The Story


Captain Lupe De Feu

Chapter 1

1702

Captain Billy 'Black Claw' Boucherre paced outside the door. Every 5 laps he would pause and put his ear intently against the door, trying to hear anything going on inside. And every time he heard silence, he began pacing nervously again. Not even could the serene surroundings of green grass and yellow fields calm him. His large boots crunched the grass making a dirt path in front of the small cottage door. His tail hung seemingly lifeless between his legs, swaying only slightly with his large gait. He grasped his large hand-like paws behind his back. His alert ears twitched at any sound from inside the cottage. Billy Boucherre was a large, purebred gray wolf. His fur was almost pure black, with small white tips and outlines around his eyes, ears, paws and tail. He was a very handsome wolf. But his dark features made his yellow-brown eyes stand out like daggers. He was very well built. And what he lacked in strength, he compensated with brains. If he couldn't run through a crowd of his attackers using his narrow chest, he would swash-buckle with each one, outsmarting him with a new or unexpected move.

He suddenly stood straight, as his tail flicked and his ears turned toward the door. He'd heard a sharp sound from inside. But after a minute of strained listening, he gave up and began to pace again. The horse mounted with the doctor's carriage, whinnied at the wolf's continuing anxiety.

Billy paused to glance at the horse. "Easy for you to say." Even though he really couldn't understand the normal horse, he knew what was being implied. He too, was getting tired of pacing. So he sat down beside the door, next to the hinges.

Just as Billy settled down, the door flew open knocking him over! A rather plump mouse named Anne ran out the door jumping and squealing. She hurriedly glanced around outside the door for Billy.

"The baby's here! Come quick, Billy!" she yelled out towards the field.

She heard a grunt behind her and turned around. "There you are! Well don't just sit there! Come and see your baby!"

Billy hurriedly scrambled to his feet. He'd never been in such a clumsy state in his entire life as he followed Anne into the dark cottage.

The doctor, a fat gerbil, calmly put his utensils in his bag. Anne scrambled into the only other room in the house. Billy however, stopped by the doctor and grabbed his small paw.

"Thank you, thank you, matey! I'll never forget ye for yer help!" Billy shook his hand, as the doctor tried to keep his arm intact.

"Yes, yes. You're welcome, Mr. Boucherre. You and your wife will surely be happy with your new baby girl." The doctor replied as Billy let go of his hand.

"It's a girl?" asked Billy. He quickly hurried into the other room.

The doctor tested his paw just to make sure it wasn't broken.

Anne left, as Billy entered the room. He paused, closing the door behind him. He just stared at the wolf in the bed holding a little, squealing furball. "It be a girl?" he asked her.

Isabelle looked up at Billy. She bounced the puppy in her tired arms. "Yes. She's a girl." Isabelle was also a purebred gray wolf. But her markings were much different from Billy's. Most of her body was snowy white. She had light gray markings on her face and arms.

Billy's lips pulled back in a huge smile. He'd really wanted a boy, but he was still overjoyed with a girl just the same. He cautiously made his way over to her side and looked at the puppy.

The puppy had big blue and yellow eyes, like every newborn wolf. They would soon change to a golden brown color. She had dark markings on her back, down her nose and on her tail. Her belly was soft white, outlined with gray. She whined at the new wolf bending over her. She licked his muzzle, trying to climb out of Isabelle's arms.

"Whoa, there." Isabelle held onto her and pulled her back into her lap.

The puppy quickly settled down in her mother's warmth and went to sleep.

"What shall we name her? We do not have a girl name picked out." Asked Isabelle.

"What about me grandmother's name?" asked Billy.

"Loup? No. My daughter will not have a name such as that."

"No. Lupe. Her name was Lupe. It was me father t'was Loup." Replied Billy.

"Oh. Yes. I like Lupe." Isa nuzzled the puppy. "Lupe Boucherre." Chapter 2

1722-Aboard the D’or Requin-In the Bahamas

Captain Lupe De Feu whistled an old pirate tune as she dusted off her wall of books. She was dressed in her father’s captain uniform. It was red, with black lace, lined with gold thread. Her boots were large and black. Her black captain hat was laced with gold thread, and a big ostrich feather fell across the crest. She had her mother’s face, with her father’s personality and strength.

