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 Good Bye to a Friend

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PostSubject: Good Bye to a Friend   Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:21 am

“Sea monster! There is a SEA MONSTER off the port bow! Captain! ” The cry came from a young farm boy of 15 on his first voyage at sea. The old sea dogs turned to look then started laughing. Cathern pulled out her spyglass and looked in the direction the boy had said. Cathern smiled then called out, “Boy, come here!” The novice sailor looked petrified from the crew’s laughter but being summoned to talk to HER was worse. The old hands had filled the boy's head with tales of terror. The boy hesitantly walked across the deck. He spoke in French only. “Ye..ye..yes Captain?” Cathern handed the boy her spyglass, answering in her own English accented French. “Take a look boy; and what is your name?” The youth took the spy glass in amazement and sputtered out his name, “J…J…Jean Le Boutain Captain.” He held the spyglass up, backwards. Cathern helped the lad look through it properly. “That is whale Jean, not a sea monster. Sometimes they sing their own special songs, like the birds do. You’ll see more of them if you continue a life at sea.” Jean continued watching in amazement. Cathern gently took her scope back from Jean and put it in her case. “Go below decks, you might hear it singing. You’re excused for the rest of your watch to celebrate your first whale.” Jean smiled at Cathern and took off down below. Cathern laughed a little as Jean disappeared down below and appointed another crewman to stand watch in place of scrubbing the deck. It always made Cathern feel good to see someone gain a new appreciation and love for the sea. It was going to be a good voyage she thought even though she had a painful task to accomplish.

Marcelle came up to the deck moments after Jean went down. He was groaning a bit. “Marcelle, are you well? You don’t look well.” Marcelle rubbed his hands together. “Aye Capitaine. Just these old bones and joints of mine. They get more painful every day. I’m not the man I used to be but I still got a few good years left in me the Lord willing.” Cathern opened her flask of Scotch and took a sip then passed it to Marcelle. “A little bit of medicine to start the day my old friend?” Marcelle gave a smile and took a pull on the flask then one more before passing it back. “That’ll do the trick. Warms the belly and eases the pain.” Marcelle was still in pain of course though he tried to hide it. Cathern had been noticing it more and more. Marcelle was too old for the sea. Cathern knew it, and Marcelle did too. The two stood side bye side looking out at the sea. “This is your last voyage Marcelle.” Marcelle didn’t speak for a few moments gazing out at the waves. “I was wondering when you would have the courage to say something. For the last year I waited. I know you noticed it was more difficult for me. You are finally ready to be the Capitaine you were meant to be. I felt obligated to be at your side. The times you were aboard your father’s ship he always had me keep an eye on you. Promise to protect you I did. And so I did.” Cathern put her hand on Marcelle’s shoulder. “I have been putting my gold away for this day. It’s time to find my fat woman to give me babies, legitimate ones instead of the bastards I undoubtedly have in ports from here to Africa and Europe. Luckily, I have one that fancies me. I have been courting her for over a year now.” Cathern turned and looked incredulous and playfully punched Marcelle in the arm. “What! You never told me about a woman you had been courting! And here I thought you really were going to wait till I freed Jazelle” Marcelle gave a hearty laugh. “No my Capiatine. I told you Jazelle wasn’t the one for me even though she can get the gristle in my nethers stiff. I never said because I wanted you to be ready to do this without me. Now you are ready and Simone, my fat bride to be, will be very happy.”



[more to come....]
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OxBaker
Privateer Captain
Privateer Captain
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Number of posts : 410
Registration date : 2007-09-10

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Locations: Grenville
Production: Hemp, Rope, Canvas, Cotton, Sails, Textile Unrest Bundles
Requirements: Tar

PostSubject: Re: Good Bye to a Friend   Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:43 am

I thought I'd mention that I really enjoy these little snippets from your voyages. You have a way with words and they make for interesting reading and good background into your character's nature. Plus it gives me something to read as I while away the hours at work, so thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Good Bye to a Friend   Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:17 pm

OxBaker wrote:
I thought I'd mention that I really enjoy these little snippets from your voyages. You have a way with words and they make for interesting reading and good background into your character's nature. Plus it gives me something to read as I while away the hours at work, so thanks!

[You are more than welcome. Gives me something to do WHILE at work!]
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PostSubject: Re: Good Bye to a Friend   Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:08 pm

OxBaker wrote:
You have a way with words!

Aye that she does, and honor as well as i learned durin' our little "conversation" a few days ago...
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PostSubject: Re: Good Bye to a Friend   Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:14 am

“So my old friend, who do you think should take should take your place? Not that you can really be replaced of course!” Marcelle stroked his stubbled chin a moment. “Well, let me see. He would have to be able to stand up to you and be able to out drink yah. And he has to be able to put up with your feminine charms, womanly emotions, and trips to the tailor.” Cathern punched Marcelle playfully again. “Oh please, I am NOT that bad! If my mum were still alive she would tell you that I act more like a rabble rousing man than a lady.” Marcelle chuckled a bit. “One doesn’t have to be a lady to be all woman. I jest in any case. If I had to pick someone to fill these old boots of mine I might be picking Johan Van der Beeke.” Cathern was a bit surprised by the choice but Johan was a good man with over a decade experience on the sea. He was a Frenchman born on the border with the Netherlands and one of her officers she had sailed with many a time on her packet-boat. Level headed, slow to anger but firm when needed. Not terribly well educated beyond the sea but a good sailor and mate never the less. “If that is who you think should fill those stinky boots of yours then that’s who it will be Marcelle, if he wants the job of course. It won’t be the same though. I have known you almost all my life. You have almost been a father to me. You were there after my parents…well you have always been there.”



The two stood silent, the sound of the sea, the crew chatting and going about their work, a few sea birds squawking out there calls filling the air. “I should tend to my duties my Capitaine. Those louts need close watching or nothing would ever get done.” Cathern smiled, “Go on then, I’ll be below deck working with Jazelle.” Marcelle straightened up and went amongst the crew barking orders and inspecting the work, his pain fading a bit from the Scotch and warm sun as Cathern went below. After looking things over Marcelle went to bow and relived the man on watch there. The ship cut gracefully through the water, a bit of spray flying up from time to time. Marcelle had seen much in his years and had sustained a number of wounds which amazingly never took a limb or an eye. He had seen much of Europe, the coastlines of Africa, the cold of the artic, and the tip of South America. He had seen whales, sharks, great white bears, and even the carcass of a kraken which in centuries to come would be called a giant squid. It was a hard life but a good life. All things must come to an end and he now longed for family ashore. The young girl turned bold and pretty woman was more than ready to do without him. There was something sad about the moment. Death would not be long in coming. Every day he could feel it approaching. He wondered if it was fair to marry Simone knowing that he didn’t have many years left. He dismissed the thought. Simone was young and could find another man. He had saved up much gold to ensure she would be taken care of all of her days. Yes, he thought once more. It was time to finally time to say good bye to his old and constant friend, the sea.



One of the crewmen working nearby noticed tears coming down Marcelle’s cheek but said nothing, wondering what could bring the old sailor to tears. The crewman went back to his work, deciding maybe it was better to not know.



[Anyone else ever tear up while writing? Geesh. The end....]
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