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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:15 pm    Post subject: Mutiny  

This is a storygame: You read, you suggest and you vote.

Story so far: Four travelers share stories in a stage coach. Burnwick, a succesful and sad business man, an experienced traveler, a sweet French girl (Lucille) and Sankala, a somewhat arrogant youth who never met his Finnish father. We are currently in Mr. Burnwick's story, about how his wife died in a french raid in Italy, and he decides to go for revenge. His intent is to kill the man who caused everything to go wrong, Napoleon Bonaparte. However, his plan fails, and Napoleon is unharmed, leaving Burnwick only with his wife's diary and a dead friend.

The Diary

I opened the diary gently, caressing the pages and smoothing them out. Life around me lost all its meaning. The diary became my sole focus, and I thought only about the gentle fingers that had written in its pages. An image of her stood out in my mind, the dark beauty, a smile always playing on her face. Her teeth were as white as the full moon, shining until morn, and radiating in the enveloping darkness. And her lips pink like clouds shaded that color by the gentle sundown.

The first page was worn, and the ink was barely visible. The entries were two or three days apart from each other. The diary eclipsed two years of her life. She hadn’t been instructed in the skill of writing in her early age, or at least not enough to create an coherent sentence. That is why she had taken to her diary dearly. It was with what she practiced her writing, but more than that, it was a way of talking to someone other than her maids in the isolated country

I sat down on the ground and sobbed as I read the entries, in which she talked about her lonely, but happy life with her husband.

“Oh…Bianca…Bianca…” I cried.

I wiped my tears away with my sleeve and continued reading about my departed wife’s affections. As her writing gained in intelligence, so did her pursuits and interests.

May 9

Life is so boring at times. I was happy with my husband’s wealth, but even that becomes droll. All I do at times is stroll the fields while my husband occupies himself with writing his book; book which he will never publish. He is too idealistic, and lacks any good ideas. He fails to pay me any attention, and I rather believe I am better off without his company. Sometimes the only relief I have is emptying my thoughts on paper.

I scrutinized the paper, trying to understand my wife. It was true, I had possibly spent too much time on my book. The isolated life could have affected her in a negative way. I should have known that my wife couldn’t have been happy the way I had been, only by living in harmony and comfort. I should have taken her to social gatherings, visited exotic cities…showered her with gifts. Poor thing, she hadn’t deserved the way I had treated her. I had selfishly thought only about my own happiness, not hers. Remorse filled my body, and I felt my heart wrestle against its cage of white bones. And I continued reading, flipping ahead.

June 28

How I detest my husband, and how I long for another man to bring me fulfillment of heart. Why must I bear this life that brings me nothing good, and makes me pass away my years of youth and strength in idolatry and boredom? I wish not to stay at home and read or sing all day, and watch my husband with his foolish manuscript, full of lies and fool’s wisdom. It is detestable, but at least these pages give me hope. My heart belongs to no one, it is torn and desperate, and only through the strength of my own words will I recuperate my most vital organ. I am agreeable to my husband when I see him, but as I speak kind words to him, my insides burn with disgust. He is a weak man, a fool! I try to avoid him whenever I see him. If only I could rid myself of this life…

When I finished reading those cruel words, I sat back in astonishment and contemplated her words. My wife…Bianca… She hadn’t loved me! Oh, but those were surely only the words of a sour woman. Surely she hadn’t meant them…she was only relieving the pain that dwelled inside her by writing in her diary. I could forgive her poor soul, because I knew she was writing as if delirious with pain and anger. Surely she would redeem herself in later pages…

Those were the thoughts of a fool, I.

July 5

Ah, lovely sun and lovely clouds that reside in the bright sky. What beauty there is everywhere, what joy in life. Even the birds sing in harmony to make the blossoms bloom out of pure joy. The light of the sun radiates in every direction and fills all creatures with hope. And I too am happy, because I have finally decided to rid myself of this life, but not in such a way that I should end up a dirty vagabond as before. And yet I wonder if the life of a vagabond is so bad when you are young and free of all restraints. My husband is leaving for England, and when he returns, I shall poison him. It will be easy to do, he trusts me completely. I’ll slip poison into his soup or any other meal, and when he dies, it shall be undetected. Then I will be free, and rich! Oh, how simple it all seems now. My detested husband will be gone for as long as I live, and I will laugh as I burn his foolish book in the fireplace. Everything fills me with such pleasure that…

I stopped reading. How? Why? I sunk into denial. It can’t be. No, no, it’s not possible. It is not her diary; it was a mix up…

I shut the diary slowly, trying to control my feelings. Then I let them go and anger clouded my senses. I picked up the book and flung it as hard and as far away from me as I could. The diary that had saved my life by lodging a bullet between its cover had now destroyed what life I had left in me. I cried out in pain, a primal scream of fury. The echo resonated in the valley. Then I felt overwhelmed and let myself fall into a fetal position on the ground, crying and staring at the grass.

