The Legacy of the Black Pawkeet: Part Six
"Maybe that will teach ye not to get in me way a third time!” Bloodhook growled as he threw me down the gangplank of his ship, “Now git!”
I lay there for a moment, sobbing from the pain. I honestly had no idea what I had done to deserve the flogging I’d just received. How had I gotten in his way twice before? It was true that I’d been the one to free Captain Garin and his crew from the brig, but Bloodhook had no way of knowing that. He’d passed out after partying with his crew and had no way of knowing whether I had rescued Captain Garin and his friends from the brig or if they had escaped and rescued me.
As for today, I had cooperated and led him to his treasure. How was that getting in his way?
I let out another sob before slowly pulling myself to my feet. Every movement sent pain shooting through my back, but I had to get home. I staggered home as quickly as I could, which wasn’t quickly at all.
The smart thing to do probably would have been to see a doctor straight away, but doing the smart thing would have taken too much time. Time that Hannah and Armin didn’t have. I was their only hope and I had to find a way to help them. Of course, there was no conceivable way I could rescue them from Bloodhook’s ship alone, especially in my current condition. I had to think within the scope of my own abilities; I knew that. I only had one chance, and I would have to be as quick as possible.
Upon arriving back at Hannah’s house, the first thing I did was go to my room to change my clothes. My “punishment” had ruined a perfectly good blouse, so I took it off and tossed it aside. I gingerly touched my back to confirm that the bleeding had stopped, then grabbed another blouse and put it on. There was something else I would need too…
I glanced around the room and spotted the purple sash I had asked Hannah for. It was perfect for tying around my waist and using it to hold things, like my money pouch. That was why I had asked for it. In the little bit of time I’d spent with Captain Garin and his crew, I had learned that keeping my money pouch under a sash rather than dangling from my waist would make it harder for pirates to steal.
I picked up the sash and tied it around my waist; firmly enough to stay in place but loosely enough to hold things. Now for the other things I would need…
I found a spare rucksack in the house and began to place what I would need inside it, namely, a few changes of clothes. I took a bit of money from the fireplace and placed it in my sash. Hannah wouldn’t mind me taking it, not under the circumstances. I grabbed a spyglass and stashed that under my sash as well.
There was one more thing I would need… something to defend myself with. Hannah had a few weapons stored in the house, but those did me little good, since I didn’t know how to use them. The place in the house I spent the most time in was the kitchen, so I walked in and looked around for something useful.
My eyes fell upon the rolling pin that I used for making biscuits in the morning. It was heavy and had a handle. It would do for a makeshift club. I grabbed it and stashed in my bag, and as I did, my eyes fell on the frying pan hanging near the stove. ‘That could be useful as a shield and weapon.’ I thought to myself, so I took it down and stashed it in the rucksack as well. As a last thought, I grabbed my bolas and stuffed it under my sash, though I honestly thought the frying pan would be more useful.
Finally having everything that I needed, I limped out of the house and back to the docks. Bloodhook’s ship was gone by now, which didn't surprise me. Given my injuries, it had taken me far longer to go home and back than it normally would have. It was just as well. I was better off avoiding Bloodhook anyway. His ship was not what I was looking for.
I glanced around and spotted passengers boarding what was obviously a passenger ship… just like the one my parents and I had been aboard twelve years ago. I limped over and approached the captain, “Excuse me Captain, is there room for one more?” I asked politely while removing my money sack from my sash.
He looked at me and nodded. “Aye. Passage will cost you ten doubloons.” He informed me. I nodded in return, counting out the coins and handing them to him. He looked at them to confirm it was the right amount, then turned his attention to a nearby cabin boy, “Oi. Take this young lady’s things aboard and place them in Cabin 8.”
The boy nodded. I handed him my bag and he carried it on board. I followed him up the gangplank, but stumbled from the incline. The captain rushed forward to help me. “Are ye all right?” He asked me. I nodded, but he seemed to realize that I was hurt. “We have a doctor on board who could tend to ye.” He offered.
“I’m fine.” I insisted, though I allowed him to help me aboard. I couldn’t afford to see the ship’s doctor. He would see my injuries and ask how I got them and then I would have to tell him. Then he would tell the captain and it would undoubtedly make its way to the crew and other passengers. There was no need to frighten them.
Once on deck, I looked around and spotted a ship in the distance, sailing away from us. I took the spyglass from my waist and looked through it to confirm my suspicion. The ship was Bloodhook’s. I returned the telescope to my sash, and then I sat down, wincing in pain as I leaned back against a barrel. I looked up at the dusk-colored sky as we began to leave port.
‘Please let me find them…’ I thought.
The next day, I was sitting on deck when I heard the lookout give the sail cry.
“Tis a pirate ship, Captain.” One of the deckhands told the captain. As the other passengers began to murmur fearfully amongst themselves, I pulled myself up and walked over to the railing. I pulled the spyglass from my sash and looked through it at the approaching ship before smiling to myself.
It was the Black Pawkeet.
