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A Piratical, Romantic Swashbuckling Adventure
by: Ted Anthony Roberts
Being the Memoirs of
~ Sir Charles of Riley ~
Written in the year of our Lord’s Grace A.D. 1722
And Covering Specifically Some Events
Which Occurred Just Before
The Sinking of
By the Means of Earthquake, into the Sea
On June 7, 1692
Captain Skull (c)copyright 2012 by Ted Anthony Roberts
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The Memoirs of
~ Sir Charles of Riley ~
An account of His Piratical Adventures,
Along with those of his Superior
The Notorious Nobleman Pirate, Captain Skull.
And of their Daring Exploits
Upon our Mysterious Waters and Lands
In and Around the Caribbean,
And along the Gold Coasts of the
A Publication of
The “Porkman’s Vessel”
In the year of our Lord’s Grace A.D. 1722
And Now Set Forth,
With Modern Spellings and Phrases,
By Swashbuckling Author
~ Ted Anthony Roberts ~
Meet Captain Skull
My name is Sir Charles of Riley, and I was a lad of only seven and a half years when I first remember hearing the infamous name of Captain Skull. "He is nothing more than a tyrant," I had heard, "an eight foot tall tyrant!" This is all I remember hearing about the captain from my youth; a tyrant. But, later I was to realize that none of the exaggerated statements about the captain were even true. He was certainly no tyrant; and, as far as his great height was concerned, he only reached that of six feet . . . And, how should I know this, one may curiously ask? I happen to have been in the great captain's service for nearly ten years, and I lack only a few inches of reaching his presumed un-reachable height. I am proud to recall, as I am reminiscing of those former glorious days, that I was not too far from the captain in rank. I would say first mate, but that would be an awkward statement, seeing as there was another who stood with the captain and myself upon the main deck of our ship.
This other man, my near ranking officer friend, who was by birth (and noticeably by his dignified mannerism) a full-blooded Frenchman, had a head full of blonde hair – of which he kept excellent care of; he elegantly wore a light blonde moustache – that he carefully trimmed every morning; he had a slim figure – of which he continually kept in shape by constant fencing exercises; and, he had a set of mysteriously deep blue eyes that could hold the darkest of secrets without fear of being revealed even to the keenest of observers. And, yet, this latter stated description (that is, the mentioning of his eyes), were a complete opposite of mine, of which are only a dark brown, and that could not hold a secret to save my life.
Not only are my eyes dark brown, but so also is my short hair, which I have always taken special care of, for I wore no periwig, as many of the noble lords of that day were doing. At the present time of this writing I am clean-shaven (as are many of my fellow-Englishmen), but of the time of which I am writing, I did display a very, very small goatee and light moustache – as much as my youth would allow me to grow. And, lastly, concerning my physique, it is slightly more muscular, I do dare say, than that of my fine French friend.
But, alas!, even though these aforementioned qualities, which I took special care to hold back some extreme details of, belonged to the proud natures that I and my French ship mate shared, they were not even comparable to those exceptional qualities of Captain Skull, of whom I carefully make mention of in this telling. For though he were a man full of mysteries, his outward appearance told many things without he having to even open his mouth. His eyes, as if he were the Frenchman’s brother, were as blue crystals – which occasionally and brilliantly caught the glimmer of the sun; and were always sparkling, as if the seven oceans were enclosed within. Their color could almost pass for aqua, though an occasional dullness would shoot through them (revealing a darker blue) whenever he had became angered; which, in all honesty, did not occur often enough to even be mentioned, for his was a nature that was the most patient and mild-mannered that ever I’d seen the likes of. These deep blue eyes, as I have just described, could have him pass for a fine Frenchman; though, his looks revealed an Irish or Scottish descent. However, his hair (being very long, straight, and black), could have him either being a Latin born nobleman, an American native, or even a Spaniard fresh from the New World. A much asked question amongst the crew was always where he had come from. But, if there were any persons living during that time who had knowledge of his origins, they were silent to approach with any satisfactory answer. I myself, and on several occasions, had heard him speak French, Spanish, English (for, of course, English is my language – the only one I could speak, and still the only one I completely know), and even once did I hear him speak German. So, in other words, he could have sprung from anywhere in the known world.
