The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Seventeen
It was a weekend and the inn was packed with people looking forward to not working tomorrow. Pete and the Captain were sitting in a booth watching the comings and goings, sipping their ale and looking like the regulars they were. Faces around them were familiar, people they had known forever – the strangers stood out like sore thumbs. Two young lads were standing at the bar with untouched tankards in front of them. One of them broke away from the bar and started moving around the groups of tables asking questions and moving on to the next. He arrived at the table where Pete and the Captain were smoking their pipes.
“I’m sorry to bother you people,” began the young man very politely. The two men looked up through the smoke, squinting against the bitter smell of tobacco. “My brother and I are looking for our sister who’s been missing this past week. Might you have seen her?”
“Missing girl you say? Well now I don’t think so…” pondered the Captain. “What does she look like?”
“Ten years old. Long curly hair, green eyes. Listen, it’s a small village. If there’s a strange girl wandering around you must have seen her.”
“Pete, have you seen anyone?”
“No Captain. Not me. No unusual girls around here.”
“Well thanks anyway. We’re moving on soon – trying all the villages along the coast. She always wanted to go to sea, so we’ve assumed that she sneaked onto one of the boats. She’s always been more of a boy than a girl anyway.” Anthony looked glum as he rejoined Lucas at the bar.
“Brothers. That makes sense – it sounds like Frankie.” The Captain said to Pete. “What should we do? Should we take them to her?”
“They seem to care about her if they’re going to all these lengths to find her.”
“Right. Let’s finish up then and be on our way.”
They finished their tankards and took them back to the bar. As they put their tankards down on the bar, they reached across Anthony and Lucas and the Captain muttered under his breath. “We’ve seen her. She’s safe. Wait five minutes and follow us out.” They waved their goodbyes to the innkeeper and headed out.
The brothers looked shocked and delighted at the same time and watched the older men walk out of the pub. They drank up quickly and jumped to their feet, paying no notice to a man in the shadows, who was taking notice of their every move. His cap was pulled down to hide his scars but his sharp eyes missed nothing.
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