|The Adventures of Aidan Callaghan
Author: Morinehtar PM
Aidan was just going to meet up with his buds. He had not intentions of getting stuck on a pirate ship bound for the new world, or to have to travel from Charles Town to Boston with a crazy red head. Too bad, because that's exactly what happened.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Romance - Words: 4,112 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Published: 09-29-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2420429
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Adventures of Aidan Callaghan
You have probably taken me for dead, but I have an extraordinary story to tell you. Indeed, I dare say you'll find it quite unbelievable. But, on my honor, every word is truth. I am currently residing in Boston Mass. at the home of Aliza and William Goodwin, cousins of my bride to be, Emily Scarlet Ellwood. I am aware this is the last thing you expected to hear regarding my health and whereabouts after my disappearance, so let me explain.
"Shh! Seamus, you'll wake my parents or worse, Nicole," whispered Aidan.
"I'd be more worried about running into Liam myself," he replied.
"Maybe so, but Liam would only tell us to get back into bed, Nicole would try to come along."
'Well, what's wrong with that? I think I'd fancy her company," Seamus teased.
"What, sweet on my older sister now are you?"
"And why not? She's beautiful, smart, cultured, and beautiful..."
"You'd best wipe that dreamy look off your face before I wipe it off for you myself, courtesy of my beautiful fists! I'd see you hang before I'd let you marry her, even if she would say yes! Now, quiet yourself and come along, or we're going to be late." Quickly and quietly, the two boys padded down the last flight of stairs and out the kitchen door of the manor house. The two then walked down the path through the gardens and down to the bluffs.
As the two emerged from the worn trail out into the light of the warmly glowing fire, a boy about their age with dark hair and heavy eyebrows shouted over to them, "Oi! Aidan, Seamus! Look here!"
As they walked over to him, Seamus' eyes grew wide with wonder, "Aye, Connor! Just what are you about callin' us over 'ere like a pack a mules, eh?"
"Why, I called you over for precisely the same reason your eyes are buggin' outta your head, mate!"
Nervously, Seamus inquired, "Is that really what I think it is, Connor?"
"You can put me neck in a noose if it ain't! That there's a pirate ship my friends, a real, live pirate ship!"
"Yeah, Aidan, we've got a bit of a bet goin' y'see. We's thinkin' that maybe you'd be too scared to board that ship like you're always tellin' us you've done," said a tipsy Neil Murray as he swaggered on over to the group. "We don't think you or your bud here 'ave got the stomach to do it!"
"Just what a ya implyin there, Neil? Aidan and I'll take on anything, ya hear? All a you, why, we'll go board that ship right now if we 'ave to!" blurted Seamus.
"And just what do you think you're doin?" asked a vehement Aidan as he spoke low and rapidly in his friend's ear. " We've never even seen a real pirate ship in our lives, much less been on one!"
" Well, they won't really make us do it. We've only to make 'em believe we ain't afraid, see? Otherwise, they'll see us fer a couple a lily-livers if we don't play 'long," explained Seamus.
Suddenly, Connor chimed in from behind them, "If you two ladies would like us to escort you back to your 'ouses, we'd be obliged to accompany you." His jibe was met by rolls of laughter from the sea of dirty, boyish faces surrounding them and the firelight. This meeting of the Men of Adventure Society was going a lot farther than Aidan had ever intended it to go.
"Thank, you Connor, but we'll not be goin-"
Seamus cut him off, "Sure, Connor, Neil! We'll show all a ya's! Call us a pare o' yellow bellies will ya! Come on Aidan, let's go lute us a pirate ship!"
The pirates kept me in the brig aboard the ship all the way to Charles Town. I'd never been so scared in my life! Well, except for maybe the , well I'll get to that in a minute.
That was the last thing Seamus had said before they'd climbed down the wall and found a group of pirates camped on the beach and been caught. Curse him! He'd managed to get away, while they were tying Aidan up. He'd been too scared to try and help Aidan out, though he had been given a parting blow to the arm, which Aidan was sure had broken his arm. "Serves him right too!" Aidan thought, "I'm gonna kill him myself next time I see him!" Aidan was sitting in his cell mulling over the incident for what had to be the millionth time since he'd been forced onto this God-forsaken ship with these nasty, vulgar pirates. They couldn't even give him a decent cup of water! And on top of that, he'd been sea sick for most of the voyage, if that was in fact the best word for it.
"Oi, you! Captain says ter get ye up on deck, ya lily-livered land-lubber!" shouted a large, un-shaven pirate as he jumped down the last few stairs into the brig with the keys to Aidan's cell jangling in his hand.
"Yeah, nice to see you this morning too, Jack," replied Aidan stiffly.
