Such a great deal of fuss had been made when he came to the house. Mum and Dad had been preparing for it for months now, and there was a great deal of coaching done in order to have young Ainsley ready to receive him. She had been doing really well in her studies and the language being spoken in the home no longer just strange sounds.
He appeared at the door with his servant in tow, and promptly pushed past the young couple at the door standing to receive him. "Where is my great-granddaughter? he demanded strongly. It is she, I have come here to see. Come come now, I could die at any minute so time is waisting here!"
Ainsley had been seated in music room, swinging her feet over the edge of the small parlor sofa. The paper used to keep her shoes tight had slipped with the swinging, and her right shoe hit the floor with a clatter which echoed into the main room.
"Ah, if memory serves me well, that is the sound of a shoe," and the old man turned to the music room.
Ainsley had her first look at her great-grandfather, and he of her. He was bent with age, but she could see a great deal of strength still in him. His strides toward her were steady and straight, if it wasn't for the slight shake to his one arm, she might not have given him credit for the full amount of his years. As he continued to advance forward, she slid off the sofa, without bother to gather her wayward shoe.
"No, no, I will not have it," he said as he reached the sofa. "We will both sit here and talk as if we have known each other our whole lives." He noticed the tilt of her head as she examined the brown wrapping he held under one arm. They both sat down. He continued, "I made a promise many years ago and aim to keep it. At least keep it as life's willingness to continue will allow me to do so. He pulled the box around to his lap and slowly unwrapping the brown plain paper continued on. "I understand you are well under the age of 15?" She only nodded in agreement. "Then the deal is to be done, and you will have to make a promise when our visit comes to an end. Can you do that?" Again he watched her, this time keeping her eyes on the contents of what so plainly wrapped, and now had yielded two tins. "Inside of each of these containers," and he tapped each just once, "is a world and an adventure. To be able to open the containers a story must be started. Once started your life may never be the same again, and you will find yourself forever and always a part of this family. Are you ready, are you sure?" He watched her head turn up to his and she nodded with all eagerness. He began his story.
The French soldier had been watching these two for a while now. Although it could never be proven, whenever they were in port things went missing. At first there was only a few items, a bottle of wine, candles, trays, a piece of clothing. Then came the reports of even more items and some very strange items indeed. Why would someone want to take items such as has been reported wasn't clear and even more so; when narrowing down the list of suspects to a handful.
Diligent work by the French private had paid off in a big way. It brought them the names of the two, ill-employed bearing only a trade name of pirates; as well as a couple of eye witnesses to crimes being committed. Dare be said should either statement of the eye witnesses had gone to court, their backgrounds checked, their word meant nothing. They were but the only ones which would step forward; since most of the items seems to be taken at times notable names might be engaged in things best kept quiet. What was needed now was to find the ill gotten treasures so they could jail the robbers and return the items, which as of last night's snatch held few of Duchess Dufont's breeches and Monsieur Piorie's wooden teeth.
The private watched with an eagle eye, as the two he had so long been chasing, stood talking at the side of the street, in the distance. He deduced today would be the day they were able to find the booty by the shovel held in Blanc Montier's hand. Barbe Ombre, of whom Blanc was speaking to was very easy to spot. Lost his hand, leg and eye while working as a smithy young in life; turned to other means of support thereafter.
Great-Grandpa paused from the story and with a glint in his eye, ..... turned and looked deep into young Ainsley's. He handed her the two tins of soldiers and ask. "Can you finish the story? I received these as a child from my great-grandfather and would receive more as the years rolled on. At one time, way back in my youth; I may have told you they spoke to me. Now, I'm not so sure. One thing I do know. If you keep your heart open while you are young, they will lead you on many great adventures."
Her eyes shyly turned upward to his, as she reached out her hands to take the tins from him. "Oh Grandfather, I promise. I promise to finish the story and to allow the soldiers to take me on many grand adventures!"