Author's Original Introduction
No editors wanted to have any part of this story. One even went so far as to delete their email account and leave no forwarding address after receiving it. Since my efforts to share the blame for this travesty seem to be for naught, I abjure and deny any and all responsibilities for the creation and/or distribution of this story.
It wasn't me – really! I swear I just found this lying around somewhere ... or else it had something to do with drinking too much rum.
No actual cabin boys were fondled, buggered, rogered or orally sodomized during the writing of this story. I do however know a certain naughty cabin girl that is long overdue for an appointment in the Captain's cabin with a cat'o'nine tails!
Arrrr! Damn but what it's cold! Shiver me timbers indeed!
It's not supposed to snow in the sunny Caribbean, but that's what I get for getting caught in a surprise very late season hurricane. Now, here I be ... shipwrecked somewhere days north of Vera Cruz on some wind-swept uncolonized seacoast, with me crew deep in a winter of discontent, and hordes of blood-thirsty savages waiting just outside musket range to enjoy us for their Christmas feast!
Bah! I, Captain Grimthrope the Thrice-Poxed been in worse scrapes. I have a cutthroat crew, muskets, pistols, dry powder, and enough sweet rum for a good swallow or two before we sweep the beach of those ragged arse natives.
I'd like to blame Wild Eye Wallock for this fine mess, but I can't says as I blame me old First Mate much ... we had been at sea for a mite long bit. The trouble started a few weeks ago in early December when we smartly took the prize of a nice smuggler's Barque that steered like a drunken ox, loaded to the gills with sweet dark Barbados rum just ready for some midnight trading with the Don's for some of their even sweeter silver. Wild Eye, called as such for his 'lazy eye' that don't quite meet yours like an honest sailor's should, demanded we do a full crew share split of the loot and that we beat back to Port Royale for a good bit of Holiday celebrations. And perhaps we ought to have.
The pickings had been fair this year, but not quite all of our ballast stone mound had been replaced with chests of the Don's sweet silver just yet. Now that hurricane season was likely done and past, it was silver hunting season again, when the Spanish ports would spread their legs wide and give birth to fat helpless Treasure Galleons. I'd taken one back in the spring and me palms were itching for the chance to take just one more this season. I had bought me a good one thousand acres of good sugarcane land in Jamaica already, and one more good haul would set me up in life as a respectable gentleman planter.
Wild Eye pushed – I pushed back, and most of me crew agreed with the goal of one last big prize. We soothed our nerves over a mug or three of our captured rum, and some of us just might have tasted a wee bit too much 'cause when the morning came we awoke up on deck of the Barque alone with no sight of Wild Eye, or me prized Sloop "The Bloody Mary" ... carrying nearly all of the loot with them!
I could have done without the sight of old Wild Eye; I never liked the way his weak eye looked at me when he bobbed his head up and down me crank, but I did love me Sloop! She was fast and sleek to the chase – a greyhound of the sea if ever there was one! Didn't matter none how outgunned I might be, I'd just sail loops around my foe and rake their stern with shot until they had no more belly for a fight and struck their colors. She were shallow drafted too, a born smuggling ship that could escape across reefs and shoals too narrow for any Frigate or Ship of the Line to follow. The mark of a true pirate is that he could take a Galleon with merely a Pinnace, but I was a wee bit happier with me Sloop, 'twas not much larger and holds far more loot.
This new albatross what Wild Eye had left me, albeit with most of me original crew, were named the "Reluctant Virgin", and that she be in truth! Besides steering like a fat bloody sow, it took a gale to move her sails, even in the weather gauge. She had a few good guns and an ample stock of powder though, and a willing crew to drive her onwards. Catching Wild Eye with this tired draft-horse was pretty much as impossible as finding a honest Welshman or a sober Irishman, so we set our sights south, back to the Spanish Main. Besides, we had nearly a year of lost loot to replace!
