The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Thirty-one
The bigger boat had dropped anchor when the darkness had become impenetrable. They had left one of the crew on deck to keep watch and two had gone below. There was no sign of Jonas or the children.
“They must be shut up down below I suppose,” whispered Lucas. “At least there’s only one to deal with up top.”
They continued paddling and drifting with the tide to get up close and gently nudged the larger boat. The man on board was snoring gently on the bench at the stern. The Captain grasped the boat hook and held them firm while Anthony and Lucas jumped nimbly aboard. Without even waking him up, Lucas had knocked the sleeping man unconscious with a swift blow to his head. The noises were no more than the boat creaking at anchor. The boys headed below deck and secured the cabin where the other two men slept. They wouldn’t get out of there in a hurry. Then they went to the cabin where the captives were held and opened the door.
Frankie flew at her brothers when she saw their faces. “I knew you’d make it. When you opened the door, I thought you were them!”
“Shhh Frank,” whispered Anthony, disentangling her arms from around his waist. “Quickly and quietly – out!”
Frankie bit her tongue and got out of there as quickly and quietly as she was able. The Captain was there to help her on to her brother’s boat with Joe alongside her – they huddled together in the chilly night air. “Right glad I am to you two young things in one piece,” murmured the Captain. He wrapped a blanket around both of them.
Jonas came out last and with the boys’ help they carried the unconscious man down to the now vacated cabin and secured him as best they could.
From under their blanket, Frankie watched the four men having some sort of heated debate.
“I’ll wait on this boat for you to send the authorities,” whispered Jonas.
“You’re in no fit state to handle them if they get out,” argued back Lucas. “Ant and I can do it better than you.”
“Hadn’t you better look to your sister? Get her somewhere safe.”
“Gentlemen,” said the Captain authoritatively – quiet, but commanding. “We are not leaving anyone adrift here. We’ll take everyone back with us and let the guard sort them out. Let’s set up a tow line and we’ll pull them back to shore. Disable the rudder Jonas, just in case. Make fast lads, look lively!”
“Aye Captain,” they all said in muffled tones and leapt to do his bidding.
“Now you two – this is your boat. You take command of it and take us in. There’s not room for all of us on board here. I’ll sit up with Jonas on the other boat and we’ll make sure nothing happens.”
The two old sailing companions took over the larger boat and sat back and let themselves be towed back towards land.
“Good to have you back Captain.” Jonas said with admiration in his voice. He knew what it had cost the Captain to set foot on a boat after all these years. He must really care about these young people.
“I’m not back, Jonas. Not really – I just couldn’t let anything happen to them. Frankie had already had one brush with the sea and survived but little Joe – he didn’t deserve that. I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if something had happened.” It was a long speech for the Captain. Jonas felt for him. He remembered the day when the Captain had lost his boy. They sat together in companionable silence and let the boys tow them to shore. The Captain reached into his pocket for his pipe. He felt at peace for the first time in a long time.
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5
Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10
Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25
Chapter 26Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30