Monday, October 17, 2011
Return to Cuxhaven
The party breaks camp, loads the skiff and Terrell sets about bringing you back to Cuxhaven. Terrell cannot help at this point to ask most earnestly again about what was aboard the ship, and what the party saw that has kept them talking for so long. For much of the time Terrell (I presume, since he was being spoken of), was sent off and kept busy by Emmanuel washing the pots, the party's boots, oiling the weapons and so on.
It takes much less time to come back to Cuxhaven than to come out, as Terrell does not need to tack. He brings the ship in at about 8 knots, and you find yourselves back in the nearby waters in ninety minutes. The waters are filled with fishermen by that time, spaced over several miles in a sort of cloud in the estuary of the Elbe River.
The party cannot help but notice something quite odd about the fishermen. For the most party, the skiff comes at nearest a few hundred yards from any of the other boat, but several of the fishermen actually stand in their boats as the familiar skiff comes past. You see some fishermen point shake their comrades and bring their attention to you, pointing and the like. One fellow takes off his cap and you can see his lips moving in prayer.
Within good sight of the harbor, you hear a distant horn blow. This is followed by several others, which continue for two or three minutes, by which time you're within a few hundred yards of the dock you left yesterday morning.
You can see a dozen soldiers on that dock, armed with glaives and shields. There seem to be a hundred other people besides, and it is quite clear they are looking at you and waiting quietly and patiently for the skiff to arrive.