couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. I looked again.
Before me stood a mere boy barely reaching my mid-chest if
I had been standing. I realized that I may have imbibed a
little too much this evening, but this was mere a child.
I automatically wanted to start asking questions such as where
are your parents’ child; you look barely old enough to be
away from your mother’s breast. Did Nickolas have to cut
the apron strings to get you on board? My head swam with
questions and scenarios as too why this child came to be with
my cook, who was my ward until he turned of age and now he
is my friend. Little pieces of the puzzle slipped into place.
Nickolas has said that the chit had been in trouble on the
docks and something about stealing.
I turned to
my cousin Brian to see if we were thinking along the same
avenues. Brian’s expression was one of mixed emotions, I
could see turmoil, and morose, yet when he looked at Nickolas
I could see something shifted in his look but I couldn’t tell
what it was that had changed.
I motioned the
boy to come forward towards me. I studied him from head to
toe; his looks seemed rather odd compared to most boys. He
was definitely cleaner than most of the ones I had met at
his age. Age; that would be a good place to start. My eyes
hardened as I watched the small chit focus on the floorboards
instead of me. I cannot trust a man or boy in this case,
that wouldn’t look me in the eye. I raised my hand to his
chin and pushed his face up so that he indeed did look at
me. “How old are you boy?”
Nick answered for me.
it?” I looked at the boy who only nodded up and down to me.
“Are you a thief boy?”
boy who stood at attention in front me shook his head from
side to side.
“Do you parents
know you left? Because, I have no intentions of turning this
ship around.” Here I was just trying to get the boy to speak
to me. He stood in front of me, his back straight as an arrow
and shoulders squared. It was actually quite comical at first
to me. It reminded me of Daniel and The Lion’s Den.
The boy nodded
his dissension and again Nickolas spoke for him. “He didn’t
like home, like I didn’t. I thought since you helped me out,
that I would do the same for another.”
mounted at Nick’s answering for the boy again. I was beginning
to wonder if I was dealing with a mute since Nickolas was
doing all of the speaking for this child. “Can you talk boy?”
As soon as Nickolas
opened his mouth, I scowled at him, “I would like the boy
to speak, not you.” I watched as Nickolas slowly closed his
mouth and lowered his head.
I turned back
to the boy and I heard a small harsh whisper of, “Yes I can
good to know, now that you have basically managed to ferret
your way on my ship you have a choice. You can work it off
such as Nickolas does or pay for your passage now.”
chit’s head snapped up. I will admit the first physical feature
to strike me were the boy’s violet colored eyes. They were
out of the ordinary and far too pretty to be wasted on a male
of our species, they should be on a woman. The boy was poorly
dressed in loose pants, a shirt that was well worn as well
as two sizes too big. A wool seaman’s hat pulled tightly
down covering his head all the way to his ears.
The boy then
spat the following words at me. “I cooked your last two meals,
I was told that you enjoyed them. I believe that if I help
cook the remaining meals during this voyage that it would
be a fair trade.”
I laughed loudly
along with my shipmates; the boy knew how to bargain, or at
least he thought that he did. He was in no position to broker
a deal with me. “I see. Does it not matter that Nickolas
has disregarded the chain of command on this shi, that you
are a stowaway, and that you are nothing more than a child?”
The lad didn’t
answer me. My head was spinning from the rum, not to mention
the problems set before me. As a Captain, I was supposed
to be in charge. Nick would obviously need some type of punishment
for his actions. Nick had spoken of compassion before he
went to get his new young friend. Right at this point, I
didn’t feel compassionate, I wanted to hit something. There
were times for compassion and this wasn’t one of them. I
had my agenda mapped out and it did not have plans of caring
for a child while we sailed looking for more ships to plunder.
I closed my eyes to clear my head and the boy found his courage
“I did a job
well done. Sir; is that not what you want from a crewmember?”
Ray glared right back at the Captain. She didn’t like Kevin
much because she didn’t feel that he treated Nick well. Nick
had told her that it wasn’t true but that was not what she
had saw over the last two days.
The boy looked
angrily at me as he spoke, his chin didn’t quiver under my
glare, nor did he appear to be intimidated by my stature or
speech. This child didn’t not know the meaning of respect;
he was as petulant as Nick had been at that age. Now he was
challenging me, I could tell by the stiffness of his body
and the anger in his face and eyes.
“Did I not?”
Ray stared at the man with the goatee and mustache. His green
eyes were focused on her as if she were the only one in the
room. If she could fool him under this close scrutiny then
the voyage would be much easier.
I seemed to
be drawn to this boy, his face was angelic and his cheekbones
were set high. I had to force myself to stop gaping at
the boy; he seemed too exotic. I stared, I stared hard, and
some thing about this boy captivated me.
with all do respect...”
