Bloody Jack Adventures
Excerpt from book:
“Boston! Hooray!” I exult, as the tall church steeples of the city come into view.
I’m up on the crow’s nest as lookout as we enter the harbor, and I can barely contain my excitement. The USA again! I’m free and not being chased for once, and I will see my friends soon! And, and, oh, joy!
The schooner Margaret Todd put her nose into Massa- chusetts Bay this morning and headed north up the harbor with a fine wind behind her—which was very good, for it means we shall not have to row her into the dock. That is backbreaking work, and we poor sailors are glad not to have to do it.
We slip between Lovell and Great Brewster Islands and then hard left! and so we turn, leaving Thompson to starboard, and then there’s Spectacle Island—getting close now, girl—another small turn to the right, and then into Boston Harbor. I can smell the fish markets from here and to me, after four weeks of clean, bracing salt-sea air, it smells right good. I am a city girl at heart, when not sailing, and can put up with a bit of stench when I hit the land.
“On deck there!” I shout down. “Small lugger to starboard! Should pass us to the right, Sir, no trouble. two barges coming down to port. Well clear!” There is traffic in this fine harbor, Boston being a bustling port and all. Captain S. F. Pagels looks up at me and nods. He is a thoroughgoing seaman and knows this harbor like the back of his hand.
“Steady as she goes,” he says to his helmsman, a man as seasoned in his skill as is the captain in his.
Then, from the topmast, a voice is raised in song . . .
Oh, I thought I heard the Old Man say, Leave her, Jacky, leave her!
Tomorrow you will get your pay, And it’s time for you to leave her!
I grin down at the rogues on deck who are giving voice to this song. The crew know I’m getting off in Boston and feel it right and proper to sing me off with this song. They and the Margaret Todd are headed up to Eden, their home port on Mount Desert Island, and they are glad to be getting back to wives and sweethearts, but not, I believe, so glad to get rid of me. They are a jolly pack of dogs, and I will hate to see them go.
The work was hard an’ the voyage was long, Leave her, Jacky, leave her!
The sea was high and the gales was strong, And it’s time for you to leave her!
It’s like a tradition, an end-of-voyage song, wherein the crew get to air their grievances and get back a bit at the captain. That’s why it’s always sung only at the end of a voyage, and not during . . . and only if the captain is a decent cove, which captain Pagels, praise be, is.
The grub was bad an’ the wages low, Leave her, Jacky, leave her!
But now once more ashore you’ll go, It’s time for you to leave her!
Oh, and I am ready to leave her, count on that. true, the wages were, indeed, low, but the Maggie Todd got me from Gibraltar to here, and for that I thank her. She did take her time getting here—sailing first to Savannah to drop off her cargo of Spanish cloth, then down to Jamaica to pick up kegs of molasses. and oh, those barrels were heavy and I was not spared in the loading of them, no I was not . . .
The winds were foul, all work and no play, Leave her, Jacky, leave h
Humor, drama, and adventure abound as the irrepressible Jacky Faber finds herself back in Boston—and in trouble with the law!