Pirates - Part 1 : 'The Taking of Calico Jack'
1715 and a balmy West Country sun beams down on the bosky Queen Anne splendour of Lakjaw Manor - hmm, nice!
The new occupant - Trelawny A. Grasp - has just returned from the Windward Isles.
'Tis said he brought wi' him a vasty fortune made in the sugar trade and that, having no faith in yon new-fangled banks, 'e keeps it stowed in his attic.
'Tis also said he intends to make his way in the world - and 'twould seem truth, for that be the best of the local gentry standing at his side and the Lord Lieutenant's carriage coming up the drive!
Seems like Trelawny might get trampled in the rush - but I'll lay ye a feather-castor-hat to a throat of Mechlin lace that the lad will be on the local bench afore night-fall. Zounds, he's even installed his own pillory in readiness!
But lookee, who be these rascals knocking all untimely at the gate? Perhaps it be local W.I. ? Nay, the beards be too short! Looks more like those dreadful Huguenot types again, wandered over from one of the other stories! Nay, there's no whiff o' Frenchy garlick! Nay 'tis the boys from CCRRRAP - Confederation of Reevers, Rovers, Roisterers and Allied Pirates (Antigua Branch - Affiliated). Led by none other than that infamous rogue, Calico Jack Chinless - that's him in the red d'ye see!
And sithee who be at his side! 'Tis none other than Violent Vincent Arbuthnot and the motley crew from FFFFFPPSBMCGF - Federation of Freebooters, Filibusters, Filchers, Footpads, Pirates, Pickpockets, Smugglers, Buccaneers, Mutineers, Corsairs and Gentlemen o' Fortune (Tortuga Chapter - Independent). What deed of daring villainy and heinous malefaction can have brought these two sworn rivals together?
Harken, while the good folk are being rounded up and I'll tell 'ee. It seems that our Arnie (Aye! What did y'think the 'A' stood for?) was recently appointed Treasurer of the United Brethren of The Coast Investment Society - economies o' scale d'y'see. Whereupon he trousered the boodle and was off like a long hound! Getting so you can't trust nobody!
So the Brethren hired ERU (Embezzlers 'r' Us - 'You lose, we bruise!') who set their trusted agents, Blind Phew ( a laundry problem I understand) and Medium Nick L. Plating ( that's the differently legged chappy there - no need to wave lads we can see you!) to hunt down the miscreant and hand him Black Spot (a rather smelly and incontinent labrador I believe) or failing that lead the Brethren to 'im!
No, I don't know what Dribble the Doberman is doing to the Lord Lieutenant's spaniel either.
But now dissension rears its ugly head as Calico Jack vows to put Arnie and Lord Lieutenant in ye pillory and pelt 'em with pillows and harsh language - while Vinny wants to blast them with his carronade (some kind of soft drink made out of carrons, perhaps?) In the end they compromise and heave Arnie down his own well while the Lord Lieutenant is stripped o' his finery and stuck in the stocks.
The boys set the staff to reclaiming their pelf and the esplanade is soon littered with treasure - dubloons and gems, trinkets o' price, even the kickshaws that once graced a Hidalgo's hacienda in Hispaniola - damn, now I've got to put m' teeth back in. What we have here is the accumulated pilferage o' a decade. And betimes Israel Hands heats a brand to tickle the Lord Lieutenant's toes - the bounder!
But trouble's brewing on front lawn where Buxom Betty, the bosomy babe from the buttery, facing ravishment by these horny handed rascals, has decided she might as well enjoy herself. Whereupon her rival, Pretty Prue, the Pantry Princess, has decided not to be outdone.This has led to sharp words - sharp enough for some to end up bleeding, as two of the female pirates - yes, shocking isn't it. Young women today! - cut loose with their cutlasses in a fit of jealous rage. It's the fine portagee vintages they've been guzzlin' d'ye see - too fierce for a head used to grog and creme d'menthe.
But lookee! Now the game's up and no mistake. For d'ye see, while ye were slavering over yon Betty and Prue - nay, of course ye weren't - Young Jim Hawkins - 'Argh Jamlid' as we calls 'im - slipped off, all slippery like and fetched the local militia wi' promise of loot and glory. And their first volley lays low a half-dozen rogues. 'Tis all very discouraging, and time to be off before the excise come for their VAT. And just to make sure there's Lady Lavinia the Lord Lieutenant's Lovely Lady, who's taken huff at all this debauch and has found herself an Italian smallsword to make her point with!
Shortly the militia make off wi' loot - for safe keeping, ... really. And now 'tis Vinny and Calico Jack in the stocks while the Lord Lieutenant regales 'em with their fate - they'll swing or his name's not Montmerency Flap! The crowd roars its hurrahs, while the pirates snarl their defiance - and with all that noise there's no one going to hear that sad whimper down the well.
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