The Scourge

(6 customer reviews)

$2.99

Sample Chapter

Madeleine, a French peasant girl, flees after killing a naval officer on a ship bound for the new colony of Canada, and is found adrift by the pirate crew of the notorious Scourge.  To Madeleine, the mysterious Captain Gull seems a barbarian, despite her growing affection for him — until fate leaves her in the clutches of far worse fiends after the crew mutinies and Gull is marooned. Now the doomed girl is praying that the pirate will return to rescue her.

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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

 

The light breeze was insufficient to fill the sails of the Scourge, and so it barely cut through the placid waters that gently lapped her hull. The crew of the great galleon were still licking their wounds from the previous day’s raid on a merchant ship, and wine and ale alleviated their pain. Some went about their daily chores while others gambled or wrestled or roared bawdy songs. The din of the drunken sailors was quelled by a holler from the crow’s nest at the top of the main mast. The lookout had spotted something starboard, to the north – a row boat, as far as he could determine.

The crew leaned on the gunwale and watched as the object drew near. It was indeed a boat, and a lone occupant at the oars rowed desperately towards the three-masted giant. “A woman!” said one of the spectators, and eyebrows were raised. The crew hauled her up, and it wasn’t until she had both of her bare feet planted firmly on the deck that she realised what a tragic mistake she had made.

“Corsairs!” she gasped.

Their dismal rags and bearded faces spoke volumes. The men looked upon her in stunned disbelief. Suddenly, a tall figure pushed through that hard mob of ruffians surrounding her and stepped to the fore. His shirt was open, revealing muscles that rippled along his wiry frame. A bandana held back his dark mane, exposing earrings no doubt obtained through plunder and murder, and a black patch covered his left eye. More menacing was the thin moustache and long goatee, tied in the middle with gold thread.

“And what have we here?” he inquired.

“She came from out of nowhere, Captain,” said the boatswain.

“So it would seem.”

The captain looked her over. She was young and pretty as a picture, despite the light brown hair disheveled by her ordeal at sea. Her costume was simple, fit for a peasant: a blouse with short sleeves, a bodice, and a linsey-woolsey skirt patched in several places. But there was one incongruity, a sword tucked into the sash around her waist.

The girl addressed the captain, “Parlez vous Francais?”

“No,” he replied. “Do you speak English?”

“Yes.”

“I am Captain Gull. And what is your name, madam?”

The girl hesitated. “Bagatelle.”

“A lovely name for such a lovely girl,” said Gull.

A Frenchman named Giraud laughed. “A bagatelle is a mere trifle, captain.”

“Oh,” he smiled wryly. “I see. And where did this little trifle come from?”

One of the men gave the girl a cup of water, which she quaffed instantly. Frightened as she was, she kept her composure.

She spoke with a heavy accent, “I was on my way to New France when the ship went down in a terrible storm.”

The first mate caught her in a lie. “What storm would that be? The skies have been clear all week, and you haven’t been at sea for but a day or two.”

Gull waved his hand and, turning away, said, “Throw her overboard.”

The girl fell to her knees and clasped her hands together. “Oh, mercy, sir! I’ll tell you all, but please spare this wretched orphan’s life!” The brigands gathered to hear her tale of woe. “I was on my way to New France, a ward of the king, to choose a husband from one of the settlers.”

“You would cross an ocean to find a husband in such a savage land?” the captain remarked. “Are there no suitable men in Old France?” The men laughed and Gull continued, “I’ve heard of Louis’ program. He plucks orphans and peasants from the fields of France and offers them a dowry and the promise of a new life in the colony, if only they’ll populate the country. So tell me, my little waif, how you came to be adrift in the middle of the sea?”

With great reluctance she made an admission, “An officer called me to his cabin, which I thought improper, but he insisted that certain matters needed to be cleared up before we landed in Quebec City. There he tried to force himself on me, so I shot him dead with his own pistol. I stole a boat and escaped in the darkness of night. I was rowing eastward for England or any country that would have me.” Still sitting on the deck, her shoulders slumped and she cast her weary gaze at the boards. “And now I am doomed, either to hang for murder or suffer at the hands of pirates.”

“Don’t be so quick to condemn us,” said Gull. “You’ve murdered a naval officer. You’re an outlaw, too, no better than we are.”

“Then we are kindred souls!” the girl cried. “Allow me safe passage to England. Here,” she added, pulling paper money from her pocket; “I was given two livres. It’s all I have.” She offered it to the captain, who declined with a nod.

“And what would you do in England?”

“I’m as good a farmhand as any, and I can speak two languages.”

“Unfortunately for you, my dear, we’re not so welcome in England as you are,” said Gull, helping the girl to her feet. “Besides, we’re headed in quite the opposite direction, for the island of Tortuga, to fence our wares.”

This was disheartening news to the poor girl, and she contemplated taking her chances adrift at sea.

One of those vile beasts grinned and wrung his hands. “Aye, we ought to take her with us, captain. She can bunk with me.”

What followed was a barrage of laughter and jeering, which only increased when the girl drew her sword and brandished it threateningly. Gull was amused by her bravado.

“Put away your sword,” he commanded, “or I’ll put you over my knee and spank you with it!”

She attempted to run him through, but lacked the fencing skill required to accomplish the feat. The seasoned warrior simply sidestepped her thrust and disarmed her. He then sat down on a crate and put the girl over his knee, holding her wrists behind her back in a grip of iron. He pulled up her skirts, exposing her bare bottom. It was full and shapely and white as virgin snow.

