William Brand

The Watch Dog

3,461 posts in this topic

As the three men from the boat approached the cave, they noticed a lone figure standing near the one side. It was another woman. She took a step or two back into the cave enterance as they approached warily, Marchande adjusting his grip on his musket. They all looked around as if their heads were on swivel mounts, looking above and arround the area of the cave. Not seeing anything or anyone they continued their approach. As they got even closer, Claude noticed that although the woman's clothes were in tatters, they were once a rich material. She appeared to be unarmed and somewhat frightened, so Marchande greeted her.

"Bonjour, Madame... ah, good day to you... would I be correct to assume that it is but you and your friend alone here? Please do not be alarmed, we found evidence of a shipwreck..."

Before an answer could be had, Styled elbowed Merchande in the side and whispered to him.

"Alan's comin' this way... an' it looks like Mister Lasseter's still over talkin' wi' the one on shore.."

Claude nodded.

"Pardone Madame...."

He stepped over to a high spot and looked out, seeing exactly what Jerrod had conveyed.

"Oui... we shall wait for him and see what is to be..."

They all nodded and stood at ease, while Merchande kept a watchful eye about as Woodington approached. Once he was close, merchande called to him.

"Bonjour mon ami.... how are things on the beach? It appears we 'ave another woman..."

Woodington trudged up and looked past Merchande, nodded.

"QuarterMaster's wonderin' what been takin' ye so long... wot should I tells 'im?"

Merchande shrugged,

"She 'as not said a word, she looks pas puits, not well... Maybe 'e should bring the other one back 'ere?"

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Murin blinked. Dumbfounded, she hadn’t thought to hear someone from her home country. So, the ship may not be a British vessel. The weapons were not pointed towards her, she measured her words carefully.

“Aye, tree weeks. Apollo. N’wot vessel be det?” She nodded towards the ship off shore. “Who duz she sail fer?”

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Mr. Lasseter nodded as she spoke, she had a northern irish accent, maybe even scottish. Though she might be a fellow celt, he was wary.

"Th'Apollo, eh? Merchant was she? Where from an' where goin' to?"

He pointedly did not answer her question, but again asked his that were not answered. He glanced over to where he had sent Woodington, a slight twinge in his gut.

"Mayhaps we should get outta th' rain... no use a getting a chill... Ye be alone 'r ye got friends about?"

He continued to ask questions and kept his hand under his oilskins, slowly easing the cock back on his sea service pistol...

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What to do? He did not answer her query. She feared the situation she had created. He had the upper hand; there were six of them and all armed. She swallowed hard.

“Merchant vessel, n’ I know nil else uv er.”

She paused; there was no sense in holding back. Either they were saved or dead. Their fate lay in the hands of the man before her and his ship mates. No matter now. She heaved a sigh, her shoulders dropped as she realized the futility of any subterfuge on her part.

“Tis jest one lady n’mself. We’ve seen no utter alive, n’burried a man or’ a week ago.”

That was it; it was out, her heart pounded in her ears louder than the waves crashing at the shore. She waited, praying that she was indeed saved.

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Ana gazed at Claude blankly.

"Yes, it is only the two of us," replying in her well brought up tone of voice, sweet but frightened at the moment.

Her arms crossed infront of her as she looked them all over. Questions were arising but she would not speak them now.

Her eyes only watched the strangers.

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At the cave

Marchande and Woodington conversed briefly, then Alan truned and trudged back towards the two standing on shore.

Marchande walked back over to the cave.

"Madame, please take your ease... you do not look well..."

On shore

Once his questions were answered, he nodded, smiled a bit.

"I see... well then... that be th' Watch Dog... I be th' QuarterMaster an' this island be ours... just came inta 'r possesion... Now, shall---"

His words were interrupted as he spotted Woodington heading their way.

"What news, Lad?"

Once Woodington got a bit closer he spoke.

"There's a lady back in th' cave... Mar, er, they says she don't look ta be in high spirits, mayhaps ye wanna take a look?"

Mr. Lasseter again smiled.

