"A La Martinique"
|Subject: "A La Martinique" Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:36 pm|| |
The cabin boy sprinted across the deck with an armful of parcels, lost his footing in the dimming light and skidded into the captain's door with a loud thud. He gulped, glanced over his shoulder, ignored an envelope that bounced off his foot, and pounded on the door until the muffled voice
from within gave way to quickly approaching bootsteps.
The door flew open, and the cabin boy gulped again as the captain planted her hands on her hips and stared up at him. He had nearly a foot of height on her five-foot-nothing frame; he could probably pick up the little Welsh woman and toss her over his shoulder - but Lord help anyone who tried something like that. She was dressed half in patches, which she wore like badges of honour, over her navy skirt and off-white longcoat; they gave her the air of a roguish peddler - with a polished cutlass and crossed pistols tucked neatly in her belt.
"What's wrong with ye, boy, the men back already and usin ya for bowling practice?" He watched her bemused look become thoughtful as he said quickly, "George's men 're coming - heard em asking the harbormaster about us, and whether the crew was out on the town," She ducked back in and emerged immediately, securing a wide-brimmed green hat on her tawny head. "Run - sneak round while I distract em, and get the rest of the boys. Tell em to look sharp - we have guests," she said with a wink, and strode across the deck.
Last edited by on Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:15 pm; edited 3 times in total
|Subject: Re: "A La Martinique" Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:37 pm|| |
Ten soldiers led by a tall man in a ridiculous wig marched down the docks, halting by the peaceful, small merchant ship with 'Vitrenard' painted on the side. The ladder was up; the soldiers muttered slightly. With a wave from the tall man an officer with a lantern cleared his throat and put a hand to the side of his mouth: "In the name of King George--"
"--I heard ya, gentlemen, no need ta shout," a wide-brimmed hat popped over the railing at that very instant, and under it a broad smile. The interrupted officer's eyes bulged. "What brings ye out to my ship this beautiful evenin? Much as I'ld miss yer charming company I'm afraid we've no room for passengers." She winked at the officer, who turned an interesting shade of red.
The man in the ridiculous powdered wig shoved the flustered officer back as he stepped forward. "This is a customs inspection, captain -" he waved a hand and a second officer held up a parchment paper, "- Ros, Tomasine Ros. Lower the ladder."
"British customs in Saint Thomas?" the captain roared. "This 's been a Dutch freeport since afore you were an idea! Go on, I've real business to concern myself with. An I'm certain you do, too. Harrassing innocent merchants in the midst of the night! What sort of customs business are ye
running, after dark?"
The merchant captain and the customs man eyed each other. "I act by all rights and proper authorities, *Miss* Ros." Tomasine caught a nervous glance between two officers out of the corner of her eye.
After a tense moment she stood up. "Alright then, I suppose there's nothing to it, you with all yer proper authorities and all." She folded her arms across her chest. "Of course I'd like to see yer papers."
The second officer unfolded the wax-sealed parchment and held it in the air. "Can't see em from there, now can I?" scoffed the captain. "Toss em on up here."
The second officer blinked, then looked down at the gap between the ship and the pier where the plank was not, and up again. "What?"
"Ye aren't boarding till I see yer papers. Fold em into a little boat and float em over here for all I care."
The officer looked pleadingly at the customs man for help, who drew himself up impatiently. "Submit to inspections immediately, or you shall not leave port but under lock and key!"
The captain leaned forward on the rail, far enough that the lantern light caught the glint of one white glass eye.
|Subject: Re: "A La Martinique" Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:39 pm|| |
The siege continued as the captain railed, until the soldiers finally found a plank and laid it across the gap, allowing them to board. The two crewmen left on watch stood behind the captain as the Brits marched on deck. The captain eyed them furiously, looking like a small powder keg about to blow.
The customs man smirked as he turned from the captain to his soldiers. "You know what to look for. Be quick about it, and bring it up when you find it." He looked over his shoulder. "Or you could save us the trouble by cooperating."
At this the captain's eyes widened, and she heaved a sigh. "Alright, alright, you've got me. I'll show ye where it is." The soldiers stopped as the customs man recovered his surprise and puffed up with a look of triumph. Tomasine nodded to her few men, who glanced at each other and moved out of the way as the captain paced towards the other side of the ship, the soldiers following.
"Soon as ye were coming aboard we hid all the evidence," She gave a defeated sigh, "But we can't put anything by you boys."
The customs man chuckled as he eagerly followed. "Naturally, now - tell me where the contraband goods are hidden."
Tomasine gestured down, over the side of the ship. "Hung them outside from the rail and portals, where we thought ye wouldn't look." The customs man and several soldiers rushed to lean over the rail, just in time not to see Tomasine duck.
|Subject: Re: "A La Martinique" Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:40 pm|| |
The boom caught the Brits square in the back and sent them head over heels, the ridiculous wig flying through the air as the customs man shrieked and grabbed for the rail. The captain grabbed him by the ankles and hauled him right overboard, with a satisfied "humph," the crewmen quickly following suit by jumping from the rigging to kick off the soldiers scrambling for handholds. The captain planted a boot on the rail and grinned down. "Don't know what you were looking for, but I suspect ye don't want to tell the navy proper cause of some embarrassment it'll cause ye - robbed and beat by the likes of us," The crew laughed. "Maybe you'll inspect the bottom of our ship for us?" She was answered by splashes and sputtering shouts. "Thank ye lads!" The crew's laughter was interrupted by the noise of approaching bootsteps on the pier.
Two dozen crewmen and women - trailed by the cabin boy - rushed onto the 'Vitrenard' and to the captain's side. A sturdy black man peered over the rail and looked to Tomasine curiously. "We heard there was trouble?"
"Just customs," she waved her hand dismissively. "In a terrible rush to leave, they were. Such a rush they missed the pier." Her eyes glittered. "We might take off early ourselves, seeing how the charming influence of Georgie and his boys has reached this heretofore peaceful port. Hate to have more delightful guests." She strode towards her quarters, then paused to look down and pick up a dropped envelope.
"Where to, captain?"
She looked thoughtfully at the letter for only a moment, and smiled.
"Set sail a la Martinique."
|Subject: Re: "A La Martinique" || |
"A La Martinique"