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 The Early Post

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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

The Early Post Empty
PostSubject: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeFri Sep 07, 2007 8:24 pm

((I wanted to move Deoiridh's story along a bit, so I thought I'd try my hand at setting up a bit of RP at the Albatross. Just give me a chance to get the letters actually in the hands of the intended recipients, and then any and all are welcome to have at it.))


Last edited by on Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

The Early Post Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeFri Sep 07, 2007 8:30 pm

Willem carefully opened the side door of the Albatross and peered cautiously into the alley. This town being what it was and the times being what they were, there was no telling what would show up on a man's threshold of a morning. But nothing appeared amiss, so he stepped outside, fastening a fresh apron about his capacious middle. Stretching his arms wide he breathed in the musty odor of the alley, wrinkling his nose at insistent sharpness of the stale piss from last night's patrons. Reaching back he lifted one buttock and unleashed a rubbery, rending fart that rattled windows up and down the alley. More than one nearby resident roused themselves from a confused slumber, wondering if the port was under bombardment. "Aye, better out than in" he muttered to himself, turning back inside. A loud crash, followed by laughter, and another crunching sound brought him back out with all the rapidity of a cuckoo from its clock. At the far end of the alley a young boy was in the process of unloading small kegs from a handcart he had brought up from the docks. He was staring at a keg which had obviously just hit the ground, remained miraculously unbroken and fetched up against the side stoop of the brothel across the alley.
"What the bloody hell you think yer up to!" Willem roared, doing nothing to dispell the impression of his drowsy neighbours that they were under bloodthirsty assault. "Them's the only legal spirits we're likely to see for a threemonth. If ye lose a single drop I'll be wearin yer nutsack for me Sunday hat. And none of yer lip neither, or I'll be slapping you right back up yer ma's cunny, by Christ I will."
The boy didn't speak much English, but there was no mistaking Willem's tone. Besides, there was profound satisfaction for Willem in the saying of it. A morning without a good cussing out of someone was no good morning, in his opinion. Yet as he watched the lad work, ready for another mistake, his mood was more reflective than usual. It was getting hard to find boys to help out around the place recently. As the port had grown in size and importance, the lure of the sea, in all its imagined glory, siphoned away the youth of the town. This one was the seventh lad he'd hired in the last month. He knew that he paid good wages, but no amount of money was proof against the carefully spun tales of fortune and adventure from the sailors lounging along the wharves. "Well," he thought, smiling ruefully, "Maybe I'll have learned them some new words at least afore they leave me high and dry."
He turned at the sound of footsteps coming up the alley.
"Bonjour, monsieur Willem."
"Mornin to ye, Lucien"
"The business, it goes well?"
"Can't complain. Well, I can, but what good would that do now?"
Lucien Brouchard smiled. He was of the decided opinion that the character of the port had slipped markedly with the arrival of the many foreigners, most of them peniless, drunk, syphilitic, and with the morals of a ferret in heat. But there was something so genuine and straightforward about Willem that Lucien could not help but like him. And while he did on occasion look askance at some of the strange assortment of characters that gravitated to Willem and the Albatross, Lucien also knew that the establishment and its proprietor were well-respected by many of the local French captains.
"So, what brings ye to me doorstep, ye poor excuse for a French tosspot?"
"Ah, monsieur will try to have his little joke, but my English improves, you dangling pizzle of the donkey!"
Willem laughed and slapped Lucien on the back with such unaffected good humor that it almost dislodged the Frenchman's breakfast.
"I always knew you was a quick one, mon amy. Now serious, what brings ye round these parts? Drink?"
"Ah non, thank you. I have letters for you." As an assistant to the beleagured Royal Tarriff Collector--a job so thankless that the man spent all of his time drunk, leaving Lucien to all intents and purposes the public face of the office--Lucien's duties were many and varied, but often included distributing mail from arriving ships." But not for you. I mean, for two men who I believe still have their formal address here? A monsieur Gavin and monsieur McBane?"
"Aye. Well, to be sure Mister Gavin is and all."
Lucien's face softened.
"Ah. I see. There is still no word from Monsieur McBane?"
Willem looked glum.
"We be hearin nothin and all for a good long time, and that's a fact. Folks is pretty dismal and all about it. Still, I'll be happy to take delivery from ye."
"Monsieur Gavin's letter, it was from the Le couer d' Annette, a merchant into port last night," Lucien informed Willem, handing him a slim oilskin packet. "The letter of Monsieur McBane, however, this is another story. I believe this letter has been in the port for some time. Possibly six months or more."
"Six months! Well, let's be hoping that it isn't informing Mister McBane of a long lost family fortune, because I'll be out all that time on the amount he no doubt intends to gift to his good friends. If he comes back, that is. I mean, when he comes back. Six sodding months!"
"Yes, it is regrettable, monsieur Willem. But I believe it was directed to an old warehouse, a place where Monsieur McBane once stayed?"
"Aye," said Willem thoughtfully. "He did have a place in a warehouse, when first arrived and was a little more down on his luck than now. But he hasn't lived there for the better part of a year." Out of respect for Lucien he stifled another fart; it emerged as a shrill, drawn out squeak.
"I can only apologise again, monsieur. As you know, that was the time of my, qu'est-ce que le mot, predecessor. And as I have mentioned sometime previous, that monsieur was an idiot. He was not a man of diligence."
"Aye, true enough. Except when it came to buggering boys."
"I am sorry, what is this. . .buggering?"
Willem made an obscene thrusting motion with his hips, but Lucien simply looked bemused at the site of Willem's wildly oscillating belly. Willem tried another tack, vigorously thrusting one finger through a circle made by the opposite thumb and forefinger. Lucien's face brightened.
"Ah, yes, c'est vrai. The buggering of the boys. Yes. Perhaps he was too distracted by the. . .how you say again. . .buggering--an interesting word, I will seek for the occasion to drop it into idle converse--to check if Monsieur Hamish was actually resident?"
"Wouldn't surprise me, the poxy monkey-stuffer. At any rate, I'll see em both safely delivered to the monsewers."
"I thank you. Au revoir Monsieur Willem. Your day will be prosperous, I hope?"
"I hope so too." But as Lucien walked away, happily trying out various combinations of the word "buggering", Willem added half to himself, "Although it aint exactly startin out that way. There's little good that comes of letters gone astray, that's fer sure."


