Hails and farewells

Mother Cutbeard writes (because she can)

Ahoy there!

Those of you who have the eyesight of the wandering albatross – or a good spyglass – may have noticed some changes of lineup in our crew.

Aye, there have indeed been comings and goings aboard our vessel in the past sailing season.  Our first and most deeply mourned loss, Rommel the ship’s cat, a king among mousers and the terror of rat-kind, fought his last skirmish in late June at the grand age of 18 years or possibly 20, which be a good innings for a pirate of any species.  We buried him as he would have wished, over the side, and his spirit swims free among the fish of the sea – which will be a pleasant change from the rats and mice aboard our vessel.

I ought also to record the untimely, but not entirely unexpected, end of my long-lost son Black John.  Despite his unfortunate start in life, ripped as he was from my arms when but two hours old, it must be said of him that throughout his short life he never lost any opportunity to make a bad situation even worse.  Moreover, he never passed up any opportunity to indulge his baser instincts, and it was this that brought about his downfall.

We dropped anchor at Port Royal, which as ye be aware, is a thorough cesspit of abomination when it comes to the appetites of the flesh. Now John had already picked up a touch of the Spanish Pox when we called at Tortuga, but he’d applied the poultices, and we paid a wench skilled in simples, going by the name of Calico Cat, to cup him and lance his pustules.

So, as we touched Port Royal, John were more himself, but sadly, this meant that he was all the more inclined to indulge his aforesaid filthy lusts in this dunghill of debauchery. Into the sinks, the stews, the bawdy-places, the molly-houses, the taverns and the gaming-dens he plunged despite the warnings of his friends.  By the time he sought to return to the ship he was again infected with the Spanish Pox.  What a ghastly sight he was, black from corruption of his flesh and pustules such as in my life I never saw, the size of golden guineas and joining up with one another.  For the good of the rest of the crew, the Captain decided that we would not take him back on board, as we could not now nurse him and the Spanish Pox be such a virulent plague.  So there we left him to his fate, and may his fall be a warning to all young pirates who crave to so indulge.

We welcome to our crew two sprightly young females, one a cat, one a woman.  Hobnob the Slayer (cat) has joined us as ship’s mouser, and Calico Cat (woman) the same who lanced Black John’s pustules, has come on board to replace him in his duties. Not only can this wench lance boils and pack cutlass-wounds, she can handle a pistol as well as any man alive, and is nimble in the rigging to boot. Thus our crew be again complete.

Now for more adventures!