The Dread Captain Peggy

The battle was short, as all good pirate battles are. The men loved to fight, but they loved lazing about and drinking more.

Haywood ran – a feat, with his pegleg – to the main wheel, and started shouting commands. “Ready the canons! Boys to arms! Yargh, we be takin’ gold today!”

Merle stood behind the canoneers, shouting orders to stuff the gunpowder, then the balls. The boys worked as quickly as they could, though it was never fast enough for Merle. Eyepatch dropped a ball, and Merle yelled at him. Polly – the man who had sewn a stuffed parrot on his shoulder – sneezed, and nearly dropped the torch into a keg of powder.

The Yankee ship fired another salvo. The canonballs went soaring overhead, landing with a splash several hundred metres beyond the ship. “Ya-hargh!” Haywood called. “Return fire!”

The pirates were better at aiming, and the balls hove in the sides of the Yankee ship. The Haywood steered the pirates into position, and his men tossed grappling hooks across and heaved, pulling them close enough to jump over.

“Yargh!” Haywood called. “I be Captain Peggy! Ready yourselves to be boarded and give up the gold!”

The Yankee captain’s jaw dropped. One of his crew snickered, and the captain smacked him upside the head. “Ahoy, Captain Peggy!” the Yankee captain said. “We offer no resistance! The booty’s yours! Just let us go alive, and we’ll offer no fight!”

“Yargh, tis a good choice captain! I see you’ve heard of the dread Captain Peggy, and you’ll live to sail home. Plunder away, boys, but leave the Yanks alive! Except the lad who snickered. Shoot him and toss him overboard.”

“A fair response!” the Yankee captain said. The kid tried to run, but the Yankee captain held him in place until the pirates took him. He was quickly dispatched, and the pirates turned to their looting.

A few minutes later, the Yankee ship floated higher, the pirate ship lower. The last man over tossed back the grappling hooks, and the pirates sailed off to enjoy their new bounty.

The Yankee captain, meanwhile, was happy to have escaped with his life. Captain Peggy, aka Haywood Jones, aka Death Afloat, aka Tina, was known for his brutality and his complexity. The Yanks set sail for Boston, tales already growing tall.

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