Hood's Swashbucklin' Ship's Log
Reflections on Times Past
Captain Samuel Hood
Chapter Six - "Back at Sea"
As I was saying, the Pub Crawl down Canterbury was as lively as any I can remember. The officers finally made it to the Cock and Hen Pub but not after stopping off at Red Sally's establishment for a release of the male stress. Red Sally's is known world wide as one of the finest houses of ill repute this side of the Lama Ranch. In fact, Sally did tell us of her apprenticeship at the Lama Ranch and how she came to be known by the sailors as "The lady of the evening most likely to succeed".
Now, the Cock and Hen Pub was a right nice one, stocked with the finest rum and ales that could be found in Portsmouth. And the clientele was as varied as you could find. Officers, Seamen, Plebes and scalawags of all backgrounds made their way to this grand establishment. And the ladies. Well, the assortment of ladies ranged from very classy with many privileges, to down and out bag ladies intent on parting us from our money.
As we sat down at a large table located close to the raging fireplace, I noticed a young lady looking intently at Master Bates. All of a sudden, she jumped up and screamed "Senor Davee! My dear Senor Davee! You've come back to me! The children will be so happy to finally meet you!"
Well, I could tell by the look on Master Bates face that this was not the type of homecoming that he had in mind. As the woman ran to the table, Master Bates eyes indicated that he was looking for help and a way out of this serious situation. I asked Bates what her name was and he said, "I don't remember. I haven't been in Portsmouth Harbor for four years. And the trip befor that, I was coming off a rather arduous voyage and a severe case of battle fatigue. Not to mention that I was thoroughly potted my whole time in port. I'll be forever in your debt if you would help me sir".
I need a snort of rum. Telling this story makes me thirsty and a bit randy. Miss Potter is out shopping at this hour, buying the goose and accoutrements for a fine Christmas dinner. Here's hoping that she remembers to purchase this months issue of British Biggens. It is a bit of a rag but it does stimulate the senses.
Getting back to Master Bates and his predicament. As I watched this lady hang all over poor Bates, I got a bit of an idea. I leaned over and whispered to Master Bates to take his leave for a moment. Go drain the lily.
After Bates left the table, I explained to the poor woman that Bates was not the same man that she knew many years ago. I expressed my reluctance to touch on the subject because it was just too sad to pass on to her. But I finally broke down and confided to her that during the battle of Hobbs Bay in the Upper Ganges, Bates had been stricken with a malady known to sailors as The Dripping Whipper. It was a very painful illness and once stricken, all sorts of ailments would show themselves. And worse of all, it had no cure. It was a highly contagious disease transmitted through the specific sexual acts that Master Bates loved.
Now, seeing that the woman was definitely taken aback at my comments, I finished her off with "He is a very talented man you know, but he does not take care as to where he sticks his manhood, if you know what I mean".
Well now, the woman was absolutely horrified and taken back with fear. The black tale I had told her did its trick. She immediately got her things and left the Pub. When Master Bates came back to the table, he asked where his shore leave sausage holder had gone. I simply told him that she had to go see a man about a horse and would not be back. I could tell that Bates was perplexed but very relieved. In fact, I had just finished my explanation when he pulled out a string of beads and began chatting up a young beautiful wench who was just dancing past our table.
Master Bates; He does rebound with such vigor. And the night was young and Bates and the others were bound and determined to make this last night a memorable one. This is a good thing, for we would soon be leaving port and back at sea.
The crew did drink much grog at the Cock and Hen Pub but that did not stop us from moving on down Canterbury to the Hogs Breath Inn. The Hogs Breath was known for their late meals and foodstuff that would help the lower intestines to be less active. Bad grog can make a man's guts work overtime and make for many long hours in the ships head.
We had been at Hogs Breath only a short time when we noticed that Captain Bligh and a young distinguished Captain had entered the Inn. The two moved to our table and asked if they might join us for a few drinks of rum. We all smiled our approvals and ordered up a round of drinks for all.
