Hey Little Buddy,
We finally get around to your adventure. This one is easy, I know something about this one, for I know a boy who did this. The best way I know to teach you about becoming a Pirate Captain is to tell you how he did it. I’ll try to tell it to you the way he told it to me. If I get to wandering around in the story, just tell me, and I’ll get back on track.
It was way back at the beginning of my pirate days that I met him. I was a much younger fellow then, and was longing for the adventure of the sea. I had stopped in to the Skull & Bones to grab a cool drink and look for work aboard a ship, any ship. I didn’t care what, just any ship that was heading out.
I saw him at the end of the bar, he was sitting alone. I headed over to see if he had a spot on his crew, when a guy grabbed my arm. He told me that was Black Bart, the most feared Pirate that still sailed the seas. ‘A Pirate’ I thought; ‘Now that sounded like an adventure.’ So I headed over and asked for a spot on his crew. I was still young enough to be foolish about those kind of things.
He reared back and looked me up and down with the one eye he had left. ‘Boy, ye barely got whiskers on your chin, what makes ye think ye has what it takes to be one o’ my crew?’ he asked. ‘What do ye be knowin’ about pirating?’
Well, this was in the days before there were many movies and books about pirates, and to tell the truth, I hadn’t thought much about pirating at all until that very moment. I told him so. He started laughing. I don’t know if he was laughing because I didn’t know that much about pirating, or because I was the only person in the whole place willing to talk to him. All the other lubbers were content to leave him be. As I said, I was still young enough to be foolish about these things.
To my surprise he said he would take me aboard. He was sailing in the morning, and could use an extra deck-hand. I helped him off his chair and we headed down to the ship. You must be very careful not to call them boats, they’re ships. ‘Lubbers float in boats,’ he said, only a ship be fittin’ a pirate.’
The Sea Hag, that was it’s name. It was a tall ship, looking a bit taller, and a bit spookier because I was seeing it for the first time by moonlight. Just as I was starting to think this might not be the best idea after all, Black Bart grabbed my shoulder, and told me to get him up the gang-plank. I figured it was the least I could do to help get him to his cabin, then I could think the whole pirating thing through a bit more.
As soon as we stepped on the deck, the ship came alive, pirates and seamen running and flying to and fro’. ‘Cap’n aboard’ I heard one yell, and all kinds of words I had never heard before started getting yelled about. Some I could make out like jib sail and boom, and a few others I shouldn’t repeat here. Black Bart hollered a few things to one big sailor standing there, and looked down to me; ‘ Git me down to me cabin, boy.’ he growled at me. ‘ Okay, Sir’ I replied. He glared at me, and yelled, ‘Aboard this here ship ye call me Cap’n. I be the master o’ this vessel, and ye be callin’ the Master of a ship ‘Cap’n’. Am I comin’ through clear boy?’
‘Aye Aye Cap’n’ I quickly answered, and helped him get to the Captain’s Cabin. I’m guessing he had been sitting on a stool at the Skull & Bones a long time before I had gone in, because he seemed to be needing a lot of help getting to his cabin while keeping on his feet.
‘Fetch me rum, boy.’ he said as he began fumbling around in his coat pockets for a match. I was fumbling through the cabinets and lockers looking for what would pass for rum. By the time I had found something called grog, which I was guessing would work, he had found a match, and had lit the lantern. This was the first time I got to get a good look at his face. I have to admit he was a bit scary looking. He was satisfied with the grog, took a long drink and looked me over. He was laughing quietly to himself. So I figured I just had to know; so I went ahead and asked; ‘ What was it, Cap’n.’ I began, remembering the title was Cap’n while we were on his ship, ‘ What was it that made you decide to give me a chance and bring me aboard?’ He smiled a bit, or at least I’m thinking it was a smile.
‘ Boy, I’ve sat on that stool a hunnert times in the Skull & Bones, ye be the first one to talk to me, ever. No other sea dog would come close. So ye be havin’ one o’ two things, a pair of brass ones, or a sense of the adventure in yer soul. Pirates, highwaymen, vagabonds and minstrels, all need one o’ them two things. I ain’t fer sure yet which it be with ye, but by the time this here voyage be done, we’ll find out.’
Well, the last time I checked, they weren’t made of brass, so it had to be that I had a sense of adventure in my soul. So the first thing I learned about becoming a Pirate Captain, is that you have to have a sense of adventure in your soul. You had to have a longing for the open seas in your heart.
Next Chapter; First Day Asea
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