Part 2, The letter from the library.
It was the quartermaster who yelled all hands on deck. As I walked up the deck I saw the crew running around getting everything ready to set sail. The anchor was pulled up and the sailes were dropped. Quickly the wind picked up and the sails were blown full of air. I could feel the brushes of the salty air rush on my cheeks. As the captain pushed the steering wheel over, slight waves hit the hull of the ship and the ship slowly rocking forward on the foamy edges of the water.
I look at the captain, he is very busy getting the right angle for the ship to fare. then I look at the quartermaster. He is wearing a black captains hat with a cannon emblem on the side, wich is holding a white and a black feather. He turns and looks at me. His finger points at me and then points down, in front of his feet. He seemed to want to have me come to him, so I walked towards him. When I was standing in front of him he said, so you are our newest ship mate. I think I have a special job for you on the ship, follow me, he said.
We walked trough a door down to the back of the ship. While we were walking he said, I saw your recruitment test, with the whip it was. Very impressive. The quartermaster opened a door and pointed his hand into the room. When I walked inside I was greeted by a messy chamber filled with books, books laying open and closed on the table, ground and chairs. The quartermaster looked at me and said, this room needs to be neatly cleaned, as this is the library of the captain, as you might have noticed. This library is directly under the captains quarters, so don’t make irritating noises. The books have to go in order of the alphabed. There are books for orders that we keep track of, those have to go in the chest below the table, they are most important. Also maps you find have to go in the chest. Sorting all this out might take some time, but I am sure you wil be able to handle it. Good luck to ya lad, the quartermaster said as he closed the door behind him.
I don’t mind this job, there are many books for me to sort and they are all very different it seems. I walk towards the table with the chest placed under it. I pull it out from under the table and open it. There were eight thick books sitting in the chest. And filled less then half of the chest. I looked around the room to see if I could find matching books, and there were some. But I also saw maps rolled out, on the table and the ground. I took the matching books and placed them in order back into the chest. After that I picked up the maps and pieces of paper and put them on the table to sort them out. There appeared to be maps of islands I have never seen before, there were documents from merchants and other people. There were also all kinds of contracts. I put the contracts on one pile and bound them together and placed them neatly inside the chest. Then I took the documents in my hand and started reading some, as I had to do this for I had to sort them. They were not realy interesting, only one old looking piece of paper caught my eye. There was a red wax stamp on it formed as a skull. It was a letter, adressed to the captain of the ship. It read,
Captain, I have tought about your request and I accept your offer. However, if the requirements are not met, there wil be concequesnces. In five years you will have your child, and i will have my freedom. Signed by, yours truly.
I tought nothing of it, but then I looked at the wax stamp again, and it seemed so familiar. I turned my hand and I saw the shine of the ring I was wearing. I stared at it, and looked back at the wax stamp. They looked so identical. I looked puzzeled. As I pull my ring off my finger I placed the letter in my other hand. Then I hold the ring on the wax, and it is a perfect fit. This stamp was made by this ring. But how was that even possible, I got this ring from my father. I fold the letter back and put it in my pocket. I have to ask the captain about this, I tought.
I start to pick all the documents together and also put them neatly in the chest near the books. The rest of the day I picked up many books and sorted them in the right order. When I was a quarter of the way done and hours later, the door opened and in came the quartermaster. He looked around and said, I see you’ve done alright, you can return to the library tomorrow and keep working on your job. Now come get some food with the rest of the crew. I followed him to the area where everyone was sitting down and eating their food. He pointed me to table where all the other 100 crew members were sitting. I sat down and took some of the pork on the table and put it on my wooden plate. I also took a piece of bread and some cheese. ‘ere, have a nice cuppa ale me mate, said the mate next to me as he poured me some ale. I smiled at him and took the cup with ale. Gratitude, I said politely. The mate chuckled and bit a chunk of flesh of the bone he was holding. Tis some well done meat. Go on, eat up, he said. I put my hands on the meat and take a good bite out of it. It was indeed wel prepaired food. It smelled as dilicious as it tasted, as the meat saps flow richly into my mouth, a bite of the bread kept my mouth clean and it tasted realy good with some cheese.
The captain came into the room and punched the ground with his sword. Eat! He said, as everyone went silent and looked at him. We will need the strength to sail into the enemy in the morrow. We have eyes on an enemy ship but they are far, so it will take time to close in. But when we do I need you at full strength! He said with a loud voice. We will board them and take their ship. I will hoist the same flag to fool them and then we will get close. When we are beside them we will board them and take over the ship. We will all then fight with all our skill. It will not be easy. But we will be victorious!
With his last word he sat down next to the crew, as the whole crew went cheering. Everyone was cheering with their ale up in the air, spilling little bits of ale on the table. I did they same and raised my cup, then gulped down my ale.
After the great meal I went to my hammock, where some of the crew were already laying. I took the key from my belt and unlocked my chest, removing the lock. I opened it and put the letter I had from the library in the chest. After closing it and locking it again I go lie in the hammock. I tought I would not ask the captain what the letter was about untill after the battle with the other ship. He had to focus on the task ahead, I tought. I rolled over and listened to the sounds of the waves calmly bumping into the hull of the ship. The cracking of the ropes and squeeling of the pulleys, with some of the crew still running around on the deck. After a few minutes I fell peacefully asleep not thinking about my first battle I had to survive tomorrow.