The French Guard was an awesome sight to see even when they are running away. Colonel Dane Primeaux’s Company was waiting outside of the Tavern for the Colonel and his small escort. We were truly amazed to see a full-dressed company of guard’s, we thought that only we had to transport the escort and the Colonel. Nevertheless, the price just went up, also we noticed that their wagon was full of their personal effects.
After the mates that were with me got over the shock of seeing so many French Soldates, we continued our way with the French in tow. One hundred and fifty French men and their families guess I was in for a good sculling from the captain. Nevertheless, it would bring us something that we have been without for a very long time, cash in our pockets.
Meanwhile back at the cove where the Hound was being refitted by Captain Vaine. Meanwhile, Captain Vaine was busy keeping the many, poor bag of bones working to keep their minds off their empty stomachs. The harder they worked the madder they were getting it would not be too long before they would turn on him and like a pack of dogs kill him and attack the ship taking it somewhere to get food in them. They had voted in secret to elect a new Captain.
The rebellion was also getting closer and closer to them they could see fires in the many plantations that were near the cove.
To the surprise of the whole crew when we arrived through the jungle, they thought that they better surrender to the French when they saw so many French men coming behind us. I yelled to them hold on these are our meal tickets. At once Captain Vaine came out to see what the yelling and movement were with his gun in his hand and his weapons drawn he was the most surprising of all.
“Monsieur explained to me how you came by these Frenchmen,” said Captaine Vaine. “I told him where we met the Frenchmen and that we were in need of money and so we are here”!
He looked at me and laughed a big roaring laugh! “You save my ass young man I am promoting you to an officer of the gun crew take the French to their quarters and come back to your crew. said Captaine Vaine. I went about recruiting forty men to man the guns it was hard work but better than the deck crew. After that, I went to the Guards and asked for help training my gun crew the Colonel gave me his best gunner Sergeant Raymond. A monster of a man over six feet tall and as wide as he was tall. The gunners were ready in no time, but we were not ready to put to sea. The Captaine had to enlarge the cargo area to fit the needs of the many personnel that was now his crew. He also had to find a first officer among the many French men that were now calling the cove their home it would not be long before the Slave rebellion would be up into the cove so more and more French people were running to the safety of the cove for now if any planters were among the French people we didn’t know . A planter was like a death sentence among the fleeing French people. After the Captaine found his first officer he had a cabin boy that was a horror he was forever getting his little self into pickles with the crew. One fight after another he wasn‘t scared of nothing and nothing that was not nailed down was fair game to him. It wouldn’t be long before that little skimp would get into something that no one could get him out off. Nevertheless, for now, he had a guarding angel looking over him in the form of Sargent Pier LaPorte. LaPorte was one of the sappers of Colonel Primeaux. LaPorte was not a huge man like Christian or Raymond but he was strong as a bull. And everyone got to know it when the Captaine needed something moved that the others could not move or pick up. He was worth two men of my strongest Noir who could pick the heaviest things up. The Hound would not be ready and shipshape till a month of Tuesdays Therefore we amused ourselves as best as we could. There was an old slave Tavern that the Noir’s found and they made nightly trips to it to find the girls who would be willing to have fun for the little money that they had. Life in the cove was work all day and half a night in the shift to keep the men in shape some would be sleeping while others were building the ship which had to be overhauled all over.
It was early spring and quite cool for the tropics it could have been caused by all the rain that we had in the last passed weeks of March. The ship was almost completed inside with new quarters for the French company of Guards and the Colonel and his officers they have taken over all aspects of the ship. The old English Hound was gone, and this ship was in need of a new name one that fitted the French look of the ship. The outside work was slow but that would improve with the better weather. As we neared completion of the work, we all had our own thoughts about the name of the Ship. The Africans wanted to call the ship the Queen of Sheba and the French want to name her after the Empress, we the old matelots wanted to call her the Queen of the Caribbean. It was voted on and the name would be the Queen of the Caribbean. We all loved it even the French! Now, where were we sailing too? Only Captaine Vaine knew nevertheless the French wanted to go to Galveston the reason was only known between the Captaine and the French Colonel! Captaine Vaine knew that he needed a fleet to go so far east. And he didn’t want to return to El Capitaine’s island kingdom in the west. We were all puzzled about the new direction that Captaine Vaine was taking, we were headed northwest toward the Island of Roatan were the Captaine would pick up more seamen to man his new fleet. But where was he getting the money to pay for this fleet? The only one who had gold was the French and I was sure they knew just what they wanted to do. The well-armed company of elite French soldiers meant that they would invade some island and set up their own republic. We were completely in the dark about what fate was going to throw our way. Therefore, I kept it to myself and continued to train my forty men in the ways of a gunner. We had put in the second deck of guns we now had fifteen guns per side and two decks of guns, the number would be sixty guns to face whoever might try us. We were without a doubt a French Man of War, now no longer a British looking ship we flew an all-black flag. We were now ready to set sail!!
Join us next time for more ADVENTURE!