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Chapter NumberII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1901-02-16
Page Number40
Word Count1984
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleThe Pirate Isles
article text

The Pirate Isles.


(By thé Court Jester.)


The King.of the Pirate Island, sat on his throne,

surrounded by his captains. ?' At,the door.of the . throne-room stood two -A.Ps.. , (i.e., able-bodied; pirates), keeping guard over the entry. The captains were dressed in .a costume consisting of long coats, with huge flaps over the pockets, lace ruffles, three-cornered hats, and knee-breeches, with huge sea-boots reaching to the knee. The King, as the greatest villain of the, lot, wore evening dress,.with a.white flower in the button- hole, and smoked a cigarette-r-the rest of the. pirates smoking pipes..

"A song, brave hearts, a song!" cried the King. : "We would hear a merry catch or twain to .cheer

our royal heart. Pipe up, you lubbers!" he con- tinued, being unable to maintain the mediaeval strain with which he invariably'began his utter


The pirates took a long drink from the tumblers of rum before them, and sang this song- ;

Many think a pirate dotes upon »Utting people's

throats, but he doesn't, he ls very much maligned;

He prefers his peaceful home to tossing, on the' foam,.

for the ocean makes him biliously Inclined.

And the clashing of the steel always makes a corsair

feel a desire to hide himself from foemen's eyes, ,

And when the cannon shoots, his heart sinks In his

boots, that's the reason why he wears them such

They may talk of Captain Kidd and the -wonders, that

he did. but this band ot pirates . Isn't built that

way, - . .

We. retard a man-of-war as decidedly a bore, and

we'd rather run than fight her any day;

^Though it really isn't bad when there's money to be

had, and the enemy's not half as big as we, .

For then every mother's son makes all haste to man

his gun, and prepares to fight with quite ferocious ? Klee. .

And then (if we're in hick), when'.the' foeman's en-

sign's struck, we Often.'make our'captives walk on. planks, ' ;. '..-. ' . ' ?; ...

. But of alt the many ways for a man .to end his .days

. drowning's easlesti and we deserve their thanks.

' "We 'don't deny lt's true, » there . are ' many people who ; in running down our actions are employed,-'

But we one and, all deny-contradiction .we defy-that

we ever ran a risk we could avoid.

At the ,end of the chorus' the King looked around with some annoyance on his face. He had never heard the song before, and suspected some political allusion. But before be could make any remark the curtains at "the end of the room parted, and a tall; graceful youth entered, the pirates rising and bowing profoundly as he advanced towards the King.

"Good-morrow, fair son," said his Majesty, warmly shaking hands. "'Tis long'since you have graced our court with your presence. I trust it is well with you. 'And how's things?"

"Congratulate me, sire,'.' said the Prince. . "The lists are out at the University, and I haye taken

my degree of Bachelor of Piracy, with first-class


"This is indeed good news," replied the King; "we rejoice greatly thereat. Bully for you! Gentlemen, to-morrow se'nnight we give a free spread to celebrate your Prince's success."

At this announcement the pirates cheered vo- ciferously, as royal banquets were of very rare occurrence just then, owing to the exhausted state of; the treasury. The island was passing through- a season of great depression, business being almost paralysed. Not a single capture had been made for months, and processions of unemployed pirates paraded the streets with ban- ners every day.

The Government had just declared a large defi- cit, which could not by any possible means be made to look like a surplus. This had made an income tax necessary, which inflamed the existing, discontent to such an extent that a revolution was meditafedT several people in high positions being among the disaffected.

; "My word," said one of the doorkeepers to the other, "I mind the time when there was any quantity, of feasts, and now they make ail this fuss about one. What's.the good of this lubber? It's about time- we had a king who'd do something for his living, 'stead of always working Tom Cox's traverse!-two, turns round the long boat and a pull at the. shuttle butt."

"Aye, aye," returned the other, "and I tell you, last v'yage I see the very cove we want. Darn me, he were only a nipper, too, no. more 'un about 12 years! old. But he were a blood-tblrsty one, hre werei d The.things he done in his time would astonlshfyer. Why, one time he were a travellln' In the bushby coach in a most onsettled part ot the counlry. , Well, it were a moonlight night, .with a fresh breeze from the nor'-west, and about the middle-of ..the second dog-watch they w«s at- tacked by highwaymen, which are, so he tells me,

I«.- . -

Baron Moto Omi Yamaguch',


(Photo, by J. Martin Miller.)

a sort ;oí. land branch of our professsion. Well, what does he do, but he whips out his pistol, which were a very old-fashioned one, with a bell-mouth, like one of these here old blunderbusses.. Six of them the highwaymen were, all standin' . in à row. ; Well, he breaks off the hilt of his cutlass and shoves the blade down the barrel .of' his pistol,) and fires it slap through the lot; and leaves them all pinned together. Well, when hs-tells me this, blow me if he.didn't burst out,crying fit to bust himself. 'What's up?' say I, "don't go for tojtell me as how you feel remorseful about that.'! 'Well, not exactly .remorseful,' says-he, 'though, seeing as how I'm.going to be a pirate, I didn't like killing highwaymen, which are a very respectable sort of men,' he says, 'but it were that there pistol-completely done for it: were.' "

"Well," said the first pirate, "what a young rip he must have been, no doubt. But look' here, Bill Crossbones,-, how do you know as how it were


"True," retorted the other, indignantly, "didn't he show me the very identical pistol what he done it with, and it were all burst up, just as he

said.": ?

