When he slipped into the most secret part of the ship, however, where he had been hopefully hoarding his share of their treasures so that he might have enough to buy himself a quiet retirement, he saw something that caused a severe heart attack. There was a dragon sleeping on his gold, HIS GOLD, and it was three times his height in length. Even his maggot crawled round to the back of his neck, trembling.
"Hopping Beelzebub," he swore hoarsely.
He had spent a month trying to figure out how to make his own space in the hold that even Blink would not notice. Finally, he had a plan. He sealed off one of the store-rooms so that it was not openable from the outside. Then he cast a spell over it, directing the attention of onlookers so that it would seem like the wall. The only entrance was a new and secret one, mechanical in case the spells should fail. He had no idea how a dragon could have found it.
It must have been that damnable captain. He must have found it, and put a dragon there.
Afanasy's eyes narrowed thoughtfully. Possibly the creature would be willing to deal, perhaps to share if they could work something out. He had already given it up as his own--he was fierce sometimes still, but it was nothing to count on.
What he had been counting on was all that gold. Damn.