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Corrandion, Corridane
I am JT, Ringer, nutjob, and archer, in that order. I like animated films, epic films, book films, movie music, folk music, and the occasional random other thing. I make friends by accident and like it that way...

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30 October 2010

Chapter Twenty-Six

It's never been so easy to escape from prison... People would think you were just resting in there... lol

Chapter XXVI

It had been three days since Dameon and the boys he was watching over had been captured by the horse guards outside the city of San Dinola. The reader my remember that the group had been locked up in the prison within an hour of their capture, and were now awaiting the time when they would be transported back to the capital to be “punished”. Another note that may be remembered is that Raphael, unlike the others, had remained quiet until his outburst about not being able to think. Since that time he had been quiet once more, until now.
“Bother everything! There isn’t a way out of this place if you haven’t got something with you when you come in, and they searched us thoroughly!” he paused. When the others heard him again, he was standing on his cot looking through his barred, ground-level window hole. “Aha! Now if I could only reach his belt…” at this point, Raphael, who was very strong in comparison to his size, was dangling from the window bars using only one hand. He was also silent again, which caused the other prisoners to show signs of breaking under the stress.
Suddenly, Dameon and the other three boys heard a loud dull sound issue from Raphael’s cell, which was quickly followed by the occupant’s voice exclaiming “Oh! My everything! Yes! It came with me and it hasn’t killed me! We’ll be out within the day as soon as I get some rest!”
It was several hours later when Dameon was awakened out of his sleep by a loud clang which sounded oddly like a cell door shutting. Opening his eyes, he dug his knuckles into his eyeballs to wake up properly, sat up, and immediately saw that Raphael was standing beside his cot and must have caused the noise.
“I apologize for the noise, sir. As you see, I have just walked out of my own cell and proceeded to release the other prisoners.” Said Raphael in a monotone so solemn he sounded as if he were an especially boring lecture hall speaker who wouldn’t have noticed anything amiss if his audience was snoring. As he spoke he stowed a knife in his belt and rubbed his hands together as if the object was filthy.
“Why are you talking like that? Speak properly!” By this time, Dameon was standing in front of the boy and glaring.
“Very well, sir. I will follow your orders to the letter. Shall I begin releasing prisoners now?”
“Yes. Get started now.”
“Very well. I shall execute your orders beginning with you, sir.” replied Raphael to Dameon’s terse statement, striding over to hold the cell door open for him.
As Raphael attended to the release of the others in their party, Dameon made his way down the hall between the rows of cells. Hardly twenty feet from his own cell, he heard a voice shout out from the door on his immediate right. Kneeling down, he opened the sliding panel used to permit the passage of prisoners’ meals. Putting his face near the opening, he announced himself. “Captain Dameon Mellino, lately of the U.S.S. Quar –Zin. May I inquire into your nationality and object?” When the prisoner moved into view, Dameon recognized the same cropped light hair and brown robe of the man who would have led him to his death, if not for the heroic action of Joseph. At this sight, he had second thoughts. “Why should I talk to you? You nearly killed me!” As he prepared to stand once more, the man called out
“I can explain! And I need to break my friend out!”
“All right, two questions. When a man in prison claims that he ‘can explain’ why he is there in the first place, he is liable to be lying. And in any case, why should I release you, when, as I said, you nearly killed me.”
“I only translated what was said second-hand! You were the first Americans we came across!”
“Exactly! We were the only ones!”
The response to this shout was a loud crash against the door, which sounded as if the prisoner had run against it.
“Why are you doing that?” Dameon shouted through the space.
“If I can’t make you listen to reason, I’ll shock it into you!”
At that moment, two of the boys came running back down the corridor, shouting “Guards! Guards! Guards are coming down on our heels!”
Dameon immediately scrambled up. “I’ll get back to you after this. We are all threatened now.” With that, he slammed the food panel shut and ran.
Unarmed as he was, Dameon did not stop to wonder why he was running toward the guards, and not away from them to save his life, to protect the boys. Yet that was the quandary of his action. He had known instantly that he could protect the boys far better by risking his life in a direct charge, yet if he got himself killed and they escaped, they would die anyway.
With that thought, Dameon realized that he was not being as brave as he had thought. He was acting as a coward would. Or a brave man who had no one else to care for, and believed that no one else cared for him.