Oh, woe! Oh, misfortunate man that I was! It had to be I who fell in love with that murderous woman, that venomous viper! That witch, that…that woman I loved; woman who Napoleon, directly or indirectly, had killed and therefore saved my life. Napoleon had saved my life…

I wondered…what should I do with my life now? I was sunk into misery and despair. I couldn’t chase the man who had saved my life, and I couldn’t chase spirits either.

Then I remembered the words of my associate: Before long, Mr. Burnwick, you will find that love is not trustworthy. Perhaps you must learn the hard way.

He had been right. What else had my friend and business associate, Joseph Bowler, told me? I racked my mind for his words.

…a man has a right to a family. I respect that. But the true work ethic is what satisfies him to his full extent.

True work ethic… Yes. That is what I would do. I would return to England and become a successful man. Looking back in retrospective, it might seem I was soured and discouraged by life, but I found that being a business man suited me well. I am happy this way now.”

“But Monsieur, how did you ever get back to England?” asked the French girl.

“The merchant in the rampaging carriage, the one that my mule had helped stop when she jumped over that fence, helped me get out of the country. I found him by coincidence, and when he knew of my ploy, he found a way to smuggle me out. And in England I contacted Bowler and he restored me to my rightful place. And when Napoleon was captured, I must have been the only sad man in all of England.”

“Very interesting.” Said the traveler, wondering why the man had just revealed such a personal story to total strangers. Perhaps that’s why, they were complete strangers. He must have been wishing to tell the story for a long time.

“Did you really almost kill Napoleon?” asked the young man.

Burnwick’s reply was cut short by sudden whinnying of horses, and the coach slowed down to a stop.

The wind howled and the passengers looked at each other in surprise.

“Has the journey reached its end?” said Sankala, perplexed.

As if in answer, the door swung open to reveal the grimacing face and dark brow of the driver, Stuart.

“Looks like were goin’ have to stop here for a while. The rain’s drenchin’ so hard it be nay to go farther. I got us to this ‘n here tavern. ‘T least it’ll warm ye up.”

He smiled at the worried passengers.

“Don’t worry, ‘tis nothing wrong. ‘Tis only a delay. I say, we’ll be boundin’ on the road by noon.”

Burnwick sighed.

The tavern was warm. It also gave the appearance that the floor was glued to the ground with spit. The four passengers walked through the bar room over to a cozy corner near the fireplace. Three drunks, all sitting alone in different tables raised their head to watch. The huge room gave signs of suffering that were audible in the creaking walls and the shuffling of mice. The passengers of the stage coach sat down, but one of the chairs gave way under the weight of Lucille, the French girl. Sankala quickly took a chair from another table and helped her into it.

Then the tavern keeper came; he was forty and unused to company other than his old wife and the three drunks who had already lost interest in the new customers.

“What…What can I get ye?” he asked hesitantly.

“For now, hot tea for five, please.” replied Sankala.

The man rubbed his hands together and nodded, then rushed off in the direction of the kitchen. The door creaked open again and Stuart walked inside. His bulk blocked the light from outside, and his footsteps sounded heavily against the rotten floorboards. The drunks stared. Finally the big man drew a chair to the table by the fireside and took off his heavy coat. He breathed on his hands for warmth and slumped on his chair.

“Ahhh. ‘Tis good to be warm. I say the mares be safe now. What are ye lookin’ so sad for?”

The others did nothing but look around in disgust.

“Cheer up, fellas! I say the rain would stop, didn’ I? Ah, I know what I’ll do. I’ll tell ye a story, an' 'tisn’t a false word in it. That’s bound to cheer ye!”

The others shrugged and hoped the tavern keeper would hurry.

“Well, it all started when I was a young man, of course. Ay, ‘tis everythin’ that starts when we’re young. When we reach past youth, we’ll do everythin’ possible to stay in line, don’t we? Ah well, ‘tis those glorious years that are worth recountin’, nay?

To begin my tale, I’ll start wit’ my place of birth, London. ‘Tis said that my birth place is the flower and origin of our English language, but a common street rat like me couldn’t speak. I never left the dank streets around my home, an' never talked to anybody other than the ones in my same situation. My mother could do little for me, as I was always away from home, an' she was workin’ to bring food for me and my sister, although ‘tis to her merit that she tried teachin’ me the correct form of the language. However, my tongue never fully mastered anything except that of sharp talk. ‘Twas not till now, wit' some education, that I try to learn as much as I can. My mother tried to make me work in mills, but it was naught, for I kept runnin’ away.

And so ‘twas that after I grew to the risky age of fifteen, I decided that my future wasn’t to eat cold cabbage soup for the rest of my life. I hadn’t a sparklin’ of an idea of what I was goin’ to make of myself, but one day I stole some money from my mother, leavin’ her to her misery, but hopin’ to doubly repay her one day, an' left home.