“You know, we have women to do that kind of work.” Came a remark from the doorway to the captain’s cabin.

“Ha, ha. Very funny.” Lupe replied.

“Well, most of the time you act more like a guy, rather than a girl.” Said Johnson making himself at home in the cabin. He walked over to the window and sat on the sill. He picked up an apple from the fruit bowl on the table and began to munch.

Lupe sat down behind her desk and propped her feet on it. She began to different whistle a pirate song as she read a brand new hit story.

Johnson glanced at the book, “now what are you reading?”

“Something new I picked up while we were in Johnstown.” Lupe replied.

“Lemme see that.” Johnson reached over and plucked it out of her hands.

She folded her arms and waited.

Johnson opened the book and skimmed through it. “Seems boring.” He gave it back to her. “Too much reading is bad for you.”

“It is not. You’re just jealous cause you can only read words like ‘cat’ and ‘dog’.” Replied Lupe reading her book again. “So how are we doing?”

“We should be in the Gulf of Honduras in a couple of days. The winds are good. The crew is calm. But we’re getting a little low on supplies.” Replied Johnson.

“Food?”

“No. It’s the oddest thing. Our powder kegs are almost completely empty.”

“What? But we haven’t even taken a ship for two months.” Replied Lupe sitting up.

“I know. We’ll have to get more as soon as we pull into Port.” Said Johnson.

“Hmmm. How are the supplies of the rest of the fleet?” Lupe asked.

“About the same. Except for a couple schooners, they’re all low.” Replied Johnson munching on his apple.

Lupe hit the table with her fist. “The powder couldn’t have just disappeared. Like this we’re vulnerable to almost any kind of attack.”

“Like I said, we’ll be in Honduras in a couple of days.” Said Johnson.

“Still…I want to be notified immediately of any kind of ship, island, or continent. If you find a fishing boat in the middle of the night, I want you to get me out of bed. Is that clear?”

“Crystal.” Replied Johnson.

Lupe took a deep breath. She put the book on the table and massaged her forehead with her paws.

“I just remembered why I’m first mate.” Commented Johnson.

“Why?”

“’Cause I don’t like headaches.” He replied.

Lupe chuckled as she leaned back in the chair. “I just remembered my reason for making you first mate.”

“Why?”

“’Cause you remind me of a court jester.”

Someone pounded on the door. “Captain?”

“Yes?”

“It’s Bengamin. Permission to enter, Captain.” He said with heavy pirate slang.

“Permission granted.” Replied Lupe getting up from her chair.

Bengamin stepped in. He was a duck with red feathers on top his head. He had a peg leg on his right leg from the knee down. His eyes were blue and green. He could be easily picked out of a crowd.

“We’ve spied Mairi, ma’am. Should we pull into port?”

“Yes. We’ll stop for supplies.”

Bengamin nodded and left the cabin.

“Johnson, organize the fleet.” Ordered Lupe stepping into the closet.

“Where are you going?”

“To change clothes. I’m not going ashore dressed like this. I’d be liable to get shot.” She replied carrying out older clothes.

“Okay.” Johnson left the cabin closing the door behind him.

Lupe hurriedly slipped off the uniform. She glanced at the old dress. How she hated to wear them. But she would have to be on her best behavior. An Privateer caught on an enemy country's island would get a quick death by hanging.

“Inform them that we are going to shore for supplies. Everyone must be on his or her best behavior while in port. You know the Code of Conduct.” Johnson instructed the ermine.

The ermine nodded and began to wave his flags towards the nearest ship in the fleet. Each ship took the message and passed it onto the next until all 25 ships were informed.

“Take down the main sale! Ready the long boats!” ordered Lupe stepping onto deck.

“How long are we staying?” asked Johnson.

“We shove off tomorrow at noon. Everyone be back at 11:30.” She replied.

The ermine flagged the new message to the other ships.