Upon realizing how stupid he was really being, Dameon stopped short, looking for a place to hide himself until the guards had passed, and was extremely worried to notice that there was not a space that would offer any kind of cover along the whole stretch of wall. Desperately, Dameon who could hear the stamping of the guards well ahead, but coming closer, began to throw his whole weight against the nearest cell door.
He had attacked the door with all his weight several times without success, when his ears told him that the Spanish guards were just around the bend. Immediately, he cut short his attempts to stave in the cell door and braced himself to meet the oncoming guards.
As the guards came within sight, Dameon noticed one very odd thing about them. They were running toward him with bent knees and were arguing among themselves in awful imitations of Spanish accents. Just as they were about to collide with him, Dameon shouted in his loudest quarter-deck voice “Belay, Midshipmen! Silence, and fall into line! Smartly now!” It was oddly gratifying to see the boys stop in their tracks and fall in a heap at his feet. Then one of the Sponslers scrambled up, came to attention, and gave his report.
“As you may have guessed, sir, this was Mark’s idea. By the way, this is Matt speaking. Anyway, Mark and Raphael convinced us to come down that direction and see what we could find. What we found, sir, was the guardroom. Catching the guards at their meal, we soon had them tied up as well as any good sailor can be expected to tie a knot. That is, quite tightly. We were on our way to find you.”
“A smart report, and you may relax now, Matt. I would only like to know what made you decide to send Luke and John running down the corridor after me.”
“Mark said that would bring you faster, sir.”
“It did, but now we have to retrace our steps, a waste of good time.”
A short time later, they had returned to the cell of the mysterious American personage, broken him out, and caught up with the other boys. When Dameon had collected all of the boys outside of the jail once more, twilight was beginning to fall on the city. As they were about to leave, the other prisoner walked up to Dameon and asked
“Where do you plan to go after you leave this city?”
“I am planning to take these boys in to France, from which, France being neutral, we can pay passage on a ship that will take us back to America.”
“Good luck to you, then. My friend and I will see to your Spanish nemesis.”
“I thank you. So now we may part friends? If ever you return to America, I and my brothers will be easy to find if we are alive.”
At the conclusion of this exchange, Dameon and the American man shook hands and the parties left in opposite directions, fading into the growing darkness.
“Well, dad, how are they going to ‘see to our Spanish nemesis’ as he put it?”
“Do not talk of that. That is the business of brave men, not boys like you. And now, on your life hold silent until we have left the city.”
Accordingly, Dameon and the boys began to leave the prison building as silently as they could. For the most part, their caution was unnecessary, as the streets were nearly empty after dark. They crept along for several minutes before reaching an inn which had remained open to accommodate a celebration. Skirting the light coming from the window, Dameon led the boys to the wall of the building. Soon all of them were standing with their backs flat to the wall and Dameon could hear the speech coming from the meeting room.
“I’ve heard from the best source that that American Captain we have in prison is to be brought to Madrid tomorrow, to be hanged the following day. You may have heard of him. He is the head of the clan from America known as the Mellinos, who have instigated these past two wars against our glorious nation. The boys who were captured with him are to become the servants of His Excellency the Admiral Cristobol Coinhara.”
When he heard this, Dameon said to himself “I’m to be hanged in two days? I’m still in prison, am I? I’ll prove that any Mellino could run circles around a Spanish Admiral at any time. We have waited here for too long. It is time that we were on our way.”
At this, the boys began to inch away from the wall, while Dameon followed slowly. Moments later, he heard a cry from one of the boys, which was quickly choked off, as if a heavy cloak had been thrown over his face. Dameon, knowing from the scant warning that Spanish patrols were aware of his presence, felt for a gun at his belt, then remembered that he was completely unarmed. At this discovery, he decided to step into the light, risking death by shooting rather than endure the long trip to Madrid only to be hanged. “Go on! Shoot me, you cowards! Am I or am I not in prison where you put me? If I’m still there, you can go ahead and shoot the man standing here saying all this, because you won’t be killing the man who is to be kept alive until you reach the capital.”
He had hardly finished this rash challenge before he heard the window behind him open as a hand reached out to grab the collar of his coat. An instant later, he felt a pistol butt come down on his forehead and fell into oblivion.

