Joined: 9:30 PM - Jul 31, 2010

8:47 AM - Nov 06, 2013 #51

Sol didn’t expect Gaspard’s answer. He liked the young man, who had proven quick to learn and honest in the about one month he had been around. He would have welcomed him being Angel’s apprentice: the two men were of similar ages, both speaking French, both sword fighters and they might have found more things in common. But if this honesty made Gaspard hesitate, it was good to know now and not later. Sol didn’t like it, but he appreciated it at its real value.

He frowned though at the words allegedly Sara had told Gaspard. At first impulse he didn’t believe them true:

”I guess Sara didn’t pay attention to certain provisions when she signed the articles, because it is not exactly this way. One should have served enough time aboard the ship to have contributed 1,000 pieces of eight to the quartermaster’s coffer before being able to leave.”

Then he remembered that when they wrote the articles for the "Rising Sun", with everyone's contribution, they turned out slightly different than the ones of the former ”Caribbean Siren” he knew by heart, so he smiled and continued:

”Or maybe she paid closer attention to the new provisions of the articles of the Rising Sun, where that mention, existing on most pirate ships, including the fondly remembered Caribbean Siren, was omitted. Yes, you will be free to leave, if you wish so. I won’t hold you against your will, since you have paid with your work the time aboard. Not every person is meant to be a pirate. I will ask only for your promise not to disclose to anyone what you have seen in your life with the pirates. At least not now that the Navies would pay well for this information. When you’re old and willing to tell stories to your sons and grandsons, you may.”

He wasn’t sure if it was a mistake or not, but he wasn’t going to keep him by force. He knew some pirate captains who might have done it; not Sol. They were no damn Navy, indeed; with this, Sara had been right.
Last edited by Sol Galvez on 9:17 AM - Nov 06, 2013, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 9:48 PM - Jul 31, 2010

9:43 AM - Nov 06, 2013 #52

Andrea had hoped the same thing like Sol. That by learning some useful and interesting skills, the young Frenchman (well, only slightly younger than him) would find a reason to stay and to catch roots here, exactly like he had done. He hadn’t wanted to be a pirate either, in the beginning. He was a sailor, and a proud French corsair for the last five years until the sinking of ”Marie Gallante”. One of those who hunted pirates and Spaniards lately, after having befriended Spaniards before this war.

But he was convinced there had been a reason why the waves had washed him on the shore of Basse Terre, at Kayla’s feet, and not anywhere else. It simply was meant for him to be a pirate. Gorgona had a purpose for him not to let him die, and not to let him be fished out by the Navy instead, or by a merchantman. And, most likely, there had been a reason why Gaspard’s life was spared too. Only that he needed to find this reason by himself.

”I preferred to be a merchant sailor too, if you ask me, Gaspard. But I think the destiny has a twist for each of us. I got here by chance, and when I had no other reason to remain, back in February, the friends I made here convinced me to stay. And yes, I can see now why it was meant to happen exactly this way.”

Yes, he had been a leaf in the wind when he lost Kayla, then Chiara, then the ”Caribbean Siren”, sunk below his feet, the third shipwreck he had experienced. Still, everything in life had a purpose. He had friends nowhere else than here. If he didn’t remain with the crew, he wouldn’t have met again his sister, that he had thought dead for more than six years. He wouldn’t have got a young sworn brother to help and protect. And he wouldn’t have fallen in love with Honey if Sol hadn’t sent them to Port de Paix to learn about the upcoming ships.

When the captain answered, though, that he wouldn’t keep the man by force, he nodded in understanding. Some men weren’t meant to be pirates, indeed. He tried a last argument, hiding his disappointment the best he could:

”Baptiste was never meant to be a pirate either. He is a good sailor and decent with wood working, ready to help Nails when needed, but he will never be a real fighter. Still, he is staying with us. Maybe you need just a reason to stay, Gaspard. And I am not sure which it could be. I would have really been glad to have you as my mate.”