Last edited by on Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

The Early Post Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeWed Nov 07, 2007 8:01 pm

Dermid was fitfully pushing the remains of his breakfast around the plate. Willem's cooking hadn't changed at all, and maybe that was part of the problem. This stint at the Albatross had been a little long, perhaps; the variety of his life had staled some, but he couldn't seem to tear himself away. Of course he knew exactly why he was still here. Waiting for news, any news. The tiniest of clues as to what had happened to Hamish.

He became aware of Willem lurking at his elbow. Wordlessly Dermid looked up.

"Morning, sir. Breakfast be agreein with ye, I hope?" When Dermid didn't respond he pushed on. "Lucien, that is to say the strange little Frenchie from the Collector's office, brung some letters our way. There's one fer yerself."

When nothing more was forthcoming Dermid finally resorted to words. Or at least a word.

"Yes?"

"And there be another. A letter for Mr. McBane. Thing of it is, letter went to his old lodgins, at the warehouse, and it's been sorta lost since."

Another long pause, broken again by Dermid.

"And?"

"Well, seein as how we don't know the whereabouts of Mr. McBane, and the letter could be something important like, and if Mr. McBane don't come. . ."

"OK Willem," said Dermid more sharply than he intended. "Leave it with me, I'll see to it."

Willem dropped the letters beside him on the table and then walked to the back room to see to the last of the breakfast dishes. Dermid returned to pushing the food around his plate, pausing every now and again to stare blankly at the wall. Abruptly, however, he shovelled the last of the food into his mouth, drained his tankard and picked up the letter to Hamish.


Last edited by on Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

The Early Post Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeWed Nov 07, 2007 8:53 pm

August 29, 1719

My dearest Mr. McBane

I flatter myself that you know of me even though I have not had the great pleasure of making your personal acquaintance. Your friends speak of you as a generous, great-hearted man, so I sincerely trust that you will not take offence at my exerting a claim on your attention. As I'm sure you know, I have ever been the greatest friend to Scottish liberty and a determined enemy to those who would beat her down and try and enslave her spirit. A spirit that you and I both know can bear no constraint, but must live as wild and free as the heather on the moors. To my lasting regret, I have not always been able to be as open with my allegiances as you, and this has been the cause of the incessant calumnies and slanders directed against me, a tide of filth that has risen to new heights but recently; I regret you may have heard some such that have cast my recent activities in a less than flattering light. I do assure you though, sir, that I am a man forced to play a part, in a disguise that fits but ill and causes considerable discomfort. Any love for England I have is but the necessary feigning every true Scotsman learns at birth. Perhaps my true love shines forth so brightly that I am under the suspicion all the more, and must make every effort to deflect suspicion by seeming more loyal and loving, lest the axe fall on those nearest and dearest to me.