“Once we’re fully stocked, everyone can be on leave for the night.” Said Lupe adjusting the belt around the dress.

“Dressed to kill, madam?” Johnson teased.

“Yep.” She replied hiding a cutlass under the dress.

“Going as a wench?”

“Yep. Argh!” She replied with a grin.

“Heh, heh. I’ll let you know of any new bounty rumors from the bar.” He commented climbing into the longboat.

Lupe climbed in along with more of the crew. She glanced up at an Eagle. “Chocky, you’re in charge while we’re gone.”

“Aye, captain.” Chocky smiled crookedly. He sounded like he’d swallowed a bunch of chalk.

Johnson spied the town through the scope. “Looks pretty quiet. No guards, few soldiers…lots of dirty villagers. My kind of town.”

“Johnson,”

“What?” he asked putting down the scope.

“Go easy on the bar room brawls.” Said Lupe.

“Don’t you know me at all?”

Chapter 3

That night

Johnson pushed the coyote off with his feet! But he was bombarded with several dogs, a couple raccoons, and even a horse. As they piled onto him, he managed to scramble out from under them and jump onto a table. The only problem with that idea was only a single leg in the middle held up the table. He toppled over and fell onto the glass-laden floor. He barely rolled out of way as someone tried to hit him with a club.

“A little help here!” Johnson called as he ran from the men in hot pursuit.

Lupe just sat at a table, eating her supper, ignoring him. Clifford sat next to her, also ignoring Johnson.

“Shouldn’t we at least help him get away?” Clifford asked quietly.

“Nope. I warned him about gambling with drunk dogs, but no, he didn’t listen, like always.” She replied.

Johnson climbed the flight of stairs, and had to dodge half dressed women standing in the way. When he came to the end of the deck, he climbed over and fell onto the floor. At the door he ran into 3 officers that had just walked in.

“Eheh.” He smiled. “Oops?”

As they dragged him out, Lupe stared at Clifford.

“What?” he asked.

“What’s the one thing that could ruin my day?” she asked.

“Busting Johnson out of jail again.” He replied finishing up his supper.

Lupe ate the last bite of her supper and got up. Clifford got up when she did. “Lets go gather some men.” She commented, leaving the table.

“Aye.” Replied Clifford. “We’re gonna need a lot of men for this break-out.”

Johnson was thrown into the cell. He hit the hard, damp floor, aggravating his wounds. “Yeah, and the same to you, weasels!” he yelled angrily at the officers.

He carefully sat on the small bench and began to pull the glass out of his back.

Two officers settled down outside the cell at a small desk. The other left the building.

Johnson lied on his side and drifted in sleep for about an hour. Finally, he heard the familiar thump of the guard outside hitting the ground. The other two officers quickly got up and hurried out to see what had happened. Johnson listened. He heard two more thumps.

“Yes!” he quickly jumped up off the bench and stood at the bars.

Lupe entered the room. Even with a dress on, she looked dangerous.

Johnson gulped as she came over to the bars. She held up the key, and then she unlocked the door and opened it. Her anger made her seem bigger than before. She glared at him with her yellow-brown eyes. Once the door was open she clenched her fists and stood in the opening.

Johnson backed up. “You know, I think it might be safer in here.”

Lupe tossed the keys onto the floor and walked away from the cell.

Johnson sighed and stepped out. He followed her out the door. “You will not regret this. I mean it, from this time on, I’m quitting gambling.”

She stopped and stared at him.

“Eheh. I guess you’ve heard that before, huh?”

She ignored him and left the building. He followed. They joined a handful of men from the ship.

“Alright…uh, I’ll make it up to you. Somehow. Do your books need polished? The floors need waxed? You name it.” He prodded.

Lupe stopped and turned around. “You’ve just cut the night short for hundreds of men who had the idea that they would finally get a night out after months of cabin fever at sea. You made me go back on my word. Now I have to find some way to keep them happy.”

“Couldn’t you have just waited for tomorrow to break me out?” he asked.

