Seribro and Hilt lead Oliver down towards the docks. The clatter-clatter of boots on cobblestone gave way to a muted banging of boots on wet wood. Angry guards and angry Basilisk patrons were not too far behind.
"Did you get it?" Seribro panted.
"They're chasing us, aren't they?" Hilt happily replied. Oliver looked back, and he was certain that the guards were getting closer.
"Did you get the logs, Friend?" Seribro nodded. "Good."
Oliver looked ahead, and Hilt and Seribro had gone. He stopped in his tracks, even though the angry mob was getting closer. Before the mob fell upon him, a thin, cold hand clamped down on Oliver's face and yanked him into the shadows.
When Oliver came to, he was in a rowboat. Seribro and Hilt were rowing, while a skinny, gray-cloaked man sat at the helm. The gray man was covering, and uncovering a lantern in a nervous, slightly irregular pattern. Oliver found that the sound of water lapping was only helping to agitate him further.
"As per your orders, Captain, I had our old ship sunk, and bought a new one with our funds," the gray man said.
"That's good, Ideen. Is the cargo safe, though?"
The gray man lifted his lantern, and patted the locked box in his lap.
Oliver mustered up some courage.
"Where is your ship, Hilt?"
"Say, where is our new ship, Ideen?"
"Over there, Captain." The gray man pointed to a ship on the west side of the harbor. "Mind you, it's not as large as the old one, but at least this one doesn't have termites, or shipworms."
"So, we won't be having any more of your "Seafood Surprise Stew with Nuts?"" Hilt inquired. The gray man snorted.
Seribro leaned over to Oliver.
"That's a good thing."
"Who is this fresh, new face, Captain?" the gray man asked as he wagged his finger towards Oliver.
"Oooh, I'm hiring this burly lad to help us move the shipment of teaklogs in the next port." Hilt and Seribro shared a good cackle while the gray man smirked. Oliver swore he once saw a cat smirk just like that before it ate a sparrow right in front of his face.
The rowboat came to a stop near a ropeladder on the hull of Hilt's new ship.
"Shall I pipe you aboard, Captain?"
"Some other time, Idean."