An Officer and a Scoundrel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Set in the 1600's on a private island off of Staten Island, a retired British naval officer dwells in depression after loosing his wife. After deciding to leave and go back to London, he is visited by two unsuspecting but well known visitors.

Submitted: March 02, 2008

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Submitted: March 02, 2008

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AN OFFICER AND A SCOUNDREL
 
 
 
 
 
Alone, it’s something I’ve grown accustom to since my wife’s death three years ago. Two months after my early retirement from the British Navy. I was awarded my own private island by King Charles after a successful naval victory against our dreaded enemy, France and for keeping the waters safe from piracy. I had been in the navy for 22 years. I was promoted to Captain when I was 35. But none of that seems as good as it was when my wife Violet was with me.
As I sit in my chair with a glass of brandy in front of the fire, I start thinking what the hell the point of living is. I have been a widower for three years and I have no children. I live alone on this godforsaken island. Everything has gone down hill since I retired. I miss the sea. At times I’ve honestly considered rejoining the navy, but I never did. I’m a lonely man. I’ve been depressed for sometime now. I’ve lived on this island for close to four years. I’ve been alone since Violet’s death. No one lives here but me. Occasionally, some friends of mine would come and visit, but they haven’t been around here for close to two years. I’m guessing they’ve either passed on or they are just sick of me wallowing in my own misery.
“Well isn’t this fabulous. I was the best damn officer in the navy. Now I’m an old washed up has been. Drowning my troubles with brandy, whiskey and any other drink I can get my damn hands on.” I said. Since I’m alone, I’m the only one I can talk to. “You messed up big time. You never should have left England. There is nothing here for me. Why the hell am I still here? There is nothing here for me but painful memories. That’s it; tomorrow I’m going back to London.”
I got up from the chair finally and nearly tripped. As a young man in the navy, I had been shot in the leg by an enemy. I’ve had a bad limp since. It was the first time I’ve gotten up from my chair in about 10 hours. I grabbed a lovely red silk robe that was hanging on the wall and went to my bedroom chambers. It was nearly midnight.
I walked down the dark, narrow hallway to my bedroom. Since, Violet died, I’ve been sleeping in the guest chambers. I’ve basically closed off that part of the house. As I staggered into my room, I looked around the small room. A bed was against the back wall with nightstands and candles on both sides. A chair sat in the corner of the bedroom with another table and candles next to it and a dresser sat against the left wall. It was a nice room, but because I never did anything, it has become infested with bugs, dust and some mold. This once beautiful and perfect household, has been falling apart for the past couple years. It doesn’t really even matter anymore. My life is basically over. There’s no point in being alive anymore. Since Violet died, I’ve been constantly thinking of suicide, either slicing my wrists or throat with my officer sword or using my gun. But I’ve always changed my mind at the last minute.
As I was getting ready for bed, there was a loud knock on my old oak front door.
“Who the hell could that be,” I said. I staggered down the stairs to the front door. For safety I brought my sword and gun. Visitors were scarce around here and since I was pretty damn wealthy, I had no other choice but to be cautious.
I opened up the door and saw this young, tall looking man and an equally young but slightly shorter man. But I really didn’t get a good look at them at first since it was late. “May I help you gentlemen?”
“Yes I do believe you can Captain Wagner,” said the taller.
“Who are you and how do you know me,” I asked?
“Who hasn’t heard of the famous Captain Wagner,” he responded. “Every one of us pirates has heard of your famous captures of numerous pirates and ships.”
“Pirates,” I gasped and jumped back!
“Yes Captain. We are pirates. Let me introduce myself. I am Captain William Boe. This is my first mate James Smith,” he said. “Have you heard of me?”
“Who hasn’t heard of you scoundrels? You’ve attack hundreds of English towns over the past 5 years. You’re one of the few pirates I was never able to catch.”
“Oh Captain Wagner, thank you so much for those lovely compliments,” he responded with a laugh.
 “Believe me Captain; I would’ve loved to see you squirm when you were hanging at the end of a noose.”
“I’m sure you would have. But lucky for me, you never got that chance. You were a stupid fool then and now that your wife has passed on, you’re even more pathetic. You never did learn my strategy.”
“You scoundrel, get off of my property. This is a private property. You have no right to be here.”
“Yes I’m quite aware of that. It was a gift from the king for defeating the French. What a lovely gift. Now if you don’t mind, I would like to get on with my business.”
“I don’t associate with pirates. Now be on your way or you’ll never see your ship or crew again.” I pulled out my sword at that exact moment.
“I wouldn’t be doing that if I were you. You see Captain, my men have been ordered, to come ashore if I have not returned within one hour. That would be 27 men against you and your lousy little sword and gun. You wouldn’t have a chance.”
I placed the sword back into the scabbard. I realized there was nothing I could do. He was right. I wouldn’t have a chance. There would be no way for me to get away from them.
“Now if we may please come inside your lovely home, we’ll explain our business proposition and be on our way without any harm to you, as long as you accept our offer of course.”
“Follow me.” I led them to my small study. The room was filled with a large table, four chairs, numerous books, maps and geographical tools. I was highly skilled at navigation. I opened up my liquor case and grabbed out some brandy and scotch. “Drink gentlemen?”
“No thank you Captain,” responded Boe.