"Shut yer trap and get up 'fore I throw yer up on deck, ya mongrel!"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm comin.'" As Jack unlocked the door to the cell, Aidan shuffled to the opening and was un-ceremoniously yanked out and then shoved up the ladder to the sleeping quarters (more like a shelf for hammocks and mess sacks) and then on up to the main deck.
"'Ere he is Captain!" Aidan squinted as his eyes slowly adjusted to the sunlight that had become unfamiliar to his eyes from his long stay in the brig. But, his eyes didn't get much time to adjust before the sun was blocked out my an enormous figure that came to tower over and yell at him. "Count yerself lucky I didn't just feed ya to the sharks boy! Thought I might get a good price fer ya in the slave market, but no 'uns gunna buy ya with a gash like that on yer head. It's time u got your land legs back, though I doubt you ever really lost 'em, seein' as you couldn't walk fer all that retchin','' barked the Captain. His peals of laughter were joined by that of the overly large and stinky crew and only served to make Aidan feel smaller. "Look over there, boy. That be Charles Town South Carolina, think ya can swim?" asked the captain with a wicked grin on his face. Before Aidan could object he was picked up and flung overboard by another pirate (probably Jack, he'd be all too ready to get rid of him after all of those jibes Aidan had thrown at him. They'd not only made Aidan laugh profusely and been his only source of pleasure during his captivity, they'd also utterly confused Jack and brought him into a raging temper.) The sound of guffaws and back-slapping followed Aidan until he swam out of hearing distance. He'd have to swim a good mile before he would make land fall, and he wasn't looking forward to it.
When Aidan, waterlogged and exhausted, finally hauled himself out of water and onto the beach, he immediately collapsed and fell into a deep sleep. But, his state of ecstacy at finally getting some good rest was interrupted all too soon by a girl with flaming red hair and moss green eyes. She looked to be about sixteen. "Well, are you going to get up and walk or lay there all day? 'Cuz I ain't carryin' you," After Aidan opened his eyes and realized she was standing over him waiting for some sort of reply, he slowly pulled himself up because his muscles were still tender from his swim to the beach. He just kept gazing up at her like she was some kind of freak or something. At least, that's how she took it. "I asked you a question, and if you're not going to answer me then fine, I'll just walk away like I'd planned to do!" She aimed a swift kick at his ribs which knocked the air out of him and sent Aidan sprawling on the sand.
"Wait," he called quietly, when he could breathe again, " I'm Aidan, who're you?"
"Yes, that's perfect, it can barely talk and when it does, it asks stupid questions. If you must know, I'm Scarlet Ellwood. I came on a visit to my friend Lucy's plantation for a year, but it was attacked by a group of heathens. Lucy and her family were killed. Somehow I managed to get away and ended up here, but no one will take me back to England because I have no way to pay them. They won't take my word when I tell them that my parents will pay them because I look so grubby, and no captain is willing to take on a cabin girl. Hmph, and I can't write my parents either; I haven't the means to do it. So what's your story?"
"Well, I was dared by a group of friends to try and lute a pirate ship, but me and my friend were caught by a group of them camping on the beach. I've been locked in the ship's brig for three months, and just now they threw me overboard. I had to swim at least a mile to get here."
"Frankly I'm surprised you're not dead, though you look about as good as. Why'd they keep you around any way? Why didn't they just feed you to the sharks; that's what I would've done."
"They were going to try and sell me. Then they decided not to, but it' s nice to know you care so much. And as far as being dead goes, the same could be said for you as well. Who else escapes from a, what did you call it, an Indian raid? Those people are savages, or so I'm told."
"So we've both been extremely fortunate over the past few months. What of your friend?"
"Well, I know he got away, but I think they broke his arm first. Serves him right though; he's the one who got me into this mess. I have no idea what they told my family, and now I'm in the same position you're in."
"At least you could hire yourself out as a cabin boy."
"I don't fancy another trip on one of those things again any time soon."
"Well, I suppose there's nothing for it. You'll have to come with me then."
"Where exactly are you going? From what you've said I find it very unlikely that you have any kind of place to stay or go at the moment."
"Actually, I've decided to make a go for my cousin Aliza's house. She could help us."
"Well just how far is that?"
"And just what is that supposed to mean? How far is 'far'?"
"Great," he sighed as he thought, Just bloody well perfect. Now I've got to go hikin' through the woods all the way to boston with this crazy chit of a girl.
After that, we managed to make our way from Charles Town to Jamestown in early July.. I must say, it was the most intriguing journey of my life. We met quite a few characters along the way, including a girl who thought she saw fairies and man who claimed he'd found a cure for "all types of tropical disease." But, when we got to Jamestown, something interesting happened.
