Quartermaster, Page 1
A band of silver gulls gliding towards the warming rays of the western horizon suddenly captivated Pepper’s attention and she paused on the jutted pier to study them at length. The piercing cries slowly vanished with their flight as a moaning blast from a ship heading towards the harbor echoed endlessly, filling in the gap, the sound seeming to take an eternity to finally fade away.
It was noisy by the sea, but the sounds were peaceful, a mix of the gift of nature and man’s giant water toys – ships and sailing vessels of all types. Pepper supposed that she was most fascinated with the shrimp boats than any of the others, though the power of the small tug was astonishing with its ability to haul the huge ships inland, into the harbor.
Pepper struggled with the overstuffed brown case, finally setting it onto the pier. It was cumbersome and during the last hour as she had searched the wharf for a white and indigo craft christened ‘The Blue Dolphin’, she considered that she had packed far too much for the journey.
‘The Blue Dolphin’ was to be her home for the remainder of summer, as she was assuming responsibility for the niece and nephew of billionaire Landon Seavers. The children’s father had interviewed Pepper for the position, and had finalized the arrangement with his brother, Landon, for the journey.
‘The Blue Dolphin’ would be charting a route from Galveston in the Texas Gulf, to Corpus, where the children would be reunited with their mother in time for fall classes. Pepper continued to observe in awe the sunset sky in the distance.
It was difficult pulling her gaze from the picturesque sky scape before her. She noticed red tails sprocketing from the rim of the yellow setting sun and knew that darkness was settling in for the night. It was getting late…she was late. With effort she pulled her attention from the sky scape and concentrated on finding the boat. As she edged away she didn’t notice the stranger peering out to sea until she walked into him.