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Chapter 10

He felt a jolt of sorts, from the general direction of the side of his head, took a step, shook his head and kept walking, all this in the space of seconds. He then heard a loud, heavy thump, off near where he had been standing. He turned around to see a large wooden case still settling as it hit the wooden deck. Someone had scrawled "nails" across one side.

"Careful guys, that could hurt someone, looks heavy." At this point Derrl realized that just about every single crewmember, captain included, was staring slack-jawed at him. "What?" He took this opportunity to pick up the case, which was nearly as heavy as it looked, and toss it to the nearest member of the human chain.

The captain laid a thickly callused hand on his shoulder. "K'mere bucko." He led the way slowly to the foredeck of the sharply tilted ship, away from the cargo hatches.

"What just happened?" Derrl inquired, feeling just a little bit left out of the information loop.

"'What jist happened?'" the captain laughed, still not quite believing it himself. "Ye, sir, just got hit smack in the broadside of yer hed with the coner of that yon case of nails, then ye picked it up, calm as ye like, tell everyone to be careful, cuz someone could get hurt, and toss the case lightly to me second, who can barely carry it. And ye be askin' me what jist happened. I might be the one askin' ye what jist happened, but ye be looking as if ye be knowin' less than me."

Derrl raised his hand to the left side of his head, to his temple, where apparently the corner had struck. The temple with the pattern, the same one that had ruined the knife blade weeks earlier, it would seem had saved his life. He turned to face the crashing water, then turned back.

"Don't mind me asking this, but what happened to get you aground?" he asked the captain, feeling a little bit guilty.

"Aye, It be that demon-damned inclement weather. Didn't give no warnin', none at all, jist sprung up at me out in the approach t'the bay. Wasn't ready for't at all. I lost control of me ship, it be a sad thing, and now she lies here gutted on the sand. It be a shame, but I don't think I'll be getting' her off this sandy grave of hers."

"I'm feeling a mite uncomfortable with this incident, do you suppose that there is something we can do right now, to keep both our minds occupied? It's not everyday that you get hit in the head like that, or lose your ship."

"Certainly bucko!" The Captain said with a grin on his face. "Old Sneth! Get over here!" An old man slowly thumped his way across the deck to where they were. He thumped by way of a wooden leg and crutches. "Would ye be so kind as to fetch two mugs of ale? One for me self, and one far me good friendů What was it again friend?" he asked sideways.

"Derll." He shook the captain's callused hand.

"Pleased to be makin' yer aquaintence, good ser Derll." He smiled, showing a lack of a few teeth. "Yerril. Sneth, why haven't ye left to get our ales? Get gone with ye."

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