Bayko Baron




Pirates - Part 3: 'The Baracudda's Brig'

 See also 'Lakjaw Manor', 'Casa Lardo', 'Baracudda' and 'The Loom O'Shean'

San Serif - capital of Nuevo Aranjuez Province, dominated by 'The Escorial of The West' - the Governor's new mansion

At the main wharf lies the San Ityclaus with Donna Quibab aboard; while the nearby San Gabriella, her escort, is already deserted, all hands gone to make a start on the celebrations.

The San Ityclaus' cargo, a coffle of new slaves for work on the up-country haciendas, is led off to the waiting barracoon.

While inside the Escorial, their owner, Don Arnoldo di Graspo y Lardo, Hidalgo di Lobby y Corridor con Tortilla e Enchilada, grooms himself for his young bride - the girl's in for a treat

The coaches head for the quay to bring back the lucky lass - the musketeers of the Old Cordoba trotting along to keep the loyal citizenry at bay while the boys in the band strike up a tune to get the town in fiesta mood

Don Lardo pauses to check wedding arrangements with Cardinal Numero and Archbishop Gigantos while the town crier calls the banns - the boy's in a hurry!

Meanwhile at Madame Sadie's Hostel for Indigent Seamstresses the men of the San Gabriella make the most of the free grog unexpectedly on offer!

While above them El Capitan Lecheroso grovels before Ms Sadie herself  but with no luck at all since she is starring fixedly into the harbour 

Mistaking herself for the object of attention - understandable, she always is - the fabulous Donna Quibab D'Tequila y Margarita, pooped on the poop deck, raises her goblet in salute to a kindred spirit - only the rank is different.

While in the shadow of the Escorial some of the citizens who paid for it equip themselves for a show of loyalty

Meantime, out in the fetid forest, a small group of sweat-soaked, ragged men move through the gloom beneath the trees.

In the Blue Barnacle, run by Donna Messwivme, the mood is unaccustomedly sober as her guests play Mr Bunn The Baker to wait out the time

Along the harbour quays the men of the Marine Artillery prepare for the 18 gun salute Donna Quibab expects

A crash of musketry breaks in on the celebrations - two greencoats of the Old Cordoba go down, those nearby rush to their aid while Major Ximenes leads his men  in hot pursuit

In the narrow alley between Delgado's Tobacco Shed and the Escorial they find Happy Dan Pugh and his rascals waiting. Bellowing defiance the pirates turn and head for the trees.

The redcoats of the Irlanda Regiment are deployed - soft fruit is just protest, bullets are something else!

As Archbishop Gigantos steps across from Santiago di Compost to administer the last rites

With his reception reduced to a shambles a furious Don Lardo summons all he has left, the men of the Marine Artillery, to guard the coaches - if the worst comes to the worst they can 'ram and sponge' the mob. 

The Irlanda form a safety cordon across the plaza while the band strike up a martial ditty

It seems the folk at the Blue Barnacle have lost interest in their cards

Another crackle of musketry and this time it is two Irlanda redcoats that stagger

A ghoulish crowd gathers round the injured...

While the Irlanda head off through the Mercado Depistado in pursuit of the fugitives

At which moment a small flotilla of fishing skiffs and coastal traders arrives in the now deserted harbour - bringing, no doubt, the locals from down the coast to join the celebrations.

The little fleet sweeps past Pirate Island, where the pile of skulls and dangling gibbets serve as Don Lardo's warning to any who practice that profession.

Shortly the East Quay and its battery are in the malodorous and excited grasp of the infamous Gaspard Le Phew known and dreaded on the Spanish Main as 'Le Grenouille Frenetique' (The Frantic Frog) for his over-use of garlic.

While the West falls to 'The Celtic Corsair' - RobRoy McChickenNuggets and his crew of maroons

Aboard the San Gabriella, El Capitan Lecheroso, returning to drown his sorrows over Ms Sadie, finds he has guests and gets an impromptu lecture on salvage, bottomry, dunnage and sea-theft from none other than Calico Jack Chinless himself!

Enraged by his humiliating impotence Don Lardo gives way to one of his foot-stamping tantrums - and promptly brings on his gout. Sending for his regiments he takes some comfort from the fact that the wind has dropped to a zephyr and the San Gabriella will be going nowhere for the moment!

Which is no consolation at all to El Capitan!!!

Out in the jungle the Greencoats have caught up with Happy Dan Pugh, but also Violent Vinny Arbuthnot, Obidiah Shin and several more like-minded folk - Major Ximenes is down and his men have remembered important business elsewhere!

Much the same fate has overtaken the Irlanda at the hands of Long John Nickle-Plating and Nathaniel Toeless

And Calico Jack is hardly the man to let a little breeze defeat him either - having clewed up his stunsails, luffed home his mizzen t'gallants and tied a bit o string round anything else that needs it he orders the cables cut and the ship's own whaleboat swayed out. Shortly the San Gabriella is under way, inch-by-inch, but moving.

The clatter of Don Lardo's gnashing teeth is rudely interrupted by the imperious demand of the now begowned Donna Quibab, to know what has happened to her salute and why she has been kept waiting. In the silence that follows the only noise is Dribble the Doberman, trying to pour waters on troubled oil.

Out in the harbour the San Gabriella, shortly to be reborn as The Saucy Gladys Trusspott' the scourge of the Spanish Main, is almost clear. Not that there's much risk now, since 'Le Grenouille' and the 'Celtic Corsair' spiked the guns before they came away.

By Pirate Island a small skiff has paused to cut down the dangling buccaneers. As it draws away her captain turns and waves - to Ms Sadie it is a fond farewell from her sister, Ethel Puttle, to Don Lardo it is a final provocation from the infamous Barracuda!



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