It was on one of these patrols that Kliff and I met the Mexican Pirate Capitaine Miguel Martinez.
The ship that Kliff was on, which was a small scooter was stopped by the much larger Pirate ship and boarded. Since there was no cargo just a company of French Marines and a few sailors, there was no fight and the Pirates let them continue on there way. Once the small scooter that Monsieur Kliff was part of reached it’s destination, they unloaded the few Marines and what food and livestock that Capitaine Miguel Martinez left for them. It was an out of away small French island off the cost of Hispania. The marines landed to keep order. There had been an uprising on the mainland and the French planters feared that it would spread to their other islands. By using these French troops, the planters were sure that the slaves would be in hand.
Little didthe French know that Capitaine Miguel Martinez had his eye on that island. This island had at one time been the home of the worst Pirates in History.
The Captain of this ship called the Graf was Captain Redd the reason that they called him Captain Redd was his coat and hat that were bright Red so that anyone could see that he was the captain and the prime target. What most did not know was Captain Red was a Prussian Officer who took to the sea and one of the finest swords men in Europe who once was in a contest with the best swordsmen in Europe Monsieur Saint
Georges a Mulatto who was considered the best swordsmen in Europe. This captain was hired by the French to carry important Officers back to France under the cover as a Natural ship Captaine. Redd was a jolly old Captain who drinks too much and was a womanizer in every port we went too. The women were all over Captaine Redd they just could not resist that red coat and that hat he was the talk of the ports. If anyone got out of line, they had to deal with Captaine Redds Nubian first mate a tall black fellow with a bad demeanor who would love cutting you to little tiny pieces just by the drop of the Captains hat. There were ten of us there from the unit in Italy and we stayed pretty well to ourselves fearing the worst with these ruffians. Being use to the sea life I showed my fellows the ins and outs of being a good deck hand many of them caught on fast. Nevertheless, there was always that one who was slow and he was sent to the galley to be the cook’s helper, which in its self was a good thing because he learned about the likes and dislikes of the crew. Who was doing what and who was liked and disliked by the crew as we sailed away from the besiege city of Genoa with the wounded General Marbot the elder and his staff. We stay clear of them so not to be noticed by any of the staff who might be agents of Evermond. This hiding lasted till we made it to a French port and unloaded the French General and his staff then we set sail to the North maybe England to pick up some information but to my surprise we were going hunting for English Cargo ships and Dutch cargo ships. The guns that were hidden from the view of the French were set up the long nine is what they called them and they were able to cause much damage to any Merchant ship. We were operating south of the English island of Wright selling our goods in Brest, my fellows were becoming find Mates and we enjoyed the earning from the booty. Nevertheless it was not long before the British sent two corvettes after we were cornered off the east cost of the Island of Wright and abandoned ship it was every man for himself. That’s where I saw the red hat of Captain Redd floating in the water.
Monsieur René and Captaine Redd were duly thrown in jail for trying to sell counterfeit jewelry to a local woman, who also happened to be the paramour of the Chief Gendarme. René worked his charm on the cook, and soon passed us a message that all was ready on the inside. As our next step, one of our most ravishing cantinières, Mademoiselle Anne, took to visiting the prison, flirting with the guards, under the guise of a laundress. She soon had the run of the place, and was able to signal René that the break was for that night.
The first element of our strategy was Anne; with this delightful person visiting the salle de garde, teasing and flirting her best, the guards would be much inclined to neglect their boring duties of watch and ward. Meanwhile, we were going to blow open the front gate of the prison with one of our cannon. I had a number of the ex-royalists dress up in their old uniforms; this band of supposed émigrés loomed suddenly out of the darkness, nearly frightening the goggle-eyed sentry out of his wits, and shouted: "Open in the name of the King! We come to free the Duc du Touquet!” (The Duc was the only prisoner of note held at the Montréal Prison). I was with a group of the Africans, leading them over the back wall of that Prison, while this spectacular distraction riveted the attention of the guards at the front. We found our way to the place where we had arranged to meet with the cantinières Anne, who then led us to the cell shared by the cook and René also Captaine Redd. The Africans rendered the turnkey unconscious, and we soon had our men free! Returning over the wall with them all, we made our escape at the same time, as the gunners were blowing open the gate with the cannon, sending the terrified guards scurrying for cover.
The tocsin was sounding, and the village was in an uproar; we knew that we did not have long before reinforcements of mounted gendarmes and the National Guard would be on us. We made a quick escape though the nearby woods to a prearranged place, where we changed into our regular uniforms, then headed back for the town, to appear as if we were there to help. Once we reached the Prison, the chief gendarme asked us, "What is a large detail of mounted Artillerymen doing this far from the camp?” We solemnly explained to the policier that we were out on night maneuvers, and showed him an order from our commanding officer for us to do it in this area. The prison guards, now freed from their earlier terror, were puffing out their chests and claiming they had beaten off an attack by a whole battalion, no, a regiment of the émigré army, with a battery of enormous siege-guns, and prevented the royalist devils from freeing the Duc du Touquet; surely they should all receive medals and commendations?
We now had our cook and Captaine; he was to prove that he had well deserved his prestigious former employment in the Royal kitchens. (One can tell, looking at the portraits of Louis XVI, that our late monarch had appreciated good food.) One of the best cooks around! Perhaps you are wondering why we went to so much trouble just to get a cook? You see, the second most important thing in an Army, after ammunition, is the science of cooking!
Join us next month for more tales!!