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Fordell - 18. Ford Ch 18

A short while later, we arrived at the wharf, and there was a tender waiting for us on the beach, as the yacht was anchored close to Red Island, and after Jacky made a ear piercing whistle. Ashton soon appeared and we set off back to the yacht, where Elizabeth and two of the new stewards had a tray of cool drinks waiting for us.

“Well, what do you think, did they seem to like my suggestions?” I asked James as we sat down in the upper saloon, “I think they liked it very much, I will be interested to see what ideas they come up with in regards to the buildings,” James replied.

The following day as we were finishing a late breakfast on the Bridge deck, Ashton arrived in a hurry, “Slow down brother, you will wear yourself out in this heat,” James said to his brother, and I chuckled at this.

“Sorry, it is just that there are some people on the wharf, they want to speak to Lord Fordell, luckily none of the temporary crew were around to hear,” Ashton announced, as I stood up and placed the napkin on the table. “Did they say what they wanted Ash?” I asked, using James shortened version of his brother’s name.

“No my Lo… No sir, just that they wanted to speak to you,” Ashton said and he dashed off out of the room, ‘That brother of mine definitely doesn’t like being around Nobility does he?” James commented, and I chuckled at this as we headed for the foyer and down the stairs to the main deck.

“Lord Fordell, we are heading off to do some hunting, and we would like you and Captain Hakney to join us,” one of the local men said to us, which caught both James and me by total surprise, “Yes that would be very good thankyou, do we need to bring anything?” I replied, “Just trousers, long sleave short, hat, boots and plenty of water,” came the reply.

I looked at the men gathered at the wharf, all of them had just shorts, no shirt, no hat and no shoes on, and are each carrying a long straight stick. One of the men laughed and said something in their own language, which had the others laughing.

“We are presuming why we suggest so much when we wear so little. We have dark skin so the sun does not bother us. Water we can get from the many waterholes that we know are around, and the soles of our feet are thick, so there is no need to worry about shoes,” one of the men said to us.

“I see your point, give us a few minutes and we will be ready,” James responded, as we headed inside, just as Hunter exited the galley with a backpack. “Here are some snacks and water supplies, and a towel for your sir,” he said to me, “good thankyou, we just need to get changed, and get some boots on, and we will be right back down,” I called out as we headed upstairs.

Returning to the main deck a few minutes later, dressed in trousers, long sleeve shirts and hats, I accepted the backpack from Hunter, who by the looks of it had decided not to join us, and we stepped off the yacht to join the dozen or more men.

Jumping into three worn out jeeps, that looked like would not get very far, we set off down the main road out of town, uncertain where we were going. Passing through Bamaga we turned and headed north, which is the road that goes to the cape, but after just ten minutes we slowed, and turned right off the main road, and followed a very rough track for about another twenty or so minutes.

After weaving around trees and shrubs, we finally came to a stop, and after a five-minute short walk, we came across a large waterhole or billabong, as they are sometimes called. “What will we find in here? Not crocodiles I hope?” James commented, which had some of the men laughing, “Why, you afraid of the big crocs are you?’ one of the men asked.

I could see that James was a little nervous, “Nah we are after some proper good food, fish and fresh water turtles, tastes like chicken,” one of the younger men responded, and some of them pretended to be chickens, flapping their tucked in arms.

Taking off our boots and socks, we followed the men into the muddy waters of the billabong, and I was handed one of the long sticks. “You poke stick down into the water, when you hit something hard, get Captain to reach down and pick up the turtle, and put em’ in this bag, get em’ from back of neck, or they will bite your finger,” one of the men instructed us.

James pulled his hand out of the water quickly on hearing this, which brought more laughter, and I just smiled, “Just stay calm and ignore them, we are just here for a lesson in traditional hunting remember, it is all in keeping good relations with the locals,” I whispered to James.

“Yes and all at my expense,” James replied, and I smiled and nodded my head in understanding, as I began pushing the stick down into the water, and it wasn’t long before I heard a dull thud, and I looked at James, who crossed his arms and shook his head no.

Shrugging, I gave him the stick and I bent down to feel for the turtle, and all I felt was a foot that slipped out of my grip. “Slippery little sod escaped my grip,” I commented, and some of the men who heard me laughed, as James began to poke the water with the stick.

About ten minutes later, some of the men had already bagged a few, when James hit the shell of a turtle and he looked at me with a big grin. Moments later he gave an almighty yelp as he jumped in the air and landed with a big splash, and disappeared underwater, reappearing a few seconds later, struggling to stay upright as he held onto his left foot.

