Part the Forth: Hope Sails On Aboard the Raging Gale
When Hope Harvey was hoisted off the broad shoulders of the dark man who carried her off the King Charles, she witnessed the ravaging of that vessel by the crew of the Raging Gale.
The woman who captured Hope’s ship announced to the defeated crew, “There be a place for those who wish to go on the account, so long as he will abide by the articles of the ship if he be willing to join this crew. If ye wish, any other of ye, you may join with us as these lads have done.”
She watched in horror as three of the crew of the King Charles came up to the captain with spread arms and empty hands. And as she watched the three abandon Uncle James and the rest of the crew and declared themselves pirates, to the cheers of the attackers and the consternation of her Uncle, she hoped her uncle would find the wisdom and patience to not act in a way that would cause him to end his days on earth at the hands of angry sea robbers.
Once this was done, the crew of the Raging Gale set to taking what they wanted from the ship that had brought Hope here from Portsmouth. The pirates with axes cut into the deck of the King Charles to widen the hatches of the vessel, emerging like ants with what treasures they could carry. She watched as the pirates seized provisions, tools and powder and shot for the guns.
Then the pirates, new and old, cast off the King Charles. The last Hope saw of her previous ship as it diminished on the horizon, the sails were in tatters and a large section of the hull was missing, having been gouged by pirates needing the holes to grab their booty through.
Once clear of the prize ship, the rest of the crew set to the sails to catch a westward breeze and leave behind their victim. With a hard crack like a heavy door flung open, the square sails on the forward mast and the large sideways-mounted sale on the rear filled with caught gusts, and the ship went from disturbing the water slightly to causing foamy caps upon the sea.
“Stand aside, lass,” Hope heard from a few of the sailors moving between the masts to get the sails trimmed. Though they had ignored her before now, the crew could no longer just let Hope stand where she was posted like a figurehead to the prow. “Ye be no good in that spot there.”
Hope turned around to fully take in her situation. She realized she was surrounded by close to a hundred men now, most of whom had just fired on her and killed men in the rigging in order to kidnap her. And among them were now men she had formerly trusted who willing joined with the others!
The large black man who had carried her aboard stood over her. “Ye come with me,” he said. “The cap’n be wanting to see ye.”
All content Copyright © 2008 James Ryan