Chapter Nine

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All hands were called on deck and roll call was taken

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All hands were called on deck and roll call was taken. Commander Redgrave then began prayers. "Could it be Sunday already?" Clara wondered. It must. The days were starting to fade into one another.

The men around her had their heads bowed. Some said the prayers along with their Captain. Grateful to be alive, they prayed. The storm had many thinking their lives forfeit. Thankfully most had recovered.

Only the four men that hit the deck that fateful night died. The naval chaplain had given them rites before sending them to their watery graves. Just thinking of those men Clara felt inspired to send her own silent prayer for the Lord to watch over them and keep them safe from additional harm on their journey.

She prayed for Benjamin too. She knew by now he should have read her letter. She hoped he would respect her wishes and not try to track her down but part of her knew her desire was foolish. If their roles were reversed she would move both heaven and earth in the attempts to try and bring him home, but his attempts would be in vain.

Despite the loss of their main mast they were still making good time. The Tempest came out nearly unscathed, and kept in close proximity to the Whispering Wind. In this condition their ship was weak and prone to attack. The Falcon was lost but Clara had learned during serving the officer's dinner that Redgrave still held hope. There was the smallest chance the Falcon was just blown off course. Clara prayed he was correct and that the captain and crew were not sunk.

Her body ached. It was the start of the day and her mind already screamed for sleep but there was no rest for the weary. Unlike the cadets that seemed to have time falling out of their pockets along with whatever coins they held. Both time and coins were spent on gambling either by cards or dice. Redgrave had seen this too and directed the chaplain to begin lessons after prayer in teaching them the rudimentary versions of the languages they would encounter.

She had her morning duties to perform and then she was assigned to Lord Fitton for the afternoon but now she wanted to check up on Sturgis. She got to sickbay and looked around.

"He is not here?" the Surgeon told her. 

Clara stopped in her tracks.

"He is back in his room."

Clara looked hopeful.

"Claremont, he is well but his vision still has not returned."

Clara sighed and nodded her head that she understood. She looked at the pocket watch she had taken from home that belonged to Benjamin. She had time.

She went to their room and found Sturgis lying on his bunk. Upon hearing the door open he asked, "Who's there?"

When he got no answer he said, bitterly, "Oh, it's you."

It was maddening that Claremont would not talk and he could not see and the frustration in Sturgis was growing at his predicament.

"This is inane. Don't you have work to do?"

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