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The Journey: Mooch

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The Journey: Mooch

Post by Gypzee on Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:03 pm

It was still early morning so the first few hours of her journey were comfortable. The canopy of trees gave shade and a breeze blew in from the mountains. There were butterflies and birds, so the day was perfect so far. Why did she need to leave all this to return to where she had met with so much heartache and disappointment; not to mention the near loss of her life more than once?

The shade was beginning to thin, but she knew just ahead there was a small cove they could break, and she could put to rest the quiet rumblings in her belly. Beauty's saddle was removed and laid atop a skinny rock so the blanket and leather could air dry. The worn floppy hat was pulled from her head. It was a trading bootlegger hat from the Outback. It was waterproof 100% cotton oilskin and a sweat-wicking headband, making it perfect for working in the fields or herding livestock, A smile touched her lips as she held it, turning it ‘round and ‘round. It had been Grandfather's so it had been through quite a few experiences before finding its way to her head. Though it still held most of its shape, it was nice and floppy and very comfortable. She added it to the top of the saddle, then pulled free her bag and canteen.

At least the dark buckskin she wore was not yet dusty, but soon would be when they crossed the plains. She pulled the pale yellow scarf from her neck and dipped it in the creek a few times, then patted her face. She placed it back around her neck, enjoying the coolness it offered. Sitting cross-legged near a fallen oak log, she pulled off the Italian leather gloves and laid them aside.  She pulled out the package Rhia had packed for her. Her mouth watered as she caught a whiff of eggs and bacon captured between a homemade biscuit. There was a second biscuit only, and a small jar of homemade peach preserves. Eyes fluttered shut as she took a bite, chewing slowly, enjoying the taste and remembering all of them at breakfast that morning … good memories.

Memories … that was the reason to go back. There were good friends to see and catch up with. At least she was assured not to run into any of her exes – well except for one. With each marriage she had learned something about herself, and with the end of each, losing a part, too. For so long she had felt incomplete as a result of them. It had taken time, meditation, and soul searching to heal. But was she really? A trip there was going to prove it one way or another.

Her back rested against the log, licking her fingers.  After consuming the first biscuit, she started to reach for the canteen, but decided water would not do this justice. Instead, she snapped her fingers, then held an ice cold glass of milk. “A little bit of magic won’t hurt.” And it was so-o-o good sliding down her throat. She piled the preserves on one half of the last biscuit, chewing thoughtfully. Peach preserves … a reminder of the one relationship that had taken the most from her was the one that never resulted in marriage.

Beauty was saddled and things were repacked and replaced. Gloves on and hat atop her head, she settled comfortably in the saddle. She leaned forward and stroked the mare’s neck. “You know, we’re not that far from Carrick-On-Shannon. What do you say we make a detour and visit Lord Mooch?” Beauty moved her head up and down and stomped a hoof against the ground, as if understanding what her Master had said. “Let’s do this then.” Turning the mare to the right, she kicked her flanks gently, sending her into a easy gallop. They would be there easily by dark.

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Re: The Journey: Mooch

Post by Gypzee on Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:43 pm

William Tero Nathaniel Mooch, her first born - named for his father Tero, and his grandfather, Tero's father, Nathaleoaie, and her brother William.. Early in life he was called William, but after Tero disappeared while he was yet a babe, she began to call him Nate.

He wanted to be a knight, and as a boy he ran around with a stick sword, slaying dragons and defending his villagers; and, of course, saving all the girls whether they wanted to be or not. That memory brought laughter from her. 'Just like his father,' she thought.

When he reached age 10 he pleaded for an apprenticeship with a knight. One was finally located about a half day's ride at Slade Castle in Wexford County. They made the trip to the castle to give it a look, and meet his perspective Knight, Sir Klalan.

She was quite impressed with Slade Castle. Its little town had a picturesque harbor; the program was good; and she liked Sir Klalan. She was glad to see he was older and more seasoned. They did all the necessary paperwork which committed Nate to a minimum of one year's service, then to be evaluated to see if he would be accepted for another year.

Before signing, she asked again was he sure. He assured her he was; so much so he had packed and brought with him everything he needed to start immediately. And so her not-so-much of a baby boy was left to begin his chosen journey.