25 October 2010

The Adventure of the Chicken Legs & other Phobias

It started normally enough. Recently, my parents decided it was time to go through the annual slaughtering of the meat chickens. So they prepped their scalding vat and their plucker (both machines which my dad is extremely proud of, I can't tell why) and rounded up the ones they had selected. After about ten minutes of the procedure, it was time for me to go play soccer (as that has no part in this story, I'll skip over it) In any case, about an hour later, I returned to discover... disembodied chicken legs in the kitchen sink. I promptly (I kid you not) shouted "Dan! There are real chicken legs in the sink!" to which he replied "What, did you think they might be fake?" as if nothing was wrong. (This only makes me wonder where disembodied chicken legs usually wind up. Apparently, in the sink.) I know, lame story. And now for the phobias.
1. Flyballphobia: fear of contact between a sports ball and one's face. I've been fighting this since I was six years old. To this day, I refuse to catch any sort of ball heading for my face.
2. Disemboweledfowlphobia: fear of disembodied parts and/or guts of an animal. Just plain creepiness.
and last and worst, Publicspeechphobia: fear of speaking in public, obviously. I got this one after saying one too many stupid things around certain people. Have been silent in public for  five years, and just last night decided to buck it off. Wish me luck.

21 October 2010


Chapter Five

“Why do you insist that I will not command this ship? You can not command two ships! Or are you afraid of what I might do if you give me a command!”
“William McNeal fears no man, even less what any man does. I choose not give you a ship. That should be enough for you. Unless you wish that your days should end now?”
“Do you whish your days to end now?” Maturin shouted growing angrier by the second.
“Let me put it this way, my friend.” replied McNeal, staring out at the ship in question. “If I were to give you that ship, I have no doubt that you would turn around and sail back where you came from and proceed to tell every brotherhood captain you met of the untold riches of Richontor, causing every brethren vessel in port to promptly come sailing after me. I would not enjoy sinking our fellow captains, Maturin. What is more, you would not get a single piece of the whole trove, even if you survived the venture.”
“You know well enough that I do not have the least part of a hint concerning the location of that island, and also know enough not to send all the brethren out on a wild goose chase and, consequentially, have them all desiring me dead!”
“So it appears that you accept my offer of passage?” McNeal answered, staring out to sea in an attempt to hide the devious expression that had sprung to his face suddenly.
“I have never before met a man, of the brethren or otherwise, who would dare to call inviting an acquaintance aboard and then sailing off, like a coward, while that man’s ship sank behind him, an offer of passage! Your days are numbered, McNeal!”
“Maybe they are, but you, Maturin, are too weak to tell me just how many days I have.” McNeal walked off, calling to his lieutenant “Rouse out the topsails! Smartly now!”
As McNeal’s crew began to rouse out the sails he had ordered, Maturin, from his position on the quarterdeck, stood watching them. “I’ll teach him that no man treats Jack Maturin the way he has done and lives. But how shall I go about doing that? Ah… The brig! Exactly! None better!” Concluding this thought, Maturin promptly left the quarterdeck. Striding across to the nearest hatchway, he had soon disappeared below the deck.

20 October 2010

October Birthday the 2nd

Today is my dad's birthday. He has doubles this year. I don't really know why I'm doing this. It's a little awkward...  Well, anyway, dad, if you read this post, I repeat a happy belated birthday and many happy returns. to borrow from one of my grandma's cards... He's older than he ever has been before, but he's also younger than he'll ever be again! (wierd humor, I know. It's the same for all of us.) You'll never guess what we found... lol.

15 October 2010

A Group Tag

 There aren't a lot of questions in this tag, nor are there the usual ones, due to the awkwardness of asking a Medieval king and a mysterious crime boss questions we would answer today.

What do you use most to communicate?
JT: A landline
King Valun: A good rider.
The Phantom: A sharp blade.

What's your favorite music?
JT: Rohan music from LOTR.
King Valun: The King. (from KoH).
The Phantom: Revenge.

Would you move to another country?
JT: Not willingly. Depends where.
King Valun: Of course not! I'm a king! (mutters.)
The Phantom: If I could dominate the people with fear.

What's your hobby?
JT: Writing 'novels'
King Valun: What is a hobby, my good man?
The Phantom: Terrorizing the countryside! (laughs)

If you could be present anywhere, at any point in history, where would you go?
JT: to Thermopylae to stand with the 300, or the battle of Midway.
King Valun: At my father's side in Brandia.
The Phantom: With Regolas when he attacked Torund.

What's your favorite color?
JT: red.
King Valun: red.
The Phantom: The color of fear! (laughs crazily)

If you had a favorite animal, what would it be?
JT: A Grizzly Bear.
King Valun: A falcon.
The Phantom: A snake.

