That was the big exciting thing that happened on Tuesday evening. All our hard work paid off in a 71% win over our RINO opponent. (that is Republican In Name Only) The sign waving last Saturday and on Mon. and Tues. was a blast! Lots of good response and honks. Oh, and we did manage to get all 10,000 postcards addressed. We called that project "Operation Polar Bear" which made our opposition puzzled as to what we were doing. (The postcard stamps had Polar Bears on them.:)) But that is now over. We won't be starting work for the general election yet. And I don't think it will be quite as bad and hard as the primary was. At least I hope not!
But now I can get on with other things. I need to send out an email about writing classes, get my Scribbler assignment finished :), catalogue our books on LibraryThing.com, start quilting again, write once more and the list goes on.:) At least I'm not sitting around twiddling my thumbs and wishing for something to do. But now I must post the next part of the story or it will never get finished.
Part 4Approaching the house in silence, Ned led the way to the window that opened to his “cave.” As he figured, it was not locked and in only a moment or two, the First Mate and one other man were inside as well. Nervously, with timid steps, he led the way to his father’s study. There with trembling hand he pointed to the safe and watched, quivering with shame as the two pirates, carrying it between them, took it back to the window by the cave.
The Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay
The Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay
The walk back to the boat was quiet. Ned was filled with thoughts of his family and what they would say and do if they only knew who had helped to rob them. “But they would have made me walk the plank if I had refused,” he argued with his conscience.
“That never would have happened if you had stayed at home,” Conscience replied. Ned argued all the way back to the ship and to his berth. He didn’t sleep well that night.
When Ned came on deck the following morning, he discovered the ship was already out of sight of land. He breathed a sigh of relief and refused to listen to the small voice inside of him. He told his conscience it was too late to do anything about it all now,.
“Ned,” First Mate Harvey called, “the Cap’ain wants you in his cabin.”
Trembling slightly, Ned knocked on the Captain’s door and was ordered to enter.
Looking up from his table on which lay maps and charts and lists, Captain Frightenaft beckoned him in. “You did well last night, lad,” he growled in his low voice. “I think you’ll make a fine pirate in spite of your young age. Now, tonight I’m goin’ to send you ashore on the island to help bury some treasure.”
Ned’s eyes shone with excitement but all he said was, “Aye aye, Sir!”
“Be ready to enter the boat about sunset.”
“Aye aye, Captain!”
With that, the captain dismissed him.
“Here we are, men,” Captain Frightenaft growled as the small boat grated softly on the sandy beach. Springing out swiftly, two of the pirates pulled the boat well up and the others clambered out. Several lanterns were lit and set around giving an eerie light to the dark forms who with shovels and spades were beginning to dig. Ned took his turn, but when the shovel brought up what looked like bones, he dropped it, recoiling and shaking.
“What’s the matter, boy?” one of the pirates taunted him. “Scared of a few human bones?”
It was all Ned could do to keep from screaming and running back to the boat. As it was, he face was pale and his eyes wide in horror. Human bones? Why would there be human bones here? How did they know they were human bones unless, . . . A long shudder ran over Ned’s frame, and he wouldn’t even let himself finish the sentence. He closed his eyes and scarcely noticed when someone pushed him away. Unsteadily, he stumbled toward the boat, but before he reached it, his knees gave way and he sank down onto the sand. This was awful. It wasn’t at all like what he thought pirates would be like.
He was still in somewhat of a daze when the men came back. He was jerked to his feet and shoved to the boat. Once back on the ship he went directly to his berth and lay there staring into the dark until the gentle rocking of the ship on the waves lulled him into an uneasy slumber.
The following days were busy ones on board the pirate ship. The crew worked hard, and even Ned was put to work scrubbing the deck. Try as he might, he couldn’t get the thoughts of those two nights out of his mind. They seemed to haunt his every move. Even the scrubbing of the deck couldn’t rid him entirely of the feeling of revulsion and disgust he had felt.
It was the sixth day after his departure from home when, towards evening, he was again called into Captain Frightenaft’s cabin.
“Well, Ned Lad, you’ve done a man’s job these last days. I know you’d like to be going ashore with the crew tonight, but this time you are to stay aboard.” The captain’s one dark eye were fixed so keenly on the boy that it felt as though it could see right through him.
Ned shivered slightly, relieved not to be going, yet wondering if the pirate captain thought he was too chicken to go.
As if to answer those thoughts, the Captain added, “We can’t have you running about too many nights, you need your sleep. Besides,” he smiled a bone chilling smile. “You won’t want to miss the fun we’ll have should the trip tonight be successful.”
Somehow Ned managed to say, “Aye aye, Sir,” before he was dismissed.
So it was with a trembling heart and full of many misgivings about what the captain meant, that young Ned Jones watched the ship’s small boat pull away toward the shore.
A rough shaking roused Ned from slumber the next morning and a voice called to him, “Get up, Boy! The fun is starting. You’ll miss it all if’n ya don’t hurry. On deck, lively now!”
Scrambling up to the deck with the large dark pirate behind him, Ned thought he heard a familiar voice. At last on deck, he beheld a sight that he never forgot. There in the midst of two or three pirates stood his sister, Kim! She was not tied in any way and when one to the men tried to hold her hand, she slapped him in the face and cried,
“Get your hands off of me, you beast!”
A roar of laughter went up from the crew at that, but the Captain’s deep voice from his cabin had the effect of quieting the men. Out he came. To Ned’s eyes he had never looked more fierce and cunningly clever than now.
“Ah, yes, I see they have fetched us quite a pretty wench this time.” His voice, that deep growl that Ned was beginning to dislike, was soft, yet commanding. “Come here, girl, and let me look at you.” He took a step closer.
“Don’t you dare touch me,” Kim ordered bravely.
The Captain growled for the First Mate.
“Fetch the paper and pen.”
“Aye aye, Sir.”
Ned stood as though he had been nailed to the deck of the pirate ship. This wasn’t happening. It was all a dream. He would wake up any minute. Kim wasn’t there. She couldn’t be!
The paper and pen had arrived.
“Now Lass,” Captain Frightenaft ordered, “What is your name? And where do you live?”
Kim tossed her head in defiance. “Why do you wish to know?”
“What is it, Girl?”
“I won’t tell unless I know why you are wanting to know.”
The audacity of the girl seemed to surprise everyone, for they stared in silence. Even the captain looked at her a moment before replying.
“We are going to send a ransom note for you. Now,” his voice grew harsh, “answer my questions!”
“I will not!”
The captain took a step forward. “You dare to say me nay?” he roared in a voice like thunder and his face turned red with rage. “You will tell me or you’ll walk the plank!”
To read the rest of the story, come back next week.