After a couple hours ride, she headed a little ways off the trail where there was a creek. Dismounting, she grabbed a canteen and took a welcome drink. She led Beauty to the water, checking it first before letting her drink. Digging in her bag she took out a couple strips of deer jerky for herself; and then withdrew a bag of grain. Filling her hand with as much as it would hold she greeted Beauty with it. They both munched as she recalled the end of Nate's first year. He was still determined and signed on for a second, then a third. She didn't feel the next visit would be any different.

"I've learned a lot during my time here, but 'tis something else I want to do," he said seriously.

"And wha' would tha' be my son?" left brow lifting in question.

"I want to work at the Day Dream!"

Her eyes widened in surprise. "And 'ow did ye come about this idea?" He had never expressed any interest in the company she had taken over after Mooch disappeared.

"We loaded the unit on a ship for a short trip," excitement dancing in his blue eyes. As he spoke, he looked exactly like his father. "It was exhilarating being on the open sea, and a welcome after years of working in the stables and confines of the castle."

"Ye get all tha' from just one voyage?"

"I know it may sound foolish to leave here now, but my year is nearly up. I need to let them know if I will go another." He paced back and forth as he talked. "I'd rather leave in good standing without losing my temper, which is becoming harder each day." He suddenly stopped and took a seat opposite her, gathering her hands in his. "And," he emphasized, "all that I learned here can help me there!" He was so excited and animated as he spoke. She knew any discussion or disagreement would be futile.

"Well then, my son," she squeezed his hands, "we shall make it so."

She closed the messenger bag and filled the canteens from the creek. Mounting quickly, she rubbed Beauty's neck. "We're nearly there." Nudging her they were soon back on the trail heading out.

Nate had done well at the Day Dream. He'd worked on every vessel they had, and there were quite a few. The Day Dream had become rather successful so they'd opened another office in Carrick-On-Shannon, putting him closer to the family who had welcomed him with open arms from the moment they met him as a babe.

An hour later they moved from the borders of her lands; then the next two passing quickly. They paused on the hill overlooking the harbor. It had been a great investment as it was the gateway to Erne Waterway, Lough Key, Acres Lake, Lough Allen, just to name a few. It was also just a short distance from Glen's of North Leitrim.

"Here we are!" she said happily; then gave the mare a nudge. They covered the last bit of distance, and in no time were sitting at the stables near the docks of the Day Dream.

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Re: The Journey: Mooch

Post by Gypzee on Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:28 pm

It was just beginning to get dark when she made her way into the stables. Instructions were being given as she removed all she would need, setting it aside. The burly 'gent' was eyeing her as if she had lost her mind! A woman telling him how to care for a horse!? She went around with sugar in her hand for Beauty, other hand rubbing her neck. She had not missed any of the looks, and now stood with the mare to see what would happen next. Was she contrary? Well, just a bit.

“Beggin’ ye pardon, Miss, but who do ye think ….” He was cut off by another entering.

“Hello Lady Gypzee!” his voice booming, his scowl at the man blossoming into a smile as Gyp turned toward him; but not before she caught the ‘oh crap’ look on the stabler’s face.

“Captain Miller,” she smiled warmly, eyes twinkling. “You ruined my fun,” she laughed softly. She gathered her things and asked, “I trust you got my message I was coming?” Since it had been a last minute decision, it was sent ahead by magic messenger.

“Aye, m’Lady. Yer usual room at the Inne is arranged.” Translated that meant it was not in her name so her true identity would not be known. “Master Nate has been sent to clean up and meet with our ‘visitin’ dignitary’ as he’s used to. He’s no idea it’s his mother, as requested, m’Lady.”

She caught a sideways glance at the stabler’s face and his raised brows. She looked fully toward him. “That’s why ye should always show others respect. Ye n’er know who they may be.” She laughed as she walked to the door and let the Captain escort her to the Inne.

Miller had sent a message to the Inne the moment he knew she’d arrived. They were instructed to stoke the fire, light the candles, and prepare a bath. The kitchen was also set to preparing their evening meal – roasted hen, small potatoes, green beans, rolls, and cherry cobbler. They had only known she was a VIP of the Day Dream, so had originally set them up in the main dining room; but when she arrived, she requested a move to the private dining area, wait staff only.