It didn’t go very well at first. I didn’t manage to take a step out of London when I was robbed an' beaten by a group of men. I decided I needed some sort of protection, so I joined a crew on a ship as a sailor, for if something could be said in my favor, ‘twas that I was a strong lad. As a sailor, I had hopes of becomin’ rich or seein’ new lands, unlike a factory worker.

Captain Stern was a tough man, as all sea captains must be. He didn’t joke, an' an order was an order. He didn’t take any nonsense, either; as I said, he was a tough man. He was sour and got angry if ye asked him anythin’, all the time. But if ye didn’t mix wrong wit’ him, he didn’t mix wrong wit’ ye.

If I was to say, I’d say ‘twas a good crew. Or ‘twould have been, if ‘wasn’t for the four gentlemen. They boarded the Carl II in , Brittany France—“

“What?” asked Burnwick.

“I said they boarded the boat in France, we were on a route—“

“No, I mean, the name of the boat, what was it?” repeated Burnwick.

“The boat? Why? Are you a ‘istorian?”

“No, no…its just that I’ve heard about that boat before.”

“Ah, ye’ve heard of Carl II? ‘Twas a mighty fine boat, and--”

“Now I remember! That boat, it was docked in my little Italian town the day I returned! It is a coincidence that you were one of the sailors.”

“Could I get on wit’ my story? True, we were sailin’ for Italy, but we all got mixed and ended up where we weren’t going to. That ship was steady; brought us all the way from London. ‘Twas made as a big cargo ship. The bottom floor was only for cargo. We carried ‘factured goods, or the like of the word. Things like plates and spoons, clothes, nails, plows, scissors, crafted tables and chairs, and two big grandfather clocks.

Truth to tell, it was them four gentlemen that caused all the trouble. See, we picked them up in Brittany, an' they wanted to go ter Marseilles. I don’t know why they couldn’t take a land route, they must have been 'pposed by the guvrnment, but the thing is that the ship was due for Sicily, an' the captain had scheduled a stop in Spain, and from there planned to continue to Italy. The gentlemen, all finely dressed and prim, tried to convince the captain, but he wouldn’t budge.

The gentlemen always talked mighty nice about life, and about reasonin’, and about democracy, or somethin’. They said each man had a right to decide who was to rule him; they said that men had the right to overthrow their ruler if he didn’t meet a contract of socialness, or somethin’.

I was a lad, and greatly impressed. The other fellows thought that the gentlemen knew what they were talking about mighty well, an' treated them wit’ rever’ncy. But for all their big talk, the captain wasn’t convinced.

The captain had an iron will, an' the four gentlemen were raisin’ an upcry about him.

One day, as I stood on deck moppin’ up, the gentlemen had a big discussion with the captain. It was a hot day, and as I wiped the sweat off my brow, I saw them.

Of the four gentlemen, one was the leader, although they all claimed to be individuals in all their actions. He was small an' lean but had a temper, an' he always wore a gold monocle. He had a recedin’ hairline and greyin’ hair. He always shook his fist in the air, calling for self-stained government, or somethin’.

The other three were plump at best, an' they stood firmly behind the little man, clapping and cheering his efforts. They all were wearin’ the same clothes, culottes and silken shirts. Their wigs hung on their fat heads.

The captain, in a big grey coat, was unmoved by the small man’s yelling, an' suddenly cut him off in mid-sentence. The man turned red an' shouted loud enough for everyone on board to hear.

“You’ll be repentant of your feeble ignorance, fool!”

I had trouble decipherin’ his speech, for the small gentleman always talked like that, but I got the gist of his meanin’. It was agreassive.

The next day, I was attendin’ to my health, namely by resting against the mast, peelin’ oranges and watchin’ the waves roll, when I saw the gentleman breeze by, as if on a mission of great importance.

I was a-contemplatin’, an' he was a-breezin’ by, when he turned around in a three-hundred-sixty circle an' pointed his finger at me, leavin’ me quite frightened and in terror of him.

Then suddenly his demeaner lightened, an' he smiled, as if he'd been my benefactor all these years and I'd never known it. He patted my shoulder in a piteous manner, an' all the while kept smiling in his beneficient way.

"What's your name, boy?" he asked in his high-pitched voice.

I answered that it was Stuart, an' left it at that. At this he took off his monocle, as if to impress its omnipotent presence, and to examine me better. An' closer, for he bent over me 'till I thought he must be lookin' into my darkest secret. Then he jerked back, triumphantly, an' I thought he must have found it, but instead he just smiled again an' patted me on the shoulder.

"Boy," said he, with a tone of superior knowledge and purpose "boy, do you know that you are ellegible to become a member of the Society of Freedom, in this boat?" An' then he put the monocle back on, to impress this unprecedent opportunity upon me.

All the while, I had trouble understandin' him, since I was only a young goat wit' no learnin', an' his French accent was of no great aid. No offense meant there, Madam."

