Hood's Swashbucklin' Ship's Log
Reflections on Times Past
Captain Samuel Hood
Chapter One - Pressed to Service
As I sit in my quarters, surrounded by columns and rows of books that relate to little or no importance, I realize that one day I must begin writing my memoirs. I should begin with that task now, but I think I'll have a bit-o-rum before I start. Hmmm…nothing like a good nip-o-uncut rum to warm the innards and bring back the memories. Aaarrrggghhh, that was good. Think I'll have another…..yes.
Let's see, where was I. Oh, yes, I'll start off the history of my life at sea with my being pressed to service late one night with a hit to the right side my head with a turnbuckle.
I found out a few days later and many miles out to sea, that the fellow who shanghaied me was none other than Senor Davee, the scourge of Portsmouth Harbor.
The roughen known to many on the docks as Senor Davee was a terrible sort. Always smashed to the gunwales and looking for another drink of rum, Senor Davee was a right mean one all right. Whilst on shore leave, he would get his tufts in an uproar if you called him by his rightful rank and name which was Master Bates. To rise to the rank of Master and have the true name of Bates attached to the end, well, it was too much for the bloke. As time moved on, I would log many a voyage with Master Bates. And, although he was a crude fellow, I would find him to be likeable in his own right.
Time for another hit or two of this uncut rum. Hmmm…Don't spill any…aaarrggghhhh, that hits the spot. On with the story. No, I'll have another. Burp…Hmmmm, good! Ah hell, it's after 1200 hours in Madagascar so one more won't, burp, hurt….
By way of my rude introduction to Master Bates, I found myself aboard the HMS Raisonnable, a second rater captured from the French during the Seven Year War. She was decommissioned in 1763 but set to active service on this, my first voyage. As I find my way around, not knowing the front of the ship from the arse end, I find out that we are moving southwest at a reasonable clip. Where we are going, I know not.
Whilst investigating the ship, I walk past the galley and pick-up the smell of Hagass, a foul mixture of sheep intestines that is said to make you horney as hell and bring a certain stiffning to a particular protruding body part. As I turn to escape the smell, I run into a likeable fellow, one Seaman Fremantle. He is a fast talker and except for the perceptive lisp and inability to say his "S's", he explains that we are "bound for the Faulkland Islandssss to do battle with the Sssspainsh Navy". As we would soon find out, the Spainish were trying to stake claim to Britian's homestead off the coast of Argentina, threatening our southern most naval port. But worst of all, the brothel called the Lama Ranch was there and we refused to lose that valuable ground to the Sssspainards.
It appeared that my first view of sea battle would occur only months after my forfeiture of civilian life at the hands of Senor Davee. Being only the years of eighteen and two months, I would learn much from Seaman Fremantle and gain much from his knowledge of battle. As for Master Bates, he had a good working knowledge of the local pubs and the Faulkland Lama Ranch. Needless to say, I hung to his coat tails and we became good friends indeed.
Hmmm…I need a bit more rum. Ahhh, there's my new quarter barrel that I stashed some two days ago. Totally forgot about it. Oh, Bon Rottgut…good! More rum! I wonder if the housekeeper is here? Miss Potter, where are you? Captain Hood wants to play hide the Bowsprit with you.
I'll continue the next chapter after my, burp, animal instincts are satisfied. You go home now.
From the Captains Quarters aboard the HMS Zealous, I bid you farewell. Stop by next week and we'll continue with Chapter Two "Battle of the Faulklands".
Miss Potter? I'm waiting….Where is that woman?