Finally, Alynn glanced up at Lukas. She couldn’t tell if he was staring at her or past her, but she could see his mind working. “Alright, Lukas. What’s on yer mind?” she asked.
Lukas half-smiled and took another bite of cod. “Sigmund had some wonderful stories to tell from Hrafney. Seventy-eight souls were brought to the saving knowledge of Christ. He even translated the epistle to the Romans into Norse fer them, and he’s working on the Gospel of Matthew.” Excitement shone from Lukas like light from a candle. “The Lord’s doing a wonderful work there, just as He is here.”
Caitriona smiled. “That’s wonderful.”
“Who’s their pastor?” Alynn asked.
“They’re sending a young man to study fer the pastorate,” Lukas said. “He should be here afore the year’s out. But afore I forget, Alynn, Sigmund met someone who might be of interest to ye.”
Alynn lowered her spoon. Lukas was staring at her with a solemn gaze that she couldn’t help but return. Gravity settled in the air around them.
“Who was it?” she asked.
“The Scottish captain of a cargo ship,” Lukas said, glancing at Caitriona to include her in their discussion. “He and Sigmund struck up a conversation, and the captain asked if he knew of a girl who was fifteen, perchance sixteen, and had fallen off a ship in the area two Septembers ago.”
Alynn blanched. She had fallen off a ship two Septembers ago. She could still hear her little brother crying her name as she tripped over the ship’s edge. She remembered the shock of the water, the pain of the cold that nearly killed her. Her father’s hand reaching vainly for hers as it disappeared under the waves, never to rise again. She blinked and forced her memories aside. “The Scotsman—who is he? What’s his name?”
“Tamlane McMahon, captain of the Darting Swallow.”
Alynn let her spoon clatter onto her plate. “Tamlane McMahon,” she repeated. “Captain Tamlane McMahon? Are you certain?”
“Aye, I’m certain.”
Alynn drew in a shaking breath. The world was spinning.
“And his ship—the—” Caitriona drew a breath, as if she was afraid to speak what was on everyone’s mind. “It survived the storm? And the passengers?”
“The ship’s fine. Where its passengers are, I’m not sure, but Sigmund saw the Darting Swallow wi’ his own eyes.”
Caitriona blinked. “So if Tamlane...and the ship survived, then...Tarin...oh, praise God!” She flew from her chair and rushed headlong out the back door.
Lukas stood. “Caitriona—!”
“I’m going to find my son!”
The door slammed shut, and it barely moved Alynn from her stupor. Tarin. Sweet, quiet, curious Tarin—he’d be ten now. How long had they been apart? And him alive all this time? Where was he? Was he safe? Was he warm and fed and loved, taken in by a church or a kind family? Oh, she hoped so! She prayed so!
She could do better than pray. She could find him.
Lukas set his hand over hers. “Are ye alright, my dear?”
Excitement grew within her, and she grinned. “Tarin’s alive,” she breathed before running after Caitriona.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.