The girl smiled and motioned for him to continue as she slowly sipped her drink, which the waiter had finally managed to produce. Burnwick sat wondering at the coach driver, who had appeared a simple character at first glance. His quaint accent, the coincidence of Stuart's boat being the one that had docked in Burnwick's own village twenty years ago, and the his increasing elloquence, was it all leading somewhere? And why did he hide his education with courseness? With every word pronounced, the coach driver was becoming at ease and his language more complicated, although his accent remained, resurfacing from time to time as a reminder. Burnwick made a silent note to himself to adress these questions once Stuart finished his tale.

"As I said, he was smiling at me in that paternal and understandin' way, an' I felt I had treated him unfairly all my life, an' that I should try and make it up to him, in any ways as possible. So I answered, orange still in hand, sitting against the mast:

"Am I, sir?"

He laughed heartily, as a forgiving parent, an' I wondered at what, an' why my speech had caused him laughter. He patted me on the shoulder, this time with every possible ounce of understandin' an' pity.

"It is a fine thing, such an organization dedicated to freedom, and I encourage you to attend. Moreover, it would be an attack on the love of humanity if you did not attend!" He stared at me gravely, then he whispered into my ear, "In my room at six this evening." Then he turned to go, an' I stood up to watch him do so, an' his short stature again struck me as remarkable once I had rised from my sittin'.

I was confused as to the meanin' of his words, an' I pondered over them for the rest of the day. But being light headed as I was, I conformed to the gentleman's wish, for I had that conforming trust in his magnificence.

Before I knew it, the evening dawned, an' my scufflin' about the boat, evadin' work as much as I could, ceased. Dates an' time are hard to keep track of once you start sailin', unless you keep a strict watch of it, so it was my estimate I must have knocked on the cabin door at half past six.

I wasn't expectin' much, although my curiosity had been piqued, so when I was greeted by the sight of the entire crew scattered throughout the' that room staring intently at a small table, at which center presided the small gentleman, I was in disbelief. Openly confused, I began thinkin' that the gentleman had done much more recruitin' other than my own.

I had erroneously assumed that the crew had retired early, into the shade of our bunks, as the day had been hot and humid, an' I probably hadn't noticed much in my own evasion attempts anyway. I wondered what could be happenin', an' I sat down on the floor near a young fellow, Sankala. He was hardy, apparently--"

"Who?" said the young man on Burnwick's left, jumping out of his seat.

"A fellow called Sankala." repeated Stuart, annoyed at the interruption.

"Sankala? That is my own last name, and that who you speak of must surely be my father! What was his country of origin?" pressed the young man ferociously.

"Well, I think it was some nordic place, but I couldn't be sure which-"

"How can it be so, I thought your father died in Finland?" interrupted Burnwick.

"I thought so too." said the young man as he settled into his seat, puzzled.

"Can I continue?" said Stuart, ignoring the apparent confusion he had caused.

"Yes, please do so, it may shed some light on this mystery." said Burnwick, who looked across the table to find the young Sankala in nodding agreement, impatiently eager.

Stuart nodded and resumed his tale with great satisfaction; he was enjoying himself.

"Well, as I said, the small gentleman was standin' on the table, half shouting, half whisperin', lookin' all around him in a conspirin' way, an' mostly wavin' his arm in the air passionately and crying in a high pitched voice 'Freedom!' at intermittent segments of his speech. The other three gentlemen sat on chairs around him, clappin' pompously an' grunting decisively when he said anythin' important soundin'. They crew was in a state of blank starin', which I couldn't attribute to their amazement, an' which I wouldn't go as far as to say proceeded from their awe.

In the end, the gentleman ended his speech, and at the signal of the other gentlemen, we all began clappin' admiringly. Then we all shuffled out, on groups of two or three, in order to avoid suspicion, feeling very liberated from whichever oppression we had been unfairly submitted to. 'Tis to be said that we were aware that we shouldn't speak to the captain about it, and avert his suspicion, but mostly, all I understood (and I think the others were in a parallel state) was that I should came back in two days' time, to recieve another dose of speech-makin'.

On our way back, I asked Sankala what the little gentleman (whose name has not as to yet been revealed to me) had said. He was a melancholy fellow, an' I used to think he must have lost a great fortune an' then been forced to work as a sailor to be in that condition. Even so, his english was sufficient, although not accomplished (but neither was mine at the time, an' wouldn't be so until later in my life), an' he was not much older than me, so that I almost immediately took to him as a friend.

Another man I regarded in my confidence was Old Wheat. I never had the courage to ask him about the origin of his name (although I dared to call him so), an' he never made any reference to it. I guess after a while, a man becomes so accustomed to what others call him that he doesn't question it anymore.

He was a wise old man, at least to me he appeared so. He was always tracin' his eyebrows wit' the tip of his index finger, wettin' it wit' his tongue, then tracin' again. He did this especially when he was thinkin', an' he was always thinkin'. He remained quiet for long periods of time, then he slowly withdrew his finger from his forehead, an' give out his opinion, or answer, or admonishment, or whichever he was givin'.