The captain always wore black, from his head to his foot; and, an occasional white or silver, placed here and about, added interest to his elaborate costumes – full of lace and plumes they were! He was a mighty man of valor, indeed, who never spoke much, and never even opened his lips unless a situation had commanded him to. Sometimes I would see days go by that he would not utter a word; then, on other occasions, he would speak nearly all afternoon. But, when his lips were not in motion –delivering, as if it were, words of gold – he would be in deep thought, and readily giving himself (what I considered) thorough, sound advice. These silent days did not mean, however, that he was locked up tight in his cabin; to the contrary, he stood with us quite a bit upon the decks of our ship, shaking or nodding his head ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to answer small questions. However, when he did speak, it was only about important matters, having no nonsense or jesting within the words; which was very much unlike myself – and, especially, my dandy French friend, who had always a ready, witty (and sometimes comical) comeback for any occasion that demanded a light, droll response.
The captain’s presence secured intelligence, braveness, shrewdness, and outright strength. He was the greatest – I do here proclaim – the greatest of all Pirates. For this was our profession; and, such a one that deserved honest respect . . . Honest respect? Piracy? Can that really be so? Verily; for, half the crew, as incredible as it may seem, were noblemen. Aye – noblemen, who were banished from nearly every country in Europe. This, what I am saying, is no jest, and it had constituted from the strangest of events; for, these exiled lords and nobles (I know not for what crimes – for it was something that was not asked, neither was it told) made our Spanish Galleon seem, as if it were, the grandest of any royal court to where nobles paid homage only to themselves. Quite unique, no doubt, but true. Captain Skull had made for himself a small (should I say) underground reputation for being a gentleman tyrant. Always when he boarded a ship, he killed only those of whom he had a necessity to kill, and spared those who had pleaded for their lives; others (if they were of a robust nature) were even allowed to join our crew. Indeed, he needed man-power to run his ship. Could it truly be imagined that these noblemen acted as mere sailors? That would have been a thought unworthy to even be mentioned onboard. Therefore, and to this result, seeing as Captain Skull was a somewhat respected practicing Pirate, and because noblemen and courtly lords who had no other means of accumulating tons of gold unto their persons, they had readily grasped the idea of Piracy, and joined Captain Skull on his quest for . . . for what? . . . for what would almost seem to be revenge. But the reason for this revenge, if such were even the case, was another one of those questions that had remained unanswered. But my thoughts on the subject at the time was that he himself was a banished noble or lord who had taken on Piracy for revenge on the corrupted and pampered nations that did not treat their nobles nor their citizenry appropriately. Perhaps the greatest reason for this adopted occupation of his (which had hit my mind, also) could have very well been the fact that he desired the acquiring of much wealth. Verily, and admittedly, he had a love for treasure.
Though many people’s thoughts were very sketchy on this man’s life during his notorious career, and even though I (as was just mentioned) had tried desperately to guess at his true nature, and of his mysterious background, it certainly doesn’t mean that I never received the answers to his origins – for, indeed, I had. But I will ease them into my story as I plod along with, not only my first encounter with he and his crew, but also along with my own adventures with them, as well.
Piracy is an easy profession, and it can make one rich almost overnight. So, therefore, in response to all these happenings, half the crew were sailors, who kept the ship assail, and the other half were of high bred birth, whose work only came when duty called for the use of their swords and military skills; which, I will admit, was a grand display in fencing, fighting, cannonading, and – as funny as it is to hear – robbery!
My Personal Adventure, And How I got my Start
I can vividly remember those days when I first met the captain, back when I was yet a young lad, and was hastily looking forward to starting a life, and to begin an adventure. Back in England, however, that adventure was a far cry away, for I was working odd-jobs here and about, sometimes living on the streets, being orphaned from birth, and I found it difficult to even keep up with ‘normal’ life – whatever that had meant. Dreaming of nothing more than a grand life in some tropical locale, I did somehow, in all that busy ruckus, manage to pull enough coin together for a sea voyage to the New World, called the
I had thought that if I could only become an apprentice to some rich man there, who could teach me all the tricks of the trade, then I could build up enough money to start my own plantation someday. Oh, how many times I had heard the middle class discuss those kind of ideas in the English Taverns, where I would purposefully sit outside the windows just to overhear their own plans, which would in turn give me my own dreams of such a life.
The exact location of the landing of my ship was to be at the colony town of Riley – an extremely small place on Jamaica, not too far from Port Royal, its capital. I honestly can’t remember the exact year of this voyage (for I was not keeping a log at that time, as I was later to do not too long afterward), but it was some years – sometime perhaps in the 1670’s – before that terrible earthquake had hit Port Royal, sinking it into the sea, and causing the capital of Jamaica to immediately be moved to the town of Kingston.
