Having started a blog, I shall contribute to Pirate Week with this story. The first chapter was posted last month.
Later that day, McNeal went ashore, heading in the direction which lead to his favorite tavern, the Leprechaun’s Gold. It was a haven for unsavory characters. Most especially unsavory Irishmen like himself. It was there that he had picked up most of his crew, as he had little trust in hands who were not fellow Irishmen. The effect of his reputation could be felt and heard as soon as he came through the door.
“Best move aside. It’s McNeal…”
“…liable to kill ye for looking at him…”
“Nobody move ‘till he’s said his piece. We all know he only comes in here when he’s got news.”
Knowing the men were remaining silent in anticipation of his words did not give McNeal cause to accelerate his pace across the floor. He maintained his pace, seating himself at a table at the far end of the room, where he had his back to the wall and could watch the other occupants of the room. Clapping a gold piece down upon the table, he called “Bring up your best ale, man! And be quick about it!”
As the host hurried off to the cellar, McNeal rose from his place and called to the collective assembly “I need men! Who’ll join up with William McNeal and the swiftest ship in all the seven sea?!”
Several voices rose as McNeal quaffed a large amount of the ale which had been brought to him. Slamming it down on the table, once more, he counted the hands which had been raised. “Ten. I need more! Or are the rest of ye all cowards?!”
Faced with a demand like this, no man could keep his hand down, lest he be branded a coward by his mates. With one voice, the crowd replied “We’re with ye, Captain McNeal! Wither are we bound?”
Draining his tankard, McNeal sprang upon the table. Drawing his sword, a long saber, which was a sword most pirates shunned, he pointed it at the door of the tavern, shouting “Richontor! A place no man has ever returned from! Why do so many venture there? Because, it’s been said, there are untold riches waiting there for the first men clever enough to survive that accursed place! And I aim to be the captain of the crew which claims the treasure!” Leaping down from the table, he charged out of the building, followed by the rest of the seamen who had lately been patronizing the place.
When McNeal had regained the deck of his ship once more, his first mate immediately came up to him where he stood near the starboard rail and reported “The prisoner is secure in the lower deck, Captain.” Looking around at the new men who were streaming over the railing, the mate inquired “And what are all those men boarding us for? Should we not be resisting?”
“They are here because I wanted them. We’ll need them where we are going. Tell the crew to set the sails. We leave on the tide.”
The tide came up only an hour later, and Captain William McNeal and the Centaur, with nearly forty extra men and a prisoner below the deck, sailed out of Glasgow harbor under all sails, bound for Richontor, the isle of the forbidden sand.
- The somewhat Irish pirate Grizzly McNeal.