Ol’ Barrcuda had made a mistake, it appeared to only be a small mistake but it was a mistake none the less. The man he’d spied all those days ago walking towards the ship was not the captain of the Revenge he was captain on the trailing ship, The Privateer. It was only a small mistake but it was the sort of mistake he used to pride himself on not making back in his day.
“Ye be requestin’ a visit wit’ th’ good cap’n ‘n his fair maiden, nah I?” Captain Bildgepoole asked
“Aye, me fine cap’n, no respect meant t’ ye but me business be wit’ ‘im ‘n only ‘im.” Ol’ Barracuda replied.
“Be wha’ ye told Squiffy th’ truth?” Ol’ Barracuda looked at Squiffy, then back at the captain, then nodded. “Wait here while I be summonin’ th’ good cap’n.”
Immediately Captain Bildgepoole turned to Squiffy and gave the order to the find the captain, to tell him whatever was needed to ensure he came down to the jetty immediately. He then turned to the rest of the crew and told them to return to their jobs.
Ol’ Barracuda turned his back back to the captain, it was not a show of disrespect it was meant to be a sign that he trusted the captain and would not mount any surprise attack. It wasn’t until the crowd had fully dispersed that Captain Bildgepoole started to hear a sound he couldn’t quite place at first. It only took a few seconds but as the sounds of the dock slowly took over he realised the sound he was hearing was the low voice of the old man with his back to him.
“I stand here alone on th’ edge o’ th’ deck, countin’ th’ hours ‘till me death. Destined t’ a fate ‘n wit’ no chance o’ reprise I raise me fist t’ th’ sky.”
Had Captain Bildgepoole not been listening to the the old man’s words he may have taken the raised fist as a threat, maybe even a call to action to unseen men waiting on the ship that was anchored in the bay before them, but instead he knew the man before him posed no threat at all.
“Who be th’ scallywag requestin’ me attention?” came the good captain’s loud voice as he walked towards the jetty where his two ships were moored.
Ol’ Barracuda tuned almost immediately upon hearing the voice behind him, his slow shuffle in a small circle revealing to him both the man and woman standing before him. The good captain had indeed come down to the jetty as he had requested and brought his fair maiden with him.
Ol’ Barracuda stood dead still taking in the two people before him. A captain so debonair in his appearance that the old man could not help but be impressed, so suave in his pirate regalia that he could not help but respect the man while at the same time fearing his presence. The rapier than hung sheathed on his left hip showed an extremely shiny and complex hilt which not only covered the sword wielding hand but looked every bit as debonair as it’s owner.
Next to the captain his fair maiden stood, she looked different to the days before when Ol’ Barracuda had spied them leaving the tavern. His drunken eyes may have been playing some tricks on him in those early morning hours but they did not lie about her beauty. When he’d first seen the fair maiden she had been wearing her pirate garb, not unlike the majority of the crew that accompanied them yet before him now Ol’ Barracuda could clearly see she was wearing her ‘land’ garb. A long flowing black dress, her wavy hair hanging loosely past her shoulders and her face prettier than any picture he could have imagined.
“Aye it be I that be lookin’ fer ye attention young pirate.” Ol’ Barracuda said as he moved his gaze directly to the eyes of the good captain.
At the same time as Ol’ Barracuda stood checking out what was before him the fair maiden and the good captain were doing the same.
The fair maiden saw an old man, a long weathered face not unlike many an old sea farer she’d seen sailing the seas. It was the salt water, the sun and the wind that did it, made features unlike any land lubber ever could hope to have. She saw a man that was tired, a man that was desperate and a man that was despite all that was not wavering in the presence of the two captains before him. The good maiden herself had fought along side her pirate mates, long and hard, she knew fear yet did not feel it in this man’s presence.
Standing next to her the good captain was more critical of what he was seeing. He saw an old man, a man decrepit with age, weathered by the seas, beaten by time and long, long ago given up on by those around him. He could see the man held no weapons, no guns, no swords, not even a small bladed knife he was either incredibly brave coming ashore with no weapons or his business was of such importance that he was determined to show no threat.
The old man’s clothes revealed nothing to the good captain. In most cases a man’s coat or even shirt often bore the signs of a pirate crew’s markings, something to identify them as part of a crew, but there was nothing on this man. It was not unsurprising given the age of the man and the fact that his usefulness to a pirate crew appeared to be long since gone, but the good captain looked anyway hoping to garner some idea as to why this stranger was before him seeking his attention.
It wasn’t until the good captain’s glance raised towards the old man’s face and directly looked into his eyes that his mind suddenly began to piece things together. It started with a glimmer in the back of his mind, a glimmer that quickly turned into a thought, a thought that quickly turned into a memory and a memory that quickly turned to anger.
Turning his back on the old man the good pirate captain started walking away, over his shoulder his called to Captain Bildgepoole. “ Feed ‘im t’ th’ fish, burn his ship.”
Before Captain Bildgepoole even had a chance to move towards Ol’ Barracuda the old man spoke up, loud and proud. “Son, I beg o’ ye hear me out!”
Previous Pirate Story here.