YAAR! The Pirates of Sanchon – Longjohnson Swindlehurst Ponders His Next Move

by Alphaville Herald on 08/11/07 at 7:34 pm

by Tiny Newt

[last week's episode is here]


Meanwhile, on the Island of Sanctum Sanctorum, eighty leagues due west by south of Sanchon, Longjohnson Swindlehurst stood by the cracking fire pondering his next move. The ruined castle of the Baron Grayson made a perfect hideout for the old seadog Swindlehurst. The accommodations were sumptuous by any man’s lights. He liked the fact that visitors naturally assumed he was the owner. Bit on the chilly side some nights, what with the bloody roof gone and all, he chuckled.

“Everything”, it seemed, turned on the upcoming meeting with Doctor Apocalypse. Swindlehurst knew, as soon as Dr. Apocalypse spied the “EYE of TRUTH” symbol on his half of the treasure map, the ol’ doc would be willing to fund the two ships needed for the ambush. Chasing down the Endeavour and Commander Newt would be child’s play, Longjohnson mused. The ship was slow, sorely undermanned and pitifully under gunned. What the man saw in that bit of flotsam he would never know.

Swindlehurst struggled awkwardly with his greatcoat, then, fearing he would be late, grabbed his crutch and trundled down the steep underground passage. A light rain fell as he exited the base of the mountain through the well hidden cave opening. The old cripple swore a steady oath as the tangled underbrush tugged at his coat-tails and leggings. Presently, the uneven ground opened onto a flat rock. He paused momentarily to catch a raspy breath and admire the husky square- rigged ship that lay before him. Getting down the steep cliffs to the boarding ladder would tax a sound sailor. By tying his crutch to a lanyard the old sea dog made his way down -half crashing- half falling and always cursing he scrabbled his way down landing in a heap of leaves, twigs and gritty dirt.


Longjohson made his way aboard and into the darkened companionway. Still’ he thought, this ship was a gift of Providence. He peered through the gloom. Nothing escaped his good eye, including the rats. The hull seemed sound enough and from the look of the towering masts and overhanging sails, the ship might be very sprightly indeed.

15 iron cannon, and not those useless bronze ones the Spanish had sold him before.. Aye, why… whey’s a bit of an untidy lot, he thought; but the gun carriages were well greased, the black-powder dry enough. He hurried onward, anxious for his meeting with Dr. Apocalypse. Stopping before the aft cabin door, Swindlehurst gathered himself as well he could, wiping the dirty sweat from his brow with a soiled silk handkerchief.

He entered the cabin with his usual clatter. “Arg, it bein’ the good Doctor, says I,” Swindlehurst stated in his gravely voice,. then plopped himself into the nearest chair with his characteristic sprawl, his peg leg akimbo, twigs and dirt fell to the deck beneath him.

The enigmatical Dr. Apocalypse stood with his back to the door. The high cowl of his grey cape concealed his bald head completely. He remained silent, as if in the deepest thought; which, truth be told, he was.
Swindlehurst let the seconds tick by. Handicapped he might be, yet he felt himself equal to, no, …superior to anyone who walked a deck with two good legs. Good breeding and education, however, never failed to unnerve him.

“Arg, I be dryer than a young virgin, says I. You wouldn’t be havin’ a wee drop to wet the ol’ Cap’n’s beak now would ye?” asked Swindlehurst in a saccharine voice. The tall form of Doctor Apocalypse was completely hidden by his floor length cape, which ended a micro-millimeter from the deck. He glided across the floor, as if floating, to the far bulkhead. The Doctor then retrieved a cut-glass decanter from a dusty cabinet. He poured a flagon of fiery liquor into a silver goblet, filling it to a within a micro-milliliter of the brim. The goblet was then passed to the pirate with nary a ripple on the drink’s surface…

“I be thankin’ ye heartily Doctor, Sor.” said Longjohnson throwing back his head and noisily gulping the contents in a single exhibition of unabashed gluttony.


The Doctor, Swindlehurst noted; never looked a man straight in the eye. In fact, he never looked directly at anyone. Gazing at the ceiling or floor or off to one side, the bespectacled academician maintained an impenetrable thousand-yard stare.

“Where you followed, Captain?” the Doctor began. “ I’m not certain if you are part of My plan Swindlehurst… or I am part of Yours. What is this ”Earth Shaking News” you mentioned in your message?”

“Aye Doctor, will you be takin’ a glimmer at this here map, says I. Ye may have some wee interest in thet symbol wots marked right there !“ He said pointing at one corner of the torn chart.

The transcendental Doctor stared intently at the filthy scrape of map. He glided silently to the table, spread out the rumpled paper and proceeded to run a battery of tests for authenticity from a pocket chemistry kit.

