PROLOGUE

 

May 5th, 1609

"This is our third month at sea heading for the east coast of America but thankfully we have spotted the coastline and we should reach land by morning. We are to rendezvous with the Dutch East India Company at noon and escort a ship carrying a dutch explorer, Henry Hudson, up the coast. I have never met the man and heard little about is exploits however he is meant to be of a notable reputation amongst certain circles. I believe that he will be exploring the land to the north to establish a new colony, perhaps if all goes well I will be able to offer my assistance. The natives to the north can be quite vicious after all. My study into their culture has given me great insight that perhaps this Hudson lacks. I can hear the gulls squawking outside, perhaps we are closer to land than I thought. Maybe this lack of sleep I have been having is getting too me."

Captain William Jones put down his quill and began to massage his temple. Writing in the journal helps to keep the pain of the headache distracted but this remedy is becoming less and less effective. He sighed a heavy wheeze and groaned as he stood from his old and well worn chair. There was no noise but the creaking of the planks at his feet and the waves gentle rocking against the ships bowel, however even the silence seemed brutal. Jones grasped the hoop of the lantern and peered through his cabin window. 

"Still dark out, no sunlight to be seen. Good. Still plenty of time to work myself into bed." Jones muttered as he glanced over to his hammock. After a few minutes of convincing himself against the idea of sleeping, he changed out of his night gown. He put both hands firmly down on the dresser and sighed, staring hard at himself in the mirror searching for any sort of comfort a reflection of tired old man could give him. "I'm certain Mr. Taylor will have everything under control but sometimes an impromptu inspection of the ship is necessary." 
Once changed and groomed into his uniform, Jones began to make his way onto the deck. The cool, salty air flowed through the cracks in the door and up Jones's sleeve sending a strong shiver down his spine.

Jones made his way up to the deck, stepping with caution not too draw too much attention from his crew. Not that he really cared about being noticed, it was only a matter of time, but he wanted to savor as much peace as he could get. Jones made his way to the railing of the ship and looked out across the coast line. Land was indeed closer than he had thought, they had already anchored, after captaining the Marigold for eighteen years, Jones was surprised he hadn't noticed.
The ocean was so still that a stone could fall from kilometers away and you could still spot ripples of where it had landed. The waters surface was coloured a deep blue but so clear from the light of the moon that you could almost see the sea bed. Further along the coastline Jones could make out the silhouettes of four large ships. Undoubtedly the ships they were meant to rendezvous with. Jones took a deep breath and filled his lungs with cool salty air, so hard in fact it made him somewhat lightheaded. 
"They say the sun will never rise when you're too busy looking at the stars Captain." The deep, gravely voice made Jones jump, he had forgotten what he was doing or how long he had been standing there. Jones turned to see his First, Mister John Taylor standing behind him with that signature smirk that spread ear to ear.
"You need not Worry Mister Taylor I've had plenty enough sleep for tonight, I just thought I would do an inspection of the ship before we head to land this morning." Jones said as coolly. "After being at sea for so long the idea of setting afoot on land is enough to keep anyone awake. I'm surprised most of the crew isn't out here."
Taylor's smiled widened even further. "Well Captain I think you needn't worry, you know I always have everything under control but If you insist on staying awake I shall hand the wheel back over to you."
 Jones knew he could always count on Taylor to keep the ship under control. Jones had often said that Taylor will be one of the best captains the Royal British Navy will ever have. Taylor was a fine leader, he knew when to make a joke and when to crack the whip. He could keep a crew of thirty men singing songs and whistling tunes while fighting a Spanish invasion.
Taylor reached into his pocket and pulled out a small pouch. "Here" he said, and threw the pouch to Jones. "What's this for?" Jones said as he nervously juggled the pouch into his grip.
Taylor turned to walk away and cocked his head "Dice, remember? This should cover about half of what I owe." Jones unwrapped the woven pouch and revealed a handful of crushed leaves. 
"One of the traders sent a boat out here with some supplies. Thought I'd get you some more tobacco. Enjoy." 

 

To Be Continued.

PROLOGUE

Legends of Avhast Mittix