“You would’ve been sold as a slave by midnight.” She answered before continuing towards the end of town. “I’ve already sent scouts out for the rest of men in town. I just hope we’ll get everyone before we leave.”

The ships loomed as they waited out in the water. There weren’t enough ports for all of them, so the men aboard would trade ports as they loaded supplies for the trip.

Once everyone was aboard, they flagged each other to leave.

The ships pulled out of harbor, the square-rigger took the lead as they headed to the Cape of Honduras.

Chapter 4

1722-Aboard the D’or Requin-In the Cape of Honduras

Lupe was at the helm, keeping a sharp eye for land. Chocky was steering the wheel, keeping them on course.

Lupe took her eyes from the horizon as she heard Johnson scrambling up the flight of stairs.

“Captain! Captain!” He finally reached the helm. “There’s something down in the hold you should see.”

Lupe followed him down the stairs and into the cargo hold. There he showed her the powder kegs. Pulling out the cork, he let her look inside. The barrels were empty.

“They’re empty?” she jumped back. “How could they have just…?”

“Captain.” Bengamin interrupted. “We’ve sighted land. We’re entering the Cape.”

“Alright.” She answered.

He waited for more orders. When she didn’t give any, Bengamin walked over. “Respectfully, Captain, what are you doing?”

“Get back on deck. We’re investigating something.”

“Aye, aye.” Replied Bengamin heading back up on deck.

Lupe inspected the barrel. It was in perfect shape. “No holes, no knotholes, no cuts…what’s going on?”

“I don’t know. They were full just yesterday.” Replied Johnson.

“It has to be some kind of sabotage. Someone wants us to be sitting ducks! How are the kegs on the other ships?”

Johnson didn’t answer.

“They’re…empty too?”

Johnson nodded.

“Who could be doing this?”

“It’s like you said, we have hundreds of men. There’s no telling which ones could be the turn-coats.” Replied Johnson.

“Wait a minute…who commissioned Bengamin anyway?” she asked.

“Wasn’t me. I just heard that Clifford recruited him about 4 months ago.” Answered Johnson.

“You heard?”

“Yes. Most of the men in the fleet you haven’t even met.”

“Oh no.” Lupe took off her hat in dismay.

“What?”

“My fleet is going to be destroyed. And all because of some spies I overlooked.”

“Don’t you think you’re jumping to conclusions?” asked Johnson.

“No! We’re heading straight into Honduras. We have practically no way to defend ourselves. It’s the perfect trap!” she answered slapping her hat back on. “We have to turn around!”

The two hurried over to the ladder. They climbed onto deck. Lupe hurried to her cabin and opened charts across her desk. Johnson followed in and glanced at the chart.

“See, there could be a fleet waiting right here at the crest, and another behind us. It’s the perfect setup.” She pointed.

“You’re right. I’ll notify Clifford to turn us around!” Johnson turned to leave; a pistol met him.

“No sudden moves…captain.” Said Bengamin cocking the pistol.

Lupe turned around. “So it was you.”

“Yes. It be me. Heh heh, yer fleet won’t know what hit ‘em! You’ve had spies in yer ranks for months. And best part is, we’ve been under yer big nose, and ye never even had a clue.” Bengamin finished right before laughing.

Johnson grabbed his gun pushing it upwards!

‘POW’

Bengamin shot a hole in the ceiling.

Clifford jumped up on deck above as the bullet grazed his leg!

Lupe kicked Bengamin in the gut!

Bengamin fell back against the wall. He sank to the floor bent over.

Johnson took his powder horn and loaded his pistol. “I have a feeling I’m going to need this.”

They heard a yell from outside. “AMBUSH!!” Then came a loud and sickening whistle sound. Then the ship jolted as the wood splintered from the cannon ball! The ship surged left, then right. Lupe and Johnson braced as the cabin was jarred!

Before they could leave the cabin, there were several more whistles and crashes from cannonballs ripping the fleet to shreds!

Lupe and Johnson ran onto deck! The men were scrambling about, readying what weapons they could!

“How many are there?” Lupe asked Clifford.