If you had a motto, what would it be?
JT: Keep it simple.
King Valun: Strength, wisdom, justice.
The Phantom: Fear is the best offense (and defense)

If you suddenly had a million (tax-free) dollars, what would you do?
JT: I hope I would split it, donate half, and pay debts with the rest.
King Valun: Only one million? Donate, of course.
The Phantom: Keep it! What do you expect?

What's your favorite literature?
JT: Anything good.
King Valun: The book of kings
The Phantom: The book of the dead.

Note from JT: Though King Valun and The Phantom are my aliases, their opinons are not necessarily mine.
Another note: To do this tag, you have to answer each question, and then add the answers you think your two favorite historical/fictional characters would say.

I tag TSP, Hannah, Saxon, and Velvin.


10 October 2010

Chapter Twenty-Five

My first tow followers have been waiting for this for two months. To the others, the story opens back on April 29th. Yes, the action is totally random and misinformed.

Chapter XXV

“Are you joking? Our hands are tied!” Mark shouted as he struggled against his bonds.
“Are you insane?! I’t’s run as we are or burn where you stand! In case you haven’t noticed, no-one’s in any position to untie you now!’ David shouted back as he heaved himself up.
At this response, Mark finally got himself up onto his feet, noticing that he was the last to do so. He immediately began running toward the path, the heat of the burning trees scorching his unprotected arms. When he had reached the path, he turned and looked back to see Matt randomly kicking sleeping Spaniards in a desperate attempt to wake them. Mark screamed when he saw this. “Get out of there! They’re drunk! They won’t wake up in time, and it’s their own fault! They were going to kill us, so don’t let them hang on your conscious! Get out now!”
Finally giving up, Matt came running onto the path, closely followed by the two hounds which the Spaniards had brought with them. The dogs were trailing lengths of rope, having broken them in their frantic efforts to get away.
Matt stopped when he reached Mark, panting. “It’s only human decency to try, brother, but since we’ve exhausted other routes, we can make our getaway with a cleaner conscious.”
“You’re telling me? Who was yelling at you to get out of the area before you were roasted, as it was hopeless?” mark retorted, openly exasperated.
“We can argue later, but let’s go now!” Matt screamed as the flames leapt onto the path.
“Are you crazy?! We can’t outrun this!”
“Oh, Mr. Mellino was right then, wasn’t he?! You have been looking for death ever since father left! I should be asking you whether you’re insane! Well then, stay here and get roasted, and then see if it helps you rejoin father! You should have begged to go with him!” With this parting shot, Matt sped off. Mark, who was also still running but had unwittingly slowed his pace, sped up too, barely keeping Matt in sight.
“Is that what I’m trying to do?” He asked himself “Do I really want to die? Am I already convinced that father is gone?” At this thought, he yelled out “I am stronger than that! I will go on!” After this, Mark ran on until he reached a river flowing by the side of the road. At this point, Matt, from inside the water, called out to him to jump in to save himself from the flames. Mark, skidding to a stop, dove in immediately, only stopping to think after he had gotten himself upright in the flow of the current. “Do you realize that this is not helping us at all? In fact, we’re stuck in a worse position than we got out of.”
“If you call jumping from the fire into the boiling pot a bad to worse prospect, I guess you’re right, because if we don’t all start moving we’ll be scalded to death right here.” pronounced Gabriel, gasping for breath. “Lucky for us that they only took the ones they could see. This one was under my cloak.” He continued, replacing a dagger in his belt and tossing Mark’s bonds onto the bank.
“How did you get here?”
“Are you thick enough not to think of submerging?” asked David, who had appeared on Mark’s other side, just where Matt had been positioned. “We’d best get moving while we’re still alive though. Matt’s gone ahead of us.” He concluded, in reply to Mark’s confused expression. This put an end to all speech, and everyone dove under the water and began to swim hard, although they were all apprehensive about surviving for long.
They had been swimming without stopping for half an hour (excluding pauses to breath) when they came to a bend in the river ahead, where they found Matt sitting in the curve, barely above the water. Inexplicably, he was grinning. “Haven’t you three noticed the wind? We’re safe. We can walk on dry land now.”
“Thanks a lot for telling us now, when we haven’t got shoes or shirts on us.” Mark replied sarcastically, struggling to climb out of the river.
“I was hoping you would say that.” Matt continued, with a laugh “You may have noticed that the trip this far was quite a bit easier than you should have expected; meaning of course, that the current was carrying you, which in consequence, means that everything you removed got to this point ahead of you. I’ve been sitting here catching everything that came by for the last ten minutes. It’s all drying off on the bank right now.” He concluded as he scrambled up, followed closely by the others.
