Chapter Eleven

on December 4, 2009 in Evermist

© 2009, Patrick Hester.  All Rights Reserved

Chapter Eleven

Elias set his tray down and took his seat on the bench across from Narut and Broat.  The root did work, and his stomach was closer to normal, enough so that he managed to eat again without bringing it all up an hour later.

“Narut was explaining to me why we have to take the long way to Evermist, Elias.  Why we can’t just head straight North.”

Elias nodded, sipping at his water.  He hadn’t thought about that.  Evermist should be a straight shot North from Valles, but they were heading in the opposite direction, down around the cape towards Southport and then up the backside of the island.

“The Ilea Isles and the shallows,” Narut announced.  “Only flat bottomed boats like my father’s fisher can safely sail there.  The water isn’t very deep, there’s lots of coral and sandbars.  A ship like Seaspray would run aground if she tried to go straight through, and navigating through would have her snaking back and forth and there’d always be the danger of running into something.”

“So, the ‘long way’ is actually safer and faster?” Elias asked as he took a spoonful of the stew.  It was heavy with fish and spices, but still good.  He tore his bread apart and dipped it.

“Yep.  Plus, they can trade with the seaports along the way, drop one cargo and pick up another.”

Broat shook his head.  “It still seems silly to head south around the cape, then up the western side of Paerleon.”

“It makes sense to take the safer route when the lives of so many people on board depend on you getting to where you’re going,” Narut said.  “Not to mention getting your cargo there in one piece.  Remember, the Ilea Isles are full of shallows, sandbars, coral reefs and pirates and a ship like Seaspray would be a juicy target for them.”

“Even with all us Militia on board?” Broat asked.

“Sure,” Narut answered.  “They could ram us, sink us and take what they want from the wreck.  They don’t need to go toe to toe with us, and usually they don’t.  They’re dangerous and crafty.  My father has always been wary of those waters.”

Elias nodded thoughtfully.  Broat just shook his head.

When the meal was over, Narut held his arm and Eli stayed where he sat until most of the people were gone from the room.  Narut leaned over and, in a hushed tone asked, “Do you know that man?  Look casually.”

Eli nodded, then pretended to stretch.  He caught sight of a rough looking crewman sitting off in a corner apparently watching the two of them.  He wasn’t particularly remarkable; had a mess of jet-black hair, sun darkened skin and dark eyes.  He wore the standard stuff that most of the crew wore; simple enough shirt, short-cut pants without shoes.  Eli didn’t think he’d ever seen the man before.  He told Narut as much.

“It might just be a coincidence, but I see him watching you all the time,” Narut whispered.  “It’s strange.  I thought maybe you knew him, owed him money or something.  Have you been playing bones with the crew when I’m not around?”  ‘Bones’ was a game played with dice for money that many in the Militia had started playing since coming aboard The Seaspray, and no, Eli hadn’t played it with the crew, which he told Narut.

“Do you think there’s a problem?  Should I talk to him?”

“He’s leaving,” Narut said.  Eli turned just as the man left the room.  “I don’t know.  I could be seeing things.  It’s just that, where I come from, someone you don’t know taking too much interest in your comings and goings isn’t a good thing.”

“Okay,” Eli said, not entirely sure that it was.

“I’ll keep an eye on him.  Just in case.  And I’ll ask about him.”

“You don’t have to do that!” Eli argued.

“Nonsense! We’re in this together now.  Have to watch each others back.  Plus, I’ve been wanting to talk to the second mate since we came on board and this will give me an excuse.”

Eli grinned.  The second mate must be the woman he’d noticed Narut watching once or twice.  Shaking his head, he followed Narut up to the deck, his mind wondering why the strange crewman had been watching him.

3 Responses to “Chapter Eleven”

  1. K. Godwin says:

    Yet another good chapter.

    May I make a small suggestion?

    Force the text color for these text boxes…I’m typing blind. 😉

  2. Patrick Hester says:

    What browser are you using? In Firefox 3.5 and IE 8, I see black text on a gray background…

    And thanks 🙂


  3. K. Godwin says:

    Replied on twitter. 😛

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