The only other place that the young slave could’ve been was the Governor’s bedroom. I was beyond shuddering at the thought of what could’ve been happening in the bedroom. Being a pirate now made me a little thicker skinned than when I’d been a young innocent school marm. I hoped that the Captain knew the way to the bedroom as I did not. He had the mental map and I was again following his lead.
As we emerged from the dungeon it was obvious the distraction caused by other shipmates from the Deceit was in full swing. Pirates were fighting with guards, the Governor was upon a balcony looking down, shouting orders, wearing only a dressing gown that had fallen open to reveal all that God had given him, and either it was cold or God had shorted him something. He was a short fat man, graying hair top and bottom, normally he wore a powdered wig and it was obvious why. The hair on the sides of his head were graying, nothing grew on top.
The Captain and I fought towards the staircase, and between our cutlasses and my fork, we were now charging up the steps two at a time. The Governor seeing us coming gave a rather feminine shriek and ducked back into his bedroom. The Captain tried the doors and they seemed to be barricaded. We both had to put our shoulders into them several times before the barricade gave and we spilled into the Governor’s bedroom.
Dungeon seemed to also fit the description of the Governor’s bedroom. The walls were painted a dark blood red, sheer silk curtains hung from the ceiling around a bed that gave full meaning to dominating a room. Various torture devices, adorned the room, but these were more of a humiliating nature than pain. Chained to the bed, and rather cleaned up, were a young girl, the young slave we were here for, and another young man. The Governor was trying to climb over the balcony railing, but he was struggling to drag his fat ass over it. The slaves, though cleaned up, were naked, and the young man we were here to steal was no longer unharmed. The Governor had taken a whip to his back. He hung from his chains, barely conscious, covered in sweat.
“I need the keys,” I shouted to the Captain who only took a moment to stride to the balcony, grab the fat Governor by a handful of dressing gown and drag him back into the room.
“Keys,” Deadly McCormac stated, pointing the tip of his bloody cutlass to the Governor’s chin. The Governor pointed across the room to a large dressing table. I searched the table. “In-in the box.” I opened an ornate wooden box, a small ring of keys were inside along with various pieces of jewelry. I took the keys and released the slaves. The young girl and the other young man, not the slave we were here for scurried away. The young slave’s arms dropped heavily once released and he fell forward. I caught him but it was the Captain who dropped his coat over his shoulders so that the young man could have some decency. We both lifted him up to his feet and practically dragged him out of the bedroom. I had been too fixed on the young slave to witness the Captain shoving his cutlass into the Governor’s back, pinning him momentarily to the floor, before he yanked the sword out, wiped the blade on the dressing gown before sheathing it.
The escape was easier than the break in, even with the burden of the young man. I had no idea what the Captain’s intentions were for him, or why he wanted him. I would admit the man was attractive, he reminded me of certain things about the reason I was now a pirate and no longer teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.
There was a ruckus on the harbor, a bar fight had sprawled from a tavern, and it seemed that everyone on the docks were throwing punches at each other. Perhaps in the morning they’d tally up how many teeth they’d lost, how many fight bites they had on their fists and consider them medals of manhood. It was during the fight that I noticed him. Well I was half dragging, half carrying a naked slave up a gang plank, kicking off a fighting drunken sailor and only caught a glimpse of a man, mostly shadows. He caught my eye because he was not participating in the harbor wide brawl. In fact he leaned against a lamp post, most of his face protected from the lamp light by the tricorn hat on his head. It was the stance, the confident set of the shoulders, the casualness of how he regarded the fight, and the smile. I remember that smile, it would flash on his face whenever he saw me. It was upon him when we said our vows before God and the Church. Another drunk came at us. My fork was in my pocket, and the drunk knocked my cutlass away. I managed to kick the drunk.
“Honesty!” I heard the Captain shout my name, I glanced at him, and he tossed his musket to me. I caught it one handed and BOOM shot the drunk in the gut. He doubled over and fell. I pistol whipped the next drunk across the brow with the musket. It only contained one shot and I had no more shot or powder. I glanced back at the lamp post where I’d seen him. There was no one there. Had it been a figment of my lonely imagination?
We got the young slave onto the Deceit and into the Captain’s bed as the Captain shouted orders to get us the hell away from Hopewell. Once Hopewell was behind us, and the screams of those who had been knocked or fallen into the clouds were no longer heard did the Captain reenter his quarters.
The Captain’s cabin was what you expected a Captain’s cabin to look like. A bed on one side, a round table in the center, a desk opposite the bed. A bowl of coveted fruit was in the center of the table. The room was in disarray, it was actually the cabin boy’s job to clean the Captain’s quarters, but I hadn’t been Cabin Boy long enough to undertake this task and the last cabin boy, the one who’d walked the plank, hadn’t been very good at his job. Most pirates didn’t have many changes of clothes, usually none at all, but the Captain at least had a spare coat, spare pants, spare shirt, a second pair of boots, these were strewn throughout the room along with various maps, navigating tools, trinkets and weapons from various plunders. A bowl of half eaten food, bottles of rum, empty and not, a goblet rolling around on the wooden floor just added ambiance to the room. I opened the stained glass windows at the back of the cabin to let in some fresh air. Bathing was something pirates did not do often, usually only when they were forced to be caught in the rain, and the Captain’s cabin was stuffy and smelly.
“Has he awakened?” The Captain asked over my shoulder, well as tall as he was, over my head. The young slave had been barely conscious enough to help me help him walk from the Governor’s manor to the ship, once I’d gotten him into the Captain’s bed, he’d completely collapsed. He now lay, face down, covered modestly with blankets, while I tried to clean the worst of the blood from his tortured back. I finally turned and realized how close Captain McCormac was to me, he had leaned over me so close that if I stood up I’d bump into him.
“Why him? Why did we just steal a slave?” I asked quietly. I had never questioned his orders before but I started to see something in the way the Captain looked at him. I knew that look, I’d seen it before, I’d worn it before myself. Him. It was a look of pure desire.
“He knows the location of Draco Island,” the Captain said quietly and I looked back at the sleeping slave. I tried to keep the look off my face, but I failed miserably.
“Draco Island is a myth, Captain.” I stated, wanting to be the voice of reason. How reasonable could I be? I had just seen a ghost in a drunken brawl. The Captain had walked away, he dropped into a leather and wooden chair, and it creaked at his weight. He removed a coin from his pocket and flicked it to me. I caught it with one hand much like I had the musket, and examined the coin. It was gold, and stamped on it was a dragon head. I turned the coin over, on the back was a large castle on a floating island.
“One coin doesn’t prove that a mythical island exists,” I stated to him as I flicked the coin back to him. He caught it and returned it to his pocket.
“He knows. Trust me,” the Captain stated and I just nodded in acceptance.