BAYKO BARON 11
1715 AD (a-quarter-past five) A golden Cornish sun bathes the bosky Queen Anne splendour of Lakjaw Manor – hmm, nice!
The estate has just changed hands, the previous occupant departing suddenly after the failure of the recent Jacobite ‘15’ . The new owner, ‘Trelawney’ A. Grasp (I wonder what the ‘A’ is for?), is just returned from the Sugar Islands with a vasty fortune we hear. Indeed, ‘tis said to be millions, all kept in cash – clearly he has heard of ye South Sea Bubble, Egad!
Still, ‘tis no concern o’ ours. Having bought Lakjaw he is also carving a place in local society. For, is that not the Lord Lieutenant of the County coming up the drive?
And I’ll wager a froth of Mechlin throat-lace to a feathered castor hat that our boy will be on the local bench afore nightfall. And see thee Sirrah, has he not already installed his own stocks and pillory in readiness! ‘Tis testament to what good character and judicious ‘generosity’ can achieve. Lookee !
But avast, who be this raggedy crew knocking untimely at gate? ‘Tis local W.I.? Nay, they be too well shaved! ‘Tis Huguenots again, wandered over from 'tother story? Nay, there’s no whiff o’ garlic. Gadzooks! ‘Tis the chaps from CCRAP (Confederation of Corsairs, Reevers and Pirates) [Antigua Chapter - Affiliated]. And at their head their infamous captain, Calico Jack Chinless !!!!
Oddzooks! But look who’s alongside ‘em, a delegation from FFFFBAAPT (Federation of Freebooters, Filibusters, Footpads, Buccanners and Associated Piratical Trades) [Tortuga Brethren], led by himself, Captain Violent Vincent Arbuthnot! What perfidy and heinous deviltry can have brought these deadly rivals together?
Gentry and staff are corralled and put to harsh language. It seems our boy Arnie (that Trelawney malarkey didn’t fool you eh!) was recently appointed joint treasurer and investment consultant to the United Brethren of the Coast – economies of scale, d'ye see. Whereupon the lad trousered the wonga and went – getting so's an honest thief can’t trust anyone!
So the shareholders of UBC hired ERU (Embezzlers ‘R’ Us) who set their agents, Blind Phew – that's him with the blindfold, and laundry problem, and his sidekick, Medium Nick L. Plating - that’s the differently legged chap there ( no need to wave lads!) – scouring the West Country to hand the renegade Black Spot (a large and rather smelly Labrador, I believe). Or failing that, lead the Brethren to ‘im, lookee! (No I don't know what Dribble the Doberman is doing to the Lord Lieutenant's spaniel either!)
The dastards drag 'Trelawney' and the Lord Lieutenant off to be 'dealt' with. And already there's dissension - Calico Jack favouring blowin' 'em from the cannon's mouth while Vile Vinny wants to sling 'em in the stocks and pelt 'em with abuse and soft cushions. In the end 'tis a fragile compromise they find, Trelawney to be jettisoned down yon well, while the Lord Lieutenant is clapped - or at least given some applause - in ye stocks.
Betimes the servants are dragooned to strip the house of all its pilfered wealth, a vasty heap indeed, gems, gold and trinkets 'o price, the finest geegaws 'o Spain, even the kickshaws that once graced a hidalgo's hacienda in distant Hispaniola - damn, now I've got to put me teeth back in! And while the pelf is piled and the wine cellar takes a pounding, a fire is lit to heat a brand so they can sport with the Lord Lieutenant. The cads!
Mean time trouble brews on the lawn where Betty the Buxom Buttery Beauty, fearing ravishment, has decided she might as well join in and enjoy herself. Whereupon her arch-rival, Pru the Pantry Princess hath decided not to be left out - or is that in? This in turn leads to some sharp dispute among the gentlemen with big earrings - so sharp that some are now bleeding. And just to cap it all two of the pirate ladies - yes, appalling what young women today get up to - have drawn cutlasses and set about them in a fit of jealousy - 'tis the fine portagee wine d'y'see, hits 'em hard, these people are more used to grog and creme d'menthe.
And now the game is truly up. For didn't 'e know that while the rogues were busy ravishin' and bickerin' and you was eying up yon Pru and Betty - no o' course you weren't! - young Jim Hawkins, the under-sub-nether-lesser bootboy, has slipped off, all slippery like, to fetch help - Argh Jamlid! Now here comes the local militia. A crashing volley and several of the brethren go down. And just to clinch the day - look there behind them! 'Tis Luscious Lavinia the Lord Lieutenant's Lady and her Abigail losing patience and taking things - like rapiers o' finest Toledo steel - into their own hands. All very discouraging, 'tis too much for an honest pirate to endure.
With many a brave hurrah the militia set about hauling off the loot - for safe keeping, of course, no.. really. Meantime 'tis turn of Jack Chinless and Vinny Arbuthnot to endure the stocks while the Lord Lieutenant regales 'em with their fate at next Assizes - or his names not Montmerency Flap! And in the meantime they can look to their souls, courtesy of the Reverend Drone, who has brought his Psalms along. The crowd roar and the pirates snarl - with the result that none is disturbed by the howls coming up yonder well!
ye can see how the tale turns next at Bayko Baron 12 - 'Barracuda'
you can see an alternative photo-set at: