Neil smiled hearing Sharkys comments about the press gangs ad the new recruits. The man had a good point.
You are damn right, Sharky, but the wars have lasted too many years, and the king is always in need of new soldiers and sailors to replace those killed by the enemy. This is why it happens. And mutinies occur only where the officers are too cruel and the weapons not guarded. In the Navy it doesnt happen often. However, there are several people like me, who didnt want to serve aboard a ship at first, but got accustomed to it and learnt to love the sea at the same time with learning their job.
When revealing his own plans for the future, Neil had told Sharky honestly that he would like to have him on the ship hed buy, as a partner, and the Oriental mans answer came equally sincere:
"Neru, me no sure if want be on ship. Me only know what Spaniards do on ship... and you is say, English ship people bad as well, has cat and keelhaul. Me no want be on ship like that. Is bad bad thing if treat people, sailor, who is need courage and all like dog. Me no will go now for me no know where go...yet. Me stay and safe money-coin. No know what use for anyway. Now me has harpoon and dagger and cloth, food come from sea, no need buy more. If money enough and you think we can has little ship for live, me is with you. But first man I see with cat in hand that no is purr-cat, is first target harpoon."
Yes, it was a normal reaction from him, and it was Neils duty of a good friend to explain him everything:
Well, I guess on the big ships, even like this one, where there are many people, those who are unruly and disobey the orders get punished when needed. Captain Ashton is not one easily grating his men, but I have seen our armourer flogged for getting drunk on the job and neglecting his duties, because this could endanger all our lives. Anyway, the ship I am dreaming about and I am inviting you to be my partner for, definitely wont be this way. It will have about six men aboard, all of them skilled and trustful, and no nine-tailed cat. There will be a captain, of course, but all of us will be partners and getting fair shares of the profit.
When it came to praising his fighting skills, Sharky protested vehemently:
"Me no want kill men, Neru, even no want kill Spaniard men... but me no more slave. And me no want be crew with slave and slaver. Kill slaver is honourable kill, for is like shark. Shark destroy everything... must kill before kill you. Brrr.... damn beast! And some people beast to... and sadly, no matter what flag is on ship. First me think, English better than Spaniard, but me wrong. Merde! Neru, you think... maybe French is be better?"
he asked hopefully.
This man knew how to raise the most direct and painful questions, and Neil had to answer them:
If you dont want to kill men while you are here aboard, I have told you that it is possible. Nobody has forced you to do it, and you have witnessed at least two successful big battles. Your share of the prize remains a good one if you are one of those who contribute to sailing the ship in a battle. This is one thing extremely needed too. You lose only the boarding prize, which is additional. And who says that there will be any slaves or slave owners ever on my ship? Exactly like here, it wont be any! As for your statement about men like beasts irrespective of the flag they sail under, it is true. I honestly dont think French or English or Spanish might be one better than another. A ship captain might be better than another, irrespective of flag. You shouldnt think about countries, but about men. Dont tell me that in your country there arent good people and bad people alike. There are everywhere. England, France or Spain are no exception. I am sure that even among Spaniards you could find good people, but you didnt have the luck of meeting them, you met the beasts instead.
He was an Irishman, and he couldnt forget that his parents or grandparents had left Ireland due to the British oppression. He had chosen to serve aboard a privateer ship of British allegiance only because he understood that not all British people were thinking the same way.
Sharky added his point, still unsure about the future:
"Me no know about other folks yet... and me no believe Spaniards. Spaniards tell Brethren bad, English bad... me no know before English and me no know Brethren. Me only know little and so much things to know... all very difficult, me think. Not easy choose way."
Actually, besides having the Spanish as enemies because the law of war had dictated it, the Irishman had nothing against them. If thinking about God and Neil hadnt for a long time, except brief reminders during too strong storms the Spaniards were Catholic like him, so they should be closer. And the French
enemies in the previous war, allies in this one; wasnt it strange in itself, and even stranger to explain it to a foreigner like Sharky?
Yes, this is true. Everybody says about their enemy that he is bad, but they are doing the same things, or worse. I agree with you it isnt easy to choose your way in this world which is new for you. The best solution is to learn as much as possible about it. I wont say even that the Brethren are bad,
, he added in a whisper, making sure not to be heard by anybody else. They are considered bad now, because they are our enemy too. But if thinking better, the only difference is that our captain has a letter from King George allowing him to chase any ship of Brittains enemies, while the Brethren attack ships of any countries without choice of the flag. There are former pirates who turned privateers and privateers who turned pirates. And privateers are needed only in war time
Of course, this was exactly the reason why he was thinking about owning a small ship for peaceful activities in the peace time which was bound to come some day
[align=center] This post has been written by ELENA