Saturday, March 12, 2005


A Pirate Tale – part 54 Reunion

Young Lieutenant Clifford Burgess was in charge of the small skeletal crew aboard the HMS Susan’s Doily. At the age of eleven, he had escaped his forced apprenticeship to his father, Sawbones, and renounced the life of piracy in order to serve in the British navy. But a lifetime of experience had taught him to smell a pirate ship when he saw one and the approaching Broche de Presión gave him a nose-full of pirate stink. “Weigh anchor and tack her about – I want to show our friends our starboard broadside and give them a hearty welcome! Gentlemen, if you please!”

The crew responded to young Clifford’s orders with speed and the big ship groaned and creaked into position. Don Taco, standing on the deck of the Broche de Presión gazing through his spyglass and smoking yet another cigar groaned as Los Mariachi transposed his peppy composition to an ominous minor key was dismayed that their attempt at camouflage was not working as well as they’d hoped. “Well, let’s see if they have the mettle for it.” Taco snarled as he directed his ship to stay the course toward the British ship.

The cannons were loaded and young Clifford had just enough bodies to fire a full volley from both gun decks. His hope was to dissuade the on-coming pirate ship while at the same time, alert the landing party of their unwelcome visitor. As the Broche de Presión came close to being in range, Clifford drew his saber and gave the order – “Fire!”

Taco’s eyes nearly burst from his head as he saw the white smoke explode from the side of the HMS Susan’s Doily. A moment later the air was ripped with the thunderous sound of multiple cannon fire and a moment after that, the ocean in front of his ship ripped and sizzled as if Hell itself had been dropped in their path. “Hard to port!” Taco called. Just then, one of his lookouts spotted a ship approaching and La Herida que Filtra de la Cabeza and called this to Don Taco’s attention. “La Conchita!” he called.

“That Limey bastard is lucky I don’t have time to rip open his Limey heart and feed it to the seagulls!” Taco muttered as he visibly shook. “Let’s go see what our wayward friend has been up to!”

The men aboard the HMS Susan’s Doily cheered as they watched the pirate ship turn and run, but young Clifford wasn’t resting on any laurels. He ordered them to reload the cannons and prepare for another attack. At the same time, the crew that was on shore quickly put a lid on the water barrels and rushed to get back aboard their ship.

Half-way up the mountain side, the Captain of the Marines was at a loss as to what was to be done. Lord Sir Admiral Percival Winthorpe Mandrake Tharp was unconscious and the ship was under attack. Jezebel spoke with calm clarity – “Young man. Leave me with four marines to help move the Admiral up to a safer place while you lead your men back to the ship. Your services will soon be of need to your countrymen.” The authority with which she spoke and Liz’s hypnotic nodding left the Captain with little else to do but obey and the attachment of marines, minus four, were quickly heading down the mountainside.


Lady Fanny was stunned as she looked through the spyglass at the approaching La Conchita. “It can’t be.” She muttered to herself. Standing on the rail, holding on to a rope and leaning out over the water was the cheerful, portly visage of what, in her mind, could only be Cap’n Slappy. “What the hell?” her tone was incredulous. She couldn’t have been any more amazed if it had been Queen Elizabeth surfing toward her in a Hawaiian shirt with a puka bead necklace shouting, “Cowabunga, dudes!”

La Conchita made no aggressive maneuvers, but rather sailed up alongside La Herida que Filtra de la Cabeza as if the two ships were a part of the same fleet. “Cap’n Slappy?” Lady Fanny asked as the man jumped from the rail of his ship and landed on her deck. “Who else would I be?” he responded jovially. “How’s my cousin-in-law?” he asked as he kissed her cheek. The girls gasped at his familiarity.

“I’m afraid I’ve fallen on hard times, Cap’n Slappy.” She began working up some tears.

“How can that be?” Slappista searched her face for any shred of truth, “When you are married to my cousin, Slappista – the bravest and best seaman ever to set foot on a tar-covered board. Surely he must be around here somewhere?” Slappista looked around the deck and saw only girls.

Lady Fanny’s false tears evaporated immediately, “He’s not here.” She spoke matter-of-factly.”

Slappista looked her directly in the face and said, “Well that’s odd – this IS his ship, is it not?

