Colonel Jung, dressed in sturdy brown civilian clothing, crossed the Cetina River into Omis. The trip had taken most of the day but had been very pleasant. He had spent time travelling with a merchant who had told him that one of the Prinzessin’s own guard had been killed by Bashi Bazouks only a day’s ride south of Omis.
“Awfully far inland, I suppose they could have travelled up river? We should be more prepared!” he thought.
The sun setting over the Adriatic was beautiful, the glow of the red clouds brought a smile to the old sailor’s eyes but thoughts of his mission quickly erased it. He had been a “privateer” once, now he was a Colonel, a rich man, an important man, but even now his ignoble past set his course. Omis had been a home for pirates as far back as the 12th century, however it’s golden age had passed and was now a mere shadow of its’ former self.
“Why should the Prinz have a soft spot in his heart for old pirates? It has served my career well by why this Dukas, why risk so much for a man he has never met?”
The Colonel dismounted and walked towards the river, he approached a squat terracotta building with an old wooden sign decorated with a monkey riding a cow. The tavern was small and dingy but a wonderful aroma permeated from the kitchen. A portly woman with brown hair and hands that looked like they could crack walnuts approached him.
“Care for some prsut (PURR-shoot) sir?”
He was a bit hungry and his “guests” would not arrive for a while longer,
“Yes, that would be fine, and an herb brandy.”
Colonel Jung had hand-picked the captains he would approach, Venesians to a man, and as cut-throat a bunch as one would ever care to meet. Ugo da Padova, Este Greco, Nuncio Sanuto and Ilario Zancani. Surely one or two of the captains could be bought.
The moon crawled into the sky and the Venesian captains arrived per the appointed time.
Only upon swearing an oath of secrecy did Colonel Jung explain, in great detail, the Prinz’s plan to intercept the ship transporting Spyridon Dukas from Bizerrca to Morea, the need for absolute secrecy and the reward offered to the captain that could produce Dukas on the Cavenderian coast. The captains in turn informed the Colonel of the recently arrived Morean gunboats in Taranto. The captains and colonel discussed the risk and rewards associated into the wee hours of the morning.
By morning it was done, Captain Greco was to sail to Bizerrca immediately to gather information and rendezvous with Sanuto upon Dukas departure. Captains da Padova and Zancani were to shadow the Morean gun boats in case of intervention. All ships would fly under their own colors and only Sanuto’s crew would know the prize they sought. All took an oath to fulfill their obligations and in turn each was offered holdings in Cavenderia upon completion of the task. As a show of faith, each captain was given a new pistol and a bag of coin.
Colonel Jung thought, “I hope this cur is worth the price”