Captain Tolwin had remained ashore to spend the evening at a nearby inn, having been bargaining all afternoon with Simon at his side for supplies. He had always had a penchant to drink and was more than matching his past record as he sat with some of the merchants he had met that afternoon with Simon. He entertained them with stories of his adventures at sea. Tales of trips to the new land of America, as well as others he had taken to older lands in the Far East, were spilling forth with each glass he emptied. The merchants enjoyed his stories but were much more appreciative of the free-flowing wine he gave them.
“Where do you sail on to now?” the fat bearded Spanish merchant asked after having downed another glass of wine. “Some equally fascinating place as you have been describing, no doubt.”
“We’re headed to an island of mixed cultures on the edge of the Christian world!” Joseph answered, gesturing with his hands grandly. “An island of paradise and pleasure, where one can hide or escape from others entirely, leaving behind, yet gathering to him the old and the new!”
“A mystery!” the thin, reedy voice of the other dark merchant piped in, “A guessing game!”
“No need to guess, my friends.” Captain Tolwin laughed, unaware that others were listening. “We shall sail to Crete, where my friend can live for eternity with that beautiful bronze-haired vixen you saw standing at the railing of my ship today. It is for her that Captain Montieth has had us sail so far from our native land, and it is to keep her that he has chosen Crete as their haven. No matter how Simon feels about having been followed, no one will know that he will be on Crete, for we plan to make no further stops once we leave here. I’m sure that you, my friends, will not tell. That is why we have brought so much from you this day, for we have quite a ways to go yet!”
“How clever!” the third very drunk merchant exclaimed, “How very clever!”
“Indeed it is so,” the Spaniard replied, looking into his empty cup then up at Joseph. “Shall we toast to the success of your friend’s romantic adventure?”
Joseph looked at the empty goblets of his newfound friends and then quickly drained his own before laughing and calling for another round. He paid no attention to the four, strangely cloaked men that left the table beside him and walked out into the dark night. Merrily, he continued his drinking and tales long into the night, unaware that he had given away the secret Simon had forbidden him to tell, unaware that his loose tongue would result in many deaths, one of which would be his own.
Lee, Virginia (2011-01-20). Dagon’s Blood (p. 330-331). Xlibris. Kindle Edition.