The aroma of the candles filled the room and she drew in a deep breath. Her bags were tossed on the chair, the hat and gloves atop it. Boots and clothes were soon piled on the floor, and she lowered her still slender figure into the warm and welcoming water. It felt very good after the day’s ride. There was a knock on the door announcing "House staff, m'Lady." After bade to enter, a pretty young lass offered a curtsy after closing the door.

“I’m here to assist ye this eve, m’Lady.” She was probably near Nate’s age, long auburn colored hair, and, if she judged correctly from this distance, her eyes were Kelly green.

“What’s yer name?”

“Melody, m’Lady.”

“Well then, be a good lass, Melody; come wash my hair and tell me the news of Shannon.”

The girl came and first brushed out her hair before removing one of the pots off side of the direct fire. She poured it over her hair as she chatted away, lathering up the shampoo and giving her a wonderful massage. As she rinsed the soap from her hair, Gyp asked, “And what of the lads? Got yer eye on any?”

“There are some nice looking young men in town.”

“Any ye have yer heart set on?” She sat with her eyes closed, enjoying the pampering.

“Well,” the girl started shyly. “There is one, tho' I am not entirely sure he notices me.” She took the towel and began to dry Gyp’s hair from the top, working her way down the long lengths of golden honey.

“How could he not as pretty as ye are?”

“Thanking ye, m’Lady, but he’s always so busy, running here and there, mostly at the docks.” Gyp’s eyes blinked open.

“So he’s a sailor then … perhaps a pirate?”

“No m’Lady, well not a pirate as far as I know,” as serious as she could be. “His Mum owns the company though so ye’d think he’d not need work so hard.”

A big smile held her lips a moment. She closed her eyes again. “Maybe his Mum is a hard mistress, and the poor lad has no choice.”

“Oh, no, m’Lady,” finishing the towel drying of her hair and picking up the brush again. “From what I’ve heard everyone says she is right nice and generous. Ye hear a few grumblers but they’re just n’er do wells.”

She smirked slightly. “Then what makes ye think is the reason he works so hard?”

“I think he’s just born into hard work, and wants to be the best. He’s friendly and such to me, just guess he don’t think of me as anything other than a friend.” She sighed softly.

“Well, do not worry, lass. I'm sure he cannot stay blind forever. If you’ll stoke the fire a bit and put my towel closer, ye can take that pile of clothes to be laundered and the boots to be shined.”

“Yes m’Lady. I hope I didn’t talk yer ears – I mean talk too much.” She moved to retrieve the items.

“Nae, lass. ‘Twas a joy to share ye company, and I shall see ye on the morrow.” The lass did as she was told, letting herself out.

Fingers curled into the deep softness of the towel as she stood to dry herself, taking a perch on the end of her bed to dry her feet. From her bag she removed her toiletries, taking her time and enjoying the smell of honeysuckle lotion.

Clearly the bag did not hold anything that would come close to what was required for this evening. She thought about what was in her closet, and soon an ensemble appeared on her – lace camisole, topped with a lavender colored frock and shoes to match. It was elegantly simple and a perfect shade for her complexion. She loosely tied back her slightly damp hair with a ribbon of a darker shade. A quick look in the mirror confirmed she was presentable and she was out the door.

Hastily making her way down the back steps startled a few in the kitchen. With a wink and a single finger to her lips to ask for silence, they all nodded. She continued on her way to the private dining room where she knew Nate was waiting.

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Re: The Journey: Mooch

Post by Gypzee on Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:55 pm

Nate was a bit surprised to find they were in the private dining room. He was also surprised that he had been asked to meet with a visiting dignitary that had not given advanced notice of their arrival. Those always went to Captain Miller, as if thought he didn’t have enough experience to handle it on his own. He’d always thought of himself as a good judge of character and could get along with nearly everyone. While he wondered why this night was any different, he looked forward to the chance to prove he was ready for more responsibility on the administrative side.

He caught a glance of Melody as she slipped out the front. He smiled faintly. She was very nice but he just seemed to never have enough time to visit with her. He sorta guessed that was his fault, but he wanted to learn all there was to the Day Dream. It seemed it should be going a lot quicker than it was.

Hearing a stirring from the doorway behind him, he straightened and turned to greet the dignitary.

In that brief moment as he turned, she caught her breath at how much he’d grown in just this last year. As he faced her direction, she took in his sun soaked features, curly auburn locks just touching his collar. It was easy to see why Melody was so smitten.

