Pirates! 11

Quickly Inigo positioned himself to the right of the door, and one of his crew took up the left. The colonel stood a few yards away and slightly to the right, near the ocean. Another crossed positions with the Colonel, and three others went to secure the back.

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Whiskey Pete holds Rachel on the Parapet

Near that moment, the red coat appeared on the parapet, pistol in hand, pressed on the pretty head of Rachel.

"Colonel… Colonel…" Pete hollered. "Let me see you, Colonel."

Against the better council of the Spaniard Inigo, the Colonel walked th' ground below the parapet. He looked up to see his darlin' trembling at the hands of that seadog.

"Colonel let us leave here, and your daughter lives."

"What assurance do I have that you will leave her alone?"

"She will come with us to the front door. We will let her go on our good will; just let us out of the house."

Inigo waved his hands like a madman, but the Colonel paid him no notice.

"It's done," the Colonel said. "But if you harm a hair on her head…"

The next few moments were strange to both sides. Peg leg and his boys lined against the wall near the front door. Pete and Francois escorted the lass behind. On the outside, Inigo stood wringing his hands beside the door, whilst the Colonel paced back and forth where he stood near the shore. By and by, a knock came from inside the house."

On the count of three, we come out. We have the girl. She will leave with me last. If any of my boys are harmed, I'll see the inside of this pretty head."

"Alright," shouted Inigo. "Its done."

Pete called the count slowly. "1-2-3…"

At three, the door swung wide, and out ran Francois and three others. Peg leg hobbled next, as came Pete and three others. Peg leg tipped his hat toward Inigo ere he exited the threshold. They backed up three, and clustered into a group around the Captain. The steps they took were short indeed.

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The Escape

"Release my daughter," the Colonel demanded.

"Not just yet, Colonel," said Pete. "How do we know your retainers won't chase us after we leave St. John. I'd hate to have to look over my shoulder for the rest of my days. I think we'll keep her and barter with you at the next port."

"By God no!" shouted the Colonel, and discharged his pistol. The pirate in front of Francois clutched his chest and fell like a clump. It took only that for all hell to break loose. Pete fell on top of the girl, and the entire crew scattered about the place. Francois and Peg leg took near the tavern, and the others flew in the direction of the ship. Inigo and his boys fired all the while, and those that were around the back joined in the shooting as soon as they heard the commotion. The melee served the pirates better, for Pete was not to be harmed so long as he held the lovely Rachel.

The pistols fired back and forth for a time, and would stop only long enough for one side or the other to get bearing, reload the grape and fire again. Pete backed up to the wharf by now, and stood near the gangplank with the girl.

Francois and Peg leg were behind the tavern, out of immediate range. They ran in the dark, never sure of the consequence of the next step. Peg leg hobbled as best he could, remembering that the muck was ne'er friendly to a man who used a stump. And then something snapped him hard and he fell on his face.

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Peg-leg's demise

"Francois," he called out, "Francois !"

The Haitian turned around to find Peg-leg clawing viciously at the grass and mud, struggling to get away from the croc - the same croc he had drilled y the head. But the pitiful screaming of the peg-leg was drawing silence and then fire from the Colonel's boys, so Francois ran to the leeward side of the tavern, out of their range. The sounds from the Dutchman were horrifyin', until they suddenly stopped. Francois took an open dash for the ship.


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