Caribbean Commander (Chapter 35)
I helped the ladies through the quarterdeck hatchways and along the corridors to my day cabin. At sea, a captain of a ship has two cabins for his use, one for entertainment purposes and one for personal living space. I took them to my sea cabin in case of breakages! Anna was muttering under her breath in French, Dolores was doing the same in the local Patois. Here I was, stuck in the middle. I knew what I wanted, or rather, intended, to do, hoping Anna would see the need and the immediacy of my planned voyage. I opened the door to my cabin, and, realised with dismay, that I had not cleared away signs of my slumbers. Everything was thrown back, and clothes were strewn around, where I had left them as I hastily dressed.
“Come in ladies,” I indicated two bow legged chairs.
“Won't you both sit down, and I'll get us a glass of claret.”
Both women looked at me with angry stares. Sighing, I went to the pour the drinks, watching their demeanour in the vanity mirror. Both were standing, hands on hips, staring at opposite wall of my cabin. I turned with the glasses of claret and handed one to each of them.
“Now ladies, please, let's sit and perhaps we can discuss whatever problems seem to be worrying you both”.
Silence. Not a word from either of them.
“Whatever the problem, I am sure, with both your skills and sensitivity, things can be sorted out. So let's talk!”
Nothing. I was totally ignored. Then, suddenly, Anna stamped her foot angrily and stood up.
“Crees....Capitaine!! I leave now! I wish not to 'ave “talk” as you say!”
“Anna please, let Dolores speak and we can both listen, then Dolores can listen to your points.”
“ I NO WANT TO TALK!! CAPITAINE!!.....YOU 'EAR ME??”
She flounced towards the door, just as she went past Dolores, a hand shot out and grabbed Anna by the arm. A struggle began, I had to step between them and seperate each from the other's clasp.
“RIGHT!! BOTH OF YOU...SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET!! JUST FOR ONE MOMENT YOU WILL BOTH LISTEN TO ME!!!” I shouted in an angry voice.
There was complete silence. Both women ceased their struggling and looked at me with wide eyes.
“Whatever your dispute is about, there is no need for our friendships to be put at risk. We can talk like grown up people about our differences and our problems! I do not wish to fall out with either of you! Moreover, I have no intention of doing so! This dispute, I take it, is about my plans to sail these ships to find out if the charted “island” exists, and, whether there are captives on that island. Is that so?”
There was no answer.
“Right then...I take that as a yes!”
Both women glowered at each other, and, at me!
“Dolores, I do not wish to seem ungrateful, however, the problem, if there is one, is between Anna and me. We can all have our ideas and we can talk about them, but, in the end, the decision is both Anna's and mine alone. I would like to invite both you and Moses to our house tonight for dinner, which I shall endeavour to cook for us myself. Now if you will pardon us, we have things to discuss”.
I walked over to her, looked into her wide, dark eyes, pulled her into my arms and kissed her on the cheek.
“Now go! Go see your husband and tell him about this evening!”
“Shhhh. Go now! I will talk about this with Anna.”
She kissed me on the cheek and turned on her heel and left the cabin. I walked over to the door and turned the key in the lock.
“Now my darling Anna....” I said pulling her to her feet, “Enough of this childishness....!”
I got no further, a ringing slap stung my face! A heat exploded through my body and I picked her up and threw her onto my cabin bunk, turning her onto her stomach I returned the slap threefold on her buttocks! God! I was angry!!!!
(To be cont.................)