Aug 20, 2019 4:17 PM
Fabulous Rebecca encounters the Napoleonic wars
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"And you, miss," says Benwick. Thomson blushes and mumbles something that sounds a bit like "our pleasure." Elliot elbows him. "Is this your first time on a ship, miss?"

 

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"No, I took one to America as a passenger not too long ago."

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"Did you see any sea monsters?" Ainsley sounds like he very much hopes the answer is yes. 

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"No. I didn't even feel any little ones, once they started paying me to check."

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"And a very good thing too," says Emma. "Sea monsters are great terrible creatures who'd make half a mouthful of a little boy like you." 

Ainsley protests that he is a man and what's more, a sailor in the Royal Navy. If Rebecca doesn't have any questions, they'll go back to gossiping amongst themselves. 

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That's fine. She listens and eats her oatmeal and blinks parts of her outfit back on as she remembers where she's been putting them and tries to be surreptitious about staring at Emma.

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Then she'll learn that Emma is an inveterate gossip, if not as bad as Croft, the quartermaster is the very devil, there's need of another sailmaker's mate, and the captain of the Albemarle's daughter is a magical girl. 

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"How old?" Rebecca asks.

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Eight going on nine. 

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"I probably would've ignored it if I'd been that young."

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"She told me she'd rather go to sea with her papa than stay home with her mama and brothers and sisters in boring old Plymouth," says Emma. "Why, I was about that age myself, but of course I come from an old navy family." 

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"My family wouldn't have liked it. But when it happened to me I'd already left home."

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"Don't you worry, my dear. Families do have a way of coming around." 

"Where are your people, miss?," asks Martin. 

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"Birmingham."

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Martin and Benwick both have family near Birmingham, which is enough to keep them occupied until the end of breakfast. 

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"What do we do all day waiting for sea monsters?" Rebecca asks Emma.

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"We fly around all the ships at least three times to check for the little ones, but most of what we do is wait. I took the dog watch last night, since you looked positively done for, but we'll switch off. Sometimes I'm called to smooth out a bit of rough water, but I don't think there'll be much call for ice." 

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"Makes sense. Will people mind if I sing?"

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Emma laughs. "What do you think sailors do all day?" 

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"I don't know all their songs! I'll pick them up but right now I mostly know less seaworthy music."

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"I can't imagine anyone would object, particularly with you all the way up there in the rigging." 

Pretty soon it'll be time for Mowett to show up and take her to her appointment. 

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Yup. Off she goes.

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Mr. Peale's studio is a bright, spacious room in a building near the docks. He dismisses Mowett with a promise to be back in three hours, and then turns to Rebecca. "What do you do, Miss - ?" 

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"Arden. I do ice."

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"I see."

Can Rebecca describe her current outfit? 

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