“15 men-of-war! 6 sloops! And 8 brigs!” Clifford had to yell over the racket.

Lupe turned to the ermine. “Signal everyone to retreat!”

The ermine nervously nodded and began waving his flags widely!

“Lupe! We’re taking on water! The pumps wouldn’t work if we tried!” informed Johnson surveying the damage.

“Chocky, ready the long boats! Get as many people off as possible!” Lupe ordered. Then she turned to Johnson. “Make good of that one shot you have left.”

“I will.” He replied sticking the gun in his belt. He pulled his sword and readied to fight the soldiers when they would board the square-rigger.

Lupe glanced at the long boats. They were gone. She looked over the side. They were in pieces and sinking in the water like rocks. She drew her sword at the sight. This was the wrong day. She and Johnson turned at the sounds of hooks catching the side of the ship. Everyone still left on board ran over and cut the ropes they could.

A few weasels and rats made it on board. Johnson, Lupe, Clifford, and Chocky made quick work of them. They were cut down in seconds.

The enemy ships came in closer as Lupe’s fleet began to collapse. Already two ships had sunk. 10 more were nearing the same fate, including the D’or Requin.

As more privateers were killed, more soldiers boarded the square-rigger. The four had their hands full.

Between swashbuckling, Lupe saw that the two captains had boarded the ship. The famed Captains Whittlefield, and Lawson. They were dressed in their sickening robes, tresses, and white locks. She saw Whittlefield calmly pull out a gun and shoot Chocky. Then he and Lawson chuckled as Chocky spat and coughed his own blood before falling in a heap on the floor.

She lost her temper. Lupe ran towards them! She sliced at Whittlefield’s head! He dodged enough to save his skull, but he lost his right ear! Lupe took another big swing at him! Lawson drew his sword and blocked her blow while Whittlefield recovered!

Whittlefield ducked back onto the ship and had the men ready another cannon while Lawson kept Lupe busy.

Lupe was fighting with blazing anger! She slashed at this captain who’d in part, taken down her fleet! Her Father’s fleet! Her yellow eyes looked evil as she swung her sword into the mizzenmast. It landed deep. She had to put her foot on the wood and yank before it finally came out. By that time, Lawson had retreated back to his ship.

“Cowards!” she yelled at them. She turned around. There stood an evil looking squirrel, with a hook for a right hand, a patch over his right eye, and a pistol in his left hand, pointed at her. He was well known as the Cyclops. She didn’t have time to move. He pulled the trigger.

It felt like a board hit her. The ground came up quick and hard. When she opened her eyes, Johnson was on top of her. His smoking pistol barrel was still pointed at the fallen Cyclops.

“Johnson! You got him!” she smiled and moved to get up.

Johnson grunted clenching his bared teeth. He weakly dropped the pistol.

“Johnson?” she asked, suddenly upset. Something was terribly wrong if Johnson didn’t come up with a smart remark. Suddenly feeling something wet, she glanced down. Blood made a fast growing puddle on the deck. It wasn’t her blood; it was Johnson’s blood that stained the wood and her captain uniform.

“No!” She quickly rolled him over onto the deck. She found the wound squarely in his chest. The red, thick blood was pouring out with every heartbeat, he would be dead in less than 2 minutes.

“Lupe…getting shot…really hurts.” He remarked painfully.

She couldn’t hold back a slight chuckle as clear tears filled her eyes.

“Don’t worry, I’ll get this bleeding stopped…” she began to unbutton her uniform to use it as a tourniquet.

“No.” Johnson weakly grabbed her hands. “You know, and I know, that won’t help…and, you also know, I’m not the one that worries.” He paused, trying to sit up. “Did I get ‘im? Did I kill ‘im?”

“Yeah. You got him.” She answered.

“Good. He won’t bother you when I’m gone.” Johnson smiled and coughed a couple times. Then he suddenly stopped bleeding.

“Johnson, you stopped bleeding! You’re gonna be all right!” she glanced at his face. He was motionless. He’d closed his eyes. She listened intently. She couldn’t hear him breathing anymore. He was gone. That quickly, he was dead.

