Weve been at sea too long.
I thank the Lord for the prevailing winds that will speed
our entry to our port of Devon in one day.
Fortune has shined down on us and we have
only had to ride out two bad gales. Our hold is bursting
of fine spices, silk, indigo, and rum, courtesy of two wise
strikes with affiliations to Spain. A small merchant
vessel was not to Sir Alexs liking. We let it
pass with similar colors flying high. He informed us
that he wanted to wait, he could smell a turn in our luck
in the sea air. There was better bounty to be had and not
far off. Shrugging, I walked away. The only thing you
could smell at this time was the raunchy stench of the crew.
There are days that I am blessed to be a Captain, for a bath
relieves not only my offending odor but the tension that seems
to have over-taken me on this voyage.
Within a day, we struck our intended target.
I knew I smelled it, A.J. danced a slight jig;
the man is full of himself some days. We boarded the
Corsair easily for their Captain turned yellow. A few
gems were found deep in the Captains Cutlass scabbard.
It seemed the man did not understand the division of wealth
with his crew. Five stones were found in the mans
possession. Keep them, he whispered to me.
I laughed as I sheathed my cutlass.
Im an honorable man, I share with my crew.
I held the stones up for all of my men, as well as his, to
see. For in my hand sat, a Ruby, an Emerald, a Sapphire, a
Pearl, and an Amethyst.
I watched the eyes of his crew as they
turned on him. They were now cold and hard, I
believe Sir, you have a mutiny on your hands.
We cut the Corsair free from our tethers, less weaponry of
course. The Foremast was crippled to aid us in an easy
escape after she was divested of her luxuries.
The following day we happened onto a schooner.
Young Nickolas spotted the wayward vessel on the horizon from
My Quartermaster, Alexander, as well my
First Mate, Howard, joined us on the Quarterdeck. Sir
Howard noted that the ship was riding low in the waters.
Alexs cackle could be heard, I
knew it, I could feel it. Its the one, She has many riches for us.
The men were easily readied to board yet
another craft; still elated from the strike the day before.
Sir Alex had the ability, as well as myself, to whip them
into a frenzy. To say that my men were blindly loyal
would be over-stepping my bounds.
This boarding was not as tidy as the one
from the previous day. Bloodshed abound on the deck
and the Quarterdeck. The men fought fierce and hard
for their booty.
Between the merchandise that will be sold
and the silver and gold taken from the second vessel, we are
more than ready to take on new cargo of untold wealth.
It would be senseless to sail back with an empty hold.
I purchased the jewels from my crew.
I gave each one of my Officers one of the valuable stones.
Alexander seemed untouched by my offer, then I understood
why. Sir Alex had struck twice and was rewarded with
his efforts. It wasnt riches he had searched the
ship for but a bonnie lass to keep him company. Im
a lousy pirate, I heard him grumbled.
With a wry grin on my face I turned to
him. Soon my friend, we will find someone to warm
your bed. Women can be bought and sold. You now
have the means.
The glint formed in his eye rather quickly
as my words seemed to sink into his skull. Aye,
Aye, Capn I do. he laughed as he returned to securing
To Nick, my cook, I bestowed the Sapphire
for the clear blue oceans. It would represent him well.
To Sir Howard, my First Mate and second in charge, the ruby
for his passionate loyalty to all of humanity. To Brian,
our Surgeon and my cousin, I gave the Pearl, since he seems
to always have wisdom.
Once I rid myself of this cargo, my crew
and I will split all profits accordingly. If I were
an honorable man, I would sign over the goods for auction
as promised in my Letter of Marque. However, seeing as the
man who has drafted this document is one in the same that
has caused my family name to fall into the bowels of hell
along with any income, receipts, and property that we owned.
He may rot in hell before he will receive so much as a shilling
for our work.
I am an admirable man, I will take care
of my crew, my family, and restore our name and properties
all in the same. Sir Louis will get his just rewards
when his time comes. The profits from this voyage will
be paid in wages to my men. We again will outfit our
ship and sail towards home. Im hoping that the
return trip will be as profitable as this might prove to be.
Sir Howard thinks Im insane for sailing just outside
of London, but I will go to the market and sell my goods for
the highest profit. I need to restore my finances.
Things have been dully slow on board our
vessel. The crew, as well as its officers, are
up to mischief. It seems that Nickolas had been deemed
the most recent candidate to amuse the crew. It is difficult
to handle the Officers as well as a crew of one hundred men.
Young Cook Nickolas has been dogged about
his cooking skills or the lack of. Two days ago was
the last straw for Sir Alexander. He could no longer
look at such grub. Hardtack and smoked pork again?
as his eyes glazed over. For a mere second, I was afraid
they were going to cook my Cook.
Tomorrow, with the consent of two,
you will be responsible for the bilge Nickolas.
Sir Alex pushed his salver away.
The bilge? Nickolas cocked
his head to the side. That is the filthy part
of this ship. All of the bad water lays dormant and
rots in there.
I lowered my own eyes to my plate and was
repulsed by the food as it lay un-tantalizing before me.
Aye, I agree.
A look of passive aggression took over
the young mans face as he stared back at me. He
had just been sentenced to the most repugnant duty aboard
this ship. The boy needed to learn to stand on his own.
If he were commanding this crew, he would have not served
such a meal to the Officers. A feeling of regret washed
over me, as I watched him storm off. The truth of the
matter was that I was partially responsible. I thought
I had stocked the ship well according to Old Georges
past requests. It was a foolish mans folly.
