(15) (2)WarpedSails In search of…………..Here we go again!

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ImageMadame Babette da Rosa @Babettedarosa2

// Turning on a sweet smile in greeting a patron who I’m happy to say is willing to pay for both our best cognac and my girls, as it is said that his bank balance is substantial.
 
Acrid odours rise from his cigar, adding to the ambient haze of the establishment. His ruddy face glows as he quaffs one of our best cognacs, we only sell one, I smile, decentered into our own labelled bottles. The copious amounts rendering him ready, if not able. He is one of many prestigious patrons who lavish bonuses on my girls and pays generously for their unbridled attention. Except it won’t be Harriett tonight, foolish girl caught something nasty so its handstands for her tonight applying a Lignum vitae douche laid up in her room.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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One good thing my “Dear” brother brought back from one of his escapades, the draft keeps my girls working. Talking of which my brother dearest, my roving sibling has ruffled my feathers, causing my assets to shimmy within the bodice of my gown. God only knows how my jubilees lingered within my stays!
Well, this time he has gone too far, and as his sister, it’s fallen to me to deal with it. It’s beyond me how fifty casks of wine disappeared from the hold of his ship! I’m not as stupid to believe his explanation.
 
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@Jack_Bananas_  is not that clever picking a pocket or two is more his style not emptying a hold. …. thick-witted monkey.
 
I’m grateful @DonPauClaris  is at the vineyard in Catalan and @ManoPedrosa91 Mano has enough to keep him occupied.
@_TiagoDelgado and that minx of a daughter of his, Catina, sneaking off to God knows where sooner they’re married the better.
 
Smiling sweetly at a table of gents playing cards, the girls are a distraction draping themselves around them plying them ale. I have a suitable plan for @Capt_Bart    one he will not expect.  My brother, @Capt_Bart  knows how we operate that the turnover of wine and the other commodities he procures with a sizable markup they put money in the coffers. No Bart took his eye off business, and now he will pay!
 
Easing down my jubilees which wobble with infuriation, I sigh heavily and like plump melons they rise, tempting all that care to look.
Several patrons make advances I reward them with a lustful smile. Swirling around, my assets plumped up, I sashay towards the corner of the establishment side-stepping around clients cavorting with my girls who blatantly proffer their wares.
 
In the gloom of the room hunkered down in the corner a rugged gentleman, whom I have used before and for special favours, he will do my bidding.
 
Don’t leap to conclusions! He can look until his eyeballs protrude from their sockets. As for fondling, he can keep his grubby hands in his pockets and play with whatever is his pleasure!!!  Settling down next to him experienced hand slide over his knee; “Now my handsome have you found him!” I ask? He answers, not raising his eyes from my delicious mounds.
 
“Yes, madame I have he’s held up at the Mermaid Inn, not three miles from here. ” Leaning over the table oozing with promise and appeal, I slide a full pouch towards him, generously paying for the information.
 
Standing to leave, I move up close to his chair leaning over him, sliding a roving hand into one of his pockets I don’t mind telling you it was crowded in there. After a quick squeeze of the contents, I whisper close to his ear.
 
“Now my handsome go to the merchants guild and inform them where to find Bart, they will take it from there.”
 
 
As I sashay away, he calls after me; “You know madam what will become of him?” He says! 
 
I turn with a wicked smile “I don’t know what you mean, Sir.” With a flourish, I sashay away revelling in my success. //
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ImageJean @Capt_Bart
 
I stare at the bars of my cell. Quite a nice cell, as cells go. I’ve certainly been in worse. I shake my head with a wry smile. Is this what my life has become? Sitting in a cell, reminiscing over other prisons, far smaller and worse smelling.  This one is quite spacious, with a window to the outside world. Granted, it has bars and is too high to see out of, without doing an impression of Billy and climbing the wall, but at least it lets in some light and fresh air. Ah, Billy.
I wonder how the lad is doing without my guiding hand. I wonder if he’s found himself a young lady friend yet? Then again, considering how deeply he blushed the last time he met that young maid of Lotus Flower, probably not. I chuckle a little at the memory. Lotus Flower. 
 
 
But Billy was more than a little smitten with that pretty young maid. But, he’s still young and green in the gills for that kind of thing. Maybe he’s staying close to my sister @Babettedarosa2 , although, for Billy’s sake, I hope not too close.
 
That devious, conniving, double-crossing bitch … she definitely takes after our mother, whereas I, I am pleased to say, follow more in my father’s footsteps. My father would never have ratted out his brother for a few baubles and a little revenge. He’d have made sure it was worth his while first. And I mean, revenge for what exactly? Haven’t I always provided her with enough money to indulge her foibles? Alright, so sometimes that money came with a favour attached.
 
 
But really, her girls are so good at keeping important men busy while ships load and unload their illicit cargos, it made perfect sense to me that we should all make a little profit from the arrangement. And I’m not entirely sure how that damn ape of my cousin Jacob
@Demerchant19  was persuaded to trade those fine wines for a crate of bananas anyway. I think he was set up in that deal, but if he was, he’s not telling us who actually did it. That’s the problem with apes.
 