“It was.” She began – then, finding the tears again burst in a sea of what passed for grief. “Oh, Slappy! He’s dead!” She fell upon his shoulder and wept. Even knowing the waterworks were false, Slappista couldn’t help but feel compassion for this ice queen and he put an arm gently around her. She nestled her body closer to him and wept even harder. Her face found its way into his neck and she pressed her lips up against his jaw and brushed them toward his ear where she whispered, “I’m so glad you’re here, Slappy. I’ve missed you so much.”

Even this betrayal was simultaneously infuriating and stimulating for Slappista whose hand began, almost involuntarily, tracing the texture of Lady Fanny’s back. Her lips pressed against his neck, just below his left ear. Her mouth opened slightly and her tongue flicked against his skin. His sigh was all the permission she needed to move her kisses from his neck to his throat, where he finally regained some composure.

Slappista called twenty men he had already hand-picked from his crew aboard La Herida que Filtra de la Cabeza to take over the duties of the crew.

“Get your girls out of the sun. My men will take over from here – you’re safe now, my darling. Slappy’s back.”

Lady Fanny nodded and the girls obediently went below while she took this long lost lover to her cabin. “Now, my darling, tell me about my cousin’s death.” Slappista asked as they disappeared behind the cabin door.


Francois St. Claire scanned the southern horizon for any sign of La Conchita. “Dammit! He goes so fast – how can anyone keep up with him?” He stamped his foot hard on the deck. “Do you see? He has me stamping again! I haven’t stamped in months, but that Slappista makes me so crazy – I tell you, if I didn’t love him so, I would kill him!” He stamped his foot again. “Dammit!” he yelled as he caught himself again. St. Claire regained his composure and called up to his lookout in the crow’s nest.

“Do you see anything?”

“Oui! Mon Capitan!” the lookout called.

“In English, if you please! We’re practicing our English – if we want to be pirates, we’ll need to speak English!” Stinky scolded.

“Oui! – I mean, Yes, my Capitan!” the lookout corrected and continued, “I see La Conchita sitting next to La Herida que Filtra de la Cabeza as if they are having parley! I see another ship closing on them, but it seems friendly. Oh, oh.”

“Oh oh?” St. Claire echoed. “What is ‘Oh, oh’ about?”

“I see a British ship – perhaps a Man-o’-War in a lagoon on the western slope of Diego Garcia – she is in front of a small ship – a sloop perhaps.” The lookout kept scanning. “And I see the tips of sails coming from the east – I can’t make out the ship yet, but I do see sails.”

“Well, this ought to be interesting.” St. Claire thought as he headed for his cabin. “I wonder what I should wear?”


“Report!” Slappy called up to the crows nest above The Festering Boil.

“I see nothing, Cap’n!” came the response.

Slappy thought for a moment, then called up again, “Two Patch, is that you?”

“Aye! Cap’n, it be me! – or so I believe – although I could be someone else altogether. I’m not one hundred percent sure!” Two Patch had clearly been drinking.

Slappy gestured for Red Molly to replace Two Patch in the crow’s nest. “Two Patch, come on down, I’m sending up your replacement!”

Two Patch shot down the rope so fast, Slappy had barely finished giving the order when the skinny old blind man stood directly in front of him, saluting in the wrong direction.

“Excellent work, Two Patch – I need you to …” Slappy thought for a moment, but couldn’t come up with anything for the old man to do. “Take a break and rest up for the coming battle. We’re going to need your … uh …”

“Skills, Cap’n?” Two Patch offered in a drunken lisp.

“Aye!” Slappy said, patting him on his shoulder – “We’re going to be in need of your skills!”

“And which skills should I ready for ye, Cap’n?” Two Patch asked.

Slappy thought for a moment, “Which skills do ye feel the best about?” he replied.

“Well sir,” Two Patch began, “It’s a toss up between me bee-keeping skills and me archery skills.”

Slappy’s eyes got big – he didn’t even know that anyone had kept bees aboard and he had wondered why they never seemed to run out of honey.

“Both” Slappy said with great authority. “We’ll be needing both those skills before the day is out, my friend – so look to it!”

“Aye-aye! Cap’n!” Two Patch again saluted in the wrong direction and headed off – also in the wrong direction.

Red Molly called down from the crows nest now. “Sails, Cap’n! We’ve got several sails to the east!”

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