Part 59

Part the Fifty Ninth: The Force of the Gale 
Hope leapt at the command the way Abigail leapt to the deck, and started to raise her voice.  Only when the first note came off of her lips did she realize that she did not have a song ready to sing.


All Hope knew was that she had to sing, and that her song had to help the men keep double time.  For her to keep them at that pace, however, she needed to be as fast if not faster, and had no time to ask for a moment to get a piece.


Hope followed Abigail’s example by being bold despite the challenge.  She resorted to solfege, sounding out notes in tune with her beat.  The first few notes she gave were random before she fell into the tune of ‘Greensleeves.’  Too quick to think it through, she kept to sounding the notes with emphasis to the tune.


If the crew of the Raging Gale were anxious for the lyrics, they did not stop their duties to ask for them as the boat was brought to broad port, close hauled with the wind.  They made taut the sails as they went from struggling against the wind to running with it, picking up speed to swoop down on the pinnace and her prey.


Quickly, they came upon the scene of the battle, where there was considerable confusion.  The pinnace was still grappled to the sloop, with a pitched melee covering the latter’s decks.  The closer the Gale got to the scene, the easier it was for Hope to make out the stain of blood dripping off the decks.  That there was still such a pitched fight going on after the time it took for the Gale to come upon it both amazed and sickened her.


Hope had no time to wonder where her fear went before she dispelled it and continued on…


A sole lookout atop the sloop’s rigging noticed the coming of the Gale.  He tried to call down to the deck below, but the message did not appear to register with anyone involved in the melee.


The advancing brigantine under Captain Sanders’ handling of the tiller made a sharp cut to port, then made a list to starboard.  When she was again close hauled, the Gale was close in and facing the unmanned guns of the sloop.


With only a cry, Captain Sanders had Collins spray the battle with a broadside of chain and grape shot.  The struggle for survival aboard the deck of the sloop turned into a massacre as defender and raider alike fell while the rigging of the sloop, weakened by her earlier encounter, served as a mass shroud as it crashed below.


Sanders heaved the tiller roughly, and the Gale turned sharp to ready her port guns against her foes.  Hope watched how calmly Abigail swept down like a dark angel, bringing death to all these men, and how readily she prepared to provide more…

Back to Previous                             Ahead to Next Part 

Go to Main Menu

All content Copyright © 2008 James Ryan


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s