Looking back to those glorious days of my voyage, to the time of exciting youth, being filled with many hopes and dreams, I can remember distinctively the events of my first days out to sea as if it were but yesterday. Before this, I had never been upon the ocean before, and I was very surprised that I did not become ill at all on that entire journey, of which would have been caused by sea-sickness. Again, I say the voyage was so exciting, so mysterious, and much fun as well, but my greatest memory of that voyage came at one certain late afternoon, when the sun could be seen largely from afar, and getting ready to dip itself into the ocean within a few hours, as it was beginning to soften somewhat for the evening that was to come, causing the beauty of that entire painting before me to be extremely breath-taking . . . Yet, despite it all, it compared but little to the beauty that stood only a few feet away, who was also admiring the glowing sun as much as I.
From the corner of my eye (for I had certainly began to take in small glances of her as well), I could see that the young lady had brown flowing, straight beautiful hair, which had delicately lain upon her shoulders, as it draped lightly upon the lace of her collar. The occasional hard-hitting sea wind would flip it back away from her face every so often, revealing a lightly tanned, smooth face that it had at times softly caressed. Starting to get a bit braver in my new investigation, whilst glancing more often into her direction, I also noticed that her lips were red and full; of which (combined together with the other details) could certainly tell any man that a rare flower was in their presence. Of course, I have no need to mention that her body was as delicate as her facial features – but they were; and, alas!, I noticed that, too.
I would find myself, as I now muse to say, slowly edging my way toward her. As young and clueless as I was at that time in my life, which was when I was around eighteen years of age, I imagined that the young lady did not even notice my advancements toward her. That is, until I heard some laughter coming from her direction. At first, I refused to accept that she was laughing at me.
"If you edge your way any nearer," she finally ventured to say, but still looking out toward the sun, "then I would have to make you sit upon my lap; for, you are in danger of coming that close!" Upon that last sentence, she finally turned toward me, and I could fully see how stunning she was in that afternoon light. More beautiful full-faced than what I had realized at first. And her brown eyes, as I could now plainly see, were very soft ovals of loveliness.
"Excuse me?" I stupidly replied, embarrassed, and having a most woeful expression upon my face – for she had caught me off-guard.
Her only response was more laughter. At this, I had caught on that her musing was indeed directed toward me; and, so, I gladly yielded.
"And if I did come to sit upon your lap," I dared to suggest, with a gleeful smile upon my lips, "would that be a bad thing?"
As she was about to reply, some man had suddenly and unexpectedly approached.
"My dear," he said to the girl, acting as if I were not even there, "the dancing is almost over, and I’ve yet to dance with the prettiest girl!"
She looked at him with a smile, looked back at me with that same smile, then proceeded to walk away into the direction from which the man came. He started to follow her, so I sorrowfully returned to my view over the sea, being extremely disappointed. To my surprise, however, the man came back out, and walked right up to me. When he had stopped directly behind, I turned to face him.
"And, as for you, sir," he said, in a most threatening and dignified tone, whilst his eyes darted with anger, "you will never speak to her again. Else, I'd be forced," he continued, as he grabbed the pommel of his sword, without unsheathing it, "to run you through! Do you understand?"
I said nothing – merely stared.
Upon my hesitation, I figured that he took it that I did understand, for he added: "Very good!" And, then, he walked back into where the dancing was being held.
I cannot even begin to explain how I felt at that very moment. Usually, when I had been insulted, I would immediately throw my fist into the offender's face. But, this was a different matter entirely, for I was not in a dirty London alley, nor at a quarrel with a common street lad. This man was a gentleman, and obviously a swordsman, as well. Being from the streets as I was, I naturally knew nothing about fencing, except for the two or three times I had seen a demonstration in my neighborhood by local nobleman's children, who were musing themselves for the benefit of the other children. Therefore, I could not challenge the wretch, or else he would, as he had said, run me through! So, what was I to do? Perhaps, forget the whole matter like a wise man would do? Sure, that would have been easy if I weren’t Charles. But, since I am Charles, I know, assuredly, that I am not a wise man. So, again, what was I to do? . . . My solution? . . . Yes, it was a crazy one.
