Thursday, February 03, 2005


A Pirate Tale - part 22

“Girls!” Mad Sally spoke firmly to her Women in Leadership class, “When someone shows their devotion to you, how should that person be repaid?”

The girls looked around the room at each other, finally one of them spoke, “They should be paid with devotion in kind, Mistress.”

“Ah,” Sally went on, “And how will you know first of all what true ‘devotion’ looks like both in its giving as well as its reception?”

After a much longer pause, one of the class leaders stood, “When the object of one’s devotion clearly holds your needs and wishes even more precious than they do their own. And you, in turn, likewise, hold theirs dearer.”

“The true definition of ‘service’ is it not?” Sally’s questioning probed deeper. “And when you have been lead to believe something from the lips of someone to whom you had thought you had been devoted – and who was, in turn, supposedly devoted to you.” – Sally’s lesson was interrupted when Lady Fanny stepped into the classroom with fifteen armed men. She walked to the front of the class and stood only a few feet away from Sally, her arms folded just under her breasts. The men fanned out across the classroom – they took a menacing stance.

“Don’t let me interrupt, Sally, dear.” Lady Fanny seemed to drip kindness, like honey from her fangs.

Sally took a deep breath and stiffened her back, “Once a betrayal of devotion has occurred, what place does loyalty have for both the betrayer and the betrayed?”

The girls glanced back and forth between Lady Fanny and Mad Sally. Lady Fanny’s icy stare seemed to have no effect on Sally’s serene demeanor.

None of the girls would speak.

“Loyalty is the quaint shadow of a by-gone honor.” Lady Fanny enunciated her words with care, “It is the product of a temporary reality construct that gives way to opportunity and power. When it works, it is a useful organizational tool, when it fails, its victims are nothing more than pathetic dogs – incapable of grasping the futility of their barking.”

For the first time, Lady Fanny could not look Sally in the face. Sally never shifted her countenance. When Lady Fanny ordered the men to, “Take them away. Take them all, away!” she showed, perhaps for the first time in decades, a shred of doubt.

Sally motioned for the girls to get up. They stood as one, their eyes fixed on Sally now, and followed her out of the classroom and into the cell in the bowels of the ship.


“Cap’n! King Kimoni wishes to see you about something below – with the cannon’s sir!” Two Patch saluted in the wrong direction.

“But we’re about to pull a mysterious stranger out of ‘the big blue wobbly’ – you know it’s like opening a Christmas prezzy, for me, Two Patch!” Slappy was disappointed, “But, he is a King, after all, and I would hate to keep him waiting. Sawbones, you and Cementhands fish him out and if he’s alive, get him cleaned up and have him wait for me in my cabin.”

“Aye-Aye, Cap’n!” – Sawbones gave a wave of his hand to dismiss Slappy but the captain would not leave that easily. “And if he’s dead, throw him back.” He continued with a raised eyebrow in Cementhands’ direction, “None of this sticking him in unusual spots as a little joke – do I make myself clear?”

“Aye-Aye! Cap’n Stick-in-the-mud!” Cementhands gave a mocking salute as Slappy walked away.

“I heard that, McCormack!” Slappy’s voice trailed away.
Spencer tried repeatedly to hook line onto the floating figure, finally succeeding.

One of the sailors jumped into the water and secured the line around the floating man and gave the signal for Cementhands to haul him up. When they brought the man on deck, they were stunned to see two things.

First – he was alive.
Second – he was the spitting image of Cap’n Slappy.

The many puked saltwater and in a state of semi-consciousness exclaimed, ¿He sido tiro, apuñalado y alimentado a los tiburones, qué usted le piensa puede hacer a mí? Then he fainted again.

“Get him below to the galley!” Then he ordered Gabriel, “Go get my medical bag and a set of dry clothes from Cap’n Slappy’s quarters.

A few hours later, with Cementhands and Sawbones at his side, Cap’n Slappy entered his captain’s quarters and saw a familiar face lying on his bunk. He was awake now, he was heavily bandaged around the chest and stomach where two mini-balls had been removed and happily smoking a cigar. ¡Venido adentro, primo! ¡Hogar agradable!

Slappy shook his head, “Hola! Slappista.”


Juan kept an eye on the fog bank a mere two hundred yards to their starboard side. “I have the sense of these things – and don’t go thinking I’m like the little girl to say this, but I know when we are being watchered.”

“Being watchered?” Chumbucket sounded cynical.

“Si, Senor Schumbucket! I did not so much as stutter did I? ‘Watchered!’”

“Show me.” Chumbucket sounded demanding, but it was a request.

“I can’t ‘show you,’” Juan began. “They are in the fog – I can feel them watchering. Oh, they’re good but I can feel them their in my boneses.”

Suddenly, Chumbucket caught a glimpse of the familiar shape of a masthead through the gloom. “Oh my, we must tell Jezebel and Lusty, Lanky Liz! That we are being followed by none other than-“

He was cut off by the duet of the two women shrieking wildly in the direction of the fog-enshrouded ship.

“Sir Nigel!”

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