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   Chapter 18 Huajo Dogom ko Tzuy

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 12289

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:03

Daniel woke up after a short night. Sleep had forgotten to attend. He had been thinking about too many things. He had kicked himself, for not going after Rhonda. He also knew that she would have kicked him if he had, so the end result was all the same.

He got up and stood at the window where Rhonda had been not even so long ago. It was still dark, the city lights were still on and the stars were bright this morning. Night.

"This, man, sucks rocks like a black hole, " Daniel told his mirror image in the window. His image agreed in silence.

Daniel showered, dressed and walked outside. He strolled through the silent streets, his thoughts churning over the last evening. This was not what he wanted, he was certain of that. He felt certain that Malcolm was either a fool or had never had all his marbles. He even wondered if Cynthia was doing the right thing with her boyfriends. And still, whenever the train of his thoughts stopped at the station called Rhonda, there was this tweak. Why hadn't he gone after her?

Suddenly Daniel found himself at the harbour. "Workaholic, " he muttered.

Affairs at the harbour were going on as usual, ships needed to be loaded, goods needed to be moved, so there was a lot going on. Daniel walked onto the yard and watched the people work. Then he would walk on and watch another group. Curiosity drew him to another part of the harbour this time. He knew there was another arm where more eight masted clippers were moored, so he turned his steps toward it.

The part of the harbour he came to was as large as the side he knew. Nine ships the size of the Pricosine lay there, tugging at the ropes, wanting to go and play on the water. There was room for four more. Daniel studied a few of the ships in the dusky light and was satisfied that he could recognise some differences between them. The shape of the rigging, the curve of the bow at the waterline, the height of the stern. He knew he still wasn't much of a sailor, but the few trips he had made for now had taught him a lot already. Ulaman had since long not called him a landlubber anymore.

"Good morning, Seigner, " a voice said.

Daniel looked, to find a man with a cane walking up to him. "Good morning to you too, Seigner."

The man approaching was remarkably big and round-bellied. He had long curly brown hair and a round nose. His moustache stood out from his face like giant whiskers. "Dogom ko Tzuy. May I enquire after your name?"

"Daniel Zacharias. Nice to meet you, Seigner." They shook hands.

"Zacharias. Yes. I have heard the name. Seigner Skinsh ko Talush mentioned you. You are on the Pricosine, is that right?"

Daniel nodded. "Indeed."

"Seigner Dandra ko Galem speaks highly of you."

Daniel grinned. Either the man had not heard about the mishap with Clelem's daughter the other day, or daughter dear had not mentioned it to her Daddy. "I am delighted to hear that."

Huajo Dogom ko Tzuy pointed at the ship they were standing for. "This is one of mine. The Tzuy number three."

Daniel had seen the name on the ship's bow already. "And where are number one and two, if I may ask?" He knew that some ship owners preferred to be secretive about the whereabouts of their ships.

Huajo was not one of them. "Number one is on a long journey. They should return in approximately two months. Number two... unfortunately, that fell victim to pirates. The very reason you are here."

So the threat was real. Daniel had wondered a bit about it, as he had not seen any sign of pirates so far. He wondered how a band of pirates would master such an enormous ship.

"The pirates, Mr. Zacharias, are a fearless band. They fight like a d

wants to see me. He is sending the mouse over to pick me up."

"Do you know why?" Daniel asked the captain. "Anything to do with the incident this morning?"

"He did not say. He did not look or sound annoyed, but then, he is very good at that. We'll see."

"Call me if you need help, Ulaman, " said Daniel.

"I will."

When the mouse, Mr. Gaguran Slindris, arrived, several crewmen had come aboard to do maintenance on the ship. They all stood at the railing, watching Ulaman walk off with the Seigner's serving man to where a carriage would be waiting.

The crewmen had already heard about the mysterious visitor that had left in ill spirits and the guessing game was on, of course. Everything from a secret inspector to a spy was brought up as a possible option. The crew was finally chased off to work by Xandree. Daniel grinned to see how her mere presence had a big influence on the crew. One word from her was worth a hundred light-hearted threats from Ulaman.

Daniel excused himself and headed up to the silent bridge. He walked around it, watching the area from up there. Inside he watched the maps and the ship's logs, written in Xandree's tiny hand.

The incident of the morning worried him. The early morning presence of Huajo Dogom ko Tzuy worried him also. The way his thought dragged him back to Rhonda worried him most. Not at ease with himself he stumbled down the stairs to the deck and went to find Xandree. "Do you have a moment?"

"Of course. What's eating away at you?" The woman had an uncanny eye for that.

Daniel told her about meeting Huajo early that morning.

Xandree looked at Daniel for a while before speaking. "Seigner Dogom ko Tzuy often is out there. He is an insomniac. The ghost winds alone know how he survives without sleeping normally. He is also troubled by the pain in his bones. Everyone knows about him. And Daniel... if you need to talk about the other thing, you can talk to me too."

"What other thing?"

"The reason you did not sleep this night. You always sleep. There is something that kept you from it, and that is a worry. It is not good to carry your worry around. Talk about it, to get it out of your way." She looked Daniel in the eye. "Your secret is safe with me. If you want to talk."

Daniel nodded. "You are right. There is something that's bothering me." He sighed. "I may take you up on your offer. Thank you."

Xandree nodded. "I'll be here to listen, Daniel."

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