“Good eve, m’Lady,” he bowed toward the shadows, for it was all he could see at that moment.

“Good eve, Lord Mooch.” He straightened quickly, eyes widening as she stepped into the light.

“Mother?” He bounded forward joyfully. “Mother!” The two hugged tightly, she rocking them side to side.

“My son,” she smiled proudly. They drew back slightly “Let me look at you! You’ve grown a few inches.”

“Aye but I think I’m done, I hope anyways.” He was now 6’ and quite handsome, and that was not his Mother being biased. Melody had thought so, too. His brow furrowed a bit. “Is everyone, everything, ok?”

“Of course. I’d have come right to the point were it not instead of all this to surprise you. And your father was 6' 2" so don't count on it.” She pulled from the embrace and slid her arm around his waist. “But let us eat. I’m starved after my day's ride.”

“You rode?” he blinked as he pulled out her chair.

Taking a seat, she flicked her napkin open, placing it across her lap. “Aye. Why is that so hard to believe?” meeting his gaze as he sat across from here, those blue eyes so much like Tero’s.

“Just didn’t figure you’d do that, and would use your magic,” he shrugged.

“You sound just like your sister,” chuckling softly. “I would think as much as you enjoy the outdoors you would understand the journey is half the fun of getting where you’re going.” Fingertips reached out to ring the bell.

“Oh, I do; just never know about you,” he grinned at her before glancing up to the portly gent who entered. “Good eve, Master Jenkins.”

“Good eve, Master Nate. So good to see ye; and Lady Gypzee, so good to have ye with us again,” he smiled warmly, bowing slightly from the waist.

“’Tis good to be here again, Master Jenkins. How’s the family?”

He filled their glasses with sparkling iced tea as he spoke. “Very good m’Lady. The lad has finished his schooling and prepares to follow in the steps of Master Nate. The lass helps here at the Inne sometimes as her healing apprenticeship allows. And the Missus frets that the house will too soon be empty.” He sat the pitcher down.

“Well, tell Mistress Jenkins it could be a blessing,” she laughed softly.

“Indeed, m’Lady, indeed,” he chuckled. “Are ye ready to be served?”

“Aye, that we are.”

“Very good m’Lady,” he bowed slightly and exited to the kitchen. Nate was just watching them.

“What?” she asked after he had left the room.

“Ever the diplomat eh?” he grinned.

“Just friendly ... The Jenkins were very helpful when I first came here to open the new office. Master J put me in touch with the town council, workers, everyone he thought would be able to help. Mistress J helped me find a place to stay all those months so I wouldn’t have to stay in the Inne. You were a toddler and she would keep you during the day while I tended to business.” She finished just as a maid servant entered with a plate for each, followed by another who carried a platter of rolls and dish of butter.

“Thank ye lasses,” Gyp dipped her head to them. They each stole a glance at Nate before leaving quickly, giggles heard from the other side of the door.

Nate rolled his eyes before grabbing his fork. He started to dig in when Gyp cleared her throat. Looking at him she said, “Do you no longer say grace over what God provides?”

Sheepishly he set his fork aside. “Sorry Mother. When you’re with the crew it’s dig in quickly or you don’t eat.”

“I understand,” she nodded “but once you’ve filled your plate, you should always say grace.” She reached out to cover his hand with hers and offered grace. ‘Twas not always her way either but people change.

“Amen,” Nate chimed in before grabbing his fork and beginning to eat. “So do you have business here in Shannon?”

She pulled a leg from the bird in front of her. “As long as I’m here; but my original destination is Rhydin.” Emerald eyes watched him as she chewed.

“What? Rhydin? Why?” pausing his chewing enough to mutter, then back to his food.

“Well ... I’ve not been there in a while. I thought I would check on the other office and holdings, then see who is still around I know,” taking a drink of her tea

“Are you sure you really need to go back there?”

“You and Ahria,” she chided softly. “You would think I’m a child – or worse,” she frowned.

It was his turn to cover her hand with his, a slight squeeze given. “None of us think that. We just worry about you. You went through a lot in Rhydin – some from enemies, some from friends, not to mention ex-husbands."

She sighed. “Yes, I know, but to discern if I’m fully passed it, I have to go back.” She smiled a bit.

“And if you’re not – what then?”

“Elz’beth and I have a contingency plan. It’ll be ok,” she pulled her hand free, squeezing his slightly. “Now tell me what’s going on with you?”

