“Wait. Turn back.” Marshall shouted.
“Back to port?”
“Back starboard. Belay that last order.”
“Yes Sir, Cap’n sir.”
Marshall wanted to turn back to face the other ship. They hadn’t been plotting that direction. But Marshall was intrigued. He had to see what happened. He wanted it to not be a wreck not simply because it would have been a senseless waste of life, but mainly because he would feel compelled to help. Or at least his crew would. He had control over his crew, but a pirate crew were more apt to mutiny than a regular one. It was something he’d seen, something he’d instigated, too often in a crew. And this was one of those divisive situations. Half the crew would hate him for not helping, half the crew would hate him for helping. Basically the only thing they were united on ended with gold for them. And this had no gold associated. So Marshall hoped it wasn’t something like that.
Most other captains would have sailed the other way. He knew that. Certainly all other pirate captains, but he wasn’t the rest, he knew a signal when he saw it. Or at least he thought he did. If it wasn’t a wreck it was a signal for Marshall. So while he wanted for it not to be a wreck he couldn’t see a good way for this thing to finish. Like he would have said if he could have trusted his crew, he wasn’t happy about this, but he had to know, no matter that everyone else would run away.
The ships were sailing dead towards each other now. There was no doubt that he was falling straight into the trap that the other captain was setting. They wanted him, they knew he would, sail straight towards them, they knew he would have seen him.
It was that moment that Marshall knew it had to be Coalface Peter.
“Bring me my looking-glass.”
[Check back next week for Part 3]