I mean, sure they’re good at climbing over walls that are meant to keep out thieves, and yes, you can teach them to pick a lock if you really try hard. At least, that’s what Jacob tells me. But they are not great conversationalists. Animals seldom are. –
 
I listen when a gull screeches overhead. No, my dear, I don’t mean you. You’re the exception to the rule. Anyway, back to the point I was trying to make. I’m not even sure why my sister was so upset about the wine being replaced by bananas.  I told Mano @ManoPedrosa91
to make Daquiris with it. Surely they’re exotic enough for his tavern, and it’s not as though he’s short of rum, although, with that number of bananas, the rum would dwindle quickly. My own crew should have been more upset about that. 
 
Which might explain why they haven’t tried to rescue me. Ah well, the life of a pirate, I mean privateer, never was plain sailing. Where would the fun be in that? And tomorrow I’m to be sold to the highest bidder. Me! Captain Jean Bartholomew. The indignity.  I think back to other incidents and tilt my head slightly. Ok, so maybe it’s not the greatest indignity I’ve ever suffered. There was that time with the pig, the Marquis de Cadillac, and the teurgoule … I shudder at the memory.
 
I still can’t eat rice pudding, although I have the green and orange robes somewhere … but I digress. Tomorrow, I am to be sold, although I have no doubt I will be in high demand.
 
After all, I am dashingly handsome, well-travelled, fluent in several languages, and a perfect gentleman in polite society … mainly anyway. I have no doubts at all that a high price will be paid tomorrow. I smile to myself and nod confidently. A high price indeed.
 
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*I stand proudly on the small stage they’ve erected for this sale of human beings. A macabre and distasteful affair to my way of thinking, but I’m not really in a position to complain too loudly. 
I have enough bruises already thank you very much. I listen to the uncouth man beside me attempting to proclaim my virtues, trying not to breathe in when he breathes out.  Lords, but his breath is worse than Albain’s after a heavy night of drinking, and believe me, Albain can strip varnish from wood.*
‘Healthy.’

*Yes, I am, very healthy. I flex my muscles as far as the iron shackles will allow proving the point, eliciting a few gasps from the ladies in the crowd.  I flash some of them my brightest smile and am rewarded with a few giggles, and one lady going as far as to fan herself vigorously. And no, it’s not exceptionally hot today.*

‘Hardworking.’

*Well, providing there is a reward at the end of my labours, I can be, fairly, on a good day, with the following wind. Ok, so I’m a leader of men, not some common drudge, but leading some men can be hard work.*

‘Has all his own teeth.’
*Really? That’s a selling point? Enough of this drivel.*
 
“Ladies, Gentlemen, may I introduce myself. My name is Jean Bartholomew, and I assure you, I would be a most worthy addition to any household.
 
*I twist sideways to avoid an elbow to the ribs. Apparently, my salesman does not like his goods to advertise themselves. Bit of bad luck he’s having. His patter is terrible. He’ll never get a decent price for me his way.*
 
“I am indeed healthy, and disease-free. I’m well-travelled, well educated, and fluent in several languages.”
 
*I step backwards to avoid a badly aimed swing of a fist to my head Including English. I am a delightful conversationalist in polite society, or at any of your dinner parties. I even know which fork to use for which course. *I step sideways again. Lord, this man has a dreadful aim.*
 
“And I can read and write, so you can entrust all your paperwork with me.”
 
*I smile broadly at the young lady who has been occupying the cell next to mine and who is due to be sold next.* –
 
“And if you buy me and that young lady there as a package deal, then I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. She’s hard-working, healthy, has all her own teeth. Ow.
*Ok, I didn’t move fast enough that time. As I try to gather some more air back into my lungs, the bidding begins. I encourage a few of the ladies with flashes of my dazzling smile. A couple of the men are now looking at the young lady and considering placing a bid.  I wink at her, and she starts to play along, batting her lashes at the men. I knew she would. She’s sharp, that one. I knew that as soon as I saw that coin of hers. The one with the strange symbol, that she’s kept completely hidden from her captors. Sharp, and curious.
 
The best of combinations in my eyes. And the pretty face doesn’t hurt either.*
*After an initial flurry, the bidding seems to be between a lady who is partially obscured behind a parasol, and a nasty looking man with straggly hair and a lace handkerchief, which he is waving a little too elaborately to my mind. I’m pretty sure I would not enjoy working for him. The lady though … if only I could be sure. The man with the straggly hair has stopped bidding. He has a most peculiar look on his face.
 
 
 
 
 

Albain Porcher @albainold

Goodnight sweet lady, Adieu, mon feu d’artifice! * Mon Dieu…..I say closing one eye focusing on the way ahead……Babettes Emporium offers many delights to warm this weak Seamans bones!

