“Aren’t ye mob o’ desperadoes ‘n low life sick these tales yet?” The Good Captain spoke to the crowd that was listening to his every word.
“Nah!” the crowd spoke loudly and defiantly.
“Then get me another whiskey!” The Good Captain held his tankard out to the crowd, it was quickly snatched from his hand and passed towards the bar.
Before his tankard returned the Good Captain restarted his story, the story from a time when he was but a wee pirate of twelve years old and at sea for the very first time.
“We had sailed into th’ oceans o’ hell me hearties. I know that sounds somewhat absurd given some o’ th’ journeys we ‘ave shared together, but I assure ye lads ’twas naught short o’ th’ truth. Th’ crimson tide risin’, th’ seas becomin’ rough ‘n I was th’ only one nah hidin’ below th’ decks. I knew afore it happened that th’ ship she was a leakin’. I knew afore it happened that I’ be pumpin’ ‘n pumpin’ wit’ both hands if I wanted t’ ever see dry land again. Fer if I didn’t we’d be sailin’ th’ red seas ’til we died.”
The Good Captain’s tankard was passed back through the crowd, when the Good Captain saw it he stopped and waited for it to arrive. Once the tankard was back in his hand he took a hearty swig, swallowed it down and began speaking again.
“Below th’ decks they were a crew o’ scurvy dogs, but I longed t’ be jus’ like them. Even though me life had been but twelve years short I knew I wanted t’ be a part o’ them. However I also knew if I had any hopes o’ havin’ me wish granted I would handsomely ‘ave t’ learn t’ pump ‘n I had t’ do it on me owns.
Th’ ship on which I was sailin’ was indeed a ragged dump o’ a ship, water gushed into th’ hull floodin’ th’ lower decks. I knew nah where th’ crew were exactly but they were all down thar somewhere. Wha’ they were doin’, if they were helpin’ was nah somethin’ I had on me mind ’cause I was too busy pumpin’ up on th’ top deck. Fer every litre o’ water I pumped up from th’ lower decks another o’ water thrashed o’er th’ sides o’ th’ ship ‘n landed at me feet. I knew if it were t’ continue we would surely die.”
A second swig of the Good Captain’s tankard saw it drained yet again, he waved it toward the crowd, no words need to be spoken for it to be refilled. Unlike the previous break the Good Captain continued his story without waiting for his drink to return.
“A saner pirate than ye scallywags afore me might ask why I didn’ flee wit’ th’ rest o’ th’ crew, why I didn’ rush th’ lower decks. Such a scallywag may even ask as t’ why I didn’, once I realised th’ job ahead o’ me, join th’ crew, or even abandon ship. But I know each an every one o’ ye afore me are better than that, I know each o’ ye understand wha’ ’tis t’ defend yer ship ‘n defend it at any cost. I also know that had any one o’ ye,” th’ Good Captain swept his arm o’er th’ crowd, “been in th’ same position as I ye would ‘ave done th’ same thin’!”
The crowd roared in agreement yet again at the Good Captain’s words. The Good Captain waited for the roar of the crowd to din and for his tankard of whiskey to return before he started speaking again.
“I knew I had meself a mighty pumpy quest ahead o’ me if I was t’ single handedly pump all that crimson seas water up from th’ lower decks ‘n save th’ crew. Th’ Plankard Pilkington wit’ all it’s leaky board was sinkin’ ‘n she was sinkin’ rapidly as th’ red tide did flow in quicker than I was pumpin’ it out. I knew had t’ do more but I was already double handin’ that blasted pump. I screamed a mighty pirate cry, a shrillin’ cry that was so loud ‘twould ‘ave been heard all th’ way down t’ th’ lowest depths o’ Davy Jones locker. Through th’ scream, th’ pain, th’ roar ‘n th’ strain I pumped ‘n pumped that blasted pump harder ‘n faster than I had afore.”
Yet again two large gulps from his silver tankard saw the Good Pirate’s drink completely drained. Although hands reached out for the empty tankard the Good Captain held back, he had decided to finish the story before refilling his tankard.
“An me mateys ’tis where me tale does come t’ an end ’cause o’ course I did save that ship ‘n o’ course I did save me life, or else I wouldna be here in front o’ ye right now. But here be wha’ happened.” Th’ Good Captain loot a large breath. “When daylight rose o’er th’ Plankard Pilkington th’ seas had calmed. All signs o’ th’ horrid conditions o’ th’ night afore had gone, they high crashin’ waves, th’ saturated ‘n slippery deck ‘n th’ crimson water that flooded th’ deck, all gone nigh-on without a trace.
Th’ crew did all emerge from under th’ decks, some were dry, some were wet ‘n some were naked, ’twas a sight well-nigh worse than th’ sight that faced me th’ evenin’ afore. They all knew wha’ I had done, they all knew that had it nah been fer me thar lives wouldna ‘ave been saved, yet nah one o’ those scoundrelly bastards did thank me fer wha’ I did.”
“Nah a one?” Duncan McSlurry called out.
“Nah a one!” The Good Captain replied.
“Wha’ a bunch o’ sewer rats!” Peter Warpboard called. “So wha’ did ye do?”
It was the question the Good Captain knew he was going to get from someone.
“I did bade me time, ‘n that time was th’ followin’ eve aft th’ crew did retire fer th’ night when I set fire t’ th’ leakiest ship that had ever sailed th’ seven seas then fled by me lonesome in th’ one ‘n only sea worthy punt she did carry.”
Previous Pirate story here.