Emily was sent almost immediately to the kitchen to help the ship’s cook, and so Luke and John were put on cleaning the captain’s cabin. It didn’t take long with both of them working on it, and the captain was very pleased.
“You two boys will be a good help I think, after all. I have no further need of you for the moment, but you have my permission to explore our ship. If any of my crew asks what you are about, send them to me,” He said after inspecting their work. Luke and John stammered a quick thank you to the captain and rushed out onto the deck again.
The crew members didn’t try to stop them and only looked on in silent amusement as the two boys rushed from place to place looking into every nook and cranny excitedly.
Luke decided to take a look out the spyglass from the crow’s-nest, and obtained permission quickly. The old sailor in charge smiled at them and offered his own, more powerful telescope for their use. Eagerly, Luke scanned the horizon in search for land, but instead he spied a ship. Frowning, he handed the glass to John.
“What do you make of that?” he asked.
John squinted as the ship came closer. “It looks like it may be a pirate ship!” he finally exclaimed in a hushed whisper. Luke licked his lips worriedly, and took the telescope from John, studying the ship until he saw the flag more clearly. Once he was sure, he sucked in air through his teeth, and then called down to the captain who was watching him from below.
“Cap’n!” he shouted, his excitement mounting. “I’ve sighted the Jolly Rodger off the port side! She’s coming in fast with a good wind behind her, heading in our direction.”
The captain and crew immediately got to work, and Luke and John slid down the ropes to see how they could help.
The old sailor shook Luke’s hand. “Ye’ve got better eyes than I have lad, thankee kindly for spotting the ship and warnin’ us well.” He grinned and slapped Luke on the back, almost sending him sprawling onto the rolling deck. “We’ll make a sailor o’ ye yet!”
Luke was grateful to the old man, but right now he was worried about the ship. And where was Emily? He and John went as speedily as possible on the pitching ship to find her. She was working on baking something when they came into the ship’s kitchen, but she stopped long enough to wipe her hair from her face, leaving a streak of flour behind, and ask what was happening.
“I think we’re getting attacked by pirates!” John burst in before Luke could manage to say anything.
A look of alarm passed over Emily’s face. “Pirates!” she exclaimed. “Are you sure?”
Luke nodded, but, knowing his sister would worry too much, patted her on her shoulder reassuringly. “Don’t worry, I’m sure the captain and his crew will have everything under control.”
Emily’s frown faded some, but she still bit her lip and glanced toward the door. Finally, she washed her hands and removed her apron.
Suddenly, taking them all by surprise, a cannon boomed, and a great splash near the ship warned them that the pirates were upon them. Luke, John, and Emily rushed from the kitchen, nearly running down the captain. He frowned darkly at them.
“You need to return to my cabin and stay there until the fight is over. This is no place for women or children.”
“But we want to help!” Luke pleaded, his voice rising above the crash of waves and the cannon fire.
Emily pulled him away, earning herself a grateful look from over the captian’s shoulder as he rushed off to help his men fight. “The captain knows best, Luke. He’s in charge and we need to follow his advice. Come, we will find the captain’s precious documents and hide them where the pirates will not find them if they win.”
“But…” Luke pleaded.
Emily held her ground. “You are not going to take place in the fighting, that’s final,” She replied sternly. Luke sighed, but when Emily put her foot down about something, he knew it was useless to argue. Mutely, he followed her back to the captain’s cabin.
While the war raged on all sides of them, Emily calmly searched the cabin for anything that might prove of value. She hid the maps, charts, and a small packet of letters that had the queen’s seal on them in her shawl, and Luke poured a small bag of gold coins into his boot. John took the captain’s small pistol and a pocket knife, hiding them in his boot.
Quietly, they listened as trampling feet overhead grew louder and louder. Orders were shouted, and all of a sudden, almost as quickly as it had begun, the fight ended. In dread, the three siblings waited fearfully for the captain to come in smiling, saying the fight was over and they had won.
Instead, when the door finally opened, the worst of their fears were realized.
How are you liking the story so far?
Who is your favorite character?
Who opens the door?