Chapter Eight

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Benjamin got up at the crack of dawn

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Benjamin got up at the crack of dawn. It was easy to do as he had slept very little. He pressed onto London, checking first the various places she may have sold her jewelry. His concern increased as he could find none of the pieces he gave to her, nor did the merchants admit to seeing anyone fitting her description. Although he was describing a boy whose age would be somewhere between 16 to 18 years of age, short dark hair, bright blue eyes, and using a hand gesture to describe the height. Still nothing.

He traveled to the docks finding them overcrowded with bodies pressed, all searching for employment. He couldn't imagine his Clara among the sea of men but searched the faces he had seen praying hers would be found. His disappointment grew with each passing face.

She'd never be able to find employment this way. The men were too tightly packed together for her to be noticed. What was happening to his country? These were dismal times, but it made him wonder... Was there still a chance she was in London?

He closed his eyes and thought of her. What would you do my sweet Clara?

He opened his eyes and strode towards the pubs and taverns. The Pubs turn up nothing but in one tavern he had the opportunity to speak with a serving girl who told him an interesting story of a young lad who took on Mr. Angus McCree and lived to tell the tale.

He knew of McCree and his Captain Phineas Redgrave. Could she have gotten on his ship? His fears grew as the woman spun the lively tale, involving fists and a knife.

"What happened to the boy?" Benjamin asked.

The woman shrugged. "They had a bite to eat and then the three left together."

"Has the Whispering Wind left the port?"

"I believe so," the woman said. "Commander Redgrave was waiting on the Professor, Lord Fitton, but I believe the company had left that day."

Benjamin swore and pushed some coins towards the woman. "Thank you for the story and the information."

She smiled at him sweetly not taken back by his swearing at all as she has heard worse in her dealings with sailors. "No, thank you!" she said palming the coins and sliding them into a hidden pocket among her skirt's folds.

Benjamin went down to talk with the Port Master. Redgrave and his company of ships including the Falcon and Tempest had indeed set out to sea. They were in route to India.

"India?!" Benjamin felt that word like a physical blow.

"Yes, Sir. Captain Redgrave is Commander of the Whispering Wind, the Falcon, and the Tempest. They had taken to the sea once Lord Fitton had arrived."

"I see, thank you."

The Port Master nodded and left to get back to work. Benjamin was distraught. India. On an East Indiamen. If she returns, she could be gone for over a year. There was no guarantee that she wouldn't stay in a port in another country along the way.

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