“I’ll have some scotch,” responded Smith. It was his first words since showing up at my front door.
I sat down at the table with the scotch for James and a glass of brandy for myself. “Now what is this proposition you have for me?”
“James, please explain to Captain Wagner,” ordered Boe.
“Yes sir. Captain Wagner, Captain Boe would like to burry his large amount of treasure here on your island. He asks that you keep it safe and make sure nothing happens to it. We believe since this is your own private island that no one would come and search for treasure. Now we are willing to pay you a thousand dollars a year for your trouble.”
“How long would it be here?” I asked.
“We don’t really know. But of course we will need to keep coming back with more treasure and keep burying it here,” continued Smith.
“Where have you gotten all this treasure?” I asked curiously.
“I’ll answer that James. We’ve gotten it from numerous towns in England, Spain, and France and from numerous ships we’ve come across. Now what do you say?” asked Boe.
“Do I really have a choice to what I want to do?” I asked.
“No not really. Its either you agree or we kill you and we go on with our plans as the rats and insects eat your cold, rotting corpse. It’s your choice. But just remember, were still being generous and are going to pay you for your troubles,” answered Boe.
“Yeah, about that, why are you doing that? Most of you pirates are greedy son of a guns,” I asked.
“There’s no doubt that were greedy, but since you being my biggest enemy, we figured that we should give you something to make up your decision without having to resort to violence,” answered Boe. “Plus 1000 dollars a year is nothing compared to what we have and will keep getting.” He gave a small snicker and a brief smirk.
“Then I want 3000 dollars. I will agree and keep your treasure safe and you’ll be allowed to keep coming back with more. Do we have a deal?”
Smith and Boe looked at each other. There was some soft whispering that I couldn’t really make out what they were saying.
“Agreed,” answered Boe. “Thank you very much Captain.”
“Follow me; I’ll bring you out to a good spot on the island. Did you bring it with you or do you need your men to bring it over?”
“We brought some of it but not all. We figured it would save us one trip if we could bring some now,” answered James.
“Smart.”
“I have a question. I noticed that wherever you went, that James would always stand on the left of you. Is that intentional or accidental?”
“Well,” Boe started to answer, “When we were attacking a Spanish ship, my ear happened to get to close to a cannon on my ship when it went off. Because of that, I am partially deaf in the right ear.
“Oh. I wasn’t sure if there was a reason.” We wandered down the stairs, out the front door and started down a trail that Violet and I would normally walk all the time. That one night, it was serious cold out, she caught pneumonia and died three days later. It brought back some painful memories but I knew it would be the best place. “If you don’t mind me asking, what made you want to become a pirate?
“Well, I really don’t want to get into it but let’s say that after the police falsely accused my father of a crime he didn’t commit and was executed because of it, I became extremely angry at the king and country. So here I am today,” answered Boe.
“Basically it was the same for me. My mother was killed in a fire and out of grief, my father committed suicide. I was extremely devastated,” said James.
“I’m sorry to hear for your troubles, but wasn’t it possible that your father could’ve done those crimes?”
Boe stopped short and seemed to tense up. “MY FATHER DID NOT COMMITT THOSE CRIMES. HE WAS AN HONEST MAN. DON’T EVEN THINK OF THAT. THE NEXT TIME YOU THINK THAT I’LL SHOOT YOU. GOT IT?”
“Yes, I got it. I was just asking.” It was the most threatening he had become since he got here. I finished leading them to the spot. “This is it.”
They seemed extremely impressed. It was dark, hidden and easy to get too. “Thank you again. James, go get the treasure that we have.”
“Yes sir,” responded James. He then hurried down to the shore.
“I just want to apologize for accusing your father of those crimes.”
“It’s ok. You were just curious. I understand.”
“I’m also sorry for this.” When he turned around, I took a powerful swing and connected my fist into his cheek. He immediately fell to the ground. He looked surprised.
“What was that for?”
“The same reason this is for.” I kick the side of his body and he immediately turned over. “By the way, if you haven’t guessed it, our deal is broken.”
He just stared at me. “You back stabbing son of a” before he could finish I kick him again.
I then pulled out my gun. “Any last words before you die like you should of years ago?”
“You know, my crew will just come and get you. It’s been about an hour now. You’ll have no chance.”
“I know that and I don’t care. As long as it means that you’re dead.” I then fired one quick shot into the middle of his chest. He lay motionless instantly and his eyes rolled back in his head. I quickly tossed my gun on the ground and knelt beside Captain Boe’s body. I took the gun that was being held against his waist, stood up and walked back.
As I got up, James ran back. He obviously had heard the shots. He kneeled next to his dead friend and then quickly stood up. “What the hell did you do,” he asked?
“The same I’m going to do to you.” I quickly fired a shot from Captain Boe’s gun into the middle of James’ chest. He fell quickly to his knees and then fell onto his stomach and laid there. I tossed Boe’s gun on the ground as well and knelt down to James’ body and stole the gun that was also being held against his waist.
Now that they are dead, there is no one left for me. I knew that his crew would be coming for me soon. So I was as good as dead. So I figured I had only one choice. I glanced threw the trees at the shore in the distance. The boats were about near the shore. I took a deep breath. Held up James’ gun and placed it next to the temple on my head.
“I’ll be with you soon Violet. Then we’ll be together for ever. But these two will rot in hell for the rest of eternity for their crimes.” I closed my eyes and fired.
 
 
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