Weaving towards the gangplank, one eye closed squinting……I can just make out the shapely curves of Lucia is waiting at the top……better make an excuse good enough to calm this fire-cat, or that knife she is twirling will do me damage! *
 
Mon Dieu, Lucia…*even with one eye closed* You look beautiful in the moonlight! *She’s not impressed, staggering up the rest of the gangplank coming to face with the she-devil……stumbling to the deck at her feet! c’est la vie
 
 
 
Lucia D’Ogeron @catalanlass2015
Twisting the wiry hair within my grip, he lets out a pathetic welp// Get up you old fool! Where’s our Captain? Make it right I’m in no mood for your blunders!
 
 
 
Albain Porcher @albainold
*Wincing under her grasp muttering under my breath…..what beath I have…I drag myself to my feet.* Mon Dieu lass! Have sympathy for an old man. And while I think of it, you better get Bed loving Betty from Babettes before she exhausts all the wealthy patrons.
 
 
 
 

LuciaLucia D’Ogeron @catalanlass2015

 
The crew, who assemble below me on the main deck, they know the darkness of my mood will be discharge.// You men know me well, my word is my bond! So be assured I will make good Capt Barts lousy judgement! He sold us out, with little reward from the last deal. //
 
 
 
 
 
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Now then a show of hand! Who stands with me? Those with Bart leave now and take that Ape and parrot with you! // I stand at the rail of the quarterdeck looking down on the crew! Four men leave carrying a gage with the Ape and parrot inside. A curse on them the scurvy retches.
 
The Boatswain takes the wheel. Steady fingers curl around the rail of the quarterdeck as I survey my crew and issue my first orders as Captain.// Cast off, Albain hoist the mainsail! Boatswain, turn the wheel to the port side, 90 degrees off the wind. And steady as she goes.
 
Alabin, trim the sail 45 degrees aft. // The great ship starts heeling away from the wind, we are underway.// Albain, Murat my cabin now! //Murat scowls with Albain follows mutely behind, looking worse for wear!
 
 
Albain Porcher @albainold

*This does not bode well in my gut……Mon Dieu, I pray the lass has thought this though…..Lucia has revenge in her heart…….Bart has deceived her before, and this fire-cat carries a grudge. The ships bell sounds 4 bells……..mon Cher dieu….the retched noise strikes in the centre of my head…. I squint throwing a glance at Murat! Hard to know what that one thinks….never shows emotion. We enter the Captain’s quarters……Mon Dieu not a damn bottle in sight……this will be a long dry voyage!.*

 

 
 
 

Image@Capt_Bart I knew this was going to be a complete farce. I mean, honestly, having Betty @BedLoving2016   bid on my freedom, with no money to actually pay? Who in their right mind thought that was a good idea? 

Still, at least she created a diversion long enough for me to overthrow the man holding my chains. And Isobella was smart enough to seize her chance and run with me. Although that young man swinging on a rope from the clock tower helped distract the guards.

 
Ok, so now we’re on the top of a building, away from our captors, but we need to get back down again. After all, we can’t exactly fly away. I scramble over the roof and glance down. Scaffolding? Oh well, it will have to do.
“Jump … No, I’m not mad. Yes, it will be fine. No, we don’t have a choice. Unless you think dying in a hail of musket balls is a choice? I didn’t think so. Jump!”
The scaffolding crumbles beneath us and we tumble to the ground and the relatively soft landing of a huge pile of hay. Now that was lucky, that pile of hay, just there. Anyone would think this had been planned. I chuckle as we scramble to our feet and look around.
 
 
Just thinking about that gives me a headache, and now is the time for action. Worrying about technicalities can come later. I try not to cringe as Isobella steers the horses through the back streets. “Left. Left to the docks.” I duck as a cannonball rips through the walls of the building above us. “Don’t worry. If they’re aiming at us, their aim is terrible.” Or they’re terribly drunk.  Albain @albainoldis the most terrible drunk I’ve ever know, and even he has been known to be able to hit a wall from forty paces if he focuses for long enough and there’s the promise of rum at the end of the day. My crew! My crew have come to my rescue.  
 
 
“Come, my dear, allow me to introduce you to my crew.” I look around, confused. “Where is my ship?” I scowl as Billy runs past me, grabbing me by the arm and dragging me up a gangplank. “This is not my ship. This is Jacobs’ @Demerchant19  ship!” Although, that would explain why Betty is here. “Where is my ship? And where the hell is my crew?” I stare at Joao @JoaoRibeiro951 in bewilderment. “Where is my ship, where the hell is my cousin, and why are you at the helm of his ship?”
 
 
 
 
 
 

302675475-copy{So Meh’d Bart there yo be, zackly wat yo be doin here caintelly! But ansome, ayes know where do’ee belong to. Are’em!! er’ took e’ ship come on ya lump ya needs a splann! Are’em!! they be keepin Jacob e’ be teasy if e’ is! Slinks bac as e’ leans on thee rail.}

 

 

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