For Baptiste, first it was the former articles, the need to gather the one thousand pieces of eight. Then, it was Belle, and now, his wife, Carmen. He got a life and a home in Tortuga, exactly how Andrea did too. He wondered which would be Gaspard’s fate, where he would catch roots and how.
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Joined: 5:42 PM - Nov 15, 2012

11:04 PM - Nov 08, 2013 #53

Manuel kept his head low as he filled the sack he held,though the words of the others passed through his ears. He didn't feel the need to add in anything he were thinking about any of it, even Gaspard's decline of Sol's offer. Instead he looked closer at all he grabbed before stashing it into the sack, working quickly before spotted by any Privateers. He knew Sara and Gaspard would get first pick of whatever they wished from the findings but he himself weren't expecting anything. Just his work being praised were good enough for the young Pirate. Once his sack were filled with as much as he could get into it, he swung it up on his shoulder and looked at the other three faces expectantly. They needed to hurry along if they expected not to be spotted.
Last edited by Manuel Correa on 2:33 AM - Nov 09, 2013, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 3:37 AM - Apr 14, 2012

6:19 PM - Nov 11, 2013 #54

Gaspard listened to their arguments respectfully. They made sense yet they never really addressed the very crux of the issue. The privateer captain had....even though that fellow was hardly perfect either, far from it.

"Captain, Angel, I very much like the both of you. I have been treated fairly on board and many of the crew are as decent of comrades as the both of you but it is not the people that is making my decision. If that were all, I would be pleased to sail with you all," Gaspard started.

"It is what we do - we sail the seas looking for ships to attack in order to rob them of what they carry. To do this we must fight and often kill the crews. Not navy men like in a war, that is to be expected. But merchant crews....like the men who you attacked to seize our current vessel."

"I knew those men too, and many of them were good decent men. The captain was honorable and true, now dead. There was an old sailor on what was to be his final voyage before retirement, he was shot and killed. There was a boy, your own boy, Benjy, gutted him during the melee."

"No, gentlemen, I cannot do this for a career and keep my honour, I must get out of it," he concluded.

Manuel had his sack now filled and looked to move things along.

"Mayhaps, we should go?" suggested the young Frenchman.
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Joined: 9:30 PM - Jul 31, 2010

9:44 PM - Nov 12, 2013 #55

Sol listened to both young men. He knew a part of Angel’s story, and he had expected, back in February, after scolding him thoroughly for Kayla’s disappearing, as she had been, at that time, the only siren the ship had, one meant to lure in the pray, to be one of those who left once gathering the one thousand pieces of eight. And in a few months, given the prey, he had gathered them. He would have been free to leave before the fateful beginning of August which had seen the sinking of the ”Caribbean Siren”. But he didn’t, and Sol was glad to have a new sailing master when Jamie jumped ship at the end of May, with all the misadventures it entailed.

Hearing Gaspard’s protest, he found it partially true.

”Yes, let’s go!” he answered Manuel and Gaspard, taking his sack.

The others followed him. Having Gaspard by his side, he gave the answer he believed in:

”You are right in your own way, Gaspard, and you are free, from my part, to choose your path in life. Take into account, however, that it’s not us who are wrong, it is the world and how it is set. Unfortunately, it is always like this: the wolf eats the rabbit, the lion or the eagle might eat the wolf, and so on. The world has been set to be one or another, no matter which side you are looking at it from. The Spanish are chasing the Brits, the French had kissed the Spanish and now they are chasing them.”

Wars had been invented since the dawn of mankind, and they might be present in animal life too. Sol had seen armies of ants at war, for example. Not to mention those pests of locusts from his mother’s stories. It was not a humble human’s place to change how the world was set.

”You complain about the merchant crew’s fate, but they are not a man of war. They are not forced to fight. Many merchant ships do surrender when chased, and nobody gets hurt. They are not the owners, so the loss isn’t theirs. Moreover, upon our invitation, many merchant sailors join us and find the life better than before. Where else than under the Jolly Roger sailors have the chance to be all equal, to have an equal vote in everything pertaining to the ship, to choose their captain and a quartermaster to enforce the rules they participated in drawing up, and receive a fair share? The officers can’t abuse them like in the Navy, they can’t be pressed into service, no longer one man outranks another. Have you seen our freedom? Where else does it happen?”