I am, nevertheless, a man with many contacts and resources, and several of them have informed me of your little venture in the Caribbean. While every true Scot must regret the absence of such a notable figure (and, as rumor has it, a capable military man) in our hour of need--and some indeed, would question your motives for departing so precipitously at such a time; you may be assured that I countenance no such slurs upon your character in my presence--I fully understand your intent in this matter. The opportunities for wealth in the Caribbean are, I believe, considerable, and if coin is to be had with the added luster of having taken it off the corpse of a thieving servant of the King of England, why tis so much the better. Your alliance with the French, ever the friends of our cause, shows you to be a man of sound judgement.

And it is to that judgement that I turn, and declare my main purpose in writing to you at this juncture. I have reason to believe that a woman by the name of Deoiridh D'Alembert, will be making contact with you. She is recently widowed (well, let us call it that for now) and will I am sure be soon departing for the Caribbean. She is an impulsive, headstrong woman--better to simply say a woman, eh?--who fancies herself with a head for business and plans to take over her husband's business interests in that part of the world. Given her connections (she in fact comes from my own part of beloved Scotland, with family on the other side of Inverness) it is perhaps natural that she should seek you out; many talk of you here, and word of the Confederacy spreads.

All who know me will not scruple to declare that I am not a man who meddles in the affairs of others. Those same friends--for so call I men who feel compelled to speak well of other men--would also tell you that I am a careful adviser, whose sober wisdom has helped many of his fellows avoid the pitfalls of impetuosity and impracticality. So trust me when I tell you that it would not be in the interests of you or the Confederacy to have anything to do with this woman.

As you are well aware, the alliance with France is crucial to all our interests, but of those interests none would be so immediately affected as your own were the French to feel that they had reason not to trust the Confederacy. The French--and how I love the French--are both blessedly practical and hopelessly romantic. They will seek any opportunity to undermine the British stranglehold on the Eastern Caribbean, but they need to feel the means they employ are noble. You will, no doubt soon be practically besieged by a host of French advisers and adventurers and I'm sure you will remark this hunger for a noble cause in all of them. If the French cannot be assured that the weapon they employ is a noble blade, if, for example, the Confederacy were to seem to them to be little more than a gang of cut-throats and footpads. . .well, they would not hesitate to leave you to your fate. And nothing would be more likely to make them feel that the Confederacy was such an organization than if it were to harbor not only a murderer, but the murderer of a French citizen, no less. Such a monster is the woman who comes to you in the guise of a grieving widow.

It is a serious charge, certainly, and all can do is assure you that I do not make such a weighty accusation without the most incontrovertible of proofs, proofs which are, I regret, but awkwardly transmitted by letter. But I trust you see the dire peril that this brings not only to the door of the Confederacy but to your own very bedchamber. And yet all is not lost. Where there is greatest danger, there lies also greatest opportunity. The same woman that would be a mine beneath your walls, can be the bedrock of your fortress. The French would be more than delighted were you to immediately turn the woman over to them, to receive the justice she so arrogantly thinks herself above. This would show to them the high moral standard, the nobility, not only of the Confederacy but of you as the prime mover of this initiative. I'm sure that they would not be ungrateful.

And speaking of gratitude, I expect none for my timely warning. But if it should fall in your way to let the French know whence you came by this information, I would be forever in your debt.

I trust that you will act wisely Mr. McBane. We both know that it's a bitter ocean and a cold landfall to a man who finds all the world suddenly closed to him.

I remain, respectully yours,

Simon Fraser
11th Lord Lovat
Beauly Castle
Inverness-shire


Last edited by on Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

The Early Post Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeThu Nov 08, 2007 10:52 am

Dermid carefully read the letter a second time, grunted then pushed it aside. What would Hamish have made of this letter had he received it? He pushed that thought aside as quickly as the letter. Reaching for the second letter, the one addressed to himself, he deftly slit the envelope and began to read.
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

The Early Post Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeThu Nov 08, 2007 11:25 am

December 5, 1719

Dear Mr. Gavin

I am sure that I need do little to introduce myself. My name is well known amongst those who have sought to secure peace and stability for our homeland. While many--perhaps even yourself--have questioned my methods, I can assure you that I have sought only to establish a Scotland that is not constantly rent by bloodshed, the talent of its youth gutted and abandoned on the the field of endless and pointless internecine clan squabbling. I have been given to understand that you are a man who shares these ambitions, who works in his own way to ensure a Scotland where men of ambition, intelligence and breeding may realize their dreams of prosperity rather than be forced to seek their fortune abroad.

