Part the Sixty Seventh: The Crew Holds a Parley
“Have the crew assembled,” Captain Sanders said to Osei three days after they captured the Santa Cecilia.
Hope stopped playing her cittern as Osei called the crew from stations and below decks. She stood against the mainmast against which she had pressed Charles to get his pledge, making no effort to be anywhere near him, no matter how much she felt she wanted to be close to him. Very close to him…
Sanders stood over the assembled crew atop the quarterdeck. “Since we lost the bowsprit, we’re not running with the wind as well as we were. Despite Mister Kelly’s best efforts to hold Mister Folard’s fix in place when he takes as close to his old position as he can, the jib sail cannot be properly trimmed. As a result, we be going a few knots slower than we had before.
“While we be committed to the securing of booty in this venture and ready to go where we must for it, I’d be a poor captain if I not be telling ye the truth, that we be hobbled, and that while we be a fine crew able to face anything, that our current state is not its best.”
“What think you of us and our abilities?” asked Goor.
“I be thinking,” said Sanders, “that we be not going after another pinnace so soon,” which got the crew of the Gale to laugh. “We did well tracking down the Suzanne and seizing her, which shows me what fine men we have here. If we have before us a slow merchant, we be fine with taking her, so long as each man can be quick of it. I know that all of ye can move as fast going for booty as ye can in drinking it away, so I expect no less of ye to get your fill.”
“I say we be plying the lanes for at least one prize,” said Collins. “We have shot enough for any such trouble before this ship.”
“I believe we can continue pour le moment,” said Folard. “After one encounter, though, we will need to make way to safe harbor. If the Spanish should send a ship after us and we must flee, then nous aurons des problèmes.”
“Any further on the matter before us?” Sanders asked the assembled crew.
When no one spoke after a pause, she continued, “Those for continuing towards another prize, what say ye?”
“AYE!” arose from the assembled crew, including Hope.
“Be there any who have reservation?” asked Sanders. She looked at the assembled and asked, “Surgeon Samuels, no opinion on our course of action?”
“Madam,” he replied, “while a surgeon that encourages more business for himself be not a fit Christian, I have no argument I can make against your actions. Consider my opinion to be absent.”
“That be close enough to unanimous for me,” said Sanders as she looked over the crew. “We be on the seas for more booty, then.”
“Dispersed!” commanded Osei. “As you were!”
Hope picked up her cittern and resumed playing. She had come to ignore the nagging doubts about putting in her lot with the Raging Gale so well, that the warnings she sent herself went by without notice…
All content Copyright © 2008 James Ryan