Life could be short, indeed… but it could be short for any sailor, be he a pirate, a Navy man, a fisherman or a merchant sailor. The sea was always a cruel mistress, and when not caught by pirates, other enemies had their mind in the same place.

”And, sorry to counter your naivety, but merchant ships are a prey for Navy and privateers as well. Only that they call it raiding the trade the enemy is depending on at wartime and hindering the enemy’s development. Again, it is simply one or the other. Survive or die. We are just adapting to the world we are living in.”

And people – commanding officers and crewmates – did matter. Gaspard hadn’t known life aboard enough ships to make the difference. Unlike the ones Gaspard had heard talking about, Sol considered himself and his crew honest gentlemen of fortune. They didn’t abuse the women found on board of the taken ships, if any. They didn’t do land attacks, like he heard some others before him had done. The ones who didn’t want the lifestyle he imposed, were free to join Captain Johnson’s crew, or others’ who were more ruthless cutthroat type. Like everywhere in this world, birds of a feather flew together.
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Joined: 3:37 AM - Apr 14, 2012

4:29 PM - Nov 28, 2013 #56

As they walked the captain, having listened respectfully to the young man's arguments, rejoined with his own take on those issues. So of course Gaspard listened back and, in truth, the pirate made some good points. Life never seemed to be black and white but various shades of grey, Gaspard's father had once told him and the man had been right, as usual.

"I understand what you are saying, and yes, a lot of it makes sense. I promise you I shall finish out this voyage as a loyal crew member and do whatever is expected of me at least til we get to a port. Then I will need to make up my mind and I can assure you right now my mind is far from decided on all of this so far," Gaspard replied.

"And if it is expected that I pay my way off, I accept that too and I am guessing my share of the treasure we found should go a long way toward that payment, yes?"
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Joined: 9:30 PM - Jul 31, 2010

7:17 PM - Nov 28, 2013 #57

Sol smiled at the young Frenchman’s words. He remained the same gentleman – not necessarily of fortune, though.

”It seems fair and nobody would press you to make a decision or another.”

As for the comment on the share of the treasure, if Captain Johnson or even Pieter and a few others of the “Rising Sun” crew were in his place, they would have rejoiced at the proposal. Not Sol, though. He was more for the fairness – especially now, when the whole philosophy of the pirate life was under discussion.

”Gaspard, I am a pirate, not a highwayman. And if it is true what I do remember, that the new articles make no mention about paying your way out, given the conditions they had been written in, then nobody would ask it from you. We loot the rich noblemen and the kings of their fortunes, not our fellow crewmates! We’ll check this together, tomorrow, without telling the others why we want to read the articles. You need no advertising of your intentions before you know for sure which are these. Some people might misunderstand it.”

Of course there were many speculations which could have been made in such circumstances, and Sol wanted Gaspard involved in no conflict. Spirits might be more volatile than usual, given everything happened recently, and this might be taken the wrong way by some scornful hotheads.

”Ultimately, you’ll need some money to make a better life for yourself somewhere else, when and if you are sure about it. I would recommend you, for a start, when we are back to Tortuga, to save your share and not spend more than you really need. There are far too many pirates who are making this mistake, and when they do retire for a reason or another, they find themselves not as rich as they had thought… or not for much time.”

He knew some such cases. Capitaine Boyer had been no different. He had been lucky to escape alive from prison together with Sol and Captain Johnson, but his health had not recovered enough to be safe for him to sail again. He had been lucky to have a woman ashore who was willing to take him back, and his little savings had been invested in the “Lucky Devil”, so that he had always one share of the loot no matter if he sailed or not. The same sort of arrangement Sol had with the Hawk, who now was aboard, but many other times he wasn’t.

However, if the Devil wasn't understanding with his former associate, to renew the association in his dire conditions, Capitaine Boyer would have ended as badly as many other pirate captains and quartermasters who died in poverty after having recklessly spent lots of riches.

Once arrived aboard the beached ship under repairs, Sol brought the sacks to the quartermaster’s cabin, even if he was not inside right then. They would be counted and split the next morning, without much fuss.