I heard the captain telling the passengers to remain calm, as their best choice was to cooperate and give the pirates what they wanted and sat back against the barrel again. All I had to do was wait.
Before long, the Black Pawkeet had pulled up alongside the passenger ship and her crew boarded us.
“All right, everyone hand over your valuables.” Captain Garin commanded of the passengers who were on deck.
“Captain Garin!” I called, pulling myself to my feet and staggering toward him, leaning on the railing for support.
Captain Garin’s ears twitched at the sound of my voice and he began to turn towards me. “Well, someone who knows my na—Rosa?!” He cried in shock upon laying his eyes on me.
I stumbled, but Jacques lived up to his name of “Jacques the Swift” by quickly moving forward and catching me before I hit the deck. It was then that I realized that the world was spinning around me, but I didn’t know why.
“By Fyora, what happened to you?!” He asked.
“We thought we left you with Hannah!” Captain Garin added in confusion.
“B-Bloodhook attacked us yesterday…” I explained, “He kidnapped Hannah and Armin and took the treasure we just found. But he let me go after flogging me, so I booked passage on this ship to try and find you. I suppose I have a love-hate relationship with Dame Fortune.”
I winced and hissed in pain. My back felt like it was on fire. It was then that I noticed sweat trickling down my brow and realized I was feverish. Captain Garin quickly caught on to my condition.
“Get her to Sea Cat!” He told Jacques urgently before turning to the rest of his crew, “Back aboard the Pawkeet and prepare to make sail!!” He ordered.
I winced as Jacques picked me up and turned to the captain of the passenger ship, “Captain, please have my bag brought to the Pawkeet.” He nodded, swiftly ordering a cabin boy to do as I asked as Jacques carried me aboard the Pawkeet and below deck.
“Sea Cat, get over here, quick!” Jacques called, his voice carrying the same urgency as Captain Garin’s.
“I’m comin’, I’m comin’!” Sea Cat called back. She must’ve known that someone was injured, since she came in with her medical bag in hand.
I groaned from the pain in my back as Jacques carefully set me down on my stomach on top of a table. “Easy, just relax.” He told me.
I let out a whimper of pain as Sea Cat carefully cut the back of my blouse open to get to the wound. “It hurts.”
Sea Cat carefully peeled the back of my blouse back and looked at the wound. “Well no wonder it hurts, this wound wasn’t cleaned…” She said with a sigh, “This’ll have to be re-opened… You’re in for a world of hurt, I’m afraid.”
I let out a small whimper of fear as I heard Sea Cat rummaging through her bag, but I remained still. What had to be done had to be done.
I screamed in pain and begin to cry as Sea Cat began working on the wound. Jacques sat in front of me, holding my hands to comfort me and keep me from squirming. “Easy there, you’re fine…” He said gently.
I looked up at Jacques as tears continued to flow down my cheeks, “Why did he do this to me?” I asked. I couldn’t understand what I had done to deserve this agony.
“He enjoys watching people feel pain… Whether it’s by hurting them or the ones they love.” Jacques explained.
“Aye.” Sea Cat agreed as she continued to work, “Hannah can attest to that.”
I began to calm down as the worst of the treatment passed and sniffled, trying to stop my tears. “Is that why he kidnapped me before?” I asked. Up until now, I had been unable to grasp why Bloodhook had taken me prisoner instead of killing me like everyone else. Now it made sense. He wanted to relish in my pain of losing everyone I loved.
“Probably.” Sea Cat confirmed as she began to apply bandages to my wounds, “Nearly done…”
I sighed. “Hannah didn’t show any fear when he showed up. I guess that’s why she’s called ‘Hannah the Brave’. I, on the other hand…” I stared down at the floor beneath the table, “I’m useless, weak, and always dragging others into my problems…”
“Did you see which direction Bloodhook’s ship was headed in?” Sea Cat asked.
I bit my lip in thought, “I think I might’ve seen it heading east when I boarded that passenger ship.” I’d made it a point to note the direction at the time, but right now, my head was still swimming from the fever and I was having trouble remembering.
“All right…” Sea Cat said, “Go tell Garin what direction they’ve taken.” She told Jacques.
“Right.” Jacques replied, letting go of my hands and running back up to the deck to tell Captain Garin.
I sighed out of sadness and frustration, “Thank you for treating me…” I told Sea Cat.
Sea Cat finished sewing my blouse back together and helped me up and off the table. “Let’s get you into a bunk…” She told me.
I nodded and allowed her to help me to her room. Sea Cat’s room was really just a storage closet that Captain Garin and the others had cleaned out when she joined their crew, seeing as she was the only girl. It wasn’t much, but it had a spare bunk in it for the critically wounded or a female guest, though the former was probably much more common.
Sea Cat helped me into the spare bunk and I sighed, finally having the chance to get the rest I desperately needed. “I wish I could’ve helped them…” I said sadly.
“I’m sure you did all you could.” Sea Cat said kindly, “And now thanks to you, we’ll catch up with them before it’s too late.”
I nodded, and as I drifted off to sleep, I could only hope that that was true…
To be continued…