How Marie joined Captain Lessnya
It is a characteristic of mine that I mention often that I was not always Captain Lessnya's First Mate, but once was her prey, and only as time passed, I became from prey to First Mate.
I like to tell particularly when it is about to convince soldiers, sailors or other pirates to join us. I want to make it clear to them that they must not always remain as slaves or prisoners with us, if only they prove to Captain Lessnya the adequate loyalty.
Here now I would like to tell about how it happened that I became Captain Lessnya's prey. I'm telling this story very rarely, because as beautiful or insightful it may be, it still hurts Captain Lessnya.
It was several years ago in Cartagena, in an officer's pub. Well, it was not only officers there, often rather ordinary soldiers and sailors, as well as merchants and citizens. Everyone wanted to spend a lovely evening and an even better night with one of the girls who also were there, and of course they successfully did.
I was one of these girls.
I had come from the countryside to the city, had left my parents and siblings. The choice to go into town, I had made because I had heard that it was very easy in the city, especially for women, to get lots of money and rich gifts. However, it had been described to me less exactly what a woman must do for that.
Well, the soldiers and sailors taught me quickly. Among the first things I learned was that I can choose whether it will only hurt my pride, or really hurt me: will I give myself voluntarily, or will the soldiers or sailors have to take me by force. Either way, the result was the same. And I had discarded my pride very soon.
I quickly discovered that actually I frequently got gifts, especially by merchants or officers, to whom I always bestowed happy hours, or sometimes a particularly beautiful night.
Maybe I had something special about me, but I rather think that I was just lucky. But I always was among the most desired girls.
So I struggled through and had made friend with some other girls. But there were several girls that hated us - my friends and me. Envy was big.
There was a priest who always wanted to take us on the "right path", and there were also a number of honorable women (wives), who would have preferred us having scratched the face, and expelled from the city.
I finally had settled as "permanent institution" at the Crazy Seahorse inn, where things were pretty wild. It was the best inn in the city, here were more officers and merchants mixing than in any other inn, and to be allowed to work here was the best thing one of us ever could reach.
Although we had a stage for performances, it was never used. Mostly we danced among the guests at their tables - often on top of the tables - and sometimes on the lap of the guests, and for that we often were invited and gifted.
Once I even had the honor to bless the Governor himself: a fat man, who nearly crushed me with his weight, when he was lying on me. But I managed to suppress my disgust for him and his exhalations and juices, and the next morning I got from him a silver necklace.
The host of the Crazy Seahorse was very nice to his girls, this fact had very surprised me, because it was not so in the other pubs in the city. There we often were beaten if we did not want to serve the guests immediately or if we did not want to dance completely naked, but that's another story. The host of the Crazy Seahorse did not have lust for women; at least he let us alone, in contrast to all the other hosts at all the other pubs where I've ever worked. There also was a young man of whom I never found out what exactly he should work at the Crazy Seahorse, but he almost always was near the host. I had my suspicions in this regard, but it did not concern me. Anyway, I had my permanent place in the Crazy Seahorse; and I did not want to give it up for anything in the world.
So it was, when the city was attacked by pirates. A pirate attack on such a big city I had never experienced before. In fact, I had absolutely never experienced a pirate attack. I had been told, the pirates would rather invade smaller cities that are not so well guarded, and here were a considerable number of soldiers. But just this evening the town was practically empty of soldiers, because the Governor was with a large part of his men on a mission abroad, of which no one had quite understood what he really intended.
The attack was a complete surprising. The door opened, a couple of wild-looking men entered, at the first moment I did not think much of them. But when the first pulled out a saber and struck down three soldiers before they might think of resistance, the other girls and I stopped dancing and most of us froze. The music was stopped and there was silence. There was little noise of battle, because there was little resistance, there were indeed no handful of soldiers present. The pirates killed or wounded all who resisted. Those who did not resist were robbed. As several merchants were present, the pirates may have made up some of loot.
Finally, a woman came in, who at first glance was obviously someone special. She wore a handsome pirate cleft, and all the pirates gave place and immediately stepped aside as she entered the Crazy Seahorse.
She looked briefly around the room. There were six or seven girls who had danced and now were standing by the tables of the guests, and her gaze remained just at me. I've never been previously considered by someone so pervasive, and my heart almost stopped. Still unable to move, I watched as unconcerned as the woman approached me. She stayed close in front of me, stared for a few seconds in my face, and then she slowly moved her hand to my neck. I expected that she would now tear off my silver necklace, but she just grabbed my chin and closed my mouth, which I had not noticed that I had it open all the time. She smiled briefly, and then she grabbed me by my wrist, said to their people, "We leave" and pulled me out of the tavern. I followed without any resistance. She was silent and walked with rapid steps with me towards the harbor. The Pirates went ahead, followed by the woman with me at her hand.