Now he went to the fire on the beach, where most crewmen were gathered, waiting for the almost ready dinner. He was looking for someone who might know Henry Avery’s story. And once he found that man, he would call around Angel, Manuel and Gaspard, to listen to it. Pieter too, as he had been involved in finding the skeleton…

For now, Sol simply walked in their middle and asked:

”Does any of you know the story of Henry Avery?”
Last edited by Sol Galvez on 8:37 PM - Nov 28, 2013, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 11:02 PM - Jan 17, 2012

8:20 PM - Nov 28, 2013 #58

Nails didn’t know his knowledge was more than Sol’s or any other man’s around the fire, so his answer was in mocking tone, with a laugh as he sat taking the edges off a cob end of wood, like he was peeling a potato, the sharp knife paring the shape he needed, as he warmed himself and especially his injured shoulder by the fire.

‘Aye, The pirate who stole the greatest treasure in all the known kingdoms, more than any pirate before him or since…Aye who doesn’t?’

The laugh reached his twinkling blue eyes, that caught the yellow of the fire, the story of the most famous pirate, was what most boys learned of the adventurous pirates when they grew up living in a port like he had, or so he thought, but then what child sat by tavern walls as a babe, and heared talk of the fearsome man and his amazing wealth, not many in truth if he had thought of it.

Nails forgot often that most English children don’t have a Lady’ as a mother who had dropped to the level of bar whore after his birth, and that most educated Ladies would not then retell the stories he heard with adventure so that her small boys life was not so hard as it was, and so her boy went to sleep with dreams full of romantic adventure and not the depressing reality it really was.

Giving his head a shake, the laughter still there on the words, Nails thought no more of it as he spit on the wood head and pushed his thumb pad on the grain to show up the colour. He was a child borne of his mothers wealth of education, she had tried to soften his world by telling stories of the names he heard in the worst of taverns, she had tried to make his life seem exciting rather than dreadful, and it in turn had left him a story teller in his own right. One that till now he used for spinning lies as a spy and making them seem real.
Last edited by Nails on 10:39 AM - May 18, 2016, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 9:30 PM - Jul 31, 2010

5:36 PM - Nov 30, 2013 #59

Sol smiled at hearing Nails’ answer, and he shouted loudly:

”Manuel, Gaspard, Pieter, come here please!”

It was no need yet for everybody to know why these three had been called. Henry Avery’s treasure, brought to the quartermaster’s cabin during the cabin owner’s absence, was still a detail not yet the quartermaster had learnt about.

Then, answering to Nails, he said:

”Well, it seems that he hadn’t succeeded to go very far with his treasure… and it is ours now. Keep the tone low, please, as our neighbours shouldn’t learn about it. And if this was his seal,” Sol showed him the ring which remained on his finger, and which, in the new context of a treasure to share, would be a part of what he had right to get, ”then I had just buried his remains a couple of hours ago.”

Thinking better about it, he added:

”Tonight, we’d like learning more about him, especially that his flag and seal… has a certain resemblance. And one of these days, after you finish with the woodwork for the ship, I’d kindly ask you to make a cross for his tomb. Just a sign of respect from a gentleman of fortune to another.”
Last edited by Sol Galvez on 10:41 AM - May 18, 2016, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 3:37 AM - Apr 14, 2012

5:01 PM - Dec 01, 2013 #60

Gaspard listened to his captain's remarks about the ship's rules and whether it covered paying one's way out or not, the man was certainly being fair about everything, which was why he liked serving under this leader.

"Yes, we can look it over sometime, there is no hurry," he agreed.

After depositing the bags of treasure in the quartermasters, they broke up for the time being, Gaspard using the opportunity to strip off his sweat soaked white cotton shirt and wash up from a bucket of water. He was running his hands thru his long dark strands of unruly hair, after dousing his head with the bucket, when he heard his name called....by Sol. Taking his shirt in hand and shaking his head for an instant like some longhaired dog to get the water off, the young man hurried to obey.

He got there in time to hear about this Henry Avery fellow. It certainly seemed like a possibility that what they had found was at least a part of Avery's old treasure. Apparently he never lived to enjoy it. There was a message there for those looking for one. But the youthful chevalier would let each draw their own conclusions.

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Last edited by Gaspard Desjardins on 9:55 AM - Dec 03, 2013, edited 1 time in total.
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