She waited for a moment then left her hiding spot. The men were still in view. She slipped behind a wagon full of hay and waited. Just when she was about to make her next move, a voice came from behind her.
“You know, all this time I should have known. I see now how it’s possible,” she froze: she knew that voice.
“Asher, there was nothing else I could have done!”
“Tell me why, Esmeralda. Tell me why.”
“My friend, Caspian, got attacked at sea by the Maelstrom. So I wanted to go to the ship to save him, because I know deep inside of me that he is still alive. And I just need to...I have to...”
She felt a hand on her shoulder.
“I understand.” he said.
“That's why I need to go. I overheard British soldiers talking about a mission they had to capture the Maelstrom and I'm going to get on that ship. Asher, don't stop me. I have to go.” “I'm not going to stop you...I'm going to go with you!”
She smiled at him and explained what she planned on doing.
“We'll go down to the ship and stowaway.”
“That's your' plan. Stowaway? Seems downright crazy to me.”
“What, too out there for you?” She smiled.
He smiled back, “Nope, just fine. But how do you know which ship to go on?”
“I was following the soldiers before you came,” she peered around, the corner and to her surprise the soldiers were still there, talking. That was a relief.
“They're still there.”
“Good, well let’s go,” he whispered.
As if the soldiers heard them, they started walking away. Esmeralda and Asher followed far behind, ducking behind plants and buildings staying out of sight. The British soldiers turned left and right going down deserted side streets with garbage, beggars, and thieves lurking around them. They walked straight down the middle one at a time not even glancing down to see the poor souls begging for just a crumb of bread or drop of water. They were hard heartless people with no mercy or compassion. They were strict with rules and regulations and orders. These soldiers were dangerous and daring; bold and bright; but still too worried about self to worry about others whose lives were hurt by grief or sorrow. Too worried about self to pay attention to the dying and widowed. Too worried about self to pay attention to the poor and needy. All because they hurt themselves and couldn't see any good in this world. All this worried Esmeralda for Asher and her would be living as stowaways on a ship ruled by strict soldiers and general. If caught, they could be hung or put in prison, even as the young people they were! Still, she followed, not telling Asher the horrible thoughts that flooded her mind.
Suddenly, the soldiers made a quick left. The pair of stowaways stopped and peeked around the corner. What they saw was magnificent, yet upsetting to their stomachs.
That was the ship they would stowaway on? Asher was right. I am crazy!
The ship was huge. Ginormous! Hundreds of red-coated men were walking around the ship lifting anchors, raising sails, running errands. The two stared in awe. Asher spoke what Esmeralda was thinking.
“How are we going to get on that?”
Esmeralda didn't reply.
How are we? She asked herself.