“That’s all very fine,” David said when they had reached the top “but the problem you can’t solve is the most important of all. We lost all of our provisions.”
“The dogs stayed with us.” Mark announced sullenly from where he lay stretched out on the grass as one dog licked his face.
“We can’t-” Matt began, but David cut him off.
“Don’t worry, as we’ve got nothing on us to do it with.”
Even with the prospect of starvation ahead of them, Matt cheered up considerably at this announcement. “This one is mine!” he exclaimed, grinning widely “And that one on top of you is yours, Mark! Oh, look at him go!” Matt’s last remark was not directed at anyone in particular, but he was pointing at the dog, which had just begun to roll frantically all over the grass, as if it understood what was going on and had begun to celebrate in its own way. Then, it jumped up and ran to Matt, wagging its tail at double speed and panting hard.
“That is the smartest dog I have ever seen, with no exceptions” David announced “I’m sure it understands everything you said about it.”
“I’ll name it Bear, then. What’s yours, Mark?
“Mine is named Thrasher,” Mark answered, watching as his new dog began to roll even more frantically than Matt’s. “You can tell why, can’t you?”
“Yes, clearly.” Matt answered “Come on, boy, you’re with me now, and you’re going to stay with me.” He continued, pulling Bear behind him by way of the broken rope which was still attached.
“You may want to return my dog to me now. I appreciate your enthusiasm in your object.” Drawled a new voice. The Americans spun around. Standing behind their position, holding a pistol primed to fire, was Miguel Coinhara. “You must not have heard me properly. I said return my dogs now, or face the doom of death upon the first one to move.” He continued, staring suspiciously at the dagger Gabriel was still holding in his hand.
Nobody, not even the dogs, moved or made a sound. Then suddenly, everybody heard the loud clank of metal striking metal. “Whoops, sorry, I must have moved.” Gabriel said, putting strong emphasis on the last word. Finally coming to, Coinhara looked down at the grass at his feet, noticing the dagger lying on top of the pistol. He stooped.
Having anticipated the move, Gabriel immediately sprang up and leaped onto the back of the Spaniard. This caused both men to fall hard to the ground, with Gabriel on the bottom. Moreover, Coinhara now had a hand on the knife, and was making frantic stabs over his shoulder,which were missing Gabriel’s face by fractions of an inch.
After several minutes of struggling, Gabriel succeeded in joining his hands on the back of the larger man’s head, and, with his arms securely locked under Coinhara’s armpits, pushed as hard as he could on the other man’s neck. This position made it increasingly more difficult and dangerous to swing the knife. Gabriel promptly slid one hand up Coinhara’s knife arm and gripped the wrist as tight as he could. Wrapping his legs around the other’s waist, he grabbed the gun lying a foot away, pointed it straight up, and pulled the trigger. As startled as the rest, Coinhara sat up and let the knife drop out of his hand. Jackknifing forward, Gabriel swept up the dagger and propelled the Spaniard face-first into the ground. In his demand for surrender, he put extra emphasis on the yous.
“If you move, you shall die. Now you are my prisoner. You can move now.”
His face still on the ground, Coinhara spoke out angrily, and then proceeded to get up off the ground. Running one hand through his hair and the other over his mustache, he faced the Americans and muttered ‘Despicable low trick that is, jumping on a man with his guard down.”
“Oh, sorry, “David yelled out “We didn’t hear that last bit. Now tell us how you survived that fire when you were drunk!”
“The answer to that is simple,” Coinhara replied loudly “First, I was not there, so I was never drunk, and second, I knew you would attempt to escape, so I hid myself on the other side of the path and saw and heard everything that happened.”
“But” David replied “now you have to admit that it didn’t help you very much, because now you are our prisoner.”
“You seem to forget” Coinhara answered to this statement as he stood up “that you never bothered to tie my hands or my legs, so I can leave whenever I please, which I could even if I were tied. So, I will bid you good day, and exit left. Adios.”
“Wait a second, though” Mark spoke up, tugging on the rope attached to his dog. “You must not have noticed that we have security: two dogs who obviously don’t like you.”
It was only then that Coinhara noticed that the dogs which he had come for were growling loudly and straining at the remnants of rope that they were tied to. He immediately sat down again. “All right, I’ll come quietly if you keep those dogs restrained.”
“Good. Now that that is settled, we can continue on our way back home, because I don’t believe that this conflict will last many more months. Sooner or later your government is going to collapse again and we can all live normal lives once more.” David announced, standing and walking away.

