It wouldn’t have worried Silas if they hadn’t already walked through most of the ship and seen no sign of the captain. Timberwolf tended to wander around, but that was when he wasn’t ill. When he was sick, he stayed locked up in his cabin all day, except when he was yelling at one of the boys to ‘fetch him some chicken noodle soup, for Calypso’s sake’. Not to mention that he always left a note before wandering off, especially if he would be gone for a while. It was completely unlike Timberwolf to just disappear.
“Silas, what’s wrong?” Red asked. He had known the captain for the longest time out of any of the boys.
Silas realized he was blocking the entire cabin from view. He turned to face his crew, trying to keep his fear from his face, but he gave himself away with the quavering of his voice. “The captain isn’t here.”
The crew broke into worried chatter. “What do you mean he isn’t here? Where is he? Did he leave us?”
Silas found himself helpless to quell their fears. He had wanted more responsibility, but not for the captain to be entirely gone.
Thankfully, Red stepped in. “Hey! There’s no way Timberwolf would just leave us. There must be some sort of explanation. Maybe he had an emergency meeting with another captain.” He looked around at the crew; they had quieted down and were listening to him intently. “Why don’t we wait until morning and see if he’s back by then? If he isn’t, we can deal with this then, but everything looks better after a good night’s sleep. Right, Silas?”
“Yes,” Silas replied, very unsure of himself. He was jealous of how Red could command the crew’s respect with such ease. The other boy was acting like more of a first mate than Silas. “It’s late and there’s nothing else we can do tonight.”
With only a few quiet mutterings and complaints, the rest of the crew went to ready themselves for bed, Red following close behind. Silas was left alone, staring at Timberwolf’s empty cabin and wondering how he’d ever be able to fall asleep.
. . .
The next morning, after a thorough search of the ship (very thorough – Timberwolf had once been found fast asleep in a barrel in the hold), the crew gathered on the main deck. No one had found any evidence of the captain, and worry was once again starting to weigh down on the young men.
Silas had barely slept, so preoccupied he was with trying to figure out how they would even start to search for the captain. He had feverishly scoured Timberwolf’s cabin for any clues it might have held about the man’s whereabouts. Even with all the time spent thinking and searching, he only had one idea that could possibly help them hunt Timberwolf down.
After the crew had shared the fruitless results of their search, Silas turned to Red. “Is there anyone we could ask who might know where Timberwolf is? Maybe point us in the right direction? Or at least some direction?”
Red frowned as he thought. “I’m not sure. The captain had a few friends, but he wasn’t all that close to anyone . . .” His eyes lit up as he realized something. “Well, there is someone . . .”
“Who is it?” Silas asked, leaning forward.
Fighting back a grin, Red said, “Captain Katherine Kincade.”
“Kincade?” Silas echoed. “She’s legendary! She’s friends with Timberwolf?”
“I wouldn’t say friends, but of anyone, she would have the wisdom to help us.”
Silas stood up. “That’s better than nothing. Come on!” He beckoned for the others to follow him. “I saw her at the Alliance meeting last night, she might still be docked here.”