42. The Fisherman’s Words

The old fisherman reeled in his line as he heard his wife come running down the dock, hollering for him to “come quick.”  
She was yelling something about “the young girl from far away” and “their prayers finally answered.”  Whatever it was,
she was running a mighty bit faster than he had seen her in recent years.  He finished reeling in his old line, empty as
usual, just as she reached him.  “Look!” she shouted, shoving an open palm in his face (he was still sitting on the dock,
legs hanging over the end) a shiny diamond lying in the middle.  His grew like saucers as he swung his legs up on the
dock, scrambling to get to his feet, so clumsy, he almost smacked the diamond right from her palm and into the ocean!  
She backed up, letting her wild husband some space while he got to his feet before she opened her palm again to allow
him a longer safer look at the end of their poor streak.  

“Where in Tamir did you get this?” he asked, puzzled, scratching at his gray beard.

“From this young, princess,” replied his wife, stepping to the side, and ushering the shy young girl that had finally caught
up to the end of the dock.  Rosella had run ragged in her heels.  Her porcelain cheeks were red, hair windblown.  She
fixed her hair, tucking the lovely blonde locks behind her ears, and smoothed out her vermilion skirt.  The young
princess shifted her weight from one foot to the other, as running in her little black heels hurt more than a little.

“Well then, beautiful miss.  How is it that my wife and I might thank you for your heavenly generosity?” he asked making
the girl blush.  But it was his wife that spoke up for Rosella.

“She wishes to know the whereabouts of that strongbox that those wicked winged creatures dropped into the ocean a
short bit ago.

“I see,” he replied, scratching his beard, and looking the young maiden over.  “Well, I can’t say I recommend it, but show
you where it is, that I can do.  Should a girl as pretty as yourself get involved in such danger as Lolotte?  I say no.  But
your generosity to my wife and I demands that I heed your wish.  Aye, I can take you there.” He finished with a nod.  
“Dear, get dinner ready.  I shall return shortly.”

With that, he grabbed Rosella gently by the arm and led her back to shore where he had a small rowboat cast up on the
beach.  “We’ll take this, and find you the contents of that box,” he said with a reassuring squeeze to Rosella’s arm.  He
was a bit of a rustic man for the well mannered Rosella, but somehow the skittish princess trusted that the fisherman
would indeed help her find the sunken chest that Lolotte so badly wanted to remain lost.

Gentlemanly helping Rosella into the tiny boat by her dainty hand, the fisherman turned away so as not to see the
generous portion of white stocking clad leg revealed by her high slit gown.  The princess’s face flushed with color and
heat as she sat down, pulling her skirt about her.  She could hear her mother scolding her now in her head, “Rosella,
that is NOT the outfit for an adventure!”  Shaking her head, the sound of the fisherman’s voice brought her back to

“Everything okay?” he asked as he sat down in boat opposite her, already rowing them out into the water.

“Hmm? Oh, yes.  I’m sorry.  I was just… thinking of home,” she replied honestly.  Daventry seemed so far away right
now.  Indeed it was.  Rosella was far away from home and safety.  All that lay before her were the dangers of her quest,
and the wonder if she would ever live to see Daventry again, or even her 18th birthday!  She began to feel the
foolishness of her decision, and the weight on her shoulders, so sleight and young.

The fisherman nodded, and allowed Rosella her time in silence as he skillfully rowed them into the open waters toward
their destination…

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