Walking up slowly toward the captain of the vessel, I casually struck up a conversation with him. An Irishman of some years, I could see that the man was very sea-worthy, as an old favorite vessel might be. That is, very tried at the challenges of the ocean. A captain's hat, a patch over the left eye, and a pipe completed a costume that already very much screamed of the sea.
In my conversation with him, having had other intentions, I made it seem that I wished to have just a friendly chat with the man, so I threw a few questions to him concerning his ship, of how long he had been at sea, his age, about his family . . . You know, everything that I really did not wish to know. So, after having him become very friendly toward me, considering that I was having him talk to me about his favorite subject – that is, himself – I was finally coming to my point:
"Tell me, captain," I said, "are there wild natives on Jamaica?"
"Wild natives?" he repeated, whilst he knitted his brows into a frown, being a little surprised at the question. "I do not think so, my lad. They are, I believe, on the other islands."
"I see," was my seemingly sincere comment, while I knitted my brows, also, to imitate the old seaman. "But, what I mean is, are there things at our destination that one would have to defend themselves from?"
"Well, of course, lad," he said, placing his hands behind his back, as he held his head slightly in the air, and looking straight at me, "that is the way of life." Then added, as he raised his eyebrows: "You have to be able to defend yourself anywhere ye be in this world!"
"True," I admitted. "But, when I lived on the streets of London, all I had to know was how to make a good fist!" And I demonstrated by shaking my fisted hand in the air.
"Yes, you have a point, my boy," he said, laughing a little at my flying arm.
"But where we are going," I continued, coming closer to my point, and having already put my hand down, "that skill may be useless; do you not think, captain?"
"You perhaps may be right."
"I'd wager," I said, trying not to miss a single expression on his face, "that you are an excellent swordsman yourself!"
"Oh, I wouldn't say excellent," he said, continuing to smile at me, "but I do have a fair hand at it."
"Oh, that's great!" I exclaimed. "Could you show me some basic moves on the blade?" I added, of a sudden. "I mean, just a few quick ones, where I can defend myself from any harm at Jamaica."
At this, the captain was speechless – he didn't even see it coming. His brows knitted more than they had done before; and, all the poor man could do was to stammer out a few words: "Well . . . I, ugh . . . I don't know . . . I, ugh..."
"Oh, I'm sure that it wouldn't take too long," I assured him. "Just a few basic moves."
"Well," he said, smiling once again, "what would be the harm?"
I really have no need to say that my intentions were less than honest, for I merely wanted to learn fencing so that I could kill that buffoon for his insolent remarks.
"Mark!" the old sea captain called out, motioning for his first mate to come near him. Upon this, a young seaman, who had only been a short distance away, came forward.
"Sir?" asked the man, whom I could see was a true man of the sea, who was wearing a red sash about his waist, and had a red bandana around his head.
"Loan the lad yer sword," said the old man, while pointing me out. "He wishes for me to teach him a few moves on the blade."
At this, the first mate seemed to be a little taken aback, while glancing at me a little nervously. But, then, his nervous expression took on a more cheerful smile while observing me. "Why, sure," he quickly said, as he unsheathed his sword.
He then placed the blade within my hands.
As that wondrous sword was being handed over to me, a surge of unexplainable joy had quickly traveled through my body. What an exciting feeling that blade had produced; and, somehow, I knew that the sword would play a unique role in my life.
I Approach the Buffoon, But Then Something Happens!
After about an hour of extreme basic lessons from the worn out sea captain, I felt assured of my new found talent. Yes, talent, as it would be assumed by the over-zealous thinking of youth. Even though the captain did tell me to immediately find his first mate (who had went about his business elsewhere on the ship) to return the sword to him, I did intentionally keep it a little longer, hoping to settle my differences with that lace-filled buffoon before doing so. Upon this idea, of which I whole-heartedly entertained myself with – imagining with my every step toward him that I was running the insolent fellow through with the first mate’s sword – I did quicken my pace in this much needed search. Tucking the sword into my belt, so as to appear non-threatening to the other passengers, I then proceeded into the dining hall of the ship (the last place I had seen him enter), hoping that he would still be there.
