“This is the last of it,” Ch’Voga set down the waterskins. Prudence didn’t even look up. “You don’t have to do this, you know. It’s not safe here.”
“What is it the all-knowing holy man thinks I’m doing?”
He shrugged, “Proving yourself.”
“We all hold you in the highest esteem..”
“Spare me. I have no interest in yours or anyone else’s opinion of me. I am not trying to “prove myself” to you or anyone on that damn boat over there. I am fixing what’s mine and bidding you and your coin-counter good riddance. My only regret is not being there to see you finally fail.”
“Why do you hate me so?”
“You flatter yourself.”
“Have I not made it clear you are not to call me that?!”
“Prudy, I could not have married you. Don’t you see? It would have been torturous for us both.”
“Well, lucky then you were so wise for our fates have certainly turned out oh so much for the better!” She threw a kick at her shattered boat.
He sighed. “My calling is sure. It was not a calling you shared, what you have done with your own freedom since has been your own affair. Why do you persist in blaming me?” Silence. “You couldn’t have been a missionary’s wife…”
“…Anymore than I could have been what you and your father expected me to be.”
“If you were half the man my father was…”
“Alas, I am only me. I am truly sorry for all the trouble I have caused you. I hope someday you can forgive me. Good bye and fare well, sister.”
She didn’t turn around so he did. He walked back to Jacques ship and climbed the rope ladder to the deck.
“No?” Jacques asked. Ch’Voga shook his head. “Image Porc-tête d'une femme! Raise sails! Foolishness be damned!”
Ch’Voga took a spot near the rear of the boat where he’d be out of the way and he could watch as Prudence’s small wreck slowly shrank with the distance until it and her finally disappeared in the shimmering haze.