"Aye... I think we shall... Come along Miss? We got a fine doctor aboard... That is, iffn' ye wish ta be rescued... Oh, an' as yer wonderin' who we sail fer.... we sail for 'rselves... more 'r less.... Come along now..."

He and Woodington headed towards the cave, letting her make the choice as to join them or not...

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Those hollow hazel emeralds turned to Marchande who stood before her. As though pondering with a hopeless spirit... but there was a sparkle in her eyes once more at the prospect that they were being rescued and will be returned to civilization.

Outstretcher her hand in a graceful manner to Marchande, "Thank you, good sir," replying in a weak but happy genteel tone.

"Most kind of you to offer such generousity."

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At the cave

"Oui Madame.. but of course..."

As Marchande took the lady's hand in his rough and weathered one, helping her to sit on whatever might allow comfort, Styles began to snicker until Mr. Tucker jabbed him hard in the ribs with his elbow, causing Jerrod to cough and sputter. Claude gave them both a distasteful look, but continued to act the gentleman, even though he had never been one. Styles began to grin again and Tucker just looked out into the rain.

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A free ship! This man, treating her not as a possession or captive but allowing her own free will to come or stay! She tightened the rope that held the breeches up, threw the waist coat over her shoulder and awkwardly lifted the boots that were at least two sizes too big for her feet in an attempt to keep pace with the men headed towards the cave and Ana.

Ana needed attention; she was not use to this harsh life. It was hard on Murin also but she had been in the fields for several months now, she was use to working to live but Ana, a lady of privilege, was near spent after these few weeks.

“Yer Docter, he'll help willinly?”

She and Ana were like night and day. They had disagreements over many things but it took the both of to survive here this long and they had formed a bond through their hardship together. Although she found Ana exasperating at times she genuinely had come to like the lady.

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“Yer Docter, he will help willingly?”

Dorian stopped short at her question, turned back and have a sideways grin...

"Aye... our Doctor... She, is very able an' willin' ta help all that cross into 'er care..."

He turned back and continued to walk, soon they were within sight of the cave, and Mr. Lasseter saw Mr. Tucker raise his arm and point, alerting the others that they were coming...

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Murin did her best to keep up the pace. Her strength waning she began to drag behind. She did not mind. She was alive and free, and soon she would be well and away from this island, and in the company of others. Oh to hear conversation again, to share a song! Hidden by the rain, tears flowed easily again.

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::Trying to spot anything on the island, I fish out the eyeglass again. Finding nary a spot of dry fabric, I wipe off what I can from the lens and peer through it again.

"Looks like Mr. Lasseter and tha lads 'ave found sommin in tha cave."

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At the cave

Mr. Tucker saw movement, then recognized The QuarterMaster, Mr. Woodington, and the woman who was waving the red coat trailing behind.

"Oy, 'ere comes th' QuarterMaster and all..."

Merchande straightened up and gripped his musket and headed to the mouth of the cave. There, the three shipmates watched as three more people trudged in the rain towards them...

"Ahoy, lads! Wot we got 'ere? 'Nuther gerl? I 'ear she be worse fer wear... "

Mr. Lasseter stepped past the lads and looked into the cave at the woman sitting inside.

"Well gerl, can ye walk? Just down ta shore inta th' boat... If ye wish fer some dry comfort an' lettin' th' goode surgeon 'ave a look-see at ye... An th' galley fire still be lit... least it better be..."

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Murin trailed in, dropped the wet waist coat near the cave entrance and shook the water from her limbs and head.

“She ken talk well enuf!” The corners of her lips lifted.

She advanced to where Ana sat on her mat of palm fronds and dropped to her knees in front of the still silent woman. Taking Ana’s hands in hers their eyes met.

“Lady, we are saved.”

Ana’s eyes brightened, tears welled as the two embraced.

Lightly Murin murmured, “Buíochas le Dia!” (Thank God).

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Dorian watched as the two women embraced, the one giving praise to God for their rescue, He smiled and shook his head.