I have written some months since to your leader, Mr. McBane and to this date he has not favored me with the courtesy of a reply, even though my sources saw the letter safely delivered to his place of residence. A man in my position is not accustomed to being ignored, his advice cast aside as if it were offered by no more illustrious personage that a begger in the city street. I fear this confirms the impression I have for some time been forming of Mr. McBane, that he is a man characterized by poor judgement and a lack of zeal. I am reliably informed that you share these reservations concerning Mr. McBane's character.

I had tried to warn your leader of a grave danger not only to his personal reputation and security but to the ultimate success of the entire venture upon which you are all embarked. I can only hope that my communication with you now does not come too late to overcome the damage done by Mr. McBane's inaction. By now you should have received in your midst a woman by the name of Deoiridh D'Alembert. I have no doubt that she recommends herself well to the members of your society; like so many of her sex, she possesses that happy talent of appearing all that is becoming and proper on the surface, whatever may be the corrupt state of the soul that lurks beneath. For I am in possession of proofs most demonstrable that Madam D'Alembert has murdered her husband in the most cold-hearted manner and now seeks to capitalize on her crime by taking control of his business interests in the Caribbean.

I am sure that you appreciate, as Mr. McBane obviously did not, the dangers to the society's reputation (if not the actual personal safety of its members) caused by harboring a murderer in your midst. Nevertheless, I feel that this situation does afford a singular opportunity to the Confederacy and to you personally--if you act quickly.

I believe that you now understand how misguided has been Mr. McBane's desire to elicit the French in the aid of your cause. He is a blockhead if he imagines that Scottish security can be attained by relying on such an infamously feeble-minded and unconstant nation of profligates and libertines. You only have to look at how successful have been our efforts in this area to date! It has been the height of folly to work against those with whom we have the most in common in terms of blood and heritage; I speak of course of the British.

I believe the time is right for all Scots to forge a new relationship with our neighbours to the South. The British are certainly receptive and would be happy as happy to see a stable Scotland joined to their commercial interests for our mutual profitability. The Confederacy is certainly in the position to secure substantial commercial advantage in the Caribbean by abandoning this ill-advised alliance with the French. As a first step toward such an alliance, turning in a murderer that has fled the justice of the Crown, would, I believe, be met with considerable favor.

I require no recompense for advice that is offered only to benefit your interest and the greater cause of Scottish prosperity. But if it should fall in your way to communicate to a highly placed British official the source of your information about the fugitive murderess, I would be profoundly in your debt.

I hope therefore that you will receive my advice soberly and with prompt attention. Do not make the same mistake of ignoring me that Mr. McBane made.

I am, with all sincerity, yours

Simon Fraser
11th Lord Lovat
Beauly Castle
Inverness-shire


Last edited by on Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

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PostSubject: Re: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeThu Nov 08, 2007 11:26 am

((Apologies for voodooing Dermid's character here, but I couldn't think of any other way of doing it. I also rewrote the initial encounter between Lucien and Willem to acknowledge Hamish's absence, an RP development I hadn't caught up with when I wrote the original. If anyone else wants to pick this up from now on, go for it!))
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PostSubject: Re: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeWed Nov 28, 2007 5:50 pm

The captain of the Luron de mer put down his quill and stoppered his ink jar when a knock came to his door.

“Entrez.”

His first mate, Zacharie Sommer came in and closed the door behind him. He was of average height and had short cropped sandy-brown hair, his face was clean shaven with no distinguishable features and his clothes were fitting of a first mate aboard any given French free trader. However those were where the normality’s ended, or rather, they appeared normal for a purpose and they suited his purpose all too well.

Zach, as his friends called him, had every reason to not stand out, his purpose required it and his methods perfected it over the years. In front of others he and Benoit were the definition of Captain and first mate, but when no one else was around they were as equals, one assigned to the other by the highest levels of the regent’s office. They were paired up and set to a purpose, deemed to be efficient compliments of each other and set forth in a manner to best insure the goals of France.

“How was the Hornet?” Benoit had insisted that his crew learn English upon arriving in the Spanish Main so as to better understand their environment and he set the example working hard in his free time to rid himself of any French accent; being the type to go out of his way for even the smallest advantage that would push him towards victory whether it be in battle, negotiating a beneficial price, or various other shadier dealings.

