Before going to the market place, to hear more of the gossips, the chronicler is letting the readers know the latest news.
The British Navy ship HMS “Rose” had encountered a mysterious ship in the Bahamas. The investigation group sent aboard the Portuguese ship “BoaVentura”, in danger of sinking, caught by the hurricane between reefs, reported to have seen a huge load of diamonds from the Brazilian mines and lots of corpses, the crew having been ruthlessly killed. The only survivor was a mad officer, threatening to set the ship in fire with all the Englishmen aboard.
While the privateer ship “Twilight Shark” used an original plan to attack a Spanish galleon in the middle of the night, repeating in their own way the story of David and Goliath and turning their size-related weakness into an advantage, the allied navies are proud to have sunk the “Carribean Siren”, taking as many prisoners as they could, and their crews are celebrated in Port de Paix and Kingston as the heroes they are.
In Port de Paix two young French Navy lieutenants and two warrant officers had been seen fraternizing upon a glass of wine or cider during a last night of liberty.
The return of the French Navy lieutenant to his fiancée is the sweetest, but even he has a tragic secret to hide from anybody else than his beloved. But does he know that his fiancée had been the pleasant host of a younger lieutenant in his absence?
The victory of the allied forces had a price – the cornered pirates had sold their hides expensively, and the two ships got damaged, the British one worse than the French one. The British Navy sailors had done their best to make it sail to Port de Paix, where they got help from the French allies. Some of the British sailors received shore leave and a list of supplies. The herborist shop “Fleur du Café” was a well sought place for medicine for the injured sailors, but the beautiful young owner helped any sailor in need, without thinking that one of them might be a pirate survivor.
A word of warning for those who do adventure in the market: everybody knows there are pickpockets too, but a pretty one has been caught by a handsome lieutenant who had… invited her to dinner. In another day, she was not as lucky, as she has stolen from another former street rat.. All these, while the woman who had given her a job was worried about her.
While ashore in Port de Paix, the handsome British Navy sailing master met unexpectedly an English young lady. The same who attracted the attention of the privateer powder monkey, given that there are not too many English –speakers in the French colonies…
Another pirate, washed up in Santo Domingo, had found help, love and new adventures in the arms of a young Mulatto slave, who had killed a man in his defense – or was it in self-defense? Well, nobody knows anything about the missing wealthy merchant with a penchant for liquor and “brown sugar”, at least until the sea might take his body to the cliffs of another shore… Nobody knows either about the
nightly whereabouts of a wild coloured girl…
In Kingston, a handsome British privateer saved a damsel in distress who had made the mistake to go to less savoury places. The same privateer has found the right laundress to wash his clothes: one who spies for the pirates… We can speculate if she invited him inside because she liked him or because she wanted to learn more about the privateers’ intentions…
And speaking of secrets – nobody suspects that the Duchess of St. Albans is hiding two pirates, and the maid who brings them food recognized one of them, being up for shocking revelations… A slave tortured by the Fort Commander proved to be not exactly whom she pretended to be – will her secret be kept?
The Navy sailors are in permission ashore, from tavern to tavern. Army patrols have been reinforced, ready tu curb any brawl, and everybody knows about the rivalry between the Navy and the Army… What the sailors didn’t expect, and especially Greg, the one at the first permission ashore since pressed into service, was to meet his sister there…
The wounded are left to natural selection in a barn, but the pirate doctor had entered and she is giving a helping hand, so Christian-like. Maybe the meeting in the cemetery with the Navy sailing master had taught her that not all Navy men are evil…
The pirate prisoners got sentenced to hanging, and broadside ballads are sold at the corners, glorifying their deeds. Meanwhile, the Rear-Admiral has reassigned the crew of HMS “Rose”, freshly paid off, and the officers of the damaged ship have helped the journalists publish obituaries for the deceased.
The bad news about the sinking of the “Carribbean Siren” reached Tortuga. At “Elixir d’Armagnac”, most barmaids and the innkeeper have a pirate to worry about, as nobody knows yet the prisoners’ names, neither how many of them have survived and will return.
The innkeeper is trying to hide her sorrow in work – and there is enough to do for her… A new tavern girl to help get past the ordeals she had to endure and to have an important contribution in gaining her freedom, new customers looking for a job or for a
cards’ game to supplement their meager incomes… Some of them are flirting with the tavern maids, one has even invited to town one of them…
…And some day of August 1719, the prodigal brethren start to return! First Lucky, Benji and Sol, who unfortunately don’t know anything about the others. But when they are trying to pick up their crew from pieces and start making plans of recovery, Ellis appears too... Let’s see who else has survived!
For further news, don’t miss the next issue of the “Histories and Chronicles of the West Indies”!