“My, what a great treasure I’ve found!” said Gull. “Trifle with me, will you?”

Sword in hand, he slapped the girl’s bottom with the flat of the blade, and she swore and cursed him in French. Her squirming and protesting only encouraged him, and he spanked her with the sword until her cheeks turned pink.

“Now, are you going to tell me your real name, or shall I give you more?”

“Go to hell!” she cried defiantly.

“I think you’re enjoying this,” opined Gull, and he spanked her even harder.

Finally, she gave in. “Madeleine! My name is Madeleine!”

The captain released her, and the girl rubbed her sore bottom, scowling at him contemptuously. Madeleine’s tears were those of anger more than pain. She’d received much worse treatment in orphan asylums, but she couldn’t stand to be humiliated in this way.

“Walford!” Gull called to one of the crew. “Escort the mademoiselle to my quarters and have the cook bring her a hearty meal.”

The entertainment over, the motley assemblage began to discuss what to do with their new recruit. The most obvious suggestion was immediately vetoed by Gull. “Any man who lays a finger on the girl will answer to me!”

The captain returned to his quarters, and found Madeleine seated at a large desk in the center of the room. The cook had brought her a piece of bread, a baked potato, a chicken leg, and a bowl of soup. She ate ravenously, much to the captain’s chagrin, for she was making a mess on the maps and charts spread out before her. Still, her atrocious table manners were to be excused, being that she hadn’t eaten in days.

Gull ambled about the room, making small talk about how he’d captured the vessel and re-christened it the Scourge, and how three decks of cannon made her a formidable foe to any who would attack or resist. He boasted of his innumerable conquests, his notoriety, and the wealth he’d accumulated. Madeleine said nothing, but continued gnawing at the chicken leg until there was nothing left but bone.

Gull poured her a glass of brandy. “It’ll help you sleep,” he said. She sipped it initially, then poured it down her gullet. She began to yawn, and Gull invited her to sleep in his bed. “Don’t worry,” he assured her. “I’ve never forced myself on a woman. No one here will harm you. You’re under my protection, now.”

With those reassuring words, Madeleine saw, or perhaps imagined, a certain aspect of honor in Gull’s dark eyes that made him seem less sinister, less of a threat to her. She could see now that the same thin moustache and long goatee that gave his countenance such a wicked caste also hid a handsome face, that of a man still in his 30s. It also occurred to her that he might be her only salvation.

 

6 reviews for The Scourge

  1. Redrabbitt

    I enjoyed this high seas adventure that slowly brings out how the various pirates came from seaman for the Crown to pirates and pirateers. Young Madeleine, a French peasant girl, finds herself adrift in the sea, fleeing after killing an amorous navel officer. On her way to a new land to be a bride, she is now the hostage of Pirate Captain Gull aboard the Scourge. She is protected but must work just like anyone else on the ship. During down time, she is taught the art of fencing, which may help save her life.
    The plot takes us on a voyage across the ocean, pillaging ships, trading on islands and even mutiny. The story is a quick read, has a large cast of characters, some mystery and suspense, and treasures to be found. Madeleine is spanked several times but never molested.

  2. Redrabbitt

    I enjoyed this high seas adventure that slowly brings out how the various pirates came from seaman for the Crown to pirates and pirateers. Young Madeleine, a French peasant girl, finds herself adrift in the sea, fleeing after killing an amorous navel officer. On her way to a new land to be a bride, she is now the hostage of Pirate Captain Gull aboard the Scourge. She is protected but must work just like anyone else on the ship. During down time, she is taught the art of fencing, which may help save her life.
    The plot takes us on a voyage across the ocean, pillaging ships, trading on islands and even mutiny. The story is a quick read, has a large cast of characters, some mystery and suspense, and treasures to be found. Madeleine is spanked several times but never molested.

  3. Laurel Lasky

    I love reading about high seas, Pirates, damsels in distress and this book had it all and more. This was a short story but had so much, a young French peasant girl rescued by a former British navy officer who became a pirate, being marooned on an island, buried treasure, mutiny, violence, spanking, mystery and romance. I would love to see a sequel to see what happens next, hint hint.

  4. Laurel Lasky

    I love reading about high seas, Pirates, damsels in distress and this book had it all and more. This was a short story but had so much, a young French peasant girl rescued by a former British navy officer who became a pirate, being marooned on an island, buried treasure, mutiny, violence, spanking, mystery and romance. I would love to see a sequel to see what happens next, hint hint.

  5. Heart5

    Madelaine finds herself alone and drifting on the open sea after escaping a ship headed for New France. She is rescued by Captain Gull, a pirate, on board The Scourge. Madelaine struggles with the pirate way of life, but after a few rounds of discipline from Captain Gull she quickly settles in to life on the ship. I really enjoyed this short pirate story. The action adventure side was well developed with a mutiny, and of course a search for buried treasure. I’m not sure if additional books are planned, but it would be nice to read a little more about a romance between Madelaine and Gull.

  6. Heart5

    Madelaine finds herself alone and drifting on the open sea after escaping a ship headed for New France. She is rescued by Captain Gull, a pirate, on board The Scourge. Madelaine struggles with the pirate way of life, but after a few rounds of discipline from Captain Gull she quickly settles in to life on the ship. I really enjoyed this short pirate story. The action adventure side was well developed with a mutiny, and of course a search for buried treasure. I??m not sure if additional books are planned, but it would be nice to read a little more about a romance between Madelaine and Gull.

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