He was also always devilishly quick in noticin' my slackin'. He was a little too old to be workin' as a hardy sailor, but the Captain had known him for long an' allowed him to stay on as some sort of surveyor (the captain was stony, but wasn't made of stone). That's why I avoided him and his watchful gaze like the devil at day, an' greeted him as an old friend in the afternoon. He had a way of findin' me, no matter whatever nook or cranny I hid in, an' he had a way of makin' it casual, so that he would say 'Ah, Stuart! Fancy seein' ye in'n spot! Ye coulda bin anywhere's in'n boat, and I jest turn'n the corner an' here ye are!'; then he would suddenly furrow his brow and yell 'Get to work, ye darty mongrel!', to which in response I would salute and promptly run hide somewhere else, until the cycle began anew. My hidin' spot didn't last long, and I was always reluctantly forced to scrub the deck. He was a true asset to the Captain, who had made a worthy gamble in keepin' Old Wheat.

As I walked wit' Sankala, Old Wheat stealthily crept up behind us, a smile playin' on his toothless mouth.

"Now, what'd ye think o' that!?"

As said, I had little to no idea of what occurred, an' its significance escaped me. I did understand one thing, an' it was that we sould be watchful and weary of the Captain, our oppressor, as the small gentleman said. As to why the Captain would be an oppressor inside a boat we had willingly been recruited into, I understood as much as the meaning of 'that".

"Eh, what'd ye think o' that?" said Old Wheat, now curious for our opinion.

"It was...not good." said Sankala, shaking his head negatively, to Old Wheat's approval.

I gave speech to my growing apprehension, an' inquired about what exactly the little gentleman said. Old Wheat furrowed his brows considerably, an' explained to me in a dark mood that the little gentleman had said that the Captain was treating us horribly, an' that we shouldn't stand for it, an' that we should fight for our own personal freedom an' dignity. He said that in the Americas, men had already self determined themselves an' decided to rule themselves, shruggin' off opression, as we should do as well.

"I'm gonnin' tell ye, I 'ave a nose the captin's gonnin' to get the wurst o' this!" said Old Wheat, smoothing his eyebrows wit' his forefinger.

"Nah!" I said, confident that the Captain, so steely and ever-present, could never be made to bow to another man.

"We shall see, we shall see!" said Old Wheat eerily.

The small gentleman seemed a puny man compared to the Captain, yet he excelled in the art of words, and his monocle was at times imposing. He also had his three faithful followers always trailing behind him, applaudin' his efforts, an' ensurin' that everyone else did. Somehow, the secret meetin's were concealed from the Captain, who gave no sign of being aware of anythin', an' in every meetin', the small gentleman grew more fierce, more shrewed, and began hatching greater plots an' plans.

The animosity of the crew grew wit' their rebelry, an' they began to hold a grudge towards the Captain, which began to show at morn an' escalated as the evenin' wore on. Every day, Old Wheat, Sankala and I walked back to our cabin together. Old Wheat pensively smoothin' out his eyebrows, an' Sankala glumly walkin' wit' his hands in his pockets, although that wasn't too unusual for him.

My own feelings about the subject were mixed. I had a blind faith in the all-powerful Captain, and I thought he would come down upon the rebels an' throw them overboard after the first meetin' (which accounted for my hiding from him for two days whenever I saw him), but when it began to look as if he had been duped, he began to seem vulnerable, although I always had confidence that he was just waitin' for the right time.

I noticed a change in Old Wheat as well. After every meetin', he acted outraged, an' prophecied the doom of the whole ship, but it began to be appearant to me that he was beggining to change his mind.

One night, the small gentleman had been brandishing his monocle wonderfully, and had spoken about a revolt where we would create a government made by the people for the people, in which, accordin' to Rousseau, "we should give up some liberties to the supreme direction of general will, where the group recieves each individual as an indivisible part of the whole." In other words, a direct democracy. That night, as we surfaced from the crowded cabin, an' identified ourselves to the guards, sailors who had binded their faith to the gentlemen already, Old Wheat seemed somewhat illusioned by the whole idea. He smiled wonderingly at a boat that could rule itself.

The Captain avoided contact wit' the gentlemen an' his crew as much as possible, but about this time, the Captain began suspectin'. One day, at about mid-afternoon, before the Captain retired to his cabin for the rest of the day, he came to supervise us. When two men, Wollcraft an' Spike suddenly stopped their work when they noticed his presence, he began to frown in a most threatenin' manner.

"Why'd ye stop?" he asked, growlin'.

The two men didn't back down.

"We didn't stop." said Wollcraft, defiant.

The Captain arched his eyebrows in surprise.

"I jest saw ye stop, ye durty lyer!" he exclaimed.

"Psah! An' who wantsa work for a dictater!" said Spike, troublin' himself over his last word, which greatly detracted from his contempt.

The Captain gripped the doorway of his cabin, as if it were the embodiment of Spike. He shook wit' fury. I doubt he'd ever been challenged that way, in his own ship.