She turned away, closing her eyes and clenching her teeth. She turned back towards his body. She wanted something to remember him by; his blue bandana. He’d always warn it. Actually, she didn’t ever remember seeing him without it. She carefully reached over, and untied the bandana. She tied it around her hand for safekeeping.

Lupe slowly stood up. She didn’t feel like fighting anymore. She glanced to her right, at the enemy Captain’s ship. She saw a large cannon with a lit fuse aimed right at her! And standing beside it were the two yellow-belly’s, Whittlefield and Lawson, grinning.

Her eyes widened as sudden instinct told her to run like mad! She ran forwards intending to jump over the side! The cannonball smashed into the side of the ship blowing wood and Lupe into the air! She felt the wood bore into her skin and body. She hit the water with a loud splash!

She didn’t even know she was in water until she felt the pressure begin to make her head pound. Lupe began to swim back towards the surface. She felt a sharp piece of wood in her hand. She searched through the bandana. She didn’t find a piece of wood; she found instead an engagement ring. She began to choke, so she quickly stuffed the ring back into the bandana and swam upwards.

Breaking the surface she gasped for air. Her body was suddenly struck backwards and she sank lifeless into the water.

Captain ‘Snake Eyes’ Whittlefield blew the smoke away from his gun barrel. He and his new friend, Captain Lawson ‘Rat’, were both pleased that the scourge from overseas, Lupe De Feu (Wolf of Fire) was finally dead. Their only sorrows were that they wouldn’t be able to take back her head to show to their Kings and Queens to prove they killed her. So they would only get half the money promised to them for defeating the fleet and bringing in as many privateers as possible for trial. Now they could fight the war against their enemies with less fear from the Privateer Captain/Naval General.

Chapter 5

1727-Portsmouth, England

Captain Theodore Morgan strut with pride in his green suit. His reptilian skin was used to the salty sea air of the coast. He followed the docks until he came to the ship he was going to captain. It was a brig named the Mariana. He took a deep breath of the sea breeze. Then he snapped his heels together and turned around. He held one arm behind his back and the other down at his side. He stood there and waited.

Soon, four black leopards came carrying a tent on four poles. The leopards stopped from a strict and sharp order from inside. Morgan saw the tent flap peel back slightly, only enough for the person inside to see the Mariana. Then the curtain returned to its original position, and they went on their way. Behind them, several horses carried the person’s belongings. They all boarded the ship and got everything in place.

The Captain boarded the ship and looked at the sign-up paper. He read all the names.

“Hmmmm. A well sized crew, don’t you think?” Morgan handed the paper to Bengamin, his first mate.

“Aye.” Replied Bengamin looking the list over.

“Do you recognize any names on there? Any pirates?” asked the Captain.

“A few blokes. They be harmless buccaneer scum. Looks like yer crew be softy men and women.” Bengamin glanced at the names, he couldn’t read them, but he would recognize any he’d seen in wanted posters. One of the names caught his eye. “Who be this?”

“I don’t know. Someone you know?” asked Morgan.

“No. Can’t be ‘em. Forget it.” Said Bengamin.

“Let me know immediately if you discover any mutinying pirates.” Ordered Morgan.

“Aye, captain. Aye.” As soon as Morgan walked away, Bengamin scowled at the snotty, over dressed gecko.

A ruff-looking skunk came up behind him. “How’s the good captain?”

“He don’t suspect a bloomin’ thing.” Replied Bengamin.

“Good. Did all me crew sign up?”

“Aye.”

“Bloody good. Now keep close to Mr. Morgan, make sure nothin’ be discovered ‘till I say so.” Ordered the skunk.

“Aye, Captain Black Beard.” Bengamin said quietly.

“Be there any other pirates aboard?” asked Black Beard.

“Aye, only a few. They be easy to persuade into joining us when the time comes.” Informed Bengamin.

The dog and raccoon grunted, each trying to beat the other’s arm strength.

The dog was a Dalmatian. He wore cheep clothes prior of a sailor.

