BIMSHAW, THE PIRATE
By A. HYATT VERRILL
Illustrated by Walt Louderbach
The American Boy, December 1918. Digitized by Doug Frizzle, May 2010.
CHAPTER IV, CONTINUED.
OFF ARECIBO we sighted a sail and soon overhauling it found her to be a felucca inward bound from Santiago de Cuba and of so little value—her cargo being naught but hides, food and live stock—that we wasted no shots upon her, and, to save
To him one reported that when at Puerta Plata
This was good news indeed, were it true, but to make him prove his words, or teach him a lesson did he lie,
He was a sweet rascal,
Two days later we stood in to
But her passengers had taken to
The ship now being at our mercy, much treasure and a vast store of liquors and ammunition was secured, and
The pirates were in high spirits and
To recount all our movements and to tell of prizes taken would be irksome and but a repetition and, suffice to say, that in
But of one thing I must write, for it was that which brought about
AS FATE HAD IT
Upon her were many women, and,
One poor soul, her husband slain before her eyes and her babe cast writhing into
As, powerless to help, I looked on at such fearful sights and listened to
To kill my fellow men in open fight, even though 'twas to rob
"Aye," he said, when he had heard me, " 'tis a sorry sight,
"An' I ha' ship o' my own I'll slit
Grommet Legs shook with his strange, silent laughter. "Belike ye may, lad," he exclaimed. "An' ye do, count on ol' Ben Grommet Legs for mate. Aye, 'twill be right fine to touch me forelock and call ye 'Cap'n Bimshaw.' " At
Little we ei
THREE YEARS AND MORE had passed since that night on which I swam out through
I had met with many adventures, had sailed many leagues of
But through it all never had I taken part in
'Twas passing hard work—aye, harder than
"Zounds! but 'tis strange for pirate to turn preacher," guffawed one, with a vile oath.
"An' he has his way he'd marry we all to th' pretty things, an' be done wi' it," roared a third.
"Wi' black mammies i'
"An' wha' be
"Nay," said I, "ye be all wrong, mates. No preacher be I, nor no parson; but I hold that ye ha' naught ag'in' women and babes, an'
"Ah, stow it," replied an old pirate. "An' ye be so faint-hearted ye canna' hear a woman screech or see a rope's end laid on
Greatly was I tempted to crack
I have lived long, though I was passing young
But though some seemed won over, I much misdoubted how well
IT HAPPENED that we took a prize, a goodly ship, and hiding in
At this I could stand no more, and, bounding through
"A pretty fight, i' truth," he exclaimed in his soft, purring voice. "A sweet pretty fight an' o'er a pretty face an' fair skin. Tut, tut, Bimshaw, methought ye proof 'gainst woman. An' ye set your heart on
The Irish fighting blood of my forefa
For an instant thus we stood,
So saying, he threw off his rich coat, kicked off his silver-buckled shoes and stepped within
His words called me to my senses, and my heart beat fast at thought of what I had brought upon me. Hawkins was noted for his skill with
But I had scant time for such thoughts; two shining blades had been handed
THE NEXT SECOND
The gleaming blades flashed like fire in
Never had I hoped to stand so long before his onslaught— for always I had deemed myself scarce more than an indifferent master of
Again and again his cutlass found my flesh, cuts covered shoulders, arms and checks, blood poured over me from a dozen wounds, but I felt
But Hawkins, back to
As Hawkins staggered back and his cutlass fell ringing to
SCARCE HAD HE FALLEN ere steel gleamed on every side, angry voices, fierce oaths, and awful curses were shouted, and upon me closed
At sight of him
A sullen growl rose from
For a space
"So be it, Grommet Legs," he said. "Ye speak true when ye say 'twas a fair fight, an' as for
"That I will not," says Grommet Legs. "Too old be I; ye need young blood an' young strength for that, lads. I'll navigate
I fairly reeled at
And yet, here was Grommet Legs calmly telling
"Aye, Bimshaw be
"A pushing lad, but a good one," yelled a third.
"Hawkins met his match; Bimshaw for us," cried a chorus.
Old Grommet Legs looked on, a broad grin overspreading his rough, red face.
"Aye, lads," he cried, “I knowed ye'd see it right. Overboard wi'
As two men lifted Hawkins' limp body and pitched it over
STRANGE INDEED did it seem for me to be master within that cabin where first I'd signed in mine own blood upon
Long I sat
Hawkins' things were all about, and
"Ye chose me cap'n, lads," I said, when all stood toge
For a space
"Thank ye, men," says I. "An' as for
ALBEIT I was captain of
Thus, as we sailed onward towards Saona, I spent much of my time striving to master
It happened that two days after I had been made captain I sat within my cabin at night, poring over charts upon
Then, from behind
And now that
No sail had we raised since I'd been captain of
My plan was this: to sail to Margarita—
'Twas a long sail and out of
'Twas a black night and silently we crept under
And so, for
"An' ye ask me," said Grommet Legs, "
"A good plan," I replied, "but I've a better. An'
The mate stared at me admiringly. "Faith, Cap'n," he cried, "ye ha' a headpiece on your shoulders to be sure. Ye're fair born to be a pirate cap'n, lad. Gad! but we'll see a merry time this night."
'Twas a perilous trick to strive to take
No sound came across
Once me thought I heard a smo
Then at last, against
SCARCE had we passed two boat lengths when
'Twas easy work. The Spaniards, roused from
Pistoling those who fled before us, cutting down those who stood
That women fell amid
But though it takes full long to write it down,
Such store of treasure as we found we placed within our boats and, so great was it, that a round score of trips were made ere 'twas loaded on
(To be continued in