We started off patrolling off of Santa Catalina Island and picked off a few unwary merchantmen, which were even slower and less well armed than we were. Still, it were mighty poor picking for treasure and their crew didn't make for much better sport neither. You'd have thought listening to all of their pitiful cries that they never enjoyed a stiff rod pumped up their bums. I was a bit of relief to be done with them and send their ripped arses and slit throats to feed the sharks!
I'd have rather turned and gone east up the Main, but this sow couldn't handle runnin' close-hauled to the wind at all. It was going to be west for us, running broad reach as much as possible. Our luck all the way up the Mosquito Coast and into the Yucatan Channel was little better. Our luck remained poor, bagging just a brace of wee coastal craft and a Caravel that was near as barnacle ridden as we were that we had to shot nearly to floating wood pulp before she ran down the flag. Sinking her afterwards was but a mercy for that pile of floating wreckage. I gave the fortunate few survivors the choice of joining me crew or joining the flotsam and the lot of them preferred to live for another day, and they took to the life of rum and sodomy under me black flag like old veterans.
I gave more than a passing idle thought to just crawling our way east across the Channel towards Havana, which in a better ship would have been but a short cruise away. There's more than a few smuggler towns and even a suitable pirate friendly den or two along those wild coasts, but I weren't at all pleased with me ship and not about to reef my sails for a bit of a rest until I had me a craft worthy of dueling with me ole Bloody Mary.
I thought our luck improved a bit about a week later when we surprised a small but heavy laden Treasure Galleon just after we entered the Bay of Campeche. I'd have never caught her except she were overloaded with sweet silver, and running low near up to the gun ports, and we surprised her when she came out of a nearby rain squall near right smack into us. She could still out-maneuver us a fair bit, and she managed to put a hard broadside of ball into us, one of which clean took off the head of me 2nd Mate, Lucky Liam, but we had the range on her and raked her with two good broadsides of grape-shot that near but swept the deck of her defenders. I'll sorely miss ole Lucky, that one armed, one eyed, peg-legged, poxed cocked bastard!
We climbed aboard to survey the blood washed decks of our new prize. She weren't no sleek Sloop, but at least she could run a wee bit close-hauled ... if I could keep her from sinking on me. Appears that one or two of me shot 'twas aimed a tad too low and her port side was taking a good bit o' water below.
Me boarding party found the surviving crew with no stomach for a fight and I clapped the healthy ones into irons and set them below to man the pumps as if their life depended upon it ... which it did. The crew was in a bit of a mind for some sport, but keeping both of our damaged ships afloat was now wee bit more important stretching out a few fresh rosebuds. The more randy, led by me helmsman Nasty Ned, took their release upon the crippled and wounded, and a few of the more intact corpses. Now it was time to secure the treasure, a task much to my liking!
As expected, the holds were stuffed with chests of good sweet silver and even the ballast mound was composed of sturdy silver ingots. A joy to this old pirate's eyes! There was a fair amount of gold found as well and I had those chests moved over to the Virgin for safekeeping. If nothing else, that relieved a fair bit of weight off of the overloaded Galleon, which really were loaded far beyond what a sensible captain would cargo below for safe sailing. If I have any regrets, it was not dumping at least a third of the booty overboard to lighten the load further to reduce the flooding, but I thought I'd gamble with Neptune and race to beach the pair of our crippled birds right away and do ourselves a proper hull patch job, and then sail towards a pirate friendly port with the full treasure to spend.
The Captain's cabin held treasure of a different sort. There was a fine gem-laden cask filled with gems and jewels, and a rarer prize still ... the daughter of a Spanish nobleman, probably the Governor of Campeche. This had definite ransom opportunities to take yet more sweet silver from the Don's.
The young noblewoman in question did not appear to be especially favored by Venus; in fact her countenance was a rather plain one, and of rather short and stout stature. Still, it's not every day you get to dip your wick into a soft Lady Don! My two companions, me remaining junior 3rd Mates, were equally delighted with the spoils and having a good bit of randy sport that didn't include either the participation of either Nasty Ned or young Bobby, me cabin boy.
.... There is more of this story ...