The raccoon wore older clothes, and no shoes. It showed that he spent too much time gambling in the bar.

They grunted; their locked hands trembled, as did their arms. The dog seemed relaxed, but the raccoon however, was clenching his teeth and belching beer. He was drunk. Once the dog knew this, he quickly used his full strength! The back of the raccoon’s hand pounded the wobbling table. The dog won the arm wrestling match. The sailors and bar women around him cheered. The drunken mad raccoon angrily left the table in utter defeat.

Another animal sat down opposite the dog. It was a hare. He offered the dog his hand. The dog accepted the challenge. Everyone around placed his or her bets. They began the match.

The dog ended the match, that quickly. The hare paid up and left the table. The dog leaned back in his chair, totally confident.

“Is there anyone man enough to challenge me?” he asked, loud enough for everyone in the bar to hear. “Come now. There must be someone left.” He glanced around. Everyone was too small, too old, or too drunk for his taste, except for one, a dog sitting in the corner eating a plate full of bad looking food. “You there! I challenge you. Three-to-one odds. You’d only have to pay 1 piece of eight.”

The eating dog ignored the Dalmatian.

“Aw. You’re not afraid of a little bet, are you? I’ll even come over to the table you’re at.” The Dalmatian called.

At that, the dog got up and walked over to the snickering Dalmatian. The dog wore a blue bandana around his head; he had floppy ears, and a curled tail. He looked much like a malamute. He was dressed in plain pants, boots and a shirt. He sat down at the opposite end of the table and offered his hand to the Dalmatian.

“Ah, ah. Money first. Hand it to Jim there.” The Dalmatian instructed.

The dog handed the young wild dog 2 pieces of eight, which was enough money to buy a cow. Then he stopped and stared at him, but it was only for a split second. Enough that the lad, Jim, got a quick shiver up his spine.

“Keep the change.” The dog told the wild dog.

Jim only nodded.

Then the two dogs locked grips. The match began on one of the bar women’s word. “Go!”

At first, the Dalmatian was very confident. Then he began to wonder about his judgment. The back of his hand began to near the side of the table. This dog was beating him. He’d made a mistake. Next time he would be sure to fight only drunken sailors. Then ‘BAM’, his hand smacked the table.

The Dalmatian gratefully left go of the dog’s hard grip. Then he glanced at the size difference. The other dog’s hand was almost twice the size of his.

“Hmmm. You’ve got quite a grip there, buddy. Where’d you get that kind of stamina?” the Dalmatian asked rubbing his hand. The people around them groaned; they’d lost a lot of their money on the fight.

“Teaching men like yourself lessons.” The dog answered in a proper accent. When the dog stood up, the Dalmatian realized that the guy was actually a girl!

“You’re a woman?” the Dalmatian stood up infuriated; a woman had beaten him.

“Yep, Mr…” the dog waited for his answer.

“I want a rematch!” the Dalmatian pounded the table.

The dog looked at the Dalmatian with dignity. “Only if you enjoy loosing twice.”

The Dalmatian sat back down. “Rematch. That last one didn’t count.”

“Fair enough.” The dog sat back down too.

They locked hands and began the match. The match ended. The dog got up to collect her prize.

The Dalmatian was now annoyed, furious and embarrassed. A woman beat him in an arm wrestling contest twice. He pounded the table with his fist, and then he rested his head on his hand.

Jim handed her the four pieces of eight.

“Thank you.” Then the dog returned to her table and began eating again.

Jim stood beside the Dalmatian, who was still sulking about the fight.

“Do you recognize her?” Jim asked.

“No! And she’s lucky I don’t! If I ever see her face again it’ll be too soon!” the Dalmatian stood up from the table. “Come on. It’s almost time to shove off.”

The Dalmatian took his remaining winnings off the table and they left the bar. They went to the docks and looked for the ship they were going to sail on.

“There it is. The Mariana.” The two stood and gazed at the brig. “This is one of the better ships I’ve been on.”

“Really?” asked Jim.

“Yep. She’s big, fast, and still in sea shape. An I hear we’re getting a good captain this run. I think his name is…Morgan, something Morgan.” Explained the Dalmatian.

