Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In Which Amends are Made

Lynde Falconer to Master Owen Falconer:

Dear Father,

Our latest adventure has been unlike any other I’ve ever had, and among other things has altogether disinclined me ever again to go on the sea for any reason. However, it has all ended well, and I have done my duty toward the protection of the princess once again.

The pirates are most interesting folk, if not particularly predictable. I have never met people like them before, and although I had my doubts about them at the beginning, they fought well and loyally on our behalf when things came to that, and I am now proud to call them my friends.

After two days at sea we made our rendezvous with the pirate ships, and the princess signed the treaty with them on behalf of Bentlefay. The pirates then were our hosts for an impressive feast, but just as we finished the sweet course the watch called a warning. Our ships were being attacked by three Norhammer vessels, and since the pirates are not to be beaten at sea, we defeated them handily.

In my foolishness I thought that would be the extent of our adventure, but I should have known by now that that man Bleake would have a trick up his sleeve. He and a contingent of Norhammers used the distraction of the battle to board the flagship, where they were able to take us utterly by surprise and capture the princess and I into custody.

They locked me straight away in the galley where I was, as you may say, effectively neutralized. Fortunately, the princess was locked in the captain’s cabin and left to her own devices, so she was able to send a message to the pirates via mermaid. I know – it sounds ridiculous when written out like that, but she swears with her hand on her heart that that is how it happened, and I have never known her to tell a lie. I saw a much larger group of merfolk with my own eyes the following morning, so I can assure you at least that they exist.

In any case, the pirates came to our aid the next morning at daybreak. It was a grand battle, most of which I only heard from my place in the galley. Once I was released, it was only to find that Norhammer’s captain, Duke Harker, still held the princess captive and was preparing to bargain with her person for a long list of political concessions, most of which he would likely have gotten had the princess not managed to extricate herself through her own strength and daring, in the form of a well-placed blow below the belt.

We brought our captives back to Seaward, but the night before we got there we discovered the brig broken open, the guard unconscious and Bleake and Harker gone without a trace. When we got to Seaward, we found Harker’s body washed ashore, but Bleake remains at large, and as much as I’d like to think that he is gone for good, I’m afraid that the sea wouldn’t keep him, and he will be back somehow to plague us all.

Meanwhile, the Norhammer crewmen gave us a surprise by begging us to allow them to remain in Bentlefay. They said they would happily remain prisoners or even work as slave labor, since the dishonor of losing a battle without being killed would make their lives unlivable back in their native land. The king and queen are taking the matter under advisement, but I feel sure that the ultimate fate of these men will be more humane than they fear.

Though the day was saved by a combination of forces, one thing I have grown to realize is that there is nothing like danger at sea to make one appreciate the amenities of land. I long to hear how things go with you and with everyone else at home, and though we have only been gone a week, I feel a changed person. If I could presume upon you to give Master Crowder my apologies for my behavior, and tell him that I wish him happiness in whatever choice he makes, I would be very grateful.

With love,
Your Lynde


Master Owen Falconer to Lynde Falconer, with difficulty:

Dear Lynde,

Stop being an imbecile. The boy can’t stop pining for you and has become a thorough bore. For lord’s sake make it up with him. I am an old man.


P.S. Your cousin Minnie has announced her betrothal to Timothy Dumcruckle, so can things please go back to normal?


Lynde Falconer to Thomas Crowder:

Dear Tom,

I have tried with every ounce of brain I possess to craft a letter that will make you forgive me, through passionate mellifluousness if nothing else. But the only thing I can say is that I’ve been a fool. I thought so low of my value as a wife that I suppose I just assumed that you would look elsewhere so long as you had the opportunity. I cringe with shame when I think of how I behaved; you must have thought me possessed.

But that is all gone now. I never would have thought that going to sea with pirates to have such a clarifying effect on one’s emotional intelligence, but that is how it has turned out. I hope you can look upon the whole thing as an aberration, and forgive me.

Your loving,


Thomas Crowder to Lynde Falconer:

Dear Lynde,

Oh, my darling, the fault was all mine. You needed love and reassurance, but I couldn’t see past my pride. I was convinced that poor Minnie was an excuse for you to rid yourself of an entanglement that had become unwanted since your exposure to grander and better men at court. It was my discontent speaking, and it was unfair of me to take it out on you.

Ah, well, I hope that as two fools, at least we deserve each other. When can we be married, dear Lynde? We have been apart far too long.

Your own,

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