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   Chapter 8 No.8

Free-Wrench By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 4970

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02


"Now, for the lady. What'll it be, ma'am?"

"Do you carry medicines?" Nita asked.

"Oh, we got all sorts of treatments that'll cure your many ills. This here liniment, for instance, is guaranteed to take care of any muscle aches you might have." Cooper revealed a familiar brown bottle.

"That just looks like more whiskey."

"It's got a million uses, ma'am. Treats just about anything that might ail you, particularly if you suffer from what Cap'n calls an 'excess of sobriety, ' which I'm sorry to say he's been having quite a bout with of late."

"I was hoping you might have a treatment for a specific disease. Something called Gannt's Disease."

"We mostly carry sundry and recreational-type things. Proper drugs are a bit of a chore to get."

"Well, do you at least know if such a treatment exists?"

"I don't rightly know. I'll check." He looked up and bellowed, "Cap'n! You ever heard of something called… what was it, ma'am?"

"Gannt's Disease, " she replied, loudly enough for the unseen captain to hear.

"Well now, a question of a medical nature would more properly be addressed to our resident medical practitioner, wouldn't it?" growled the muffled voice.

"Good thinking, Cap'n. Butch! You ever heard of—?"

Before he could finish, a torrent of words in an unrecognizable dialect poured out of a different part of the ship. Cooper nodded thoughtfully.

"Gives you shaky fingers? Makes you keel over after about twenty years or so?" he asked.

Nita

ur friend. We ain't gonna just run off with your money. We're professional."

"It is non-negotiable."

"We ain't no passenger liner, ma'am."

"I'll pay extra, but this is very important to me, and if there are negotiations to be done, I want to be present to see that everything in your power is being done to attain the treatment."

"I understand, ma'am, but there's more to it than that, " he said, vague frustration behind the words, as though he was running through a tiresome and all-too-frequent speech. "Smuggling a few odds and ends back and forth is one thing. Doing the same with people on board looks an awful lot worse to the people who might catch us. You'll be with us for a month. If people get the idea we took you without your permission, that's kidnapping or trafficking or some such. Not to mention you might die, which your folks might call war. That'd cost us pretty dear. Ain't worth the risk."

"If it will cost you more, then I'll pay more. I've got this."

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