In between bites, he would tell her about all he’d learned and what he wanted to still learn – like unexpected dignitaries, more about what goes on in the office, and closing deals. As he talked, she finished off her food, and just before she could ring the bell, the two lasses returned. One filled their glasses, the other asking if they were done with their plates.

She nodded and Nate did too as he said, “Hi Mary,” a nod to the lass taking his plate, and “Hi Nancy,” then to the other. “Good to see you both again.” She kicked him lightly beneath the table and shook her head a bit lest he introduce her as “mother.” Brows knitted, then smoothed. “This is Lady Raven.” The name was homage to her relationship with birds.

“Pleased to meet ye, Ma’am,” in near unison, but they were still looking at Nate. “Will ye be wantin’ yer cobbler now sir?”

“Yes, please,” he smiled.

“Yes sir.” “Right away sir.” said over each other. They nearly skipped out the door, and once gone, Gyp laughed quietly.

“Ow!” Nate said playfully as he laughed too. “I wasn’t going to give you up. I know you like to be incognito.”

“It likely won’t matter after tonight,” telling him about the scene at the stables.

“Oh, I can assure you Nelson won’t say a word now that he knows who you are, and I’m certain the Captain went back to make sure.”

The girls returned with the cobbler, two plates, and two glasses of ice cold milk. With a quick curtsy, they were gone in a flash, more somber than before. “Me thinks someone had a word with them. I’ll make sure they’re not in trouble when we’re done.”

Nate was spooning the cobbler onto her plate. “That’s enough for me!” They each took a bite. “Mmmmm,” chewing slowly. Shielding her full mouth with her hand, she said, “It’s still warm!”

“Mmm hmm,” he nodded.

After a few moments of stuffing their faces, Gyp drank the last of her milk, wiped her lips and asked. “So, what’s going on in your personal life? Any of the lasses around here caught your eye?” eyes twinkling merrily as he groaned. “Come now, fess up.” He pointed at his mouth indicating it was full and couldn’t talk. “That’s ok, son, I’ve got all night,” chuckling.

He shook his head in defeat, swallowed and had a drink of milk. He knew she would wait all night just as she said. He wiped his mouth and dropped his napkin next to his empty plate. “Mother, I’m really too young to get married and settle down. There are places I want to travel. It wouldn’t be fair to someone to marry them, then leave them behind.”

“Who says you have to leave them behind? Women like to travel and explore the world, too.”

“Aye, I suppose, but I’m still not ready to settle down, marry and have children.”

“Nate, I’m not asking you to; but you need to take more time for yourself, to have fun, to enjoy life. There is more to it than just work. Find a balance between the two is all I’m saying.”

He nodded slightly. “Aye, I know you’re right. It just drives me crazy that Captain Miller is dragging his feet about advancing my studies. I thought to have been further along than this by now.”

“Patience, my son,” she smiled warmly. “All will come in good time. So how about a cognac on the terrace before bed?” She stood from the chair, and stretched.

“How about you have a cognac and I could have an ale?” he grinned.

She tousled his hair slightly. “You're on.” She opened the door to the kitchen, a word with Master Jenkins first about how the girls were not rude or disrespectful in any way, and then asked for the drinks to be brought to them on the terrace. The next couple of hours were spent telling stories, tall tales and laughter.

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Re: The Journey: Mooch

Post by Gypzee on Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:46 am

The next day with brunch consumed, Gyp and Nate made their way to the stables where she checked on Beauty. Nelson was not on duty. The new hand didn’t seem to know she was anyone other a visitor to the Day Dream since she was with Nate.

From there they made their way to the docks. That day crews of the docked ships were in town and would return that eve to prepare to sail in the morn. She was able to tour all vessels in the slips. From there it was to the office to look over the books.

“Impressive totals, Captain,” she nodded as they went through the registers. “What would you say is our least productive ship?”

“Hmmm,” thinking a moment. “The Storm Whacker m’Lady.”

A slight frown formed at the name. “Why is that?”

“It’s an older vessel and folks don’t seem to think she’s reliable.”

“I see; and Nate,” she turned her gaze to him. “Do you agree?”

“Aye … “

“I sense there is a ‘but’ ..?”

He glanced to the Captain. “Speak freely, Master Nate,” the Captain nodded.

