Part the Sixth: Hope is Plundered
“Osei!” the captain said, as she turned to the dark man who carried Hope over his shoulder. “The lady here be very valuable property. She is to be treated as though she were shares to be distributed when we reach port.”
“Aye, Cap’n,” the man replied. “As to her berth until she be sent back?”
“She may be placed in my cabin until then, Osei,” said the captain as she looked over Hope. “Ye not be much stow, so there should be enough room in there.”
“And what of her baggage train?” Osei asked. “We took a number of bundles that are clearly hers.”
“Other than the jewelry box? How much more?” the captain asked.
Osei called out in a deep voice, “Bring the lady’s booty up deck, smartly,” and within a few quick moments Hope saw all of her belongings that had left England with her on the deck.
“Sink me!” said the captain when she looked at the piles of clothing heaped on the deck. “There’s enough gowns and dresses here for every strumpet in Port Royal!”
“My clothes!” said Hope as she watched the captain and her men start to pick through them.
“This be what they wear back in England now?” asked the captain as she lifted one of her dresses up. “There’s more material coving your arms than your chest on these. We could replace the mainsail with these sleeves!”
“There’s not that much-” Hope started to say before the captain tossed it aside.
“This looks like it’d hurt,” said one of the crew as he held up a corset with whalebone supports, his smile as he examined it more gums than teeth
“Aye, Mister Simon, it does,” said the captain.
“How DARE you go through my things!” screamed Hope. Osei’s hand clamped down on her shoulder to stop her from keeping the pirates out of her outfits.
“You have two choices,” said the captain once every article of clothing was laid out on the deck of the Raging Gale. “Either you choose three dresses to keep, or we choose them for you.”
Confronted with such a stark ultimatum, Hope could only shriek angirly.
The captain drew her breath, and then pointed to three of the dresses. “Just that lot,” said the captain to the crew who were gathering the rest up to throw overboard. “Leave also those petticoats and bodices,” she explained, “and those slippers, the silk shoes there, and handful of the chemises and blouses… They be the shirts, lads.”
Hope could only stare in disbelief as her remaining possessions were stuffed into a single sack, while most of her clothes floated away on the surface of the sea.
“Well now,” said the captain, “what’s this be, here? Funny looking box for shoes, this be…”
Hope was too terrified to turn and face her, for she thought if the box went over the side as well she would certainly give the captain reason to gut her…
All content Copyright © 2008 James Ryan