The young Captain turned out to be none other than Captain Horatio Nelson of the H.M.S. Boreas, and he had just returned from much heavy battle in and about the island of Antigua. Nelson had made a name for himself and was quickly moving up the ranks of the Royal Navy. In fact, that very evening, the former Lt. Nelson had just been promoted to full Captain and he and Bligh were out to paint the town red!
Hmmm…Miss Potter just walked in with my new issue of British Biggens. Thank you Miss Potter. She has been especially nice to me these past months. Frankly, I believe she is in better spirits since my taking her out of the basement and allowing her to live in a warm bedroom and have access to a clean bed pan. And now Miss Potter massages my tired legs and finishes off me twig and berries with great frequency. An activity that I look forward to with much anticipation.
So the good Captain Nelson is now in a party mood and begins ordering drinks for the house. Many double jiggers of uncut rum are now being chugged and the fun and frivolity is moving towards a crescendo.
At this point, Lt. Cochrane brings out a rather worn bag and starts his way to the stairway that leads to the Inn's bedrooms upstairs. As he reaches the first landing, he opens the bag and begins to throw out beads and baubles to the ladies. As the strands are thrown into the crowd, Captain Bligh began yelling "Show us yer boobies! Drop the top or no jewelry will be given!" And, as with the crowd at the Dog & Pony Pub earlier that evening, they began to comply with Bligh's commands. A true genius!
Captain Nelson was now getting a steam up and bolting back glasses of rum at a furious rate. He stated that he had never seen such revelry and extreme debauchery in homeport. As the crowd continued to yell for more, Nelson got up on the table and asked for silence. The drunken crowd then joined around the table to hear what this fine Captain had to say.
Captain Nelson ordered all tankards filled in preparation for a toast. With all patrons standing at the ready, Nelson brought forth a toast. "To all in attendance here tonight, I proclaim that the Officers, Seamen and Plebes standing with me and Captain Bligh, will always be known as The Royal Runnamok Navy. They will be forever known as my fighting Men of the Wooden Walls and The Pirates of Fun. God Bless the Royal Runnamok Navy!"
The crowd yelled a might "Here, here!" and a grand toast was made in our honor.
Well, I must tell you that we were all a bit shocked at this proclamation but yet, very proud to have Captain Nelson state such wonderful things about our motley group. Little did we know that one day, this fine Captain would command the Royal Runnamok Navy in battles that would go down in history. It is written as fact, that two important battles, The Battle of the Nile and The Battle of Trafalgar actually changed the course of history and most important, began the inevitable defeat of the French navy and Napoleon.
With the sun beginning to rise and our night of shore leave over, we headed back to our ships and prepared to cast lines. I, like the others, had been transferred to another fighting ship of the line. I was now assigned to the H.M.S. Barfleur and bound for the West Indies. The West Indies, ah yes. Much fighting in and about the islands has taken place and it looks not to slow down for some time.
We were now leaving Portsmouth Harbor and making ready to hoist all sails. As I stood on the upper deck of the Barfleur, I took great pride in knowing that I was a part of the finest navy in the world, the Royal Runnamok Navy. We had been christened with a moniker that would become known world wide and feared on the seven seas. Our battles fought and the battles yet to be, would establish the Men of the Wooden Walls as a force to be reckoned with.
Yet, when I look back on my time at sea, I prefer to remember the times of joy and comradeship. The evenings spent with my fellow officers. The evenings spent with The Pirates of Fun.
Oh, enough of this dribble. I'm ready for my afternoon snort of uncut Bon Rottgut Rum and a good massage.
"Miss Potter, come here please. I'm ready for the hands of life to do their duty. I'm beginning to feel a little anxious, if you know what I mean. Where is that woman? Oh Miss Potter!"
Be sure to check back with Tales From the Hood for future snippets and tidbits of history and debauchery. Aaarrrggghhhhhhh……….. I like debauchery.