"Ye lousy, littl' basterd!" he shouted, an' followed his words by rushin' down the stairs into the main deck. But as soon as he did so, five men surrounded him and held him back.

"What is this!? Ye scum, leggo!" he hissed. But the men all looked another way, avoidin' his stare, until Wollcraft an' Spike walked there an' Spike spit in his face.

"How'd ye like that, ye dictater!" scorned Spike, derision drippin' from his voice. The Captain suddenly pulled wit' his great arms an' the men fell around him like toothpicks. He lunged at Spike and grabbed him by the throat, throwin' him on the ground.

By this time, the noise had attracted more men, an' the Captain saw himself to be overwhelmed, so he jumped off of Spike an' made a run for his cabin, leaving big red fingerprints on Spike's throat, who stayed on the ground, white in fear.

The whole crew began to give chase, but the Captain lunged an' rolled into his cabin; in moments, men began streamin' in, only to stop short at the doorway. The Captain had picked up a gun from under his bed, an' was threatenin' Wollcraft with the nose of the barrel.

"I kin take any of ye, before I go down." he whispered, menacingly. Without warnin', the rebelry that had sprung began wanin'. But the dawn of the Revolution is its fiercest heart-held hope, however erroneous it might be, an' the crew stood their ground, an' eveybody stood eyein' each other. It seemed that it would go on like that, except that someone had ran to warn the gentlemen, an' they had been very flustered and concerned when the news reached them of the much-too-early revolution.

They arrived in the cabin, an' a way was made for them, so that they emerged out of the crowd worried and red-faced. Maybe they hadn't expected such a thorough revolt, maybe they hadn't expected the Captain would still have a gun in hand when it was executed, but they seemed nervous. The small gentleman took the lead.

"Now, Captain." he began, speakin' slowly. "Captain, I'd advise you to put that down." he said, tryin' to assert himself with his monocle. The Captain just raised the barrel into the gentleman's face an' said, just as deliberately slow, "Make me."

The small gentleman an' his consorts faltered, but their composture was saved by the small gentleman. He raised his hand to his monocle, took it, brought it to his mouth an' breathed on it, an' then he wiped it with the hem of his shirt an' returned it to its original position, all in one cooly executed movement.

"As you see, Captain," he began again, this time somewhat aggressive, "As you see, you are surrounded. I know you to be a reasonable man, Captain (this was a lie). You and I know you can't subside here for long, so if I were you, I'd put that down." he said, endin' his resonin'. The Captain just grunted an' kept the gun at face level.

"I see," said the small gentleman, shruggin' in front of the gun, "I see there is nothin' to be done about it." He turned around and walked outside the cabin, wit' all the men followin' him. When everybody except the Captain was outside, he turned an' quickly shut the strong door, to which he applied a ready lock. "I want two men to be gaurding that door at all times." he said, and pointed at two men, "You two will get first watch of the prisoner; you are to feed him twice a day, but not until he gives up that gun." Then he turned to the rest of the crew.

"Now, let us celebrate our new found freedom! Wollcraft, bring out the rum barrels!" he shouted, in pretensive happiness. Then, he added shrewdly, "and as proof of our independence, let us sail for Marseilles when the sun rises!"

His outcries were met wit' enthusiasm an' shouts of joy, an' Wollcraft ran off into the storage room, pullin' me by the ear before I could slink off from helpin' him carry the casks. Old Wheat seemed more enthusiastic than glum, and drank along wit' the rest, although not more than his old body could withstand. I didn't understand why sailin' towards Marseilles was a sign of liberty, but I didn't voice my thoughts, an' the crew drank, danced and laughed until night overtook them, an' even then they drank under a small bonfire, until one by one they dropped off to sleep.

By the next day, we had been completely blown off course. It took hours to even find where we were situated. Finally, we were able to find our way, an' sailed for Spain, before we would disembarked in Marseilles. By the afternoon, the Captain's courage remained determined, an' he had not yet surrendered his gun, to my content.

That same afternoon, the gentlemen set up the rules for our new found freedom, which mainly dictated that we must vote for a leader (and try guessin' who won), an' work in organized groups for better results. Also, we must force misguided creatures to obey, as they do not know what is good for them, an' it is a requisite that they give up certain personal freedoms in exchange for a true state.

For me, there seemed to be no appearant change. I worked as usual, except now my idleness drew dangerous looks from Old Wheat an' everyone else, in a way I had never been treated before. In fact, by the time we had resupplied in Spain an' set sail again, there seemed to be some hostility circlin' among the crew. The gentlemen and their followers, Wollcraft and Spike, began makin' new rules to excuse themselves from work and make everybody else work harder. But they instilled mistrust among us, by spreadin' false rumors an' tellin' lies. It reached a point in which no one dare venture too close to one another, in fear of bein' struck at.