I will consult Nick on our return voyage since many times
he complained that there wasnt enough of something that
he required or something was missing. The one item that
I will strike from his list of wares and needs will be raisins.
The boy puts raisins and molasses in everything.
I clasped my hands together deep in thought
as I leaned back in my chair and listened to the Officers
harp. They may be angry at the moment, but it would
pass. They had seen Nick grow over the last few months.
Sir Howard trained him well on the Sexton. Nick became
superb at navigating with the stars as well. Spotting
the first storm that we encountered, I quietly watched him.
The galley was stowed and he reported for extra duty when
the all hands on deck had been called. He directed the
crew to tack the sails beautifully, with not much effort.
Nickolas shadowed Sir Alexander whenever
possible after that, learning from the man what he could.
It did not seem natural that Sir Alex knew as much about the
sea as he should have. Someone has taught him well.
Of course, I did not know much about Sir Alex either.
This was a man who could be loud and boisterous one moment
and quiet as a cat the next.
My cousin Brian and Nick seem to be getting
rather close. At first, it humored me and I welcomed
the break. Then it made me curious and finally I will admit
somewhat jealous. I missed the young man charging at
me like an ox and asking simple questions and requests.
The boy or man as he is now, is one with
the sea; it is where he will always be. Ive put
a fortnight of thought into my final directive. Upon
arrival back to our beloved homeland, I will gift this ship
to Nickolas. I took on this voyage as well as the ones
before to rebuild my fortunes and lands. If I am successful,
Nick will have possession of the only lady that has ever loved
me but never left me.
I do not see my young charge going back
to the dreaded home that he came from. To this day,
I have not, and will not, utter one word to the young man
that I bought and paid for his servitude for seven years.
I gave him the apprenticeship the day he boarded. I
made him sign the papers before a full crew so that they understood
then, as they do now, that he is under my direct command unless
I saw otherwise. I am a man who does not believe in
indentured service or the selling of humans. The is
the one lone secret I have kept from this boy.
Nickolas has been into trouble as well
lately. After spending all day tending to the bilge
water, I demanded my supper as befit any Captain and his Officers.
The young pup had tainted our drinking water with the delicious
taste of fine rum. He waited after several pourings
before he served us another supper of smoked meat and hardtack.
What was humorous to him at the time was that none of us seemed
to complain. Nick served us plenty of ale that night.
I should know, I tossed in the bed for what seemed like hours
as the ship listed from side to side, along with my stomach.
Upon awaking the next day, it was Sir Alex
who turned his duties over to our young charge. His
head was pounding so loudly that he couldnt get a thought
or a word out of his head. I joined Nickolas on the
Quarterdeck for the better half of the day. It felt
good to have him by my side once again.
Nickolas has one love and her deep pools
of blue, her white wispy waves, and her call are only for
him. The dolphins dance next to the ship but only when
he is at the helm. Nickolas will only have one ladylove
of his life and that would be the sea.
I ease back in my chair for a break in
my writing, its been awhile since I have thought about
her, my lady, my wife. I must be grieving less
and less each day for her. For so long I blamed myself.
It took this voyage, a hogshead of ale, and many nights in
the company of my associates to see that I was not to blame.
I did not bring the sickness onto Isabella. She was
always so frail and ill. To think that she had succumbed
to consumption plagued me for many years. I always thought
transporting her to the mountains and away from the sea would
cure her. How wrong I was. Many a night I toss
and turn in my bed wishing to change many things that I had
done back then. I would be home more to take care of
her and be her protector. Such an innocent child she
was when we married and she blossomed into a beautiful woman.
I miss her.... I miss all of them, my mother, my brothers,
and what I would not do for a plate of my loving mothers
biscuits and gravy.
For when we dock, I will be seeking a soft
bed and a warm woman before the men on this ship look more
inviting than they presently do. I must be recovering
from my own thoughts since the thought of a woman in my bed
makes my member grow hard.
On the morrow and I will seek out the company
of a woman that I had met before. The fair Jocelyn.
To call her a lady would be a miss, for she is nothing more
than a tavern wench. A few coisn pressed into her palm
will buy me satisfaction, as well as silence. There
is a bolt of cloth deep in the hold that I will present to
her. She deserves more than that of her station in life.
I will have to search her out for she moves often with the
crowds. If there is a coin to be made, shell be
not far. Jocelyn brings to me the one thing that I need,
relief. To take care of my baser needs as a man without
courting, foolishness, or the coquetry that charming a woman
brings. I dont want to play games and make idle
chit-chat just to fulfill what one woman can do with the slip
of a coin. Jocelyn is the opposite of my fair Isabella.
Where Isabella was soft spoken and prone to little thought;
Jocelyn was loud, garish, and bossy. For she is
a woman who will tumble with any man for the right price.
Call her what you must, a whore, a wench, a barmaid, for she
is a person I call a friend. Her lust is satisfied as
well as mine when we lay exhausted from our couplings.
We talk about the sea and not much else.
I must close my entry now. It seems
young Nick is banging at the door wanting some type of resolution
to his current dilemma or just my company. His dominos
in one hand and ale in the other. The boy again seeks
to ply with me spirits and loosen my tongue perhaps.
All is well, I will enjoy his company for now. The young
whelp needs to see the wrong end of a cat-o-nine tails to
turn his disposition in the proper direction. Getting
the entire Crew and Officers drunk could have brought on disastrous
Captain Kevin S. Richardson