The Captains Wife (Chapter 3)
Chapter 3 - The Attack
The next few days were miserable. I noticed a change in the crew. They were silent and sullen, and occasionally I heard violent fighting and angry words.
I stayed in my cabin most of the time. I drank very little and ate even less. My thoughts were of William and I wondered if I should ever see him again.
It was late on the third day after the storm when I heard shouting. The significance of this shouting was that it was hopeful. I, and everyone else on board, I believe, rushed to the deck to see what was happening.
The lookout was on the secondary mast, the main mast having been cut down during the storm to save the ship from the fire. He was shouting and pointing in the direction of the sun. We shielded our eyes but we could see the silhouette of ship. It was heading out direction! We were saved!
The sailors became jolly again, and were dancing and shouting and suddenly there was wine and everyone was drinking. The captain tried to regain order but it was useless. The men were too excited and relieved to pay attention, so he let them have their way. I found myself dancing with several of the men and after my long confinement and despair it was a relief to feel anything, and I laughed and danced with the d***ken sailors. My father would have been shocked and my mother would have become a social exile if either had seen my brazen behavior.
We watched and danced as the ship came closer and closer. It was still difficult to see it against the sunlight, but it was a fairly large ship. Not as big as ours, but surely large enough to carry us to safety. Even the captain was seen smiling in his sad way.
Suddenly the lookout cried out in terror and began screaming. The captain began to shout orders and the men stopped dancing and began to panic. I saw one man jump overboard and several on their knees praying. Others were bringing out guns and sabers and passing them around.
I was confused. "What is happening?" I shouted, but no one heard me in the chaos. "What is going on?" Then I heard a shout that echoed clear and bright and sent terror through my bones.
"Pirates!" came the cry and then men were running frantically, desperately. I saw one man standing near the far side, watching the approaching boat and noticed in horror wetness dripping down his legs into a pool at his feet. His face was a grim mask of fear and he looked incapable of moving.
Pirates! The term struck a chord of excitement in me, followed by sheer terror. I had heard stories of pirates. They were ruthless. They always fought to the death and gave no quarter. They took only women and c***dren as prisoners and sold them as slaves to foreign countries or returned them to their families for outrageous ransoms. There were also rumors of a sexual nature, that the pirates would **** and abuse the prisoners before selling them as slaves. This terrified me, but at the same time I felt a wetness between my legs and the thought came unbidden to my head: what would it be like to be ravished by a band of pirates?
The pirate ship was very close now. I could see the hordes of fierce-looking men on the edges of the ship, ready to leap aboard. A black pirate flag fluttered on the mast and I could see a man in the forecastle holding a rifle. There was a shot and one of our sailors fell to the deck, a widening pool of bl**d forming beneath him.
Suddenly someone grabbed me and carried me down the stairs. I saw it was my guardian, and I screamed at him to let me go. He pushed me into my cabin and locked the door behind me. In despair I threw myself on the bed and hid under all the blankets and prayed like I had never prayed before. I apologized to God for all my evil thoughts and sins, and vowed to ever be faithful if He would save me now. I vowed I'd become a missionary and go teach the Bible to heathens in foreign countries if He'd save me.
Throughout my prayers I heard the distance sounds of battle. I heard cannon blasts and gunshots and many shouts and cries of pain. Gradually the din calmed and soon it was almost quiet. I lay in silent suffering and dread when I heard voices outside my door. There was shouting and the terrible clash of swords. I could hear feet pounding and struggling and then it was quiet. The door to my cabin was opened. The covers were pulled back and suddenly there he was, my first pirate.
He was a large bearded man, filthy and smelling of beer like most of the sailors I had met. But in a few ways he was different. He handled his sword with great strength and skill, and his body was marked with scars of many battles. Even his face had a large ugly scar across his right cheek.
He laughed a chilling laugh when he saw me and pulled me out of bed and dragged me out of the cabin. Out in the hallway there were dead and bl**dy bodies, and near the door I saw something that made my heart almost break: the body of the young man who had been appointed my guardian. His face was quiet and at peace now, but his body was bleeding from countless wounds. He had put up a terrible struggle, but he had died protecting the door to my cabin. I cried bitter tears as I was dragged to the upper deck.
I was in a daze and I do not remember much. Somehow I must have been transferred to the pirate ship because the next thing I remember was watching the "Lady Agatha," the largest ship of my father's fleet, go down in flames. Soon it was dark and I was alone on a pirate ship.
To Be Continued...