A few doors further, suddenly a man shouted from behind: "Captain Lessnya! With all due respect, you have not much gold brought back as loot." She stopped and stared at me. I had the impression that she was only now aware of whom she carried with her. She just said "Yeah, uh. That may be. I do not know, but somehow yet".
The man who had spoken to her, proved to be a better dressed pirate who was pretty fully loaded with several golden drinking cups, a stack of papers that looked like documents and maps, and out of his pockets were hanging half out some golden necklaces and bracelets.
"I'll explain it later, at the Pearl, Mate", Captain Lessnya said.
At the same moment the mate got big eyes, coughed, spat blood in my face and on my chest, let fall his prey, and tipped over. Only now I noticed that someone had crept up from behind and pushed him a dagger in the back. I even knew the murderer, it was a notorious pickpocket. I became angry, I thought it was unfair that the mate had not perished in fight, but had been a victim of a dishonorable thief and murderer.
The next moment Captain Lessnya had drawn her weapon and pushed it through the murderer, but that did not make alive again the mate. I went up to him and pulled the dagger out of his back.
I had noticed that Captain Lessnya had drawn no saber but a sword. The blade had not been crooked but straight and double-edged. But there was not much time to think about it.
"Come over!" Captain Lessnya called to me, put back her sword into the scabbard and started to run towards the harbor. I gathered up a few of the papers, which the mate had carried, and which now were laying scattered on the ground. When I even tried to pick up some golden cups, Captain Lessnya called over her shoulder to me:
"They're not important; it's you who needs to follow!" I let everything else lying and ran after her.
Only in the harbor I caught up with her again. She climbed into a boat which was full of pirates and booty and stretched out her hand to me. Without thinking much that I now followed pirates, I grabbed her hand and also climbed into the boat.
"Our First Mate is dead," Captain Lessnya said, "who else is missing?" Only now I could see that tears were running down her cheeks.
Two more names were called and Captain Lessnya slowly nodded.
"We have been lucky, rich booty, Captain," someone said. Captain Lessnya wiped with a quick flick the tears off her face and looked at me smiling. Long. Very long. Then she said "Yes, we actually have. Very rich booty. Maybe not necessarily expensive and valuable, but it is still worth a lot. I am convinced about this."
She briefly dipped her hand into the water and washed the First Mate's blood spatter from my face.
"What is your name?" then she asked. -
"Maria. Maria Amante", I replied, "but everyone calls me Marie". -
"Marie" repeated Captain Lessnya, "yes that is right for you".
I knew nothing to answer and just stared at her fascinating eyes. She smiled again.
Then she grabbed to my face and closed again my open mouth.
The end of this story is told quickly.
We unmolested arrived the pirate ship, and were able without difficulty to escape to the open sea.
The ship's name was Pearl. It quickly became my new home, as well as the unnamed island that Captain Lessnya used as a hiding place. But at the beginning we were more often with the Pearl at sea than we were staying on the island, at this time the dwelling still was under construction.
I became Captain Lessnya's personal slave and was under her protection ahead of the crew.
The name of the First Mate, which had fallen victim to the murderer, I do not know. I never asked Captain Lessnya about. I know how much this matter touches her and I never speak about it. Also to anyone else I've never talked about the death of this man or his importance to Captain Lessnya. When I think of him, I only can see his surprised eyes in front of me, which he had before he collapsed dying.
The dagger I have held in the hand up to Captain Lessnya's cabin, without realizing it. Only then I dropped it.
I'm always wearing it with me, on my left thigh. It is the only weapon that I wear, but it has served me well. Maybe I can repair with this dagger over time, what had happened by it. But I know this will take some time.
How I became Captain Lessnya's First Mate later, that's a different story.
It was a long way up there, and once we have even gone apart, but fortunately have found each other again.
Likewise, there is a story about how I got the branding "Pirate" on my back. I would like to say briefly that I had been taken prisoner and stood with the branding on the back three days at the pillory. If an old woman had not always secretly brought water to me, I would have died of thirst. The Governor then decided that I should be hanged, and it should take particularly long, the executioner should make sure that my neck was not broken when hanging. My head on a peg at the port then should serve as a deterrent to other pirates, but especially to Captain Lessnya.
Well, so far it did not come; Captain Lessnya has saved me from the gallows.
But, as I said, that's another story.
We still have many evenings for it.
How Marie joined Captain Lessnya
(Wie Marie zu Käpt'n Lessnya gekommen ist)
(Translated into English 2016-09-07)