Upon my entrance, into this extremely small recreational area for the passengers, the first sight that I observed was a smoky, dimly lit room, with a few tables scattered about. At first, my scan of the room was fixed upon the couples who were dancing to the two or three instruments which were humming out a tune that all the courtiers were familiar with in London. But, my man was not there. So, my attention quickly moved to the tables. My observance here caught several cavaliers who were chomping on their pipes and drinking their coffee, whilst they wooed their ladies who were sitting and chatting happily with them. Amongst these table occupants I was very glad to see my targeted man – of whom I saw was still wearing that same insolent smile he had displayed for me earlier, as it seemed to be permanently embedded upon his ugly face. Oh, how I wanted to remove that sarcastic-looking grimace with my . . . I mean, with the first mate’s sword!
I took a step into the room, where I found myself making a quick stop, for I did not notice that sitting across from him at the table was that beautiful young lady, of whom I had but briefly met a little over an hour before, and who had been gazing at the ocean just as I. Ah, what a rare gem she was! But, why was she sitting at table with that insolent man? Honestly, why would she even want to associate with him at all? Seeing as he was probably her brother, I might be able to see (out of family necessity, of course) that she would sit with him. If he were my brother, however, I don’t know if I could stomach the man’s presence, at all – even if the saying is true that blood’s thicker than water. And, if the worst case scenario could even be possible – that he might be courting her (perish the thought!) – then, certainly, her brains have departed her senses just as far as north is from south.
However, I mustn’t keep thinking of her beauty at a time like this, when my honor was at stake! For, there was always a possibility that this lady, by that time, might have bethought me a coward; that is, of course, if that rotten gentleman had told her anything of what had transpired between he and I – and that would just never do. So, at this conclusion, I continued my advancement toward my determined destination, gripping tightly the pommel of the first mate’s sword. Surely, that buffoon would regret the day that he ever spoke to me in such a manner as he did – should that not be so?
As I approached their table, I stood directly beside the two of them, having one hand upon the grip of the sword, and my other fisted hand was resting upon my right side. I opened my mouth, quickly preparing a fitting speech, ready to address it toward this loathsome sight, when suddenly a passenger came running into the dining hall, screaming at the top of his lungs: “A ship has been spotted off the starboard bow! This could mean trouble!”
At this, everyone in the entire dining hall rushed out, heading toward the starboard bow, hoping to catch a glimpse of the sighted ship. Yes, everyone left out, except me – I, who was still standing in that same ridiculous position that I had been standing for the past five seconds. Which was, with one fisted-hand still upon my hip, one hand still on the pommel of the sword, and with my mouth still wide open, ready to speak to that rotten gentleman who was no longer there. And not only he, but neither the beautiful girl, nor any of the other passengers who had been sitting or dancing in the room . . . In fact, it was so dead quiet in there, that even the creaking of the ship’s boards could have been considered loud at that time. Neither of the two of them ever saw that I was there.
So, I took my ridiculous-looking self slowly out of the dining hall to join the others at the starboard bow, who were all anxiously gazing at the other ship with gripping anticipation of what she could be. Of course, I was so upset that I could have cared less what was going on.
As I nonchalantly leaned upon the handrail, and after I squeezed through the thick crowd to get there, I began to look at nothing in particular; not even at the other ship. I was letting my gaze float from passenger to passenger, while I was set in deep thought about the events that had just passed for the last hour. But, suddenly I saw, staring directly at me, that beautiful girl, who had a delightful smile beaming from her face. I was so taken aback by that sweet gesture that I froze, not knowing how to respond. I was, however – with a bit of difficulty – able to break free from my spell, so I started to return her smile with one of my own. But, just as quickly, though, as my frown had turned upside down into that sparkling grin, it had returned to its frowning state once more, for my view of that beautiful girl had just been obscured suddenly from sight by the leaning forward form of her buffoon friend, who purposefully came in-between our gaze. And then, all I could see (instead of that sweet, good natured countenance) was a strong and hateful grimace, which was directed right at me from my most hated adversary.
But, before anything else could happen, I received a tap upon my shoulder. Jumping slightly, for the tap had given me a start, I quickly spun around to face a smiling first mate, who was laughing slightly because of my startled reaction.
“I need my sword back, please,” said he to me.
“Oh, sure,” I replied, as I quickly handed it back to him. It was very obvious that I wasn’t going to need it at that time anyway, in that turmoil, to settle my fury with that terrible man.
It was nearing six or seven o'clock in the evening, and it was approaching dusk upon the ocean; only the form of the other ship could be seen in the far distance, being encircled by the setting sun. These things I finally began to observe, deciding to go ahead and avert my attention to the newest happenings – seeing as I could do nothing about the other. The events about the other ship approaching actually lasted the rest of the night, and on through to the early morning hours. Surely, she must be rather large, like a Galleon, for it seemed to approach us with a very slow speed. Or, rather, she did not want to alarm us by coming in too fast; for, indeed, the ship was heading into our very direction.
