by Kelly G (Lady Catherine Dunbar)

Part Three

Cat, dressed in a light lilac dress, was escorted to the dining hall
by one of Santiago's lieutenants that afternoon. All though she knew
Santiago was going out of his way to make her comfortable, the last
thing she wanted to do was dine with the man who was holding her
friends captive. At least Santiago is a gentleman, she thought as
she entered the hall.

Santiago was sitting with another older gentleman at a beautifully
made, but worn, mahogany table in the center of the room. The large
bay doors were open, allowing the breeze to enter the simple but well
decorated room, filling it with warm sunlight.

At her entrance Santiago, who was sitting at the end of the table,
and the gentleman sitting next to him looked up. Both gentlemen
smiled slightly at her and stood up, bowing gracefully.

"Good afternoon Dona," Santiago greeted.

Cat smiled, genuinely. Santiago had proven himself a decent man and
she was not going to be angry with a man who had shown himself to be
more than hospitable.

"Good afternoon Senior," she said, giving a smile curtsey.

"Dona, may I introduce you to my cousin, Don Alfredo Masseredo. Don
Masseredo, this is the Lady Catherine Dunbar, of Scotland, correct my

"You are quite correct Don Santiago." She bowed her head towards
Masseredo. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance Don Masseredo."
Masseredo bowed and kissed the young woman's hand. "The pleasure is
mine Lady Dunbar."

"Shall we have a seat?" Santiago suggested.

Both aristocrats nodded as Santiago pulled out a chair for Cat.
Bowing her head to him, smiling, Cat took her seat, followed by both

"Thank you for inviting me to lunch Don Santiago," Cat said politely
as servants began to set their plates in front of them.

"Think nothing of it, Dona. I will try my best to make your stay
here comfortable."

"I do hope I am not an inconvenience Senior."

Santiago looked aghast at her statement. "Not at all. Does the Dona
look like an inconvenience to you Alfredo?"

"Not in the least, Diego. My cousin is certainly the luckiest
governor in Spain. I know my table has not been graced in such a way
in at least a year or so."

"I am not worth such a grand compliment, Don Masseredo, but thank
you. Are you also a governor of a prison, Senior?"

"I am afraid I am, Senorita. A prison to the north, on the coast,
named El Ferrol."

At this Cat choked on her wine.

"Are you all right Senorita?" Santiago asked, leaning forward.

"Fine," Cat managed, whipping her chin with her napkin. "Did you say
El Ferrol, Don Masseredo?"

"Why yes, I did. Is there something wrong Lady Dunbar?"

She shook her head. "Not at all, Senior. The name simply sounded
familiar, that is all," she said as she sipped her wine, staring down
at the table, her mind working a mile a minute.

The three aristocrats spent the rest of the afternoon talking about
everything besides politics. Although Cat participated completely in
the conversation, she could not for the life of her get away from
what Don Masseredo had told her. As if I did not have enough
troubles, she thought as the afternoon wore on.


Horatio was pacing in the yard again, driving Mathews and Styles

"How long is he gonna keep doin' that?" Styles asked.

Mathews shrugged. "Dunno. But if it's helpin' him think of a way
outta here than I'm for it, even if it is givin' me a headache."

Styles nodded begrudgingly, leaning against the stone column. Matty
was right, on both accounts.

The gate to the yard opened and the men, even Hornblower, turned to
see who was entering. To their slight surprise, Lady Dunbar hurried
through the gates, unguarded.

She passed the men quickly, taking no notice of their bows.
Something must really be up, Mathews thought. The Lady Dunbar never
passes us without a smile or a kind word. Hope the doctor's all

At the sound of the gate opening Horatio turned just in time to see a
flash of lilac pass through the iron work and come whirling towards
him. It was Cat. She ran up to him, a piece of hair falling into
her eyes, her hands holding up her dress.

"I need to talk to you Horatio. Now," she added firmly. Her voice
held the same quality that Pellew's did when he left no room for

"What is it Cat?" he asked, pulling her as far as way from the men as
he could, hoping to God it had nothing to do with Dr. Sebastian.

Cat leaned forward, her wide and urgent. "Don Alfredo Masseredo is

Horatio just stared at her, not at all sure of what he was
hearing. "Don Masseredo?" he asked in barely a whisper.

She nodded.

"The governor of El Ferrol?"

Again Cat nod urgently.

"You're quite sure?"

"Yes," she said impatiently. "He's Santiago's cousin. I just had
lunch with them. I thought you should know immediately."

Horatio turned away from her, his eyes deep in thought. "Yes, thank
you, Cat. Don Masseredo? Damn it to Hell!"

"I don't think he'll do anything, Horatio? It's not as you all
escaped from his prison," Cat said, placing a hand on his shoulder.
Yes, she had been concerned as to the Don's presence and its affect
on the men but the more she thought about it, the was really not much
to fear. "Most likely he could only help us, perhaps telling
Santiago of your bravery."

Horatio looked up at Cat. Perhaps she was right. Masseredo had
behaved as gentleman more than not and had helped to have them
released. But, there was always a chance. . .

"Does he know we're here?"

Cat shook her head. "I don't think so." She paused, taking a deep
breath. "But he'll tonight."

Horatio looked at her sharply. "What?"

Cat could not help but look apologetic as she told him what happened
at lunch. "Santiago invited me to join he and his cousin for dinner
tonight, and he insisted that I bring along my two officer friends."

"Oh, God," Horatio said, putting his hand to his head, feeling a
headache coming on.

"Do not worry Horatio, it will not be so bad," Cat said, trying to
sound as cheerful as possible.

Horatio looked down at the Scot. "I do hope you're right Cat. I do
hope you are right."

To be continued...

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