A Pirate’s Fortune It was a hot and humid tropical day on the pirate stronghold island of Tortuga. Two young lads, one named John Howard, the other Davis Hamilton, sat in the tavern called Captain’s Quarters. They both sipped their bottles of wine, both of them not heavy drinkers, waiting for the Quartermaster of their crew to report back. John was the first to speak. “Davis my friend, what is taking that lout Travis so long, you wager?” John inquired eagerly. “I do not know John, perhaps he is-” As if on cue, their Quartermaster named Robert Travis burst through the doors, and ran frantically over to the couple at the table. “Sir, I suggest we get on the ship and leave now!” shouted Travis, way too loudly, making everyone else in the little bar glance over at them. “That man, Mr. Valdez, he ain’t too happy sir! He’s coming with his men, and he knows were here!” John stood up quickly, nudging the table and knocking over the wine bottles as he did so. “Well, let’s get out of here. I presume you got what I asked you to?” “Aye sir,” Travis said, “and Mr. Valdez wouldn’t have known unless his First Mate didn’t see me!” “Well done then. Let’s make for the ship.” They started walking towards the doors, with a quickened pace. But as if nothing could have gone even worse that day, it sadly did. Coming through the doors, Howard’s nemesis Alexander de Julian Valdez entered the room, along with four other of his comrades, all armed with a cutlass, pistol and an assortment of knives, daggers and belaying pins. They all drew these weapons as Valdez spoke. “Hola mi amigo. Glad to see you haven’t left yet. My crewmembers were getting antsy, for they have not killed anyone in some time!” John chuckled, “Valdez, you begotten miscreant. You know it would have been a bit smart to know that you don’t stand a chance against us.” John, Davis and Travis drew their swords. Valdez looked quizzically at his enemy. “Unless I am mistaken, amigo, it is tres against cinco. Have you had too much wine again?” he laughed mockingly. Some of the others in the tavern, taking notice of the beginning of battle and most of them knowing Howard for being a generous pirate, walked up behind them and drew their weapons as well. The same went for the people who chose Valdez over Howard. “Well, that sure levels the playing field,” whispered Davis to Howard. Howard grunted in reply. Both parties ran at the same time, yelling cheers and cusses as they went. Valdez went for Howard, for he wanted the honor of killing him himself. They both met at the same time. Howard swung his light Toledo blade in an uppercut with great strength, breaking Valdez’s guard and nicking him on the shoulder. Valdez seemed to not notice, and performed a thrust with his steel sabre, which Howard who had hours of practice, parried it gracefully. Valdez who was thinking of another tactic and was for a split second not paying attention, Howard swung a low-cut, aiming for the calf. It cut him, but it went straight through. Valdez hollered in pain, and swung wildly at Howard. Howard was a much better swordsman that Valdez, and he knew that Valdez was actually older than him. He of course did not wish to kill Valdez; they were friends at a time. So, Howard kept aiming at his limbs, which proved to succeed massively. Valdez was breathing hard, as was Howard. Valdez stopped for a second; seeming to catch his breath and Howard lowered his guard a bit. Although this was a trick, and Valdez this time caught Howard in the hip, and Howard tried to ignore it. The pain was immense, probably a couple inches deep. Howard staggered backward and fell, falling into a table. “And now, your pitiful life ends, Howard. I will kill you without a second glance,” he brought back the sword, and was about to thrust it through Howard’s chest when suddenly a sound of breaking glass was heard, and Valdez fell to the floor. There standing behind him was Davis Hamilton, who truly was John’s friend. “Let’s get outa here mate, before he wakes up, shall we?” Davis grinned. He helped Howard up, and they walked out of the tavern into the streets of Tortuga and ran down towards the dock. They got there with tremendous speed, Howard’s wound forgotten for the moment. They stopped in front of a sloop, with the name Widow on the side of it. “All hands, prepare to make sail!” shouted Howard. Within fifteen minutes, the ship’s sails were out, getting wind into them. Davis and Howard, along with Travis who had joined them, walked up the gangplank up the ship. The shouts of Valdez’s friends followed, who had by now figured out they were there. But too late! They were exiting the harbor. Later, Howard looked at the item Travis stole for him. “Wonderful,” he said with a grin.