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PostSubject: Gossiping Gunners   Gossiping Gunners Icon_minitimeWed Feb 18, 2009 1:52 am

Candlelight flickered in the dark interior of the ship, shadows dancing to and fro along the sturdy timbers that made up the sides of the ship. The majority of the crew was well asleep apart from the duty watch topside and a few restless souls, four gunners, huddled around the candle set inside a glass lamp. The gentle swells of the water rocked the sleeping men in their hammocks and the sound of a gentle rain sang them a lullaby as it hit the sea and the deck above.

“It is not right I tell you! A woman captain! It’s sure to be unlucky. There is something unseemly and unholy about it I tell you!” The words were spoken by the youngest of the four in French of course, the majority of Cathern’s crew being French speakers; English and Spanish speakers though present, were a minority. “Nay, not unlucky. She may be a witch, in league with Satan, or blessed by the Virgin but she produces results. I’ve sailed with her many a month and my purse jangles with gold because of it.” The oldest of the four sipped his rum then added with a sly grin, “Well, it jangled with gold before I drank, screwed, and gambled it all away.” The other three men had a quiet laugh, all veteran seamen and knew full well the phenomenon of going ashore rich and returning to the sea poor.

A silence fell on the four men as they each thought of some their shore excursions, women they bedded, brawls they fought in and hangovers nursed. “She’s a follower of the true faith, a Catholic and not a heretic like one might expect from her English upbringing, may the Virgin protect us from their heresies. I hear tell she even bought a frigate and donated it to the Holy Church. Surely she goes with God no? And us with her? The saints smile on her.” All but the first nodded and grunted in agreement. “She may be Catholic but she has no husband. No children. She runs her businesses without a man...apparently as well as a man. It isn’t natural and no matter what favors her money might buy from Rome and the Church she should be ashore and become a wife and do wifely things.”

The candle burned low and occasionally sputtered signally it was near time for the four to crawl into their hammocks. The most educated of the four, a former university student who ran away to sea to avoid persecution of a crime spoke up. “There was once a young woman who claimed to be inspired by visions of saints. Though many were skeptical she eventually gained support and led attacks on the enemies of her homeland. The men in charge of the armies often snubbed her but she persisted and brought those armies to victory. She wore men’s clothes and armor, fought with sword and carried a battle standard. Who might this lass be? None other than Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans. Maybe our captain has a touch of Joan in her. Think about that before we criticize.” With those words the candle sputtered a last time then went out. The four quietly saying their goodnights and returned to their hammocks, thoughts of their captain on their minds.
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