As it neared about three in the morning, the watchman up in the crow’s nest, which was nestled just above two massive sheets of canvas (a part of our sails), kept hollering that the other ship’s flag still could not be seen in the darkness through his looking-glass telescope, as it got closer to our vessel by each approaching wave. Fortunately for the mate above, the moon was rather generous that night, for it was very large in the night sky, and did blanket both ships with incredible visibility. Throughout these slow hours I could hear a few passengers crying, saying that they were going to be killed by Pirates, whilst others were busy in their duties of comforting, assuring them that such would not be the case. Now, as I've said, this whole scene continued through the entire morning hours, as more passengers awoke, joining the late-nighters upon the main deck, and who all hovered near the edge, trying their best to make out the ever approaching vessel – for it, indeed, was coming closer and closer by every hour. As all that was going on, while trying to work through the ruckus that all this was causing onboard, the old sea captain was trying his best to give orders to his crewmen, just in case of an emergency.
As six in the morning had approached, the nightly darkness was beginning to fade, and the sun was starting to make his appearance on the opposite side of the ocean. Leaning forward even more, the crewman up in the crow’s nest began to shout, heartedly: “She’s waving an English flag!”
At this announcement, all onboard shouted a cry of relief; a cry which, no doubt, could have been heard by the occupants of the approaching ship. However, I was not in voice with the others; not because I was still mad, mind you – no! – for that had all but ceased within me by that time, but it was instead upon a suspicion, for I had wondered if it may have been a trick from the other ship, as Pirates were sometimes noted to do: that is, to hide their true colors until there could be no escape for any victims that they may run upon. But, I believe that the only other person onboard who slightly shared my feelings concerning this matter was the old sea captain, whom I could hear in the distance saying things to his crewmen, like: “It doesn’t matter, you stay your post!” and, “Tend your duty, you are a member of this crew, so stay your ground!”
As the other ship came within cannon range, most of our crew were thinking that the Englishmen on the mysterious ship wanted to board us for some political reason, but some of our passengers noted that they merely wanted to greet us, which I thought would be a rather silly reason. My thoughts were quite the contrary to these, hearing of all types of sea battles in the past, I still felt that there may be something wrong.
The mood on our ship had drastically changed since the other ship was first sighted the night before. No longer were some of our passengers crying, and neither were there gloomy looks upon a lot of their faces. Instead, people were actually laughing, and having conversations concerning the English persons of the other ship, if they may actually know some of them. I, myself, kept looking at the crewman perched up high in the crow’s nest, for his gaze seemed unmovable since he first spotted the Galleon earlier. I figured that by this time, since we came into cannon range, he would be describing the activity that was happening onboard the mysterious vessel. After all, there was enough light by then for him to be able to see something going on there. But, nay a word was being said by him, and the looking glass seemed to be permanently stuck to his left eye. Surely, something was really wrong, for he should have spoken of something by that time.
“Ho!” he finally yelled. “I am beginning to see some activity onboard the other ship!”
At his words, all on our ship had stopped their talking and walking about to hear the latest news. Even the old sea captain stopped his activities with the crew to listen in.
“What’s this I see?” he continued, high above, and in a slightly agitated voice. All of us strained our ears to hear.
Quickly pulling the glass away from his eye, his gaze then turned downward to find the captain below. “They are taking down their flag!” he yelled to him.
All onboard, including myself, ran back to the edge of our ship to have a look. Sure enough, the glorious English colors were being quickly taken down, as could be seen in the not too far off distance, and we all held our breath.
Suddenly, there arose cries and shrieks from our ship, as the unmistakable image of the black flag of skull and cross-bones defiantly replaced the more gentle sight of a much friendlier flag. And, as an almost eerie mechanical response to our cries and wailings that had filled the morning air around us, a war-like roar rose from the other ship, as the crewmen of the Pirate vessel were now visible, and were raising their weapons up, so that we could see them, and fear!
END OF CHAPTER 3
"We enjoyed your vivid imagery in this tale, and felt that very blade in our hands by the end of this chapter [chapter 2]. Looking for more . . . . Bravo!
Your new fans,
The Treasure Merchants