"Did you find what you were looking for?"
Patch frowned. "We won't know until we test it." He kicked the case absently and let the scotch follow the smoke around his system until his nerves started to settle. Cairo hadn't been a pleasant part of the voyage. Seeing the Corsairs and the Spanish fight it out with the League of Ten in the streets had been too much like the Magus War for his tastes. Butters, for his part, had watched things with a detached eye for detail. When the Negro linguist had been loading the cannon during the retreat, he was fascinated by the laboreous process, so different than most of the weapons he'd seen. Patch, for his part, was more concerned about one of the toppled carts and the bounty they held - one of the forgotten loads from the raid at Bonanza.
When King Solomon was given wisdom by God, it's believed that it was an understanding of alchemy and natural philosophy. He left the Middle East towards the end of his life and set up somewhere far off--presumably the Solomon Islands. His library is said to have held the first modern laboratory, and that he discovered the Philosophick Mercury - a charge that is supported by supposed rumors of pure gold that is in fact heavier than it should be found in those islands.
Some gold was taken from those islands, raided by the Spanish based in Manila, and sent to Acapulco on the famous Spanish Galleon, where it ran afoul of some famous personages, and in which the town burned. Soon enough a viceroy was making a mad scramble to get the gold into Europe and the hands of the Alchemists when outside of Bonanza the ship was boarded and claimed by the League of Ten, oar slaves led by Moseh de la Cruz and the infamous Half-Cocked Jack, King of the Vagabonds. They took the gold and began fleeing East. In Cairo, while searching for a passage through to the Red Sea, they came into conflict with old enemies of Jack's amongst the French sponsoring the mission, and a pitched battle broke out. So it was that some of the carts were lost, and Patch was able to step in and claim some of the legendary gold for himself.
Now, the gold seemed to weigh around his neck. He searched for knowledge, but this gold was cursed. and stained with blood. He pictured Sir Issac Newton's bloodlust, and the hand holding the glass shook.
"Boss?" Scott hefted his gunblade over his shoulder. "It's almost time for the kids to go. Do you want to see them off, or...?"
Patch said nothing.