“When the Storm Whacker first docked all were in awe of her.” He quickly licked his lips. “She made some good runs, but as the other vessels docked, people could see her age in comparison.”

“Go on,” she took a seat in one of the office chairs.

“Even though she could perform as well as any of them, she never gets the chance once they see her with the others. I think she could be presented better.” He swallowed as he looked from the Captain to Gyp.

She rocked slightly in the chair as she contemplated his words, then asked “What would you do then?” He didn’t hesitate a bit as he had given this a lot of thought.

“First, she needs a good cleaning, a bit of paint in some areas for touch up. If you can’t afford to replace the mended sails, then make it look decorative like a flag, bird, animal or even a logo so that it looks intentional. From a safety standpoint, some of the rigging should be replaced and the hulls of the life boats need a good coating of tar. Once that is done, seek some who are willing to book at a reduced rate for their maiden voyage, or offer insurance.”

She lifted a brow at that last statement. He continued on.

“The insurance would only pay if the cargo is lost because the ship was proven to be unseaworthy; that any other ship would have performed better. Make these voyages short at first, increasing in distance. She’ll get her reputation built up soon and will become profitable again.”

Silence fell upon the trio. During Nate’s talk she’d picked up a pen and twirled it absently in her fingers as she thought about his ideas.  “How long to make necessary repairs and such?”

“With a full work crew, 2 to 3 weeks, depending on which way you want to go with the sails.”

“I’m not concerned with the cost after seeing the books. I like the idea of camouflaging the mending already made. It’s different, something I’ve not seen on any other vessels. It’s also quicker.” She studied a few more moments. “Here’s what I’m prepared to offer.”

The Captain took a seat at his desk, pen in hand, taking notes as Gyp spoke.

“You submit an estimate to the Captain of what it will take to make the repairs, including a fare wage for the workers. Submit estimate completion time based to include time to gather materials and hire a work crew.” She crooked an elbow, propping it on the left arm of the chair, thumb and index finger picking lightly at her lower lip. She stood and began to pace, still fidgeting with the pen in her hand.

“Then you and the Captain can work out a budget for you to procure a shipment. I’d rather go with insurance because it’s not likely we’ll lose any cargo, and that way we can get full value for the sail. There will be a very stringent inspection of all cargo to verify its worth, and that it is what they claim it is. A barrister will write a contract with terms based on each individual cargo – none of this one for all. The insurance money will be held by the barrister, and then returned to the Storm Whacker budget when the voyage is complete, along with the profits as well.”

She paced a bit more, the soft shuffle of her sandles across the floor the only sound momentarily heard in the room. “I’ll give you 6 months following completion of the work to see what you can do. Then we’ll revisit this and see where to go from there. I really don’t want to dry dock her as she was one of your Father’s original vessels, and because she was won in a poker game.”

Nate nodded, cracking a grin as he remembered the telling of the story.

“Have you anything to add, Captain?” She laid the pen on his desk, and he looked up at her.

“Only one thing ... when the work is done we’ll need a crew to stand ready for the first voyage. How do we pay them?”

“Excellent question, Captain,” she grinned and turned to look at Nate. She could already see the wheels turning. “Nate?”

It was his turn to pace, muttering softly. They only could make out a bit here and there, mostly numbers. Gyp and the Captain shared a grin, he leaning back in his chair, she against the side of the desk. The pacing stopped and he turned to look at them.

“I know some who want to work for the Day Dream and would make good hands. We already offer a fair sign on bonus. We take that bonus and divide it by 6; we take what would be a monthly wage and divide it in half. We give them that each month until we get a shipment so they can feed their family and such. But they must sign a 6 month contract so they’ll be ready when we need to sail. They get the balance of the bonus then.”

She nodded her head at Nate, a look to the Captain. “What do you think, Captain?” He nodded, making additional notes to his list. Gyp turned to lock eyes with Nate.

“You said you were ready for more, so here is more; but it comes with a condition.”

“Name it, Mother,” catching his breath a bit.

“A good Captain has to find a balance between business and personal life for his crew. Rotate your men so they don’t wear themselves out, and those with families are not gone overly long. A Captain also leads by example, so be sure to find some personal time for yourself as well .. “ a brow lifted but a smile rested on her lips.

