“Land Ahoy!” called Two Dogs Rummelpudle from the crows nest of the Privateer as they sailed southward atop a glassy ocean.
Conditions had changed substantially as the sun got closer to the western horizon. They’d sailed through rough water, through gale force winds and through howling rain to get where they were. It was a storm so dark that day turned into night and from the navigation deck the Good Captain could barely see the bowsprit of the ship.
They had sailed down from the Norwegian Sea, into the North Atlantic Ocean with their final destination being a small port in the area that would eventually become Angola. The call from Two Dogs was a welcome call after more than two weeks at sea, especially after crossing the equator and running into such a fierce storm cell.
“Nah that way cap’n!” Two Dogs called as he looked down at the decks and saw the Good Captain looking out to the port side of the ship.
The Good Captain looked up at two dogs. “Wha’?”
“Land be on th’ starboard side cap’n, nah o’ th’ port.” Two Dogs called.
“Wha’ in th’ hell is it doin’ on that side?” The Good Captain called. “Be it lost?”
“It nah be lost cap’n, it be where it best be, it be us that be nah where we best be!”
“Wha’ are ye on about lad?” The Good Captain called.
“Cap’n, that land o’er thar nah be wha’ ye reckon it be, it be Salvador.”
“Any port in a storm me lad. Any port in a storm!” The Good Captain called out, then added. “Find me that port!”
Two hours later the Privateer was moored at a large wooden jetty, no other ships were moored in sight and the entire place seemed to be deserted.
“Aye, wha’ are we doin’ here cap’n?” Grifter O’Scurvey asked as the crew stood on the top deck of the Privateer.
“I guess we shall see whenst we be finished natterin’ t’ this scallywag o’er here.” The Good Captain.
Looking towards land they could all see a man walking towards down a well worn dirt path that headed straight for the jetty on which they were moored.
“Wha’ be ya bloody business moored in this here port Captain.” The man yelled in a grumpy voice as he took his first step onto the jetty. The heels of his boots clapped slightly on the wooden surface but the sound was drowned out by the small eddies lapping against the ship and the ship rocking gently against the jetty. “This here be me port ‘n ye best be havin’ a good reason t’ be tied where ye be.”
“Relax me scallywag, we nah be hear t’ cause ye trouble.”
“Scallywag?” The man called as he raised his hand. “I aint no scallywag!”
As soon as the man’s hand was in the air every man aboard the Privateer noticed it. It was extremely hard not to, for they had all before seen a man with a hook for a hand, it was a relatively common thing in the age of piracy. However what they saw before them was unlike anything they had ever seen before. The man before them did not have a single hook, he had a Pentahook!
“That’s right ya scurvy bastards get yourselves a good look.” The man called loudly. “These five rusty hooks are forever now me right hand, why I ‘ave them ye shall ne’er know, but th’ wrath o’ which ye do nah ever wants t’ feel.”
“I assure ye me matey, we do nah wish t’ know yer wrath!” The Good Captain replied.
“Ye may nah ‘ave a choice.” The man on the jetty seemed to have more bravado than his single number could sustain, but he spoke big anyway. “I shall fights t’ me death, I live t’ scuttle anyone that does me wrong. Rage fills me everyday, it’s me against th’ world. I’ll slash all ye bastards ‘n get me way I assure ye o’ that fact.”
The Good Captain began sizing up the man on the jetty, he was prepared to take the man down, prepared to end the grumpy man’s life of rage, if only for his own peace. He was fairly certain that one man against an entire crew was not going to be a challenge, even the Pentahook was not a threat. But he was not going to kill the man without knowing he was alone.
The angry man on the jetty continued his rant. “I’ll be cuttin’ ya throats, it’s me greatest skill. I’ll eat ya sprogs, I’ll chase yer maids, I’ll eat ya cat ‘n I’ll even punch ya house!”
Each and every man aboard the Privateer remained silent while at the same time trying their darnedest not to laugh. If there was anyone left that didn’t doubt the man’s sanity their minds were quickly changed.
“Fear nah I shall raise me hooks up t’ th’ sky. No bugger will raise rum t’ me when I do die, but I tells ya now I shall be fightin’ ’til th’ bitter end. I no care jus’ how short me life shall be. But if ye shall nah leave me in peace I tell ye now that death will o’ course comes t’ ye all. Remove yourselves or die by th’ rage o’ th’ Pentahook!”
The Good Captain had yet to see another person coming to support the rage filled man with the pentahook. He knew it was possible for an army of men to be hiding around the shore, it was exactly what he would have done if he was in the same position. However what he could not figure was to what end the man with the pentahook could achieve from such an ambush.
It could be a suicide mission, a man with a death wish sent as a sacrifice to see if the strange crew of the pirate ship would take him down. But such a thing just didn’t feel right to the Good Captain. Every bone in his body was telling him that the man was indeed alone.
The Good Captain’s decision needed to be made and made quickly!
Previous Pirate story here.