Assessing Things Landward

For those who love Treasure on the Southern Moor. . .

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 8: Repairs and a Rest; Pgs. 191-194

.     The sun had come over the horizon and was beaming its rays upon water and land. Splash, splash, splash was the sound the oars were making as Mr. Toller related the story of the previous night’s events. Captain Underwood listened with great interest to the tale that was given him, watching as the ship’s boat took them closer and closer toward the Southern Moor.
.     “Well, well,” the captain said at the end, “that is a different turn. We will have to be more careful for sure, and of course I do apologize for hiring them in the first place and for the danger it put you all in. There was such a short time before we had to set sail, and I’m only all too sorry our suspicions about Mr. Northrup were true. At least,” spoken with relief, “Adrian and Adrianna are safe.” He went on, with some strain, “yet we are shorthanded now, in addition to needing repairs.”
.     They had by this time come up to the side of the Southern Moor, and a rope ladder, or Jacob’s ladder, was dangling down to receive them. The captain was first to ascend, coming up onto the main deck, and was greeted by Adrian and Adrianna and then by the loyal crew.
.     “We have been up all night and have nearly died,” said Adrianna in her father’s embrace, yet she was so tired from the night’s activities that she didn’t sound nearly as frightened as one may have thought.
.     “And it wasn’t so bad,” said Adrian. “We made it out safely.” His face turned sickly as he thought of the soldier and sailor who hadn’t. “But not everyone did,” was all he said aloud.
.     “We have been narrowly saved from disaster,” said the captain. “And I can only thank you all for your loyalty and to the Lord for His protection. I have a word to speak with the traitors before we need to discuss our plans, for our plight is plain. How are we to sail with more than half the crew unable or unwilling to lend a hand? This will have to be discussed among us, and since we are so few and every one of you has proved your loyalty with your lives, it is my wish that everyone have a say in the deciding. Yet it need not be discussed now aboard the Southern Moor. I suggest we partake of the victuals Robert Moore has prepared, and afterward go ashore where we can discuss our situation over solid ground with a larger meal.” He looked around at the tired faces of the crew. “It also appears that an hour’s sleep before we depart would not be amiss.”
.     Mr. Moore was nearly done with preparing breakfast, largely consisting of porridge, and everyone readily agreed to the proposed plan and sat down to eat. “Going ashore to Africa at last,” said Adrianna as she took her bowl of porridge. Steam was still rising from it.
.     “Aye,” said one of the two remaining loyal sailors. He said no more, but started humming the tune of an old sea song. Adrianna remembered that he was a sailor who had lived his whole life on the rolling of the stormy sea and therefore did not think of land as most landsmen think of it. She wondered if he had ever before faced a mutinous crew and what had happened if he had. Yet even sailors have a desire to visit land now and then, and Adrianna caught the glint in the man’s eye as he looked out over the shores.
.     When the light breakfast was over, during which Captain Underwood had had a strained discussion with the traitors (and he could get nothing out of them that Mr. Toller had not already told him), the crew of the Southern Moor took an hour’s sleep before preparing to go ashore. There was some discussion about what to do with the prisoners, locked below in the stable, and it was finally decided that Mr. Heath with one of his soldiers would stay behind to guard them, making sure they didn’t make any movements toward attempting escape. Of course, their hands were securely tied, but one can never be too sure. Mr. Heath was chosen because he was reliable to stay awake even after the rigorous night before, and it was promised he would have much time on land the following day.
.     “The oxen don’t seem to mind the fresher air in the officer’s cabins,” said Jemmy Ducks with a laugh. “It will do the traitors well to spend some time down there.”
.     The departing party assembled on the main deck and said goodbye for the day to Mr. Heath and his soldier who stayed behind with him. Some of the ship’s boats were lowered.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 194-196

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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