He dropped his head, shaking it back and forth, then lifted it to look at her. “Why am I not surprised?” laughing a bit. “I accept the condition.”

“Excellent! So Captain anything else?”

He shook his head. “Nay m’Lady; I cannot think of a thing.”

She pushed from the desk and extended her hand to Nate. “Then let’s have an early dinner so I can get a good start in the morning with the rest of my journey.”  They made their way to the Inne, which certainly wasn’t the only place in town to eat; but it was the best and she had a hunch that Melody would be there.

Last edited by Gypzee on Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:04 am; edited 2 times in total


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Re: The Journey: Mooch

Post by Gypzee on Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:21 am

It was just before daylight when she rose and readied for her days journey. The Inne would bill the Day Dream for her stay. The kitchen packed her some provisions, which went into her bag. Light crunching sounded as she made her way to the stables. Even though she and Nate had said their farewells last eve, she was not surprised to see him when she entered.

As she held the reins lightly in her hand, they hugged tightly a few moments.

“So I’ll see you in 6 months then?”

“Aye you will. I’m sure you’ll do splendid with the Storm Whacker.”

“Thank you for your faith in me.”

“Always, my son. You make me very proud and I love you.”

“I love you, too, Mother.”

A kiss on the cheek and another quick hug; then one fluid movement she was in the saddle.

“Let me know when you get there so I know you're safe; and pray you stay safe once you are,”

“I will, and I’ll be fine,” she smiled brightly. She gave a wave and nudged Beauty into a trot. Most of the shops were dark as they went by, others were beginning their day. She was soon at the town’s edge and kicked Beauty into an easy gallop up the hill they had just a couple days ago come down.

At the top she stopped, drawing in a deep, cleansing breath before turning the mare toward her destination. As she rode, she thought about Nate … what a fine young man he had grown into. There was a time when she had worried if his father’s reputation would be too much for the lad; but he had proven most resilient. His time in service to Sir Klalan had been very instrumental in shaping his core being.

It did worry her when he announced he wanted to learn the shipping business. But he had been an avid student, soaking up every bit of knowledge available to him, and he was quite good at his duties.

She never really thought about him coming in contact with sailors or customers who had known or dealt with Tero. Some were hostile; others were quick to regale him with stories from Tero’s past, some of which were quite unacceptable for a boy his age or to know about his father!

Captain Miller had told her on one of her visits about this and she and Nate discussed it. She reminded him that sailors could take a single, miniscule item and embellish it to the point of being unrecognizable. With that said, she made no excuses for Tero either.

“Your father was certainly no angel. I met him in an OCS tavern and we danced the night away. I figured never to see him again, but the next eve, there he was. I had heard stories of his drinking and ‘chasin’ skirts’ as he called it; but over the next few months I saw a different side of him. We fell in love and were married.”

She shifted a bit in the saddle as her mind went back to that time, weaving through a myriad of emotions. She figured there had to be some truth to all the stories she heard, but no one could – or would – produce proof of any sort, even when they claimed to have it.

All this she told Nate as she felt he had the right to know. And, of course, she told him of Blackmoor and Richard’s treachery; how his father had tried to free his people and take his rightful place as ruler … how he had come back unsuccessful and how much war had changed him. She never did learn exactly what had happened. That was his story to tell and he had chosen not to share it with her. This was the second husband she had lost due to war, tho' each in very different ways.

“There are just some things a person cannot come back from. This was it for your father. He did okay by us already having a place to live, and my remaining co-owner of the Day Dream. Then one day he showed up and wanted me to buy his half. I tried to dissuade him but he was insistent. We drew up the papers, he took his money and he was gone. He came by once more asking for money but I told him no. I never saw him again.”

There had been other visits between the sale and asking for money – crude and disrespectful. She didn’t tell the lad about those. Eventually he stopped coming ‘round and she no longer cared what that meant.

About three hours later, she stopped by a creek, dismounting and letting the Arabian have a drink. She cooled herself a bit while she dug out the provisions from her bag. It was some of those honey flavored rolls and bacon. Her stomach growled at her for waiting so long. She ate on the last of the first one, glancing upward and shielding her eyes from the sun. By her calculations she should reach New Haven, in the northeast section of Rhydin before dark. That thought gave her both pause and sent a small wave of excitement through her.

She grabbed the reins and settled  in the saddle, last biscuit in hand, and quickly back on the trail.


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