"Well, Jamestown is a bit dull, compared with what I thought it would be," exclaimed Scarlet.
"And just what did you expect? A palace and golden streets?" answered Aidan.
"No, but I had hoped it would be better than this. I was really hoping to find a store from which I could purchase some stationary to write my cousin, but suppose they don't have one."
"Oh, I'm sure there's one around here somewhere." Just as they rounded the next street corner, Scarlet ran into a brown haired boy standing on the corner selling nick nacks with another boy about the same age.
"Oi! Watch where-Emily!?" the boy gasped. "Well blimey! It's Emily Ellwood, that friend of Lucy Ashwin's! It can't really be you here in Jamestown can it?"
"Well, Gavin Keller, I see you haven't changed a bit since last I saw you," she replied affectionately. Aidan quickly came to stand beside her protectively.
"I s'pose not, but my! You do seem a little worse fore wear, and who might this be?" Gavin questioned, indicating Aidan.
"Oh, just some riff-raff I found half drowned on a beach in Charles Town. His name's Aidan."
"Well, what're ya doin' here Emily?"
"It's a long story, do you know some place we could go to rest and wash-up, maybe?"
"Yeah, sure thing, Em. Wait here." Gavin walked over to the boy he'd been selling with and began talking with him animatedly, explaining the situation. "Scarlet, why'd he call you Emily?" queried Aidan.
"Oh, that, well that's my first name. My proper name as Ms. Ashwin liked say. But, I like Scarlet better; it's more mysterious, don't you think? Gavin knows me by that name because that's how she introduced me to him. Gavin used to be an indentured servant who worked on Lucy's plantation, but he finished his time before the attack and came up here to find a living."
"Shouldn't he be older, I mean, usually people are contracted for seven years, right?"
"Well, he had the money for most of it; he just needed the money for the last leg of the trip. So, Lucy's dad only leased him for three years. He's about to turn twenty, I think. You see, he came here to find his fortune. Because of the laws of primogeniture, he can't get anything of his father's estate in England. It's exactly like it is with you and Liam, remember?"
Just then, Gavin returned, "It's all set. Adam is going to close up for me, and I'm gonna take you two back with me to introduce you to the gang." As Gavin headed off toward the edge of town, Aidan whispered, "This should be interesting," making Scarlet giggle.
Just as the sun was setting, Gavin finally turned into a clearing filled with what appeared to be a bunch of ramshackle tents off of the main road. "Hey boys! I brought some others! But you'd better behave, or I'll give you what for! One's a lady and a good friend of mine." Almost immediately the area was filled to the brim with the large, sweaty bodies of quite a few young men, most of them in their late twenties, with some groups of boys and some older males. They had been in the process of setting up a cooking fire. Soon, the fire was blazing, and both Aidan and Scarlet had been served a huge helping of mutton and bread. ( Gavin had personally taken it upon himself to make certain that Scarlet was served first.) After they had been given a chance to eat, Gavin came over to them and set down. "So Em, how are the Ashwins, and what brings you up in these parts?"
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Gavin, but the Ashwin plantation was raided by Indians not more than four months after you left. Lucy and Jordan were both killed, as well as their parents." Scarlet said with tears in her eyes.
"Oh, I'm terribly sorry to hear that. They were good people. There, there, Em, no need to cry about it now, it's in the past," soothed Gavin as he took Scarlet in his arms. (Of course, this made Aidan rather jealous.)
"So, Gavin, you mentioned something about a-Nathaniel Bacon, I believe it was? What about him?" Aidan inquired.
Sitting Scarlet up, he answered, "Oh, Nathan! Why, he's our leader! He's gonna set that Governor Berkeley straight! The governor don' wan' no body to mess with the Indians 'cause of his fir trade he's got going. He don't care about all the people they been attacking! It's all along former indentured servant's homes on the frontier. But, the governor, he don't care, see. Now, Nathan on the other hand, he's for us indentured servants. He's gonna stand up for us, and get us our land."
"So, what is all this then?" wondered Aidan, indicating the camp with a sweep of his arm.
"Why, we're Bacon's Militia man! We're gonna fight along side him against governor Berkeley's men!" yelled a man from the other side of the fire. "We're gonna be heroes!"
"Yes," Gavin continued, "you got here just in time. Our plan is to start our own raids on the planters and the Indians tomorrow!"
"What!?" shouted and incredulous Aidan, "You can't be serious! Are you mad?"
"Far from it my friend. We've been stepped on for far too long. It's time we stepped up and did something about it." Just then, Scarlet let out a loud yawn. "Come on then Em, you can have my bunk. The boys and I'll sleep outside. Aidan can stay with us."
"Scarlet, are you sure we should stay here?" Aidan asked her.