I snorted as
a heard Nick speak. My hand reached out and dragged the young
boy forward by his shirt collar. “You are a stowaway on my
ship. You will cook every single meal that I demand and you
will follow the officers’ orders on this ship. Nick will
show you your duties and Brian will keep a watchful eye on
both of you.”
yelped before he grabbed my arm and began to try and wrestle
free his friend.
I looked down
the length of my arm to my clenched fists. My hand was tightly
wrapped around the boy’s jerkin. A slow smile crept unwillingly
over my face as I saw the boys face warp with his emotions.
The boy didn’t struggle; nor fight to free himself from my
grasp. I commanded my fingers to open and the waif fell backwards
into Nick’s body. “I see we have an understanding now. You
The boy ran
out the galley door but not before slamming the large oak
slab shut. I frowned since I was now beginning to sober and
could feel the likes of an ache in my head beginning. I shouldn’t
drink so much, I detest the feeling afterwards.
to follow until I called him back. “Your place is here, not
with him. This dishes need to be tended too and the rest
of the galley.”
Nick spun around
and grabbed a crock from the table. My eyebrows rose in a
warning gesture that he had better not even slightly think
about doing anything with the crock other than washing it
properly. He began to load a tray with the remnants of dinner
but was lollygagging.
My cousin Brian
intervened in our little argument that was just beginning.
I clenched my
jaw closed; I would not answer him while Nick was present.
I’m very angry with Nick for not being honest with me from
the beginning. If this boy was in such dire straights, I
would have more than welcomed him onto the ship. Of course,
he would have to sign the articles or indenture himself to
me. I even could have gone to the child’s parents and bought
him outright, not that I had the funds to be squandering,
but a life is a life.
raised my head to look at Nick who sounded like an old fish
wife the way he launched into telling the others how miserable
the boys life had been before Nick saved him. I know there
is more to the story but it will take some time to get all
of it out of them. Time was the one thing that we had an
Now I sit in
my cabin writing in my journal. I requested Brian to follow
me back to my quarters so we could talk confidentially. Nick
heard me extend the invitation and in turn asked me if I wanted
to play a game of dominos. My mouth quirked up into a silly
grin. “I’m not feeble yet boy. If I had wanted you there,
I would have invited you.”
“Ray will be
fine I promise. I’ll watch out for him, he can help me here,
and I’ll teach him everything you taught me.”
I closed my
eyes at the persistent thud in my head. I owe a debt of gratitude
to Howard for his remark that sent Nick off in a huff. “If
you wanted to teach things to something Nickolas, then you
should have gotten a dog.”
Brian and I
spoke at length about the entire evening. Brian informed
me that Ray looked very much like the thief that had stolen
his coin at the pub. However, that person was of the female
persuasion. We would question Ray further as to whether or
not he had a sister. Brian would be the one to keep a close
eye on Ray and see if the boy was indeed as good a person
as Nick had told us.
young boy away from the crew seemed to be the best option
for now. Ray would stay in Nick’s quarters, but Nickolas
would move his belongings from below deck back up to the Officers
quarters. It was something that could wait until morning.
lad has captured your attention,” Brian smirked as he sat
at my desk and poured us both a brandy.
“I do believe
you are misinformed. Right now I’m thinking of a severe punishment
for Nick for what he has done,” I scoffed.
returned a smirk to me and I him a frown.
“You will not
punish Nick too harshly for this. For one, it takes a consent
of two and you don’t have it.”
“I don’t?” I
uttered as I pulled off my coat.
“Nay, you don’t,”
Brian shook his head. “I won’t punish Nick for showing compassion
to another and neither will you. Besides, if you did, I would
tell your mama.”
I laughed, “You
have the one advantage that the others don’t and you would
use that against me? Still there are the others.” I made
myself comfortable on the corner of the desk as we continued
“I don’t agree.
Howard is thankful that he will be eating well. Nickolas
doesn’t count in this case, that leaves you Sir Alex.”
my eyes gleamed, “And we know how much Sir Alex likes pain.”
“You’re not pirate Kevin, you are a privateer. At the very
least, a father to Nickolas right now. Your ego has been
bruised because he didn’t trust you enough to come to you
and ask that you help the boy. He is trying to demonstrate
to you that he has grown and he is a man.”
“A man? Please...”
I could feel my eyes roll around in my head at the statement.
“To you he isn’t,
to others he is. He’s taller than you now. Let’s get to
know this Ray before we pass judgment on him. The boy seems
bright and has a skill. More to the point, it could be worse,
half of your meal could have had raisins in it tonight.”
Brian drained the last of his brandy and stood up. Either
he was done talking or sensed that I was. Quietly he took
I guess I’m
just befuddled right now and I will delve deeper into this
mysterious Ray, but not for this evening for I’m tired and
lonely. I truly miss Isabella and Jocelyn as well. What
I would give to by lying in one of their arms right now or
at least between their legs. With these last words, I close
my entry till the ‘morrow.