Elise Finds Grand Duke Goatbeard
Elise Boissonneau • Chapter 36
Elise shall narrate this part of the story.
A guard escorted me on a steamship to the docks of Le Havre. I thanked him and went straight to the Hôtel de Honneur to see if I could find the Grand Duke. I stopped at the front desk and talked to the clerk.
“How may I help you, Mademoiselle?”
“I am looking for Grand Duke Gruston Goatbeard. I have urgent information for him.”
“Then you are in luck. The Grand Duke is the dining room.”
I hurried into the dining room and looked around until I saw the Grand Duke. I rushed over.
“Ah, Miss Boissonneau. I have good news. Your father and I have reached an agreement, and he has signed the papers.”
“That is good news, but we have a crisis to deal with.”
“What is it, my dear?”
“Britpop and Andelbert have been arrested as pirates. They are being held at Versailles.”
“Yes. Captain Peanut Butter was captured and brought to the King. Captain Brun saw Britpop and Andelbert and named them as pirates also.”
“I must think on this.”
“There is no time.”
I looked around. “Can we talk outside?”
“Of course.” The Grand Duke put money on the table, and we went outside.
“The King and Queen have devised a plan to allow the prisoners to escape. I told them you would have a ship ready to take them back to Kapri.”
“When you say, prisoners, you do not mean Captain Peanut Butter also?”
“Yes. That is the plan.”
“I will not take that pirate on board my ship.”
“You must. Britpop will not leave without him. I am sure of it.”
“I suppose you are correct. Britpop is headstrong and loyal to a fault. Very well. I will go tell the Sea Merchant II crew to prepare to sail.”
“And I will go tell my father that I must leave for a time.”
We went our separate ways.
I walked into my father’s office and found him sitting at his desk. He stood up.
“Elise. I am surprised to see you. I thought you were in Versailles.”
“I was, but a terrible thing has happened.”
“What is it? Are you hurt?”
“No, Father, I am fine. Britpop and Andelbert were arrested as pirates.”
“Arrested? I knew this business deal was a bad idea.”
“It will work out fine. Don’t worry. The King and Queen have arranged for Britpop and Andelbert’s escape. But you must not tell anyone. Promise me. Please.”
“You have my word.”
“I must go with them for a time.”
“No. I forbid you to travel with pirates.”
“They are not going with pirates. Grand Duke Goatbeard is taking them back to Kapri. He is readying a ship as we speak. If I stay, the army may take me in as a witness and torture me for information.”
“Then I shall escort you to The Sea Merchant II and see you safely off.”
“Thank you, Papa.”
Grand Duke Goatbeard will tell the next portion of the tale.
I was walking toward The Sea Merchant II when I saw the first officer of The Jellyfish talking to a sailor. I could not forget that face. I walked over and grabbed his shoulder.
“I must speak with you.”
“Forget you saw me, old man, or I will cut your throat,” he replied.
“You will want to hear me out. I have news of your Captain.”
The pirate grabbed my arm and pulled me to an empty part of the dock.
“I am listening.”
“You Captain was arrested and is being held in Versailles.”
“Curse the French!”
“They also arrested Britpop and Andelbert.”
“We must break them out,”
“It is already arranged. The Sea Merchant II will be standing by to return them to Kapri. I have no desire to rescue Peanut Butter, but I fear Britpop will give me no choice. Inform your crew, and once we are safely away, you can meet us at sea, and I will release your Captain to you.”
“You have my gratitude.”
“I do not want your gratitude. I want you to take your Captain and cease raiding my ships.”
“A fair deal.”
“Then we have an understanding?”
“I cannot speak for Captain Peanut Butter, but I am confident he will agree.”
“We will sail as soon as they arrive and hopefully leave French waters unseen.”
“Aye. I will go tell my crew.”
I continued to The Sea Merchant II and told Captain Desmet of the plan. He immediately started shouting orders. Shortly after, Elise and Delbert Boissonneau arrived.
“Monsieur and Mademoiselle Boissonneau. What are you doing here?”
“I am going with you. If I stay, I may be taken in for questioning,” Elise replied.
“Goatbeard, I trust you will see my daughter safely to Kapri.” Delbert Boissonneau said firmly.
“You have my word. I will treat Elise as my own daughter and put her life before my own.”
“I am not pleased with this turn of events, Goatbeard.”
“None of us are. But once we make it safely to Kapri, all be forgotten, and we can begin our business arrangement.”
“I am not concerned with business. Only my daughter.”
“Of course. I apologize.”
“It will be fine, Papa,” Elise said.
“I pray you are right.”
With the ship being prepared to sail, there was nothing to do but wait and pray for a successful escape.