"But," said the first pirate, doubtfully, "that are all very well, but, can he navigate a ship, b3 cause ¡it aren't no use having a King as can't do


"Navigate a ship?" said Crossbones, "what hs don't iknow. about a ship, aren't worth knowing. Tell you another thing he done. You see, it were this way. This here Georgie Johnson, which were his name, were a passenger aboard a fore-and aft schooner called the Polly Ann, loaded up to the hatches with a cargo of cabbages. "Weil, about the third day out, when they was bowlin' a'ong with à nice beam wind from the east'ard, about four hells in £he mornin' watch, tho captain, which'were also the owner, came on deck. Pre- sen tl yr he: -..casts his eye aft, and turns as white ns a .ghost.'. 'I'm don'c for,' be says, and 1 ans up against the main-hoom, lookin' like a marine in a gale , o' wind. 'What's .up?' says Georgia 'Whyj.irsays the captain, 'you see tbat smoke on the ¿ort guarter, well, that's, the steamer Salad Oil, and she'll' be up afore me, and sell out all her cabbages before we arrive, and spoil the mar

ket. I'm a ruined man,' he says. 'Well,' says Georgie, 'you leave it to me, and I'll fix it up. Just you hand over the ship to me.' Well, the captain didn't like it much, but not knowln'what else to do, he consents. So Georgie, he ups and he sings out, 'Lower away the foretops'l,' he says. Well, when this were done, he take3 the halyard off the tops'l yard, and makes it fast to the port anchor. He also makes fast the chain cable to the anchor, and sings out to hoist away, and up goes the anchor to the foretopmast head, with the chain cable followln' after, most rldl c'lous to see. I tell you, the captain he thought Georgie was made; but Georgie says to him, 'You give me the' command.' he says, 'and If I have any

of your mutineerin', I'll put you In irons straight away.' Well, after a bit the steamer comes up about a couple of miles astern and a mile to lee- ward. 'Bear up,' says Georgie, and he lays a course so as just to meet the steamer. Then he gets the chain cable which were hangln* down the mast, and makes fast to the bitts; leavin' about three fathom of slack. Well, presently he comes right-down on the steamer, EO as you could have jumped aboard her. Then, jusi as the schooner give a roll to port so his foretopmast hung over the steamer's deck. 'Luff up,' he says, and lets go his tops'l halyard, and down comes the anchor on her aft deck, It drags along the deck till it caught in the taffrail, and in a minute there was the schooner towing astern most glorious. Well, the captain of the steamer, when he see it, he swore most dreadful. Let go, he Bays, or I'll have yob up for assault and battery. Go and take a reef in yer birlóle, you lubber, says Georgie, runnin' away with our anchor like that. Hand It back, or /I'll get you six months for stealin' it, ho says. Well, the captain of the steamer he were in a fix, and he calls aft a couple of hands and tells them to chuck the anchor overboard, but Georgie

puts a man or two on the end of his jibboom chuckln' buckets of water on 'em, till they was nearly drowned, and couldn't get near the anchor at all. So, after a bit, they gives it up, and away they goes with the schooner in tow. Well, the captain of the Polly . Ann he weren't satis lied yet. This are all very fine, he says, but I must get in ' ahead of that steamer, and here I am astern bf her, says he. 'You leave it to me,' says Georgie, 'I'll fix you up.' Well, he waits till they was' just gettin' inside the harbor, and then he "gets the starboard anchor and makes it fast to the end of the chain cable that were aboard the schooner. Then he casts it off the bitts, and chucks his starboard anchor over- board. Well, of course, the other end of the . cable, being fast to the steamer's taffrail, this brings up .the steamer dead, still with her propel- ler kicking, up the water like anything. Well, before the. captain of the Salad Oil knew what were stoppin' him, Georgie signals a tug, and rips the schooner up to her wharf, and the skipper clears out his cabbages at a immense profit. Then he turns round to Georgie and ne says, "Con- cealment is useless; there is only one boy as could have done that; you're Georgië Johnston; thé same being unknown to him before by reason of Georgie never--tellin' anyone who he was, be- cause he hated people standin* round to look at

"Well," said the other pirate, who had been listening to this story with open-mouthed as- tonishment, "I tell you what, Bill Crossbones, I proposes, at the meetin' to-night, as how we asks this here Georgie to come over and be King of

tho Island."

At this point the King rose and left the room, followed by the Prince, and the rest of the pirates dispersed to their respective ships.

. ? (To be continued.) .