The third part of the 17th chapter
Rhoda came to a bank of one of the little brooks and sat down with her legs dipped in the clear water. The feeling of the water on her feet made her peaceful, and she stared into it, forgetting herself and the entire world. At a certain moment she felt that for some time her eyes were fixed on something shiny that was stuck between the stones at the bottom of the brook. She woke herself from her trance and looked at the shining spot. It wasn’t a ripple on the water’s surface. There really was something in the water. Rhoda went into the water, shivering from the chill, and bent to get the thing that was there. After some effort she managed to free it. It was a simple gold ring, without any ornaments. It came, doubtlessly, from one of the pirates treasures and had fallen on the way to their hiding place, without them noticing its loss. The pirates were very meticulous in everything that they had robbed, treating it like a heirloom which passed in their family for generations. Rhoda decided, with a strong feeling of rebellion, that she will keep this ring for herself. The big problem was – how could she hide it? It was clear that she couldn’t wear it on her finger, where it will be seen immediately. She had to find another way. Rhoda thought for a while. The garment she wore was worn and without pockets. It was mended so many times, as best she could, just so that she will be able to remain dressed. It was clear to her that for as long as the pirates didn’t take her to be sold, they will not give her any proper clothes. The solution was clear – she will sew the ring to the inside of her sleeve. That way no one will know the ring is in her possession. Rhoda hurried towards the pirate camp in order to follow her plan, holding the ring in her tightly closed fist.
When she got near the camp, Rhoda saw that some of the pirates had already woken up and were gathered around the table, eating, drinking and cursing. She didn’t want them to notice her, so she sneaked around to get to the room the pirates had given her. She was about to go in, when one of them saw her and called “Come here you prinzesa! My pitcher is empty!” With great haste she dropped the ring into a thorny bush that grew near the entrance to her room and hurried to fill his pitcher. A nervous pirate, at an early morning hour, after a wild night of drinking and cursing was not something you could ignore.
When Rhoda got to the breakfast table every one of the pirates made demands of her, and the following hours passed while she was brushing shoes, combing mustaches, serving food and drink and cursing (in her heart) each and every one of the pirates she took care of, with the most aggressive curses she could think of.
When the blond pirate woke up too, and grabbed her shoulder to make her turn to him and give him the pitcher, Rhoda woke up from her sleep, probably because she slept a little to the right, and her shoulder hit the side of the seat.