Part 09

Part the Ninth:  Music is Made on Board

Hope awoke alone in the cabin the next morning, put on one of her remaining dresses and came on deck with her cittern.

She cared not to speak to the captain.  The hammock rigged for her kept swaying as the ship moved from side to side, on occasion swinging her into the ward table in the middle of the cabin and waking her for some moments.  She wondered how the captain, on her side of the cabin, could stand all the swaying and banging without waking.

Just as it had been yesterday, the ship was awash in activity; it never seemed to stop being active.  The only faces she recognized were one of the crew of the King Charles who went pirate and the captain, who this time was taking the tiller herself as she set course. 

Hope considered what happened to the rest of the pirates, how they probably were below deck sleeping until they took the place of this lot, unless they all needed to be about.  Not that it made any difference, she considered; whether there were forty men or even just ten, she was still at their mercy, surrounded by the blue waters the ship sailed upon.

Hope sighed and started to play her cittern.  She started with a little warm-up, followed by ‘The Isle of Rea;’ the way her head still smarted, she thought the slow pace of the piece would be easier to keep time to.

She was halfway through her performance when a man’s voice said, “Ye call that a song?” Hope stopped and looked at the speaker.  He was a crewman a few years older than her, with fair looks apparent despite the slight whiskers and grime. “Don’t ye know a proper song, like ‘Maid of Amsterdam’?”

“Excuse me?” Hope replied.

“Ah ye know it,” he said before he sang:

In Amsterdam there lived a maid
Mark you well what I say!
In Amsterdam there lives a maid,
And this fair maid my trust betrayed.
Hope looked agape at the man, and wondered how anyone close to her age could have a singing voice with such a low timbre.
He continued:

I’ll go no more a rovin’, with you fair maid.
A roving, A roving, since roving’s been my ru-i-in,
I’ll go no more a roving, with you fair maid.

Her eyes are like two stars so bright
Mark you well what I say

Her eyes are like two stars so bright,
Her face is fair, her step is light-

“And what be this, now?” the captain roared.  She came down to the main deck with a look of fire.  “Are we now pumping the bilge from on deck, Mister Andrews?”

“Captain Sanders,” replied Andrews, “I was just sharing a song with the musician.”

“Did she say whether she wanted to be learning a new song?” Andrews turned a strange hue as she looked him up and down.“She be doing what music she knows to make herself useful while our hostage.  Ye be finishing with swabbing the deck, and keep ye hands off her.”

He got back on his knees and grabbed his holystone to work on the decks.  He gave Hope a slight smile before he started scrubbing.

Hope did not like the smile she got from him…

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All content Copyright © 2008 James Ryan




One response to “Part 09

  1. Jim Ryan

    For those wondering about the tune of “Maid of Amsterdam,” there’s a version of it that plays when you open this page:

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