Queen of the Black Coast, Recrowned
by Roberta E. Howard
Copyright 2010 Roberta E. Howard
: Conyn Joins the Pirates
Believe green buds awaken in the spring,
That autumn paints the leaves with somber fire;
Believe I held my heart inviolate
To lavish on one woman my hot desire.
--The Song of Belit
Hoofs drummed down the street that sloped to the wharfs. The folk that yelled and scattered had only a fleeting glimpse of a mailed figure on a black mare, a wide scarlet cloak flowing out on the wind. Far up the street came the shout and clatter of pursuit, but the horsewoman did not look back. She swept out onto the wharfs and jerked the plunging mare back on its haunches at the very lip of the pier. Seawomen gaped up at her, as they stood to the sweep and striped sail of a high-prowed, broadwaisted galley. The mistress, sturdy and black-bearded, stood in the bows, easing him away from the piles with a boat-hook. She yelled angrily as the horsewoman sprang from the saddle and with a long leap landed squarely on the mid-deck.
"Who invited you aboard?"