"A'right... 'nuff o' th' joyous reunion... time we was back aboard... gather wot things ye need.... er... well, gather yerselves and get a move on..... Time n' tide wait fer no man... or woman..."

He turned, looked out and up at the dreary sky, shook his head again and stepped out.

"Lads, off we go... poor Jemmy been standin' out in this fer too long..."

They then trudged back down tothe St. Kitt, where james Whiting stood, holding the coil of bow line and hugging himself.

"Sorry lad, we'll get ye fixed up aboard th' ship..."

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Murin quickly gathered what few belongings they had acquired from the wreckage that had washed ashore. She strapped on the sword belt. Ana could use the sword better than she but seeing her current state Murin could not bring herself to ask Ana for assistance. She wrapped the pistol, knife, belaying pin, two bottles and a quadrant in what was left of a torn shirt. Gingerly she lifted the cumbersome bundle in both arms and followed the men to the long boat.

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::Trying to spot anything on the island, I fish out the eyeglass again. Finding nary a spot of dry fabric, I wipe off what I can from the lens and peer through it again.

"Looks like Mr. Lasseter and tha lads 'ave found sommin in tha cave."

"Aye." William agreed, watching the progress of the longboat crew from beside Mister Pew, his own glass as fogged and as disagreeable.

He watched the longboat crew disappear into the cave and come out again, assisting a second survivor down the beachhead.

"This is when it will happen...if it should happen", he thought to himself and he noticed that Mister Pew stiffened a little at the shoulders as if he too thought the same, but nothing happened. The island was as abandoned now as it had seemed since their arrival. All about them the world was nothing more than a monochromatic watercolor.

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"Ciaran, they be comin' out o'the cave!" John McGuinty said as he and the older lookout both watched through their glasses. "And there be two women, not jes the one."

Nodding his head, Ciaran said, "Aye, indeed ye be right, lad. I reckon they be the only two who survived the shipwreck or what'er disaster occurred here."

As the party slowly made their way from the cave back toward the longboat, the rain slowed, then stopped. The sky continued brightening a bit and a hint of sunlight broke through the clouds, casting a rainbow o'er the little island La Blaquilla.

"Arr!," said John. "Me ole granny would've said, 'that be where the little people hid their gold', thar at the end o'that rainbow."

Thinkin' of the Lady Ilex and her mysterious wealth, Ciaran chuckled to himself and looked down to see if the Captain were lookin' at the rainbow.

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Watching every, not trying to be uncivil.. but, true.. she was not use to this type of lifestyle if you call it that.

"Again, thank you. I do appreciate your concern and willingness to help," she gave him a weak smile.

Standing and glancing at all the men around her then her eyes fell upon Murin she moved towards her, "Is there something I can do to assist in your burdens, Murin?" Those eyes of hers were sincere. Something at least to not make her feel as though she was not wanting to pull her weight.

Then followed all from the cave along the beach towards their destination... the small boat that brought the men ashore.

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Tension had played her frame taunt under the rain sodden wool coat, such evidence not apperant but for the white circlets atop each knuckle at railing's curve. Raphael had remained in sentinal's pose, though much closer, as if willing some aid in companion's comfort.

With the small party's return to gray hazed view, a breath of held nature emitted from the Surgeon's lungs. The shoulders dropping slightly in measure of relief as the gathering made for embanked transport. She moved half a pace backwards to be balked by Chanault's nearness and gave a minute jerk in start.

The emerald sights trained around to identify obstruction and were met by hinted amusement, so subtle as to barely exist at all.

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On shore

The men helped the two women into the sternsheets of the longboat, then Mr. Lasseter climbed aboard as the lads shoved her into the surf. Once all were aboard and at their station a third bank of oars were made ready so Woodington and Marchande could help row the St. Kitt back through the gentle surf and back to the awaiting ship. It amused Mr. Lasseter that all eyes were turned towards the women as they pulled their oars, occasionally one of the lads would look at Him and shift their gaze down to the keel, but slowly they would return to the new folk.

"Steady lads, keep pullin' hansomley... We be back aboard sure enough..."