“Wow.” Commented Jim.

“She’s a real beauty.” The two turned their heads at the comment from behind them.

“What are you doing here?” asked the Dalmatian angrily. It was the dog from the bar.

“See you on board.” She commented boarding the ship carrying a bag over her shoulder.

“Our stuff’s already on board, right?” Jim asked.

The Dalmatian was too hot to answer. He just began to walk up the gangplank to the ship in between sailors.

“Hey! Wait for me!” Jim hurried onto the gangplank and ran into a burly leopard. “Oops. Sorry sir.”

The leopard turned and glared at Jim with a scowl. “Watch where you’re going, shrimp. Unless you be lookin’ fer trouble.” Then he turned and boarded the ship carrying his bag.

Jim gulped, and then he hurried on deck. When he found the Dalmatian, he clung to him like glue.

“Easy, kid. Don’t crowd me. There’s a sweat lookin’ dog over there.” The Dalmatian pointed with his eyes towards a slate colored husky with black curly hair. She wore a tight, black girdle around her waist, pants that came to her knees, and black shoes. She also wore two earrings in her ears.

“So?” asked Jim.

“So stay here. Hopefully I’ll bring someone back over with me.” Said the Dalmatian pushing back his ears to make him look more macho. He walked over to the husky. “Hello there, sailor.”

“Drop dead.” She replied without looking at him.

“I think you misunderstood me. All I said was ‘hello’. I’m just trying to be nice.”

“Alright then, hello.” She finally looked at him.

“See, now that wasn’t hard now, was it?” he asked.

“I was nice, now go away.” She said flatly. She turned her attention back to the captain.

“Look, I just want to…” he stopped in mid sentence when she pulled a knife and stuck it hard against his back.

“I said, go away.” She said flatly again, staring straight ahead.

The Dalmatian gulped, then carefully walked back over to Jim. He kept his back straight as to keep anyone from finding out what happened.

“What happened?” Jim asked him.

The Dalmatian grunted as he rubbed his back. “She’s…just a little nervous about being on a boat with a bunch of men…that’s all.”

The sailors crowded the deck and quieted down as the captain cleared his throat. Bengamin stood beside him, as Morgan pulled the list out of his pocket.

Morgan placed his glass in front of his right eye. “I am Captain Theodore Morgan. You may call me, Captain Morgan. This is my first mate, Bengamin. This ship is leaving harbor in 10 minutes for Tetouan Rabat, Morocco. There are two important visitors accompanying us on the trip. Mr. Blare, who is writing a book about sea life, and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. No one is allowed to see her except me and Bengamin.

When I say your name, I expect you to answer.” He read down the list. “Geoffrey.”

The big leopard answered in a deep voice, “Aye.”

“Sabeena.” Morgan called.

“Aye.” Replied a shrewd lop-eared rabbit. Her ears were full of earrings.

“Elizabeth.” Morgan called.

“Here.” The slate husky answered.

“Jim.”

“Uh…here.” Jim answered uncertainly.

“Martin.”

“Aye.” The Dalmatian answered.

“Bowler.”

“Aye.” Answered a large brown bear.

“Robert.”

“Aye.” The drunk, raccoon answered, then he hick-upped.

“Bart.”

“Aye.” Black Beard answered gruffly.

“Coal.”

“Here.” Answered a ring-tailed coati.

“Spartan.”

“Here.” Answered a ruff-coat collie.

“Nathan.”

“Aye.” Answered a mean badger.

“Sean.”

“Here.” Answered a chipmunk.

“Lupe.”

“Aye.” The girl dog piped up. Bengamin glared at her as the captain kept sounding out names. She glared back. Bengamin finally looked away. He was sure she couldn’t be the same Lupe he was thinking about. After all, this Lupe was a dog.

Morgan was finished crew proto-call about 10 minutes later. “Alright! Let’s get to work!”

Everyone hustled about, getting to work. In no time, the Mariana was out of the harbor, and on her way to Morocco, Africa.


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