The Good Captain was once again sitting within the confines of the large dinning room in the Castle in the Air. There was a hot fire roasting in the fireplace , the small number of flames no indication of just how much heat was being pushed out into the room. There was a large tankard of rum within easy reach of his right hand and the leather bound ledger that had once been his father’s but had now been handed down to him was laying on the table in front of him.
To his right sat his Fair Maiden, it was one of the few times he’d allowed someone into the room while he read his father’s words. It wasn’t that he dared not share his father’s words more that he felt compelled to read them himself then retell the story as it was appropriate. Why he chose to sit with his Fair Maiden in the warmth of the dinning room as he prepared himself for another reading he was not sure, but he also felt no pressure to ask the woman he loved to leave to room.
Reaching forward the Good Captain gripped the cover of the ledger between the finger and thumb of his left hand, raised it, then tipped it over revealing the first page. With the book open he then ran the index finger of his right hand down the edge of the pages where small tabs protruded. Each tab indicated a new tale and as always the selection of which story to read was completely random, where his finger stopped that was where he would open the book.
Selecting a page the Good Captain gently flipped over the pages and laid them flat on the open front cover. He then looked at the title of the story that fate had selected for him to read.
“Th’ Battle O’ Waterloo.” The Good Captain said aloud.
It wasn’t only the first time he’d allowed anyone in the room while he read his father’s words it was the first time he’d actually read them aloud word for word to anyone else. He was somewhat nervous but tried to push those nerves aside.
“’twas th’ 18th o’ June 1815.”
“1815?” The Fair Maiden questioned. “More than a hundred years from now?”
Having had the Good Captain recently retell his father’s story of future travels the Fair Maiden shouldn’t have been surprised by the date spoken. But hearing someone voice an exact date so far a head of time was not what one expected when they were listening to a retelling of a story that had already happened.
“I’m sorry, go on.” she said.
The Good Captain started reading again.
“We’d trodden th’ marshy fields in th’ pourin’ rain fer longer than any o’ us cared t’ remember. Why we were thar we didn’ know but we did long t’ be back aboard our ships, fer a pirate who be wet, drenched ‘n soaked through t’ th’ bone has no business on land. We seemed t’ be thar under th’ order o’ some British rule but we did we know th’ blood ‘n th’ pain that was t’ follow. ‘n had we known at th’ time jus’ how long ‘twould follow th’ survivin’ crew hands I’m sure many would ‘ave pulled out ‘n scampered a retreat back t’ th’ ships.”
“There sounds t’ be some confusion in th’ words, me dear.” The Fair Maiden said quietly as the Good Captain took a swig from his tankard.
“Always does me dear.” The Good Captain took another swig then started again.
“Th’ cannon’s fired, cuirassier’s attacked ‘n those blasted British soldiers stood tight upon Wellington’s command. We knew nah whose side we were on. We’d been hired help, rented as bodies t’ stand on a battle field but none o’ this was revealed ’til that bastard Wellington was safely from harms reach.”
The Good Captain took a breath, looked at the words on the page, then looked at the Good Maiden and said. “It appears this Wellington fella took it upon hisself t’ hire disposable fighters. I bet when th’ time comes th’ tellin’s ‘n reports o’ th’ such battles will ne’er reveal any pirate’s involvement, nah even if they were cannon fodder fer th’ rich!”
The Fair Maiden remained quiet, not knowing what to say. The Good Captain then continued with his father’s words.
“Th’ Lollywobblin’ Frenchmen in thar guard uniforms marched onward, straight towards th’ British lines. Wha’ stood between them ‘n takin’ th’ British down was a thousand ragtag pirates from all around th’ world. A wall o’ pirates thar job t’ protect once side from th’ other no matter how bloody thin’s got. Prussian’s joined th’ fight, but they seemed nah t’ know which side they were fightin’ fer. All th’ time th’ leaders remained safely hidden protected.
Who were these leaders? Wha’ sort o’ a leader does nah stand at th’ fore o’ his men ‘n fight along side o’ them? A pirate leader would ne’er stand protected at aft o’ a fight ‘n let his crew be scuttled like these yellow-bellied curs o’ th’ land.
Th’ Battle o’ Waterloo, saw th’ lands flooded wit’ a sea o’ red, as pirates, presumably once good pirates lay dead or dyin’. They fought ‘n they died, they stood up fer wha’ they were told was right. ‘n one day th’ history books will tell th’ tale. But alas they will nah tell it as I saw it wit’ me owns eyes ’cause t’ tell it as it happened would t’ admit somethin’ that th’ good folk o’ th’ world cannot allow themselves t’ reckon.
We might be th’ Pirates o’ th’ Sea. But th’ real pirates are th’ one who command th’ battles o’ th’ land!”
The Good Captain took a breath. He knew there was nothing he could do with the story, it wasn’t like he could jump forward in time and change what was to happen. He couldn’t even put things in place to stop such an silly and pointless attack taking the lives of decent pirate’s because the time between where he sat reading the story and when it was to happen was unfathomable.
He took a deep breath and felt the Fair Maiden’s arm on his shoulder. Words did not need to be spoken.
Previous Pirate story here.