Captain of the Dragon
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by Dru Hunter
Category: Young Adult
Description: "He's back and planning something big!" That's what Bruno tells James one night. James Navarro, a physician's son, soon finds out the rumors are true. Nicola Costa, the Cuban pirate, has returned to Spain. The pirates are looking for someone, and James finds out it him!
eBook Publisher: Solstice Publishing,
eBookwise Release Date: July 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [238 KB]
Reading time: 153-214 min.
Chapter the First
Writing It All Down
Fourteen knew of its existence. Two of us knew exactly what was in it. But I knew something the others did not: a secret.
The book itself was now lost to me. It was probably a hundred miles away by now. Even if they returned to where they abandoned me, they'll not go back to where they left me. It was too dangerous. They think I am dead.
But I am James Navarro, son of Dr. Jaime Navarro, and I am very much alive. Captain Hutchinson, my American rescuer has been gracious and given me some ink and paper to amuse myself on the long voyage I must still make with him. The hours are long for me, for I have no job or responsibility on this ship. I am grateful for the writing tools because it gives me something to do when I'm not answering Captain Hutchinson's questions or watching the endless sea drift on what seems to be an endless voyage.
I have had much time to reflect and remember and I've been contemplating where to begin my story. Do I start with the island where I was rescued? Do I start with the night I was lured from my home? No, it begins before that. I have decided to begin my story with an event that happened one year ago.
It was a cool September evening, 1835, and the hour was late when an unexpected visitor came to my house. Father and I were in the library at the time, and I remember that it was raining. The house felt uncomfortably cool to me, and I suggested that a fire in the hearth was just what we needed to beat the chill. As I lit the wood and stirred the kindling, I was startled by a loud, hard knock at the front door. Instinctively I looked for father's surgeon bag, for I assumed that was why there was a knock. Father was needed.
Father opened the door, and as he did so I heard him exclaim, "Tori! Is it really you?"
A man with a deep, coarse voice answered. "Jaime ... it has been too long! Good to see you old amigo."
They hugged, and the man called Tori teased, "Now tell me Dr. Navarro ... Do you let all your friends stand out in the rain?"
"Si ... Si ... Where are my manners? Come in ... Come in my friend. James, a towel for CapitanTorres."
Captain Torres gave me his hat, which was wet from the rain. The water from its creases flowed on to the floor, making little puddles that quickly seeped into the cracks of the wood. I handed the large man a towel, which he first wiped along his jacket and then across his bearded face.
"Gracias James. What a fine boy you are."
Father announced, "James, we have in our midst one of the finest captains in all of Spain..."
Captain Torres interrupted with a hearty guffaw, "Humph! Don't listen to him James ... he exaggerates..."
Father led us into the parlor and we all sat around the fire. "I'm not exaggerating James, CapitanTorres was the youngest seaman to ever be given a captainship on a king's ship."
Then turning to Captain Torres, Father said warmly, "I always knew you were destined for great things. I knew it even when we were kids. Hey, do you remember all the fun we had in school ... that is until you ran off to be a sailor man."
"It was the Latin," boomed Captain Torres, "I couldn't stand the Latin. Unlike your Father, James, who was good at the book learning, I was a poor academic. Well, enough about me. How are you, Jaime?" Then Captain Torres lowered his head and spoke more softly, more seriously. "I was sorry to hear about Ada..."
Father exhaled, and I felt a knot in my throat. I always did when I heard her name. Father answered soberly, "Gracias. Ah ... well ... it has now been eight years since she died. We miss her..." Father put his arm around me and gave me a little squeeze. "You never quite get over it, but I have my work. I have James."