The rule of "guidin'" misguided men surfaced once when a man, Jones, refused to keep workin'. It created an uproar from the whole crew, who whipped him until he promised to resume working. It was executed in the main deck, where everyone could see, an' his skin was whipped to shreds. It was horrible, how they tortured him until submission. I don't think I'll ever forget his cries of agony.

An' as all this time passed, the Captain was still obdurate. An' I must confess that I had my part in his obstinacy. Every night, I sneaked into the pantry, where no one kept guard because of the heavy lock, an' I opened it wit' a swindled second key. I stole some food, as little as could, an' then I carefully made my way to the room under the Captain's cabin; a room filled with crates, barrels, brooms, brushes, spades (I don't know why they had a spade), pots, a cauldron, an' other implements. There, I climbed onto a crate and as silently as I could, an' I knocked on the ceilin'. The Captain would then answer, an' open a plank of wood in his cabin floor, which was the ceilin' of my room, an' I would pass him food through there. He would thank me an' I would depart.

I'm not sure why I did this, except that maybe it grew out of my own rebelry against the small gentleman, or out of my admiration an' sympathy for the Captain, or maybe because of my sense of guilt, since I had allowed myself to be dragged along in mutiny. In my rash youth, punishment like Jones' didn't scare me. I think everybody knew that someone was feedin' the Captain, an' although they didn't know who, they didn't seek to stop it. In truth, 'twas a good system; they didn't have to lower themselves to feedin' the Captain who still kept his gun, an' at the same time they kept him prisoner.

The situation worsened every day, an' we were no where near Marseilles. In addition, our food stores were low, an' the gentlemen set up a system of rationin', so we could only have a limited amount of food. Old Wheat was in charge of gaurdin' the food stores. Some of our old friendship preserved, an' he allowed me to take some extra food for myself, although he didn't know it was for the Captain. Or maybe he did, an' was on orders of lettin' me in. Maybe I was only a tool.

The Captain, nevertheless, was extremely grateful to me. Although we hadn't much time to talk, sometimes a few words passed between us. One particular evenin', the crew had been grumblin' out of hunger, an' once again there was that air of hostility. I walked across the deck an' felt their eyes on me, regardin' me wit' suspicion. I looked ahead an' descended into the pantry. I emerged, an' I saw slight desperation written on the eyes of the 'rebels'. I took another way to the room where I fed the Captain through. I had grown confident of late, an' now I dared to deliver his food in the daylight.

I knocked on the ceilin' an' he opened up the plank. I looked around the item littered room before I passed him his food through the hole, an' suddenly felt wet tears splash on my hands. I looked up, astonished, an' saw the Captain cryin'.

"Thank ye, boy, thank ye. An' God bless ye fer what ye done!"

"Don't loo's courage, Captain." I said, afraid that his tears would melt away his steel strength.

Suddenly, I heard voices outside, an' the sounds of a struggle. Then there was a gunshot, a scream, an' men runnin'. I froze, an' the Captain perked up attentively. A moment of silence,an' then three clear voices, very near. A sudden bangin' on the door. I looked at the Captain, who seemed to have regained his fierceness, but was as in confusion as me. I looked around me again. There were many places to hide in, but in all likelyhood, the men knew I was inside. They could be friendly, but I doubted it. The Captain still had a gun, an' maybe it was time to end the capitancy of the small gentleman. Also, they hadn't come in yet, so maybe I could bluff, or find some other way out. Maybe I could run out when they opened the door, an' confuse them, givin' me time to escape? Or pretend to be workin'? My mind stormed for an answer...

Outside, McEwin grunted and banged on the door. His wild red hair and ruddy face were a clear indicator of his country of origin, Ireland. He was with two other men, a Scot and an Scandinavian. In fact, most of the sailors on the crew had boarded in different countries. Perhaps that's why they hadn't been able to keep in unity, because of their mistrust for men of completely different cultures. McEwin drew his foot back and kicked the door with his bare feet. He new that the deck boy was hiding inside, and he knew that the deck boy had food. There were also some tools that could be used as weapons. Moreover, he could have fun with the deck boy. McEwin grinned, but then dismissed the idea. It was too risky. Especially when half the crew had assaulted the pantry and tried to run away in the rowboat. McEwin knew better than that. You can't row all the way to North Africa, not even with any amount of supplies that would fit into the rowboat. The starvation, if not the sharks or the sea monsters, would make easy work of them. McEwin shuddered, thinking of the sharks, and of the four gentlemen, who had been thrown overboard while flailing helplessly. They shouldn't have tried punishing Old Wheat. Now nobody seemed to have seized control. And nobody will, thought McEwin. The men are too out of control, delirious with hunger. They're going to break into the Captain's cabin and lynch him.McEwin shouted at the sturdy door unhappily. The best chance they had was probably to gather up the remaining crew, somehow, and sail for the nearest port, in Northern Italy. I just hope they don't find the dynamite, thought McEwin. He stepped back and started running towards the door...

Images courtesy of e-prentice hall, and Education books.