"Well, I don't see that we have much of a choice, it's either this or the woods, and I pick this." So she shakily got up on her feet and allowed Gavin to lead her over to a tent about a stones throw away from the campfire. It's outside was fashioned out of oily hide, and the whole contraption looked as though it would collapse at any moment. Left with no other option, Aidan borrowed a bed roll from an occupant of the tent and stretched out on the ground next to the other guys for the night.
Aidan woke to shouting and men running all over the camp with messages to various "officers." Scarlet was soon standing beside him. "What's going on?" she asked him.
"I haven't the slightest notion. They have yet to tell me a thing." Just as he finished saying this Gavin stumbled out of a tent ten feet away holding a bundle in his hands.
"We sent out a scout this morning, but some o' Berkeley's men found 'im! They've found out about the raid! You need to take Emily and get her out of here now!" shouted Gavin as he flung the bundle at Aidan. "Run! Head north, they're comin' in from the eastern and southern ends of the forest!" Aidan grabbed Scarlet's hand and pulled her after him as fast as he could go. They kept going and didn't look back, not even when they finally heard the sounds of guns and fighting.
I don't believe I've ever run so hard in my life. Scarlet and I ran until we left the forest and continued heading north. Eventually we made it to Pennsylvania where a group of Quakers gave us shelter. We stayed there for a month's time. While we were there, we received the news of what had become of Bacon's followers. Scarlet was devastated when she read the paper. When I read it, found the names of Gavin Keller and Barney Coleman, the man who had told me they were Bacon's Militia, on the list of people hanged for the offense of rebellion against the governor and the crown. I must say, the news disquieted me as well.
After leaving the home of the Quakers, and it was sad parting indeed, we once again set out for Boston, this time much better prepared than we had been before. We arrived at the end of November.
"After all this time, we're finally here!" rejoiced Scarlet as she knocked on the door of her cousin's home. A plump, gray-haired woman answered. "And just who might you two be?"
"Please, would you kindly tell Ms. Goodwin her cousin Emily has come to visit?" explained Scarlet.
With a look of shock on her face, the woman huffed and said, "Certainly Ms. Ellwood. Would you like to come in?" Scarlet gracefully stepped over the thresh hold, followed closely by Aidan trying to stamp the snow off of his leather boots and overcoat the Quaker family had been so kind as to give to him. "If not for their kindness," thought Aidan, "I sincerely doubt that either myself or Scarlet would have made it to Boston at all." Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted by shriek further down the hall, "Emily! Emily!" The shrieking figure flung herself at Scarlet and embraced her tightly before stepping away from her and sweeping her dark brown hair back behind her ear to expose her creamy complexion. Then, she commenced babbling, "We thought you were dead! When Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Simon wrote us about whether or not you had come to see me, we thought something horrible had happened to you because we could not find any news of you! Then, not two months ago, a pastor friend of William's told us that the Ashwin plantation had been raided by Indians not seven months ago! What happened, and who is this?" she demanded.
"This, Aliza, is my friend Aidan Callaghan. He was kidnaped by pirates and then thrown overboard a mile out from Charles Town. I found him there on the beach and he decided to accompany me to Boston to find you," replied Scarlet. "We were hoping for a place to stay and some jobs, so we can pay for our return to England."
"Yes, yes, of course. I suppose we could work that out. Come along then, and we'll get you settled in. But you'll have to be writing your parents, both of you."
That is how I came to be writing this letter. But, it is also how I decided that I love Scarlet. So I asked her to marry me last night and she said yes. I am so completely thrilled! Who would have thought that my agreeing (however unwillingly) to a dare would have led to such a marvelous discovery? Besides, asking Scarlet to be my wife, we have also decided that we don't want to leave. Here, I can make a good life for myself. I would have nothing left for me in England.
I have been aboard a pirate ship and lived to tell about it; I have seen the wonders of the rice plantations of South Carolina; witnessed a rebellion, lived with Quakers, and discovered the rich diversity of the New England Colonies. I see a bright future fo Scarlet and myself here in the Colonies. So we have decided to stay, in fact we think it would be a great place for your business, Father. And you wouldn't have to give everything to Liam. You know he wants nothing to do with the shipping industry. He wants to start his own plantation, like the colonists here.
But, to be sure, Scarlet and I will be coming before the wedding; you have to meet her, and I have to meet her parents. But, I do think you have met her father , Simon, before. He runs a mining company; I believe you shipped some goods for him. But, I must leave you now. Scarlet wishes to write to her parents. Oh, do me a favor and tell Seamus that I forgive him and that I have no objection to his marrying Nicole, though Liam still might. We depart for England in a week's time.
Your Loving Son,
Aidan Michael Callaghan