08 October 2010

October Birthday the 1st

Today is my second brother's 11th birthday. He happens to be the one of us four younger Sponslers who has a real plan for his life: his ambition, at last asking, was to be a paleontologist or, believe it or not, a sanitation worker. He also speaks German. Nobody knows what he wants, and nothing will happen out of the ordinary, but please wish him a happy birthday.

05 October 2010


About time I posted this. And yes, I am clueless about technical details.

Chapter Four

It was not until nearly two weeks later that McNeal’s came across a prize he considered worthy to be captured by him. Pointing it out to Maturin after the lookout had informed him of its presence, he said “Now feast your eyes on that little ship, mate. By the stone of Saint Patrick, there ain’t a finer ship on the water, save my own! We shall capture her!” Turning away from the rail on the quarterdeck where he had been standing, he called out “Hard to port! Set the stunsails! We’ll have that ship if we must chase it until up is down!”
Several hours later, they had come no closer to the elusive ship. It was then that the wind changed, and allowed the Centaur the weather-gage. “All sail she’ll bear!” cried McNeal, delighted with this sudden turn. “Before you can say ‘belay’, we shall cross her bows and rake her!”
“Belay.” Said Maturin quietly. He had been silent until now, staring out at the prize he would soon call his own. Hearing what he said, McNeal only laughed again, so exhilarated was he by the speed of his ship.
“Heave the log!” he called. “I have never yet stretched this ship to it’s utmost speed, and this as good a time as any!”
A few moments later, after the log had been heaved, he heard the cry. “Ten knots, and we ain’t set our royals nor is the mizzen completely unfurled!”
“Well then unfurl it, me hearties! We’ve got a prize to catch!” By this time, they were within one thousand yards of the enemy, nearly within the range of true aim.
Looking through his glass again, McNeal was startled. “They’ve hauled their wind and stopped, mate! They mean to fight with us!”
Just then, a ball came whistling over his head. “They must have some chasers, testing their aim. Another hundred yards and I’m sure we’ll smash them! Cowards! They’re turning and running again!”
Now, the chase was tacking, apparently attempting to come up under McNeal’s stern and shoot away his steering. He immediately called out “Leave the Main, Fore, and Mizzen sails, but bring all others down! Unship the larboard guns and bring her about!” Turning to Maturin, he added “If they want close action, they shall have close action! We shall blow them out of the water!”
“You are not to damage it. It shall be my ship.”
“Did I say it would be your ship? I did not. I said I would sink it. You are going on to Richontor, or dying where you stand the next time you dislike my orders!”
When he turned back to the working of the ship, McNeal was startled again. His ship was not in the position he had ordered; the enemy ship had come up so fast that it had cut across the Centaur’s wind from behind. The Centaur had missed it’s stay with the sudden slackening of the sails. A moment later, he heard the thundering broadside of the opposing ship.
But Captain McNeal was not done yet. Even though his steering would no longer answer, he was still dangerous. “Run out all the guns! Give ‘em both decks when they turn to cut across our bow! William McNeal strikes his colors to no man!”
The order had not come a moment to soon. In the next minute, the other ship was tacking, gaining steerage way to come across the centaur’s side and fire once more. But McNeal was ready for them this time. As the enemy began his maneuver, waiting till he was alongside the center of the pirate before firing, McNeal passed the order that the guns were to fire in succession, aiming at masts and spars.
Within moments, the firing had begun. It was over only two mines later. When the smoke had cleared, McNeal could see that his gunners had shot away the jib boom, and the enemy’s fore- and mizzen-masts had sustained heavy damage. The foremast especially. It hung over the side at an odd angle, and the enemy crew was busy chopping it away as fast as they could manage.
“They will not get away.” McNeal remarked to Maturin. “I have all the time I could wish to send my men over their side and finish them.”
“They will yet be manning their guns. They will sink your men before they get halfway there.”
“True. I had not thought of that.” Turning to a man standing nearby, McNeal added “Go below and tell them to load grape this time. Sweep the deck. Full broadside.”
Five minutes later, after three or four broadsides of grape had swept the deck, McNeal spoke again. “We will meet no resistance this time, my friend. We had best go aboard our prize, to see about repairs to both of my vessels.”