Also, what should Stuart do after, if he evades these men?

I mean, making a supposition and then thinking of what to do.

e.g- Suppose the small gentleman shot three men, then Stuart should go down to the pantry and eat more food while he can.
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Joined: 18 May 2004
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Location: Virginia

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:02 pm    Post subject:  

Very long, D... :D Loved the history though.

Well we are dealing with dangerous weapon-wielding people. May as well pretend to be busy, so they don't think that you're deliberately were outside the door.
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:55 pm    Post subject:  

I'm not sure I understood that. What do you mean outside the door?

Oh, an' what should Stuart do after if he evades these men?

I mean, makin' a supposition an' then thinkin' 'o what ter do.

e.g- Suppose the small gentleman shot three men, then Stuart should go down to the pantry and eat more food while he can.
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Shady Stoat

Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:52 am    Post subject:  

Well, if there's a fight going on outside, I think the best thing Stuart can do is go to the small man's cabin and see if he can retrieve the key to the Captain's cell. If he can sneak the freedom of the captain, I don't think there'll be that many people who are prepared to stop him at the moment.

Nobody seems very happy with the small man's so-called management of events lately. They may not help, but they may not hinder either.

If anything goes wrong with that plan though, I think Stuart should seek out Old Wheat. He seems to be the most level-headed of the crew. He might have more of a clue as to what to do. Or at least, have a strong fighting arm on him, so he'll be one of the survivors. :)
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Joined: 08 Feb 2004
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Location: The Royal Palace

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject:  

I'd say close up the ceiling and open the door. Pretend to be working or getting something from the room. Later it might be time to back the captain and re-take the ship, but not all of the sudden like this. You need to at least find out what just happened.
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Joined: 18 May 2004
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Location: Virginia

Posted: Mon May 01, 2006 8:17 am    Post subject:  

Well Key said what I meant to say when I put my post up with a little more elaboration of course.

Look busy, but keep your ears open. Maybe you can catch something of what is the reason for what sounds like an argument. Free the captain, gain some crew members behind you, those all work for me.
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Mon May 01, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject:  

Hmmm...I believe we need some insight as to what is going on outside, no?

I'll write a brief paragraph about what's happening, from another point of view, as soon as I can! :D
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Joined: 18 May 2004
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Location: Virginia

Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 9:20 am    Post subject:  

That works. At least gives us something more to work with. :D
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Tue May 02, 2006 5:50 pm    Post subject:  

Ok, I posted it at the end of the chapter, but here it is again:

Outside, McEwin grunted and banged on the door. His wild red hair and ruddy face were a clear indicator of his country of origin, Ireland. He was with two other men, a Scot and an Scandinavian. In fact, most of the sailors on the crew had boarded in different countries. Perhaps that's why they hadn't been able to keep in unity, because of their mistrust for men of completely different cultures. McEwin drew his foot back and kicked the door with his bare feet. He new that the deck boy was hiding inside, and he knew that the deck boy had food. There were also some tools that could be used as weapons. Moreover, he could have fun with the deck boy. McEwin grinned, but then dismissed the idea. It was too risky. Especially when half the crew had assaulted the pantry and tried to run away in the rowboat. McEwin knew better than that. You can't row all the way to North Africa, not even with any amount of supplies that would fit into the rowboat. The starvation, if not the sharks or the sea monsters, would make easy work of them. McEwin shuddered, thinking of the sharks, and of the four gentlemen, who had been thrown overboard while flailing helplessly. They shouldn't have tried punishing Old Wheat. Now nobody seemed to have seized control. And nobody will, thought McEwin. The men are too out of control, delirious with hunger. They're going to break into the Captain's cabin and lynch him.McEwin shouted at the sturdy door unhappily. The best chance they had was probably to gather up the remaining crew, somehow, and sail for the nearest port, in Northern Italy. I just hope they don't find the dynamite, thought McEwin. He stepped back and started running towards the door...
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Thu May 04, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: responses after the outside description?
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 9:23 am    Post subject:  

Well, then, I'll post a poll soon.
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Posted: Sun May 14, 2006 10:09 am    Post subject:  

i just finished reading...very good, and a great idea :clap: ( i mean the carriage)
maybe Stuart should climb up through to the captains cabin, close the trapdoor(?) and hide in a chest or something. After all, the captain has a gun and can protect both of them. After, Stuart could leave the way he came, and pretend nothing happened, and if any one asked where he had been say that he osme other place......on a ship. (My apologies, my ship knowledge is verylimited)
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Sun May 14, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject:  

Thanks! And there's your poll.
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Joined: 18 May 2004
Posts: 3750
Location: Virginia

Posted: Sun May 14, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject:  

Voted. Went for the pretense idea. Hides the fact that Stuart is eavesdropping on the conversation.
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Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5270
Location: Hell

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 1:27 pm    Post subject:  

I've just finished reading the story Turncoat, and voted for the pretence idea.
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