A prequel to Pirate Ophelia
Chapter VII: Tortuga
The HMS Honeysuckle was on her way to Tortuga, the crew ready to spend some time on land in the pirate haven. Janneke felt much better after visiting with her mother, knowing now that everything worked out perfectly for everyone. She left a letter to be sent to her father, forgiving him for how he behaved and updating him on what has happened in her life. She avoided any information that would hint she was with a pirate crew, or that she had ever sailed under anyone other than legit merchants.
“Ship sighted off the larboard side!”
The call brought Janneke back to the present. They were just off the coast of Tortuga, so a ship was not a cause for alarm, but the call from the crow’s nest seemed more distressing than usual.
Captain Henry pulled out his spyglass for a better look. “It’s a Man O’War,” he gasped.
Janneke excitedly rushed to the left side of the ship to see for herself. The ship was massive and was headed right for them.
“All hands on deck!” Captain Henry exclaimed. The crew hurried to their stations, loading the cannons and preparing for battle.
“What is it?” Janneke asked Captain Henry, curious to understand what he knew that she did not.
The Man O’War fired a mortar shot that hit the bow of the HMS Honeysuckle, sending three men into the sea. The Honeysuckle returned fire, but the Man O’War was heavily armored. The enemy turned and fired the side cannons, blowing holes in the side of the frigate.
Janneke rushed below deck, realizing that Diana was downstairs in her work area, mending some of the crew’s clothing. She dove to the floor as another volley hit the frigate, sending splinters in every direction.
“Diana!” she called, afraid that her friend had perished in the onslaught.
“I’m here!” came a faint voice.
Diana and three others were trapped behind a wall of debris. Water started trickling through the holes in the hull.