangplank.
"You have one minute and then I must be under way." He said. “Time and tide, young man.” He discretely withdrew.
“Till until we meet again.” Gart said.
“And we will.“ Red promised. Then she turned waked up of the gangplank and went below. The schooner let go her lines and, borne by wind and tide, sailed out into the great bay.
Gart watched the “Black Merlin” until she tacked under the great light, but Red never reappeared on deck. Then he turned back to the three.
“Thankyou, gentlemen.” He said.
“Don’t mention it Sir.” said Salt. "Sir, 'er ladyship gave us a coin for a tot. With your permission, sir, and would you care to join us?"
“Yes, yes to both."
"Let’s go to the Dog and Pony. “Said Salt.
“Afraid of the press?" Gart clapped the Troopmaster on the back.
“No " said Salt. "But the witch woman said that I’d meet me fate beyond salt water."
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