Protection and Preservation, Book 10
Chapter 13

I saw neither George nor Sophie the rest of the evening. I rejoined my husband at the table in the terminal. He gave my hand a gentle squeeze as I sat down and joined the conversation.

Basil was sitting across from me and asked, "Would you go off with me, Bobbi?"

"Sure, but you would not like the result."

"Helen wouldn't mind."

"Perhaps, but I would. David is so much more man than anyone else in the world that I no longer tolerate much from other men."

Basil didn't quit. "You dress like you would welcome the attention of men."

I said, "No. I dress in a manner that is comfortable to me and that David likes. What other people think is their problem but not mine unless they try to act on their thoughts."

He said, "David isn't with you all the time."

"No, nor does he need to be." I sighed. "Basil, you need to let this matter drop forever. It will harm the relations between our communities and between you and your wife. It will be physically dangerous for you."

He quieted and the group went on to other topics. I had noticed the looks from him and the other men in Sydney. Usually after seeing me with David, they realized that my affections were totally for him. Most men let it go or their wives put a stop to any continued activity. According to Basil, his wife permitted his activity and he persisted in harassing me after being told that his attentions were unwelcome. I decided that next time would result in a violent response from me.

We all eventually went to our beds after talking with Preservation, Protection, Port Lavaca, and the Yellow Rose. The Rose had rounded the southern tip of South America though had put in to a port for some light repairs. I curled up next to David. We made gentle and quiet love. Later, he said, "Try not to hurt Basil too badly, 'Cat. However, I think he needs a lesson. I will be available if you need me." I hugged him and gave him another few kisses.

Morning arrived and we rose to go about our chores. David was helping to arrange for breakfast while I inspected our sentries. All had been quiet during the night. I was on my way back to the terminal when Basil came up beside me. He said, "Good morning. I could use a kiss to invigorate me this morning."

"See Helen."

"Now that's no way to be, Bobbi." He grabbed my arm since I didn't stop walking.

Now, I stopped. I said, "Release my arm and back off. Do it now!"

He didn't and started to say, "Bobbi, we should get..." He didn't finish because I removed his hand from my arm and launched him into the air to land painfully on the ground. He moaned. People came out to see us with me standing and him lying on the ground. I walked back to the terminal. Someone came over to help Basil to his feet and into the terminal.

I walked up to David speaking to Reggie. I heard him say, " ... this would happen if Basil persisted. How is this going to affect our relations?"

Reggie saw me and said, "Bobbi, what happened?"

I responded, "Basil tried to lay a hand on me to advance his intentions and I stopped him. Next time, it will be fatal for him. He has been warned repeatedly to no avail."

I sighed theatrically. "Some people listen and learn. Some get bruised and learn. Some die because they won't learn. What is your answer to David's question?"

He said, "I think Basil needs to return home. We want good relations with your people and others in Australia. One person's stupid actions cannot be allowed to jeopardize that. I have already seen that your sister, SJ, didn't care for his ways either. Eddie and Minnie from Perth have told me that had he tried with her what he has now tried with you that someone would die and relations with Perth would end almost before they could begin. I have been told by persons from Camden and Chatswood that his tongue, eyes, and hands need to be curbed. Helen is such a great person and Bas can be if he would just learn."

David nodded and I said, "I would prefer not to seriously injure him but I tell someone once and then bruise them. The third time is final. Basil was told more than once. I didn't get physical until he laid a hand on my arm."

Reggie said, "I will talk to him and make sure he is on the road before lunch." He left leaving David and I together.

I said, "David, should I change? I could dress less provocatively. Just say the word."

He looked me eye to eye and said, "No." He continued, "'Cat, one of the things I love about you is your clothing choices. Another is your outspokenness. I don't want you to change. You know I support you just as you support me. We are fine and people need to be mature in their actions. If not, we are able to back our actions with force should it be necessary." He gave me a hug and the subject was closed as far as he was concerned. I just nodded.

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