At the infirmary behind the apothecary’s shop, Krumer knocked on the door frame of a long room that held a pair of beds. Each bed had its own nightstand and was separated by a cream curtain on a simple frame that ran the same length as the beds. Captain Hunter looked over from the first bed and smiled at his first mate in the doorway. The captain tried to rise, but winced instead and settled back onto the bed. With a small shake of his head, Krumer walked into the room.
“Well, spirits do favor the foolish and Anthony Hunter. How are you?”
Hunter chuckled then winced in pain. “Damnable cracked rib, hurts when I laugh. Aside from that, I’m alive. Don’t see me wrestling any more drakes soon though.”
“That would relieve the crew. Mr. O’Fallon in particular.”
When the pain subsided, Hunter sighed. “Krumer, I know what stirred that drake to action. Sad to say, we helped irritate the whole thing.”
The first mate drug up a chair and took a seat next to the bed. “What do you mean?”
“When Broggins was aboard, he mentioned something about a prize. He boasted that it would set him up for quite awhile. I’ve a firm thought that he meant a drake egg. Skies above, it’ll be a hatchling if we’re unlucky.”
Krumer frowned. “Brigg’s Reach isn’t as wide as it is tall, but it’s still a rat’s nest enough when it wants to be. The egg of a lightning drake is valuable to the right buyer. Why Broggins though? Not that I’d mind turning him in for it.”
“After the explosion, both the drake and I flew clear. I woke first and wrapped what was left of my rope around the drake’s snout before she came to.”
“Hold to, we’re sailing towards that port.” Hunter continued, “We struggled against each other a good bit, but that explosion took a lot of fight from her. She flew us back towards her roost and tossed me off on a ledge nearby. While I pondered where I was, I noticed an old campsite.”
“I see, but how do you know it had anything to do with Broggins?”
“Hand me my coat, would you?”
Krumer handed Hunter his coat and the captain dug a weathered, but intact, brass pocket watch from a breast pocket. On the watch, an inscription of ‘A. Hunter’ was still clearly visible despite some tarnish and weathering.
“Not the first idea it was his when I saw it. But I’d know my pocket watch anywhere. There were bits and pieces of Wayfinder Guild gear about as well. The kind used to capture a drake to tag them for study. The way I see it, we just need to get that egg out to that clutch and out of a town. Once she sees it, this all should solve itself. ”
Krumer nodded and rose. “I’ve an idea where Broggin’s would go, Anthony. There aren’t many who’ll traffic in drake eggs here.”
“Get Townsend to put his pipe down and help you beat the bushes. There’s no telling where he might’ve stashed it. Broggins isn’t the smartest man but he’s not entirely a fool. He’ll keep it carefully hidden.”
“Understood. Stay and rest. I’ll send O’Fallon and Moira along to collect you. I will handle Broggins.” With a feral gleam in his eye, Krumer left on his way. Captain Hunter settled into his own thoughts and gazed towards the partially open window through which the dim sounds of a dock, busy with the coming and goings of merchant ships, drifted into the room.