Red glowed in the west, the first stars peered from blue-violet shadows in the east, and still the wind held. The cabin steward, Hennessy, brought sandwiches and Fleming munched by the binnacle, sipping tea from a battered tin mug as the stars marched across the darkening sky. He could have gone below for dinner and supper, but this delightful sailing, averaging nine knots through the Channel, had a magical feel this early in a cruise and the spell might shatter if he looked away. Even when something crashed and voices raised below deck, with the horned moon peeping above the horizon and full night claiming the sky for its own, he listened but didn’t notice.
A shadow approached and the binnacle’s glow showed Abbot, in his working rig of duck trousers and blue watchet coat, sennit hat in his hands and ruddy hair blown back off his forehead. “Sir, if you please, there’s—” He broke off, mouth moving but no words coming out. His eyes were glassy and staring.
In the waist, someone sniggered.
“Yes, what is it?” Whatever it was couldn’t be good. He’d seen Abbot leap through the shattered gunport of a French ship of the line, leading a boarding party into a whirling, bloody melee, with a saber in his hand and a brilliant smile lighting his face. A growling mass of murderous enemies hadn’t slowed Abbot. This had to be something awful — a leak in the hold, water sloshing into the powder kegs, the wardroom’s wine forgotten on shore. It would be something he’d have to notice.
Abbot swallowed. “There’s — there’s a woman in your cabin.”
It might be preferable if it HAD been the wine left on shore.
Here's a link back to the Sweet Saturday Samples blog. Have a great time and a fabulous 2013!