Only 9 Pulled From TheBrine The Jolly Boat bobbed up and down As through the waves she fought. And with the glass I counted, “Nine sir, nine survivors -that’s the lot.” “Let’s see just what we’ve captured then, And see if they’re worth keeping.” Aunt Harmy glared a sidelong look, And almost started preaching. Those rescued slowly crawled on board Or were lifted e’re so gentle. Aunt Harmy whistled. “Oh, my lord!” “This wasn’t accidental !”
We laid them out along the deck And I couldn’t help but stare: A girl --deep cuts -- both face and neck And she, completely bare! The others, all of various age Were beat up, cut and bloody -“Morgan!" "Sail Cloth! - Needles! – Heavy gauge! You’ll find them in the Cuddy!” “Snell, go get a jug of rum They’ll need it when I stitch’em. I can’t believe some rotten scum Would butcher folks, then ditch’em” Cap yelled, “We need blankets! Now! There’s plenty in the hold. We need to keep them warm somehow, Else, They’ll freeze here in the cold!” My thoughts through this entire ordeal, As men began to gather: With shaking heads, tsk, tsk’ing lips, mouth-open-gawking, hands on hips Willum’s niece had nerves of steel!;
These gawkers didn’t matter; She threaded a needle, Chose a man, Caressed his forehead And began--“I need another jug of rum!” Aunt Harmy fairly bellowed With seven stitched and bandaged up, (and I might add, as well- rum’ed up), They, by now, quite mellowed. So, it’s off the deck, and down below, Aunt Harmy had just two to go The young lass that I’d seen at first, And an older gent - somewhat worse. This fellow mumbled through his rum, “They was three- three ships we stumbled on Flying Blackie’s colors. They come in quick, --Black-hearted swine… “Hey, what happened to the others?”
Cap and me, was standing by, And several others, too, “We rescued nine from out the brine; Now, pray what about your crew?” “We had sixty three on boardAll coming from Marseilles to a bit of land –with a title deed; The Governor bid us all Godspeed-A bloody title deed –Indeed!” Blackards sifted us like whey!… “Most was killed aboard our craft, After the rape and slaughter. They was selling women ‘tween themselves; The highest bidder bought’er!” “Any man got in the way Was fairly sliced to ribbons! Screamin’, laughin’ –devil’s spawn! Our craft was sunk just after dawn…. I ain’t got no misgivin’s.”
“We alive just clung to bits that might be Floating in the water. twenty three went in the sea One was Captain’s daughter.” He raised upon one elbow To have a swig of rum. Pointing to the lass he cried, “By glory!, she’s the one!” "Not a pretty sight to seeBut listen to this story:" A wry smile played upon his lips, And again he breathed, “By Glory” “The stinkin’ goat that bought her Ripped her dress, all set to have’er: She grabbed his knife and cut his belly! - One side to the other!" "The beggar he just stood there, Lookin’ stupid as you please! Hard to say what tumbled first His innards or his knees!”
“The maid, without a second thought Dove over, no one caught’er I ‘spect that she thought, ‘better-death’ Than soiled by some marauder.” Aunt Harmy looked up at Willum, Hatred on her face. I saw the look that was exchanged. He, too, was enraged. I stared in awe at this teenaged maid --in awe, and pride, and shivers-All pale & swollen faced she was, But I felt it to my withers! Cap asked the gent for more details: How many crew?, how many sails? Hear any plans to put to land? Or maybe the names of some in the band? At length, the old man, full of rum -Was storied out, -- then made up some. Willum smiled and touched his chest. “Thanks, Son. Go below, now. Get some rest.”
Cap gave the girl a friendly nod Held her hand, said, "Thank you, God.” Another, “Thank you” to the nurse, an’ Walked away –a’cursin’. And the old gent ? Well, he stumbled down the rungs Where Warren caught him coming down. Snugged him neath some woolen covers, Where he lay, With seven others.