“It was,” Zacharie paused to take a seat opposite the captain’s desk. “Authentic. Right down to the dust settled around her crates. Her crew was open and consistent with their stories; typical of a crew with nothing to hide.” He took a piece of paper from his pocket and handed it over to Benoit. “And she came from the land of the Scots not too long ago.”

Benoit looked over the advertisement noting the tavern and the date. “Good, the boy looked determined and capable. And I had no doubts about the Bishops authenticity; who would make that claim as a cover up?” The two men shared a laugh at that; ranks within the church were handed out and documented very carefully.

“There are still many more to consider and I’m sure at least one of them will confirm our …” The captain left his sentence hanging while he searched for the correct word, but coming up with nothing right away he left it at that, quite certain Zach understood.

“I will be working out all of them myself and giving those completed to some of the others; information never stops and everyone has ‘zere.. eh, squelettes.” Zacharie used the French word, not having learned its English equivalent yet.

“I had hoped you’d be doing them all personally, this is too important and we can’t let it go on unobserved for very long; it could end everything we’ve built up so far.”

“You don’t have to tell me commandant.” Zach gave a sarcastic smile at the jest. Calling his friend commandant when in a private conversation was his way of reminding Benoit there was no need to over simplify or spell out the obvious when talking to him.

Benoit’s smile was an admittance that he knew he was guilty, but he chose to change the subject, “I’ve decided to talk with Emile, he’d be extremely useful as another set of eyes and has unquestionable loyalty, you know how I feel about that; we wouldn’t find a more trustworthy person over here.” Benoit put his three pistol bandoleer over his shoulder, strapped on his sword belt, and put on his long coat. “And besides, he has a right to know, as a friend and as a French officer, some of what’s going on.”

“Just be very careful not to say too much, he doesn’t have the training and experience in what we do and could unknowingly and unwillingly cause trouble.”

“Yes commandant.” It was Benoit’s turn to make fun of Zach, he smiled and the other laughed. Zacharie picked up half a loaf of bread from his friends desk and ripped a piece off. “Oh, before you go I have some news from Fort du France, it would seem our mystery woman has made her way there.

Benoit stopped in his effort to reach the door, he wore a quizzical expression in his attempt to open all the drawers in his brain in hopes that one might hold a memory associated with a mystery women.

Zach was chewing on the bread and searching for something to wash it down; Benoit absently handed him an opened bottle from one of his cupboards. “Oh you mean the one that killed her husband?” The captain took off his coat and bandoleer and threw them on the bed. “Where did I put that copy of the letter from, what was it, Simon?” He began pushing boxes around under his bed and came up with one dated six months past. “Simon to MacBane.” He spoke the words to himself, recollecting out loud. “Here it is.”

He sat down and read it aloud.

Quote :

August 29, 1719

My dearest Mr. McBane

I flatter myself that you know of me even though I have not had the great pleasure of making your personal acquaintance.



I remain, respectully yours,

Simon Fraser
11th Lord Lovat
Beauly Castle
Inverness-shire




“Well, I think he gives a fairly accurate description of the nobility.” Zacharie having had his fill of bread and wine sat slouched in his chair with his legs stretched out in front of him.

“Yes, -yes but I get the impression he actually believes they are the ones running things. The real men of France most definitely know when to put their morals aside.” He hesitated when he said it then quickly added, “But I suppose we all do carry around some moral shackles when compared to the English.” He carefully refolded the copied letter and placed the box back in its place under his bed.

“Supposedly murdered her husband.” Zach finally said after a long silence. “This Simon writes as if with a grudge and you know as well as any the depths men go to in order to save their pride.”

“Oh, of course, I simply remembered that part of the letter. I’m with you on that count.” Benoit put his coat back on and grabbed his bandoleer. “I’m going to try to make it over to La Francisque before the rain starts.” As he opened the door he added without missing a beat, “I’m considering a trip to Fort du France; my warehouse there is just as good as any to put that extra lumber.”
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

The Early Post Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeThu Dec 06, 2007 9:28 pm

She realized that she still had a lot to learn about ships. But she knew a great deal about neglect. While she could not yet reliably tell a brig from a sloop stern on, a ship that was cared for stood out to her eye as clear as water over the reef at the harbor entrance. The ship before her now, the Luron de Mer, according to her stern, was a ship that bespoke a caring, attentive captain. Subject to hard usage, certainly, but such she knew was the real condition of the world; and the general hardness of the human lot was a good sea league away from willful brutality. She had had the opportunity to observe a lot of captains at their work recently, on ships large and small, and she knew that all ships were cleaned, repaired, trimmed and painted, at the sharp end of an order or the quick cut of a bosun's start. But a ship with a captain who willed her through the sea with love was different. Hard and firm with the crew he might be, but the crew of such a captain sensed that they were not simply the means to an end, but an integral part of a work in progress. Paint was applied a little more attentively, lines and stays rigged a little tighter, more care taken to blend the new repairs with the elder wood and brass.

