Shortest chapter of all
One morning in the following week found Joseph was in high good humor. Yesterday, he had crossed paths with a English ship, with which he had initiated an extensive firefight, which culminated in Joseph losing half his crew. In response to that, he had crept aboard the enemy ship in the dead of night, captured half the crew, holed their boat, and sailed away as if nothing had happened.
Later, that afternoon, as he got increasingly closer to the enemy mainland, Joseph was surprised by two more Spanish ships. As he was flying the American flag, they opened fire, but by some amazing stroke of luck, he managed to escape with nothing more than a missing foremast.
That night, having replaced the foremast, Joseph fell asleep planning the next day’s actions and wondering what his sons were up to.
At about one in the morning, Joseph was roused out of his bunk by startled cries. “We’re doomed! There’s two feet of water in the hold! Someone get the Captain! Man the pumps!”
Joseph swung himself out of his bunk only to find that there were several inches of water in his own cabin. Wading out, he collided with a crewman who had come to get him. He sent the man back up the hatch immediately, adding that if “half the crew worked the pumps in shifts with the other half, they might be alive by daylight.”
By daylight next morning, there was five feet of water in the hold, the launch had been lowered, and lots drawn to see which ten men would accompany the captain. Two hours later, Joseph, with seven Spaniards and three Englishmen, was still moving north, to Spain and glory.