Part the One Hundred Eighty Third: Of Sails and Songs
“I don’t trust him,” Charity was still saying two days later.
“So what is it,” Hope asked yet again, “about John Cooper of Mersey that you don’t trust?”
“What if he’s just wrong? What if la Capitanne was given information by a man with no sense of what he’s talking about?”
“We both watched her go over his story, both when she questioned him, and then later checking his charts against her rutter. She went over his account in detail and believes it was the Little Plate Fleet that he met.
“This is an improvement over just not trusting him,” Hope continued, watching the setting sun through the shrouds over her supper. “At least you’ve stopped claiming that the pork we seized from his hold was poisoned.”
“You mock me. And why was she so willing to leave him his ship anyway?”
“For the Little Plate Fleet, of course. His cargo of sugar, compared to that treasure? Priorities, you know.”
“Baisez les priorités!” Charity exclaimed. “I just worry that she’s so anxious for this mythical treasure that we-”
Hope noticed why Charity stopped talking; she was drawing attention to herself from the rest of the crew having supper.
“It’s all right,” said Hope, “nothing to worry about, just thinking aloud.” She moved closer to Charity and said, “By God, what do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m… I’m scared,” she finally admitted. “I’ve had these vivid dreams, dreams of… Do you have such-”
“No!” Hope denied quickly. “No such dreams; nothing to be frightened of here!”
The cry of “Sail! Sail!” from atop the mainmast kept Charity from reacting.
“What see ye?” Abigail asked, standing up so quickly that her pork, beans and hard tack spilled from her plate over the deck.
“Sun’s catching them far off near the horizon, close hauled to port.”
“More than one?”
“That be them! The English fool’s confirmation of the account of the Little Plate Fleet places us at a great opportunity. If even one such vessel were to be seized, each of us will be able to buy whatever our black hearts desire! There be enough booty here to make ye not just hunted the world over, but legends! This be the biggest prize we may ever see; who’s with me for claiming her as our own?”
“AYE!” arose from the crew, with cheers of approval following.
“Then let us be sharp on it! If this be what we will be known for, then let us make the most of it!”
Hope embraced her rally hard, and on the spot started to strum:
Come all you gallant seamen bold,
All you that march to drum,
Go and look for Captain Sanders,
Far on the sea she roams.
She is the biggest robber
That ever you did hear,
there’s not been such a robber found
For above this hundred year.A ship was sailing from the east
And going to the west,
Loaded with silks and satins
And velvets of the best;
Meeting there with Captain Sanders,
It was a bad meeting;
She robbed them of all their wealth,
And bid them tell their king.
Hope ignored the looks Charity gave her when she rearranged the first verse; by the second she was too busy running powder to the guns to express her worries…
All content Copyright © 2009 James Ryan