Redemption Of A Pirate
Elise Boissonneau • Chapter 21
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Elise will recount the discussion with her father.
I entered my father’s office and closed the door.
“Tell me you were not aware that the Grand Duke is an associate of that pirate who raided our ship in the Caribbean.”
“I was aware, Papa. But Baron Blastfurnace is no pirate. True, he traveled with a pirate for a time, but that was an unusual circumstance. Do I need to remind you it was Baron Britpop who convinced Captain Peanut Butter to save us from the Pirate Garra? If not for the Baron, The Elise crew would have been killed by Garra’s savages. I shudder to think what fate would have awaited me.”
“That doesn’t undo his crime.”
“No. But I have visited his home. I have spent time with the people who know him best, and I am convinced he is a good man. Impulsive and somewhat naive, but good-hearted.”
“Then you are more foolish than I thought.”
“Perhaps. But I am not foolish enough to throw away an excellent opportunity out of pride.”
“Watch your tongue, girl.”
“Papa, you know I love you, and I only have your best interests at heart. Talk to the Grand Duke. Allow him to make his case. What harm can it do?”
My father looked at me long and hard. I could sense his anger subsiding.
“I will meet with him. But I am unlikely to change my mind.”
“That is all I ask. Thank you, Papa.”
I walked over and kissed him on the cheek.
Grand Duke Goatbeard will tell the events of his meeting with Monsieur Boissonneau.
I felt it best to give Monsieur Boissonneau time to cool down. I scheduled a meeting at his office for the following morning.
“Good morning, Grand Duke. Have a seat.” Boissonneau said curtly.
“Good morning, Monsieur Boissonneau. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.”
“You have my daughter to thank for that, not me.”
“Very well, I will get right to it. I understand your feelings concerning Baron Britpop. But you only know him from his time with Captain Peanut Butter. That is not the real Baron Blastfurnace. Trust me, I have no love for Captain Peanut Butter. My ships have been the victims of his raids on several occasions.”
“Then how can you associate with one of his crew?”
“It is not easily or quickly explained. Baron Britpop temporarily became part of The Jellyfish crew out of desperation. His life was in danger, and circumstances led him to travel with the pirates for a time. Captain Peanut Butter ordered him to be part of the raid on your ship. He had little choice. But those circumstances are over. Baron Britpop is no more a pirate than you or I.”
“So you expect me to forgive his crime?”
“I do not. I ask you to set it aside for the greater good.”
“Ha! You dare to speak to me of good?”
“Monsieur Boissonneau. We are both businessmen in a difficult business. We must make difficult decisions every day. I am asking you to disregard one offense for the good of your company. I am aware of the precarious state of your business.”
“Tread lightly, Grand Duke.”
“Very well. Think of your daughter’s future.”
“What do you mean?”
“It is obvious that Baron Blastfurnace is smitten with your daughter. He has written as much in the account of his adventures over the past year. It is also apparent to me that Elise is interested in the Baron, although she may not be willing to admit it to herself yet.”
“I do not need advice concerning my daughter. It is none of your concern.”
“In fact, it is.”
“I was impressed by your daughter’s business proposal. She has a good mind for business. I intend to offer her a position in my company.”
Boissonneau laughed and said, “You are wasting your breath. She has no interest in the day-to-day running of a business. She only seeks adventure. And my aggravation.”
“Is it not so with most children? Maybe she only has no interest in running your business. Perhaps she desires to make her own name.”
“Perhaps. But I fear you are in for a letdown.”
“We shall see. Admittedly, I have always been ambitious. Too ambitious to allow a family to interfere with my success. So I never married. I was perfectly content with my decision until I met Baron Blastfurnace. I cannot explain it, but I feel a kinship with the Baron. I have grown to think of him as the son I never had.
“I have no family, only employees. I realize now that was a mistake. I have several loyal and faithful employees who could take over my business when I pass, but none of them feel like family. So it is my intention to leave my business to Baron Britpop.”
“You are not helping your case, Grand Duke. I am not of a mind to go into business with a fool.”
“Perhaps I am a fool when it comes to Baron Blastfurnace. But consider this. Baron Blastfurnace is a tradesman thrust into a social position beyond his experience. Yet he is adapting surprisingly well. Are you aware he was given his barony by Emperor Joseph? And that he is friends with The King and Queen of France? In fact, the Baron was the guest of the King and Queen at the Palace of Versailles.”
“I find that hard to believe.”
“It is true. Baron Blastfurnace invented silent horseshoes, and Emperor Joseph gave him a barony and an estate out of gratitude. Your daughter has seen his estate. She can confirm what I have said.”
“I find that hard to reconcile with the bumbling pirate I encountered.”
“He has matured considerably since then. He still has a way to go, but he is learning. I have employees who are more than adept at running my shipping business, but few have the imagination to create a new product. The Baron does. Baron Blastfurnace just signed an agreement to manufacture and sell silent horseshoes in France. He is becoming a successful businessman in his own right.
“Now consider this. If Baron Blastfurnace and Elise were to marry, when we are gone, they will control both companies. They could join them together into one. With Baron Blastfurnace’s resources and imagination, and your daughter’s business savvy, they would be a couple to be reckoned with.”
“I am not seeking a husband for Elise. And I am painfully aware that she would never agree to any arrangement I might make.”
“I am not proposing an arrangement. I believe it is simply a matter of letting nature run its course.”
“I have heard enough for one day. Allow me to think on what you have said.”
“As you wish. I bid you a good day.”
“Good day, Grand Duke.”
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