Jolie Rouge: A Swashbuckling Tale of Adventure and Intrigue by Rick Ley
Excerpt from “Chapter 7 – Cape Lopez, Gabon – February 10, 1722”:
Roberts awoke before dawn and as he lay in his great cabin-room bed,
he listened. Save for the sounds of gently lapping waves, intermittent
rain, and the cries of monkeys and the other night things off in the distance,
an overwhelming silence filled his ears with irrepressible white
noise. The silence was deafening, maddening, and perpetuated the mixed
emotions of anxiety and frustration that had arrested his sleep for much of
the night. The lack of shipside commotion meant two things: that his crew
was either passed out or still too drunk to function properly, and that Lord
Skyrme remained overdue.
He continued to lie in bed and listen for some time, his brain struggling
to fall back to sleep until impatience finally won the war of nerves. Roberts
rousted himself and with a huff, dressed for the weather before going topside.
It was just as well, he thought; his mind was wound so tightly that it
was senseless to further contemplate sleep. There was also nothing he could
do from his quarters until he met Captain Hill, his latest conquest, for
breakfast. Perhaps from the weather deck he would find Skyrme and their
sure-to-be new prize returning from the open sea—now that certainly
would relieve at least some pent-up anxiety and allow him to enjoy his
much anticipated morning victual.