It did not take long for the longboat to return, it hardly seemed like any time at alll had passed as they bumped along side the ship. Whiting got hold of the chains and steadied the boat.

"Permission ta come abaord Cap'n... I brung ye th' soul survivours o' the Merchant ship 'Apollo'... On'y two..."

"Come aboard Mister Lasseter, and welcome aboard the Watch Dog, M'Ladies..." The Captain replied.

Hands reached down as the lads aboard the longboat helped the women up, helping them find purchase on the tumblehome of the ships side. Soon, all were aboard, the longboat crew given leave to head to the galley for warm victuals, the bedraggled women were led to the Surgeon's Ward, and Mr. Lasseter reported to the Captain.

"Cap'n... they's it, far as they know... Been marooned there fer three weeks r' so... ain't see a livin' soul since, aside from a gent that helped 'em ashore, then snuffed it... Lucky fer them they found tha' cave..."

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Being kind to those who did assist even though they somewhat put her on edge, she could not withhold from them her appreciation for at least rescuing her from what would otherwise be a horrible fate.

Having thanked Mr Lasseter, she made way with assistance to see the Surgeon as he was so called. Not attempting to think who the person was really.

Guided to the Surgeon-

"Where is this gentleman whom will heal us?" she asked looking at the mildly gruffy gent.

But the man only gazed at her oddly and chuckled.

Gazing blankly back at him wondering what was so bloody funny.

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"A'right lads, stand down."

The rain had all but ceased now, yet we were still as wet as if we had capsized here in the harbor. Much of the crew went back to their daily duties, with those men who remained armed gathering around Mr. Franklin and myself.

"Gents, give what arms ye 'ave ta Mr. Woodington and Mr. Franklin, I'll collect the blades. Mr. Flint, ifin ye'd be so kind as ta stay on watch wit Mr. Marchande 'ere"

Each man returns what weapon they have to the three of us standing there by the main mast. Mr. Flint and Mr. Marchande return to the rail and peer out across the beach head looking for any remnants of the wrecked ship. Following Alan and Eric down the ladder stairs, I can hear the rain begin to tap again on the deck.

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July 18, 1704 - Aboard the Watch Dog

First Bell of Second Dog Watch

"Cap'n... they's it, far as they know... Been marooned there fer three weeks r' so... ain't see a livin' soul since, aside from a gent that helped 'em ashore, then snuffed it... Lucky fer them they found tha' cave..."

"Aye, Mister Lasseter, and thank you. We'll drop anchor here and wait out the night. Hot food and sleep for all hands. See yourself out of those wet clothes."

William turned to Mister Pew with alterations on his previous orders.

"Mister Pew, six armed men of the watch continuously throughout the night. I want the muskets and pistols traded out and oiled by each retiring watch. Two aloft. Four on the weatherdecks."

"Aye, Cap'n."

"And, Mister Pew..."

"Cap'n?"

"Dinner in the Ward Room at the second bell, if you please."

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"Aye, Cap'n..."

Dorian nodded once, and poured some water out of his hat when he did. He chuckled at this and turned to head to his cabin. Once off the weatherdeck, he removed his hat and shook the water off, pulled his oilskins off and was mildly surprized at how dry he really was. Heading into his small accomodations he laid out his pistols on his desk, hung his baldric and sword on the one hook and hung his oilskins and hat on the other. His wesket was hung on the back of the small chair, then he pulled off his shirt which was the worst for the rain, the sleeves were still dripping as he folded it up and walked out into the passageway and out to the break in the deck. There, he wrung it out getting as much water as possible from the garment. The rain had started again, as expected.

"Hmmm.... Mayhaps I should just keep in these clothes.... just gonna get more of 'em wet..."

He said to no one in particuar. Shrugging, he headed back to his cabin, continued to change into dry clothes and clean off his weapons. He had to make a trip to see Mr. Pew to get more oil, so he rearmed himself and headed for the Armoury. In the stuffiness below he heard Mr. Pew's voice, along with a some others in the Armoury.

"Master Pew... I come ta have me weapons oiled, have ye some ta spare?"

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