Nor Gold Excerpts


Nor Gold 

Is that Nathan?” Cate asked, aghast. 

Thomas rested on the oars to look back over his shoulder. “Aye, that be him. I haven't seen him do that in twenty years.”

He shook his head as he studied the distant figure. “I never saw anyone more natural in the rigging, fearless, like he owned the air. Sometimes it almost seemed like he wished to fall, just to see what it was like.”

“Did he… ever fall?” Cate asked, unable to look away.

Thomas settled back to rowing in long even strokes. “Once, but t’was only from the mainyard.”

Cate winced at the notion that small difference qualified as a major distinction, as if falling from a barn’s eave was somehow better than falling from its peak.

Thomas’ gaze went distant with the recollection. “He was out there like that, clearing a fouled block. It was a fair blow that day, water up to a man’s hips at the waist. Hell, it was so dark, we couldn't tell day from night. Luck was with him, as always. He hit the ratlines and bounced out into the water,” he added, smiling faintly.

He laughed mirthlessly, a deep rumbling sound. “We played hell trying to find him in those seas. Threw out anything that would float, until a boat was roused over the side. Finally found him on a cask, bobbing like a damned cork. The sea always draws him, but it never seems inclined to take him.”

_______________________________________

Pyrce, first mate of the Ciara Morganse, venture to broach a touchy subject with his Cap'n.

"Of course," Pryce said circumspectly. HIs mum raised no fools: he knew better than to argue the finer points of that convolution of the truth.

"Pears to me yer facing the pirate conundrum: once ye've got yer treasure, then what's to do?" Pryce venturedl once the Cap'n calmed sufficient.

"Consider, Cap'n. What have we, and every member of the Brethren, spent our lives doin',eh? Lookin' for another man's treasure. Think on it!

The Cap'n's mouth took a sharp downward curve. "so, you're saying, immediately upon finding, said treasure,"he began slowly, "you're invariably and inevitably cursed to a life of maintaining and securing its safety?"

"Aye, And,so long as it be treasure, yer forever to be lookin', over yer should , a-worrin about who is comin to take it."

"Seems I'm doomed before I begin. So where might I put said treasure?" he asked tiredly, peering through his fingers.

"Dunno, Cap'n," Pryce signed. "Some treasures be more difficult to hide than t' others. 


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