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The Pirate Captain: Keelhauled

“Me hearties I stand afore ye t’ tell a tale so dire.”

The good captain stood on the navigational deck of the Privateer addressing the crew of his two ships. With no land in sight the Privateer and the Revenge drifted slowly on a glassy ocean. The sails were down and a slight breeze from the west pushed them slowly towards the setting sun, slow enough for the two ships to pace evenly side by side.

Twelve hours earlier both crews had re-boarded their ships and set sail after a hearty night of drinking the Famous Ol’ Spiced. It had been a rowdy night of drinking and partying, a well deserved celebration after battling the mighty Leviathan and living to tell the tale. Many of the crew had never even heard of the Famous Ol’ Spiced before they’d moored at the jetty, even fewer had actually tasted it, but by the end of the night it was a favourite of all.

In the wee hours of the morning as the good captain and his fair maiden were settling the tab with the tavern owner a deal had been made, a favour for the tavern owner in return for the reduction of the pirate crews tab. It wasn’t that the good captain was not prepared to pay a fair price for a fair night but he also understood the notion of scratching another’s back in return for them scratching his.

The deal that had been made was one that saw the good captain offering transportation to a wayward landlubber. Despite not asking why such a service was asked of him and his crew the tavern owner did share his reasons with the good captain and the fair maiden in the privacy of his cellar. It was a story that the good captain could not refuse to be a part of and it was that story that lead them to be drifting together on the glassy ocean.

“Thar lurks a lowlife traitor among us. He deserves no quarter, he deserves no sympathy, he deserves t’ taste th’ lead o’ a gun barrel.” The good captain called across the decks.

Although the entire crew knew of the extra body aboard the ship none of them knew why he was aboard, he was there at the request of the captain and they accepted it. They also hoped against all hope that the traitor to whom the good captain was referring was said body because none of them wanted to consider the fact that the traitor was one of their own.

There wasn’t a pirate that sailed the seven seas who didn’t know what happened to traitors aboard a pirate ship. Before sailing under the good captain’s ensign many a pirate aboard the ship had seen captain Morgan deal with traitors. Even many of those pirates who had joined since Morgan’s demise had seen traitors dealt with aboard other ships, and those that hadn’t had almost certainly heard the stories of how such people were dealt with. No one wanted to consider the fact that they could have been working with such a person, it was much easier to assume it was the new comer.

“No scallywag guilty o’ such a sin shall live t’ tell another tale. Wit’ Davy Jones be where this scoundrel shall end his time, but first he must pay th’ price, ’tis time fer a wee pirate fun.” Spoke the captain.

A cheer went up aboard the ships.

“Secure th’ traitor!” The fair maiden called whipping out her sword, circling it in the air and pointing it directly at the newcomer.

There was a collective sigh of relief across both ships as the crew realised their wishes had come true and the traitor was not one of their own.

“Wrap th’ scurvy bastard wit’ th’ ropes, lash it good ‘n tight.” The good captain called.

Two of the Privateer’s men grabbed the traitor by the arms and pulled them behind his back, a third pirate grabbed the roped from where it hung on the main mast. The landlubber tried to fight off the pirates as he screamed and protested his innocence, but the good captain was hearing none of it. He knew the traitor’s story, it had been confirmed by both the tavern owner and his wife whom the man had defiled.

“We shall nah tell o’ this scoundrel’s sins, they be far t’ grave t’ share. He has wronged a heartie o’ this crew ‘n fer those sins his soul will burn in hell.” The fair maiden called out, her time with the pirate crew and their accents obviously rubbing off on her.

While three men worked at the ropes securing the traitor every crew member aboard the two ships looked on in silence.

“Take his hat, loot his cutlasses, loot his doubloons, where he’s goin’ he wont be needin’ any o’ that.” The good captain ordered.

The traitor was still protesting loudly as the pirate crew rummaged through his clothes looking for anything of value. Each item they held in the air to show the captain before placing it in a pile on the deck.

With the man secured the crew knew what to do next. Two long ropes were lashed to the gunwales of the ship. A plank was pushed out front of the ship, over the figurehead and twenty five feet from the water’s surface. The traitor was then escorted to the front of the ship.

“’Tis time we dealth with this filthy low down land lubber! First we’ll make this bastard walk th’ plank, dare he refuse our order!” The good captain called whilst he and the crew stood at the front of the Privateer.

The traitor was pushed reluctantly towards the plank, he final steps could be counted on less than two hands. He was still screaming for mercy as his bare feet stepped up onto the plank. His screams only got louder as a sword tip was nudged into his back to make him move. Each step was slow and small but without a doubt his final step would take him by surprise and he plunged downwards towards the water.

Previous Pirate story here.


  1. “Scallywag” *happy sigh* The last time I heard that word I was 4 years old, and my grandfather called me it. 😀

    • Yeah I wasn’t keen on using it at first because it didn’t sound befitting of a scoundrel type character but I guess I let it slip through in the end 🙂

  2. I thought maybe it was a joke on him until the last sentence, glub, glub, glub.

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