All of the men were roaring with laughter at the sight, and I couldn’t help but chuckle, “The bloody thing bit my big toe,” James yelled out, as I retrieved the stick and handed it to one of the men, before helping James out of the water.

The toe was a little red and beginning to swell, but it didn’t look too bad, “Ok we go back to town now,” one of the men announced to us, as we bundled into the jeep, and I used the towel to dry off my wet trousers, before handing it over to James.

By the time we arrived back at Seisia, I was nearly completely dry, while James was still looking very wet and miserable, and Ashton was standing by the tender, waiting for us when we arrived, and not long after we were on the yacht, and James was being carried down to the yachts hospital room.

After I had showered and changed, I went down to check on James, who was laying on the hospital bed asleep, with our paramedic just finishing taking his blood pressure. “Is there anything serious?” I whispered, to Chris, “No he is fine, I gave him a Tetanus shot, much to his protest, and I also gave him an antibiotic tablet plus something to make him sleep for a while.

His toe has swollen quite a bit, but it has ice on it now to tow and keep the welling down a little, and it has been cleaned up and covered in Iodine to keep it clean,” Chris said to me, and I looked at James’s foot, which had a bandage over his whole big toe.

“Does Gretchen know?” I asked, “Yes, she left a few minutes before you arrived, so she is up to date with his condition, and will take over his duties until he is mobile again, which will be in a few days time, once I have seen no infections,” Chris replied.

I was in the Bridge deck saloon, when James was assisted into the room by Hunter and Ashton, and sat him down in the two-seater lounge so he could place his feet up off the ground. “How are you feeling?” I asked, “A little groggy, and my toe is aching like crazy, even with the pain killers that Chris just gave me,” James said.

“Well if it gets any worse, I will charter a plane to come and transport you to hospital in Cairns,” I informed James, “No need for that, I am sure I will be ok,” James responded. In the end, the first lot of guests arrived and settled into their cabins without James been present, as I had ordered him to stay resting in the bridge saloon, which he protested about, and I just ignored those protests.

With Gretchen now in charge until James has recovered, and Louise stepping up to be her backup, we set off at the assigned time of departure heading for the Cape. We have a total of nine couples, with three accommodated on the main deck and the rest on the upper deck.

Less than an hour later we arrived at the Cape, and just as the sun was getting close to the horizon, the guests sat down for their first meal onboard, on the upper deck aft, with a great view of the Cape and the setting sun. With the yacht anchored between the Cape and the two small islands, just north of it, the yacht is fairly sheltered for the overnight stopover, before setting off to Thursday Island the next day.

On the final night of the first guests stay onboard the yacht, James was given the all clear to return to work, and he replace Gretchen to have dinner with the guests on their final night.

“Good evening, I am Captain James Hakney, I have been off work due to a foot injury I sustained the day before you arrived. I hope that you have all had an enjoyable cruise with us so far,” James said as he approached the dining table and sat down at the head of the table.

“Hello, yes we have thankyou, can we ask how you injured your foot,” one of the guests asked, “I would prefer not to say how I was injured, lets just enjoy this last dinner together shall we,” James responded. With Hunter and I were in the galley enjoying a meal together there, Hunter laughed out-loud on hearing James response.

We heard James groan with annoyance at Hunter’s laugh, and Renaldo started speaking in Italian, complaining about the poor presentation of the meal, and in response and also in Italian, I suggested that he fix the problem instead of just complaining.

Renaldo grunted in response, before changing to English, and told the chef to get his act together and do a better job of the presentation of the entrée meal, and he showed the temporary chef how to do it correctly.

In Italian, Renaldo suggested that I deliver the entrée, and not wanting to cause any more issues in the galley, I stopped eating and along with Elizabeth, we stepped out of the galley with a tray each with the entrées.

I saw James’s expression of surprise as we entered the main dining room, and we served the meals to him and the guests, “Tell Hunter to knock it off,” James whispered to me, as I leaned down to place the bowl in front of him.

I gave a light nod of my head to let him know that I heard, before serving the other bowls on my tray and returning to the galley. “A message from Captain James to you Hunter, he said knock it off,” I said to my butler, who smiled.

“Ok, message received… boss. I am heading down to get some dinner,” Hunter said to me, before he went down stairs, and after placing the tray down, I sat down to finish my dinner, before going up to the bridge to check in with Gretchen.

I had just reached the Bridge deck foyer where I heard James shout out. “Hunter, here now… Edwin, watch out,” and I turned to face the stairs where I had just come from, when there was a bright flash in my face. “Hello your Lordship, it is a pleasure to meet you at last,” the person behind the camera and flash said, just as I heard heavy footsteps coming up the stairs.

