Eternity: Immortal Witches Book 1 (The Immortal Witches)

Eternity: Immortal Witches Book 1 (The Immortal Witches) by Maggie Shayne Read Free Book Online

Book: Eternity: Immortal Witches Book 1 (The Immortal Witches) by Maggie Shayne Read Free Book Online
Authors: Maggie Shayne
    “Let’s have a look at ye.” She yanked my hood down suddenly, and I heard a soft gasp from the onlookers even before I jerked it up again. The woman was shaking her head. “Shame yer leavin’,” she said. “Yer a pretty one, fetch a goodly price.”
    I lowered my head and turned to leave her. She wouldn’t help me if I stood here begging her all the night through. I had no time to waste this way.
    But then she surprised me. “Hold on, pretty one. There be a ship leavin’ at dawn. The Sea Witch.”
    I stopped, and slowly turned to face her again. “Not until dawn?” My disappointment must have been clear in my voice.
    “Dawn is only a few hours off, girl.”
    “Is it?” I hadn’t noticed. Nervously I glanced behind me, in search of the fiend who’d attacked me earlier. And then toward the group of young men who’d seemed so interested in watching us. They still huddled in the shadows not far away. And I still felt eyes on me. When I looked to the woman again, she was frowning, staring at me as if she’d seen something she hadn’t before. Perhaps ‘twas my fear that finally touched her.
    “I can fetch the captain, bring him to you,” she said. And there was a softness to her voice that hadn’t been there at first. Speaking still lower, she added, “Come with me, girl. I can hide you just fine while you talk with Cap’n Murphy.”
    I jerked my head up suddenly. “And what makes you think I need to hide?”
    She only smiled. “I been there, darlin’. I know the look. Come on, now.” She took my arm and guided me around to the rear of the tavern, over the cobblestones that were blissfully free of snow, and through a door into a dark and musty room with several blankets strewn haphazardly upon a sleeping pallet, and little else. She lit a lamp and left me there, and ‘twas only a short while later she returned with a finely dressed man who reminded me vaguely of my father, rest his soul.
    He looked me over, sent an uneasy gaze to the woman, and then said to me in a gruff voice that seemed far too loud in the small chamber, “I understand you wish to book passage to the New World?”
    “Yes,” I said.
    “‘Tis not cheap.”
    I fished several coins from my bag. “I can pay.”
    Again he nodded. “I'll need a name. To put in the books.”
    I knew the woman must have told him I was hiding, or running away. And I had no idea why he would help me on her say-so alone. But the looks they exchanged were familiar ones, and perhaps he trusted her judgment, as unlikely as that seemed. A man like him, a woman like her. Still, he made it clear he was asking for any name I cared to give him, and I gave him the first one that came to mind. “My name is Smith,” I said in a soft voice, one quite unused to lying.
    “Smith,” he said.
    I thought he battled a slight smile. He lowered his head, but crinkly lines appeared at the corners of his eyes. My father had lines like those when he smiled.
    “It will not do. You’ll need to be a bit more creative in the future, dear lady.” He looked up again and winked. “‘Tis more convincing that way. For now your name is Mistress Hunsinger. Rebecca Hunsinger, and you are traveling to visit your....” He rubbed his bearded chin.
    “My aunt,” I told him, relieved that at least that much was true.
    “Of course.” He took the coins I offered, examined them in his broad palm, then eyed the small bag from which I’d taken them. “Is this all the luggage you’ll be bringing along?”
    I lowered my head.” ‘Tis all I have.”
    He nodded thoughtfully. “Well now, look here. You’ve given me more coin than is needed. Perhaps you’ll allow me to use the excess on your behalf.”
    I tilted my head to one side. “I do not under—”
    “Certainly there’s enough here for a simple dress or two, wouldn’t you say, Mary?”
    The woman nodded. “I know just where to find what she needs.”
    The captain pressed one of my coins into her hand.

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