The Ballad of Jules Fox Thirteenth Verse BY Andrew Hallett
Three days later, Capt’n Marshall limped into his home port. The late Capt’n Morgan’s ship in her day was of the same class as the Lady Rose. But due to years of rough usage and poor upkeep she was in a state of disrepair and Capt’n Marshall didn’t know how he got back with her. Capt’n Marshall and the governor spent the next few months writing letters to England asking for help, with no response. Until early one morning a letter arrived for Capt’n Marshall.
The letter instated him as a privateer to hunt down Capt’n Fox and his crew. This wasn’t quite the help he was after but it was something. So he set out to town and found his crew and told them the news. Over the following weeks the Albatross was restored to as close to her former glory as possible. In this time Capt’n Fox didn’t continue his father’s raids on the settlement, but several reports of sightings of the Lady Rose came from the surrounding islands.
Capt’n Marshall and his crew began the hunt. They sailed to all the surrounding islands where the sightings had come from, but the pirates were always one step ahead. After the inhabited islands, the pirate hunters tried the uninhabited islands with no success. Not even on the island where they found the pirates the first time.
Capt’n Marshall had exhausted his ideas for finding Capt’n Fox so he went to his crew and asked them. One night one of the crew known as Gunny – for his fondness of shooting first then thinking about asking questions, and the sound that his whale bone leg made when he stomped it on the deck. A stout dwarf of a man who before going to sea had been a miner. Capt’n Marshall heard him approach his cabin and called out to him before he’d even knocked.
“I’ve got an idea seein’ as how you’re all out, Capt’n.” He announced as he entered the cabin.
“And what would that be?” Capt’n Marshall replied with interest.
“Tortuga Sir. I know you couldn’t go there, they’d kill you soon as look at you. But what if say I went and asked around for this Fox fella? Nobody would suspect the likes of me.”
This was a very good idea, Capt’n Marshall thought; why hadn’t he thought of it himself? “That is brilliant, Gunny. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it myself,” Capt’n Marshall replied as he pulled a bottle from his desk and poured two glasses and offered one to Gunny. “Here’s to a successful hunt in the morning.” Capt’n Marshall toasted and gave the crew a double tot of rum for the night.
In the morning they sailed and anchored on the uninhabited side of Tortuga. From there Gunny rowed ashore and walked into the town of Tortuga itself and started to ask around. He soon found the man he was looking for. Capt’n fox and his crew had made one of the many taverns their base of land operations. The building was a strange, decrepit two storey one that appeared to be made from unwanted construction supplies. As he stood in front of it, Gunny wondered what in the world held the thing together.
He found Capt’n Fox in his den on the first floor talking to another man. The other man Gunny had never seen before. Jules looked up at the man standing in his doorway and waved him in. “Now what can I do for you?” he asked of Gunny.
“Well Capt’n,” replied Gunny, “I’m doing my best to avoid certain folks who want me dead and I thought to meself, what better way to do that than as a pirate?”
Capt’n Fox chuckled. “Did you hear that, Bart? The dwarf wants to be a pirate.” The two pirates laughed heartily at this until Jules was overcome by a coughing fit. After he had regained himself he sat at a desk, looked up at Gunny standing in front of him and causally asked, “So how is old Marshall?”
Gunny took a step back in shock.
“Ah, don’t worry about it man. I know he’s coming for me; take a seat,” Jules said pointing to the chair on the other side of the desk.
“Now what are you going to do with me?” Gunny asked.