Sunday Serial – The Pirate and the Don – 4

A brutal fantasy tale of piracy, friendship, romance and revenge on the high seas…

Mary took the high road over the tables and chairs and Jack went underneath. Even then they almost missed their quarry who was trying for the back door. He was fast, but they were annoyed and while Mary caught the fleeing man’s throat in one big hand, Jack had a very sharp knife about a hair’s breadth from his wedding tackle.
Their captive tried for jaunty. “Mary. Jack. Good to see you. But I’m late for a very important appointment. Gotta run.”
Mary shook him in very much the manner of a terrier with a rat.
“You’re gonna hafta be late then, ye dirty little killer. Maybe permanently late. Why don’t you tell us what you are doing here. And why you were running away.”
“Umm. Ummm.” One-Eye Sam looked from face to face carefully meeting neither set of eyes. “I’m just visiting.” But he didn’t sound convincing.
“How much? How much were you offered to kill me.” The very quietness of Jack’s voice would have warned even a dead man that he was in trouble. “How much gold did it take to make you forget you owe me, Sam?”
“I didn’t. I wasn’t. I wouldn’t…” He looked from face to face again, and saw no sign of his innocent pose being believed. He stopped cringing and sneered. “Don’t try and tell me you wouldn’t have done the same for ten thousand gold pieces.”
Mary spat on the floor at Sam’s feet. “I don’t reckon Jack’s got anything he wants to say to you, you bloody ingrate. So I’ll tell you. Of course he wouldn’t betray you for money. Now see if you can think of anything you might have to say that will buy you your life.”
Sam squirmed under the weight of her contempt. “I got nothing,” he muttered, “just an hidalgo with more money than hair who seems to blame Jack for the death of his brother. Jack and the girl.”
“What girl?”
“The one the brother was drinking. According to Don Esteban, har must have been an impostor or this brother would’ve been unkillable. Only he can’t find her.”
“And nobody else has looked?” Jack’s voice had a considerable number of sharp edges about it and Sam winced.
“Oh. They’re looking all right. Figure she’ll be a lot easier to kill than you. Trouble is she is well hid. So I comes here. Reasoning you could be meat in the pot before you even knew I was around. And if it hadn’t been for that thrice-damned bird.”
“Yeah,” Mary said genially, “there is that. Fortunes of war, wouldn’t you say Jack?”
Jack nodded and Mary grinned evilly into Sam’s now terrified face.
“What do we do with this little piece of excrement?” She wondered aloud before turning her attention to a table occupied by a group of yellow-haired men with muscles on their muscles. “Oy Sven. You wanna lend a girl your axe?”
“No, Mary. I do not.” The man who spoke must have been around seven feet tall and as wide as two normal men. His voice was thick and guttural, although he sounded kindly disposed towards the female pirate with the flaming red hair. “Why do you want an axe?”
“One-Eye Sam’s been a silly boy and I thought it might be nice to try my hand at beheading. I hear it’s a skill.”
Sam fainted and one of the other berserkers at Sven’s table sniggered before saying something in an undervoice.
Sven’s beard split to display a great many large, white teeth as he laughed loud and long. He smote his compatriot on the shoulder – it was a friendly blow, but one that would quite probably have felled an ox.
“Odin here reminds me that we have need of a cabin boy. We were going to have to set sail without, but if you have no use for Sam.”
Mary looked at the unconscious figure she was still grasping. “You sure Sven? He ain’t precisely a boy, and he ain’t very pretty.”
“He will do.”
“In that case he’s all yours. But I think he’s pissed himself.”
Sven’s teeth showed through the forest of his beard again. He ambled over and picked up the small assassin in one hand.
“We will keep him out of mischief for you.”
Sven passed the unconscious assassin to the youngest of his men, who grinned evilly before ticking the new ‘cabin boy’ under his arm and heading for the door.
Mary grinned. “Thanks, Sven.”
“My pleasure. And if you ever change your mind, my offer is still open.”

Jane Jago

There will be more from Bony Mary and her crew next week…

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