A man, a sailor by his gait, reeking of vomit shouldered into her and rebounded perilously close to the edge of the wharf before resuming his course. She shook her head ruefully. She thought she'd left this romantic streak behind in Inverness.

Arriving on the packet from Fort Du France she had gone straight to the Albatross. Nothing as rough as she had been led to expect, and certainly not for this part of the world. But as the headquarters for a thriving, well, what to call it. . .a concern? There was no sign of either Mr. McBane or Mr. Gavin. The proprietor, an oddly sincere albeit completely graceless man named Willem tried mightily but ineptly to conceal his unease at their absence. In response to her own delicately phrased inquiries about the Confederacy, he had directed her to the wharves. And what a different world she was in, where men didn't hesitate to send women down the dockside! Looking around, she wasn't lacking in female company, however, and not just the kind of women she had expected to find in such a location. Some of the women were overseeing the unloading and loading of cargo with the proprietary eye that indicated a distinctly mercantile interest. One or two--and here, she had to admit, a very unladylike yearning started in her breast--strode the wharf in the gear and demeanour of captains in their own right.

She looked up and noticed a man emerging from the cabin of the Luron de Mer. The three pistols that he hardly took the trouble to conceal beneath a worn but recently fashionable Parisian frock coat were intimidating, certainly, but it was his air of quiet confidence that indicated he was very probably the captain of the vessel creaking and bumping gently against the wharf.
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PostSubject: Re: The Early Post   The Early Post Icon_minitimeThu Jan 03, 2008 5:19 pm

“Lucas, Lucas.” The man with the three pistols called out to one of his deck hands, the sailor was so busy checking the rigging for any signs of decay that he had hadn’t at first heard his name called.

“Oui commandant? Erh… captain.” Having been so caught up in his work, Lucas started to respond in his native tongue of French, but quickly recovered. When they had first arrived in the Spanish Main one of the captain Bontecou’s first orders were for his men to attend lessons on English, something to do with ‘gaining any possible advantage’ or something of that sort.

The young seaman was not entirely fond of having to study anything, after all he had joined a ships crew not a university, but English?, it was a backwards language of an uncultured people; everyone knew French was the international language and the language of all the courts in Europe. However, Lucas had learned early on that life aboard the Luron de mer or Sea Sprite as it was called in English was anything but typical. Sometimes at night the older members of the crew would start to telling stories, never doubt the word of Commandant Bontecou, he had an uncanny way of always being right they said; not to follow his word is to flirt with death itself, some even whispered that he must have made some sort of pact with Umberlee, the witch of the sea.

Yes, Lucas feared the captain, but not because he ever had an unkind word to say or uttered a threat, no he was overly polite and kind, never once had he witnessed the man lose his temper or raise his voice, and yet, he always seemed to have a storm brewing within his eyes, some divination
of things to come; a beast that was barely contained. He thought he saw it flash to life once, they were caught in a great storm, angrier then had had ever seen it before or since. They were coming from the Bahamas and making way for Grenville when the storm rose up from the South. All thought their time had finally come but the commandant had ordered the sails up and turned the Sprite down wind. During the worst of it Lucas had seem him hanging onto the bow rigging leaning out over the sea and cursing into the wind, challenging it to some sort of duel in hell. In that moment the well mannered gentry turned into a crazed lunatic with a constant litany French curses that would shame the even the most sea hardened rogue.
And so here he was, although Lucas Drouse did not like speaking English he would do it for him, the man that brought him through a storm of nightmares with full sails.

“Please find Theo and have him gather the crew, I have an announcement you should all…”

His last words trailed off as a shouting match on the pier over took his train of thought. As soon as he saw one of the sailors wildly swinging a lantern at the other everything else in the world, at that very moment, became trivial; careless use of fire in, on, or anywhere near a ship was paramount to high treason and Benoit began barking orders in earnest.

[Continued here.]
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