The Smuggling Adventure (Alphabetic 19)

Me heart sank like a man wrapped in chain. Never more would me nights be brightened by the babbling banality of ‘Jabbery’ Jackigan Samuels. Oh aye, he was an annoying fellow in his own way. Particularly when ye sought sleep and his endless tongue-flapping persisted into his snoozling drone. Quilts, pillows and sacks of gold merely muffled his ceaseless speech. Recognisin’ the special qualities of a fellow is me own special talent as pirate captain. This lad was one I could send into any sticky situation confident he’d either talk his way out or be permanently silenced; tis a victory either way.

“Unmentionable” is one of the many ways to describe The Fishwife’s Bra tavern and brasserie which skulked under the cliffs at Doompoint. Verucca-footed and syphilis-cheeked were the pockmarked profiteers who managed the local black market from her filthy corners. Why we’d chosen to trade with them’s a matter of debate with knives upon The Grim Bastard. Exit strategies from our arrangement we’d had several and all rejected for such frippery as the difficulty in persuading sharks to pose as night-maidens.

Ye matter was growing serious for the Doompoint Boys were well known for their violent treachery and unwholesome business ethics. Zen was not in their nature. Add to that the further difficulties into which Jabbery Jackigan had gotten us. By leaving the garrulous fellow on his own in their company we’d erred severely. Call me naïve if ye will but I truly thought that even Jackigan had the sense not to tell the bootleggers about our “other deal” with the King of Tarsus.

Deal with the devil it were – Tarsus had granted us privateer rights in his waters, provided we repaid him by occasionally uncloakin’ the viler bandits that troll in the shallow ends of the rock pool. Ever since that unfortunate affair where his son dressed up as a courtesan and slipped aboard our ship durin’ our special time we’d been in Tarsus’ pockets as well as his prayers. For my part I’d no love for these keel-juice men – our treasure trove was the greater for their loss.

Gaargh, but that damn fool with the flapping face had unveiled us as the King’s men. Hell broke loose when we arrived at the booty cave, the Doompoint Boys had sharp swords, pistols and mean faces pointed at us. In the froth of battle I accidentally set light to the bootleggers’ overproof rum which blasted ‘em out of the cave and into the sea. Jellyfish season was in so they’d no chance of swimming for it: they were trapped in that congealed sting-a-ling beast custard.

Kneeling by the shore was Jackigan Samuels still prattling to the bloated, numb and singed smugglers; next to him lay a length of chain. Like I said, me heart sank exactly like the man wrapped in chains with a stream of bubbles a testament to his inability to keep his trap shut.

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