In the guest apartments at Elsinore, Horatio’s peace was disturbed by a servant who told him he had visitors.
“Who are these men asking to see me?” Horatio asked the servant.
“Sailors, sir. They say they have letters for you.”
“Let them come in.”
The servant left to escort the sailors to Horatio. “Other than Lord Hamlet, I don’t know anyone abroad who could be writing to me,” thought Horatio.
“God bless you, sir,” said the first sailor.
“And let him bless you, too.”
“He will if he wants to, sir!”
The sailor reached into a pouch hidden behind his outer clothing and pulled out a parchment for Horatio.
“Here’s a letter for you, sir. It comes from the ambassador who was heading for England. It’s yours if you are the Horatio I believe you to be.”
Horatio nodded and the sailor passed the letter to him. Horatio read the letter pensively: “Horatio, when you have read this letter, please escort these fellows to the King. They have letters for him. Two days out at sea we were confronted by a pirate ship. Since our ship was a slow vessel, we were forced to fight. As the battle raged side by side, I boarded the pirate ship. Almost instantly they got clear of our ship and I became their sole prisoner. Being canny criminals they’ve treated me well. They had their motives: I am to do them a favour. Ensure the King receives the letters the sailors have brought. Then you join me as quickly as if death was chasing you. You will be astounded by what I have to tell you, but even then I won’t have done the story justice. These good fellows will bring you to where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are still on course for England. I’ve got quite a bit to tell you about them. Yours, Hamlet.”
When he finished he addressed the messengers: “Come, I will ensure your letters reach the King, the sooner the better. Then you can take me to Hamlet.”