Being in the sorry state of affairs that we are (without a ship), we travelled inland in search of food, drink and a bit of mayhem.
Just off the coast of St Helen’s on the Isle of Wight we came across a tavern called The Hungry Bear, the proprietor of which is a fearsome man named a Mr Stuart Downes, known as The Bear and his wench, a Miss Dayna O’Brien (who was just as fearsome). In exchange for some coin the man, Stuart, agreed to turn a blind eye to the presence of Pirates within his establishment and supply us with plenty of food and grog.
As other patrons began to fill the tavern and the grog settled into our blood, we decided to have a bit of fun with these landlubbers. Being ashore, I allowed the crew to partake in some gambling, some of the men had brought the game liars dice with them. A note must be made to investigate the origins of these items as I have expressly forbid the practice of gambling aboard any vessel I command and wish to know exactly which members of my crew are disobeying me. Trust me when I declare, punishment will be swift and painful to any of my crew who do not follow my orders to the letter.
However, I allowed the joviality for the this evening. Sensing an opportunity the crew immediately scooped up their dice and dispersed amongst the tavern and drawing the clientele into various games, obviously hoping to win money from the inexperienced. One of the guests of the inn, a woman named Susan, seemed determined to play her own version of the game despite the threatening presence of my crew, much to my own amusement and the chagrin of that particular crew member who will remain anonymous. Suffice to say, seeing one of my most bloodthirsty crew cowed into submission by this woman was both humiliating and hilarious.
Sensing an opportunity to recruit some talented individuals I decided to formulate a quiz, in the guise of joviality, to test these men and women on their knowledge of piracy and life at sea. Whilst many of them had the pirate spirit, their knowledge was severely lacking. Still these things can be taught and we decided to invite a single member of the group to join us. A young girl by the name of Phoebe, she will make a fine powder monkey and I believe the young scallywag has ideas of becoming Captain one day. I may take her under my wing, I have yet to decide. We will see if she survives the week.
As the delicious food of beef brisket in a whiskey sauce warmed everyone’s bellies and the grog clouded the mind, the foolish idea of playing the time honoured game of ‘trying someone for Piracy’ presented itself. This was a foolish notion as it would undoubtedly draw suspicion unto us, but being rather intoxicated myself and full of good spirits I foolishly allowed it.
Mr. Laurenson made a rather compelling case, such a good case I believe he would have made a fine prosecutor in reality. I thank whatever powers there are he chose to become a pirate instead. Mr. Norris was thrilled with his role as magistrate and delighted in sentencing those we found guilty to be hung by the neck until they are dead. It struck me at the point how similar magistrates are to pirates and a laugh escaped me, quite by accident.
All in all, I found the evening to be an extremely pleasant and profitable one. The crew are high in spirits and we have found a trustworthy ally in Stuart Downes and Dayna O’Brien. Should they be raided by those damn Peelers we would be more than happy to take them in, Stuarts talents in the kitchen surpass any ship’s cook I have ever known.
I look forward to taking the crew back there when we next head inland.