James reached out and snatched the camera away, dropping it on the floor, before pushing the man up against the wall and pulling his arms behind his back.

“Ok, Mr Gregson, or who ever you really are, as Captain of this vessel, you will be detained until the police arrive and take custody of you,” James said, just as Hunter arrived at the top of the stairs, puffing a little from all the running up the stairs.

“Sorry, I was not aware there was a problem boss,” Hunter said between gasps, “It is ok Hunter, I was caught by surprise too, it was Captain James here who worked it out,” I replied. “When he excused himself to go to the bathroom, just after you exited the galley to head upstairs, and he seemed to be taking a long time, that is when I realised that something was not right,” James said.

“Forward twin cabin will do for him for now,” I said to Hunter, who took hold of the former guest and lead him downstairs and through to the forward twin cabin, which like all guest cabins on this deck are lockable from the outside, and cannot be unlocked from inside.

James lead me through to the saloon, and by now I was beginning to shake, as I sat down in a seat, and James sat next to me and put his arms around me, and I began to sob, and at first I didn’t know why.

“I.. I was so scared, I didn’t know what was going to happen to me,” I said between sobs, as Elizabeth quietly entered, and poured me a large Scotch neat, which I nearly choked on as I took a large gulp of the liquid as it burned down my throat.

“Wow, how old is that… that Scotch?” I asked, as I tried to get my voice back from the burning liquid, “I believe it is over 160 years old, it is a gift from your cousin the Earl, who sent it special delivery. The label says it is Glenavon Special Liqueur Whiskey, dated 1855,” James replied.

“Keep it well locked up, because if it is that old, it is probably very valuable,” I said to James, who took a small sip of the whiskey that he had poured into a small glass. “Wow, I see what you mean, that has some kick in it,” James croaked.

“Is that all that Cousin sent to me, one bottle of old whiskey?” I asked, “No he sent a total of six bottles, all of them different and all of them very old,” James replied. “Wow. That is some very expensive collection that I have just acquired, where are they been kept?” I asked.

This new cabinet, which arrived with the bottles, it is extremely heavy, as it has a lead lined and insulated on the inside, to keep the whiskey cool, each bottle has it’s own special holder, and there is an magnetic key to open the cabinet, so it is virtually impossible to get into,” James said to me.

“Maybe it would be safer if the cabinet was located at the Manor instead of onboard this yacht,” I responded. “I’m not sure sir, if someone really wanted it, they could easily get to it at the manor, especially if the house staff are away in town for the day,” James said, and I had to agree with him on that point.

Just one chapter remaining.


Copyright © 2020 quokka; All Rights Reserved.
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Fantastic chapter. I thought the turtle biting James on the toe was a little bit funny even though he didn’t think it was. The man that took the picture of Edwin is being detained for the authorities who will take him into custody. I hope that he gets charged with impersonating another person in hopes of getting his picture and he has to stay in jail for awhile. 

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26 minutes ago, davewri said:

Surely not going to jail for taking a photo?

I would say if it's jail it wouldn't be for the photo, but for impersonation of another person and dependent on where he travelled from, possible use of a false passport.

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Awesome chapter. The turtle biting James was funny. The guy impersonating someone to get a photo of Edwin, deserves some sort of punishment. The whisky sounded amazing and expensive.

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I  can't believe we're at the end of another book so soon. Does that mean we are going to get a third book on Lord Edwin, his friends and family.

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Remind me not to have turtle soup, goodness only knows where that toe has been 🤣🤣 I was wondering when the media would catch him... Trespassing and invasion of privacy at least. If I'd have been James I'd have got the elders to throw him in with the turtles😇

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46 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

I  can't believe we're at the end of another book so soon. Does that mean we are going to get a third book on Lord Edwin, his friends and family.


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6 hours ago, chris191070 said:

I would say if it's jail it wouldn't be for the photo, but for impersonation of another person and dependent on where he travelled from, possible use of a false passport.

After seizing the camera/ mobile/tablet or whatever was used to take a snap of Edwin, and deleting it, 3 suggestions come to mind.

1. Having him charged for illegally gaining transport by false identity (minor charge maybe a fine);

2. Whether he's a freelance or contract 'Pap' sue the publisher;

3. Keel Haul the bastard, under Ancient Maritime 'law'. Or walk the plank near a reef frequented by nurse sharks. They don't bite, but he'll soil himself for sure.

One last chapter?? Maybe for this Book of Fordell, but there's still work and obligations in the UK, and an aging Uncle who can't do it all (and more titles and lands to 'gift' to Sir Edwin, Lord Fordell). After all, got to keep her Majesty :joe: busy!



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