“Hmmm. Circa 2004 AD… give or take a millennium.” This passed for a joke from the taciturn scientist. Tell me more Swindlehurst,” said Apocalypse, now looking through a multi-lensed loop fixture attached to his spectacles.

“Here be me thinkin’ on the matter, Govn’r”

“Refer to me as Doctor” Apocalypse corrected him.

“Beggin’ your pardon, Doctor, sor, I’ll be tellin’ you true- layin’ me cards on the table as it were, all friendly like, says I.

“Bein’ so bold, Sor, it’s two ships I be needin’

“And why would you dream in your wildest imagination I might supply you with such things?” asked the Doctor.

“First thar’s the matter of a ‘alf o ton o gold to be split even-steven like. Word about the ‘arbor is that a certain… Doctor,… was a nosin’ about lookin’ to buy a wee kit with the devil’s eye carved on ‘er.” said Longjohnson in a conspirial tone.

“Where is the other half of the map?” the doctor asked after a long pause.

“Ta other half of this ‘ere map will be abeam Sanctum Sanctorium two days ‘ence aboard the tall ship Endeavour.

“It’ll be intercept ‘er and grab up the map, We will!”

“’Twixt you and me… we split the treasure! By the looks of thet thar map thet “Eye” gadjet too.”

“I’m not interested in the gold, Swindlehurst, you may keep it all. My only concern is in the artifact: The “EYE OF TRUTH” It must come into my possession undamaged and unmolested. Do you comprehend my meaning?” Longjohnson, non-plused at his amazing good luck, could barely contain himself and chose not to take offense at the slight.

“Oh yes, Sor, I‘ll be giving ye me person’l BONNY FIDIES on that!” Longjohnson thundered on to bring home his point.

“Any man-jack lies a finger, I’ll have his guts for garters, says I”.

The gimcrack captain drew a very wicked looking dagger from inside his loose blouse and slowly drew it across his own throat for emphasis. He glared at the doctor with his solitary bloodshot red eye just to put a period on his oath.

“If we understand each other, I will transfer the necessary gold to your coffers, forthwith. One last caution, Sir…, the pyramid with the “EYE” carving?… by no means, is it to be opened or molested.”

“Are we clear on that point?” “As a bell Sor… as a bell”

With Swindlehurst’s agreement, the deal was concluded. Apocalypse stood to the side of the ships railing and rezzed a brightly lit floating throne some six feet in diameter. Static electricity played cat and mouse up and down the sides of this most unique mode of transportation. In a move too quick for the eye Dr. Apocalypse was seated and adjusted the controls.

A high–pitched whine emanated as the wondrous chair spooled up for liftoff. Static electricity danced off the sails and deck and sent Longjohnson’s unruly grey hair into a frizzed bouffant. With a crackle of static and the fresh smell of ozone Dr. Apocalypse disappeared up into the lowering rain clouds from whence he came .


One week later, armed with timely news from his spies as to the Endeavour’s true course, Swindlehurst positioned his ships in the lee of Sanctum Sanctorum Island. The outfitting of the two leased pirate ships had rushed to completion in record time despite the inclement weather and the constant quibbling and grousing of men accustomed to daily sloth. The relentless storms and high seas, the onset of fog and constant downpours made the task of waiting most miserable.

“THAR SHE BLOWS “ cried the lookout from the crow’s nest of the RELIC. East nor’ east . The man pointed away in two opposite directions: one arm to the eastern horizon, the other high towards the mountain top where a black oily smoke rose over a slattern sky.

“Aye, that be our signal, you may lay to that.” said Longjohnson, his excitement rising.

Aboard the RELIC …“ALL HANDS ON DECK AND BE QUICK ABOUT IT LADS,” commanded Swindlehurst loud and clear. Lazy as this “pick-me-up” crew appeared, they responded surprisingly well when gold was involved. The anchors were hauled, sheets flaked out, bodies ran fore and aft until both battle ships eased out into the stream. Clearing the headlands, the sails filled with gunshot like reports. Straining wet old ropes groaned under the raw tension of the trade winds. Soon both pirate ships where plowing white water as if it were snow. Below, gun crews struggled to keep their powder dry as torrents of water sluiced through poorly maintained decks.


[...continued next week...]

5 Responses to “YAAR! The Pirates of Sanchon – Longjohnson Swindlehurst Ponders His Next Move”

  1. d3adlyc0d3c

    Nov 8th, 2007

    I am seriously considering returning to SL with lulzcocks to attach to people’s heads. I think SL needs me.

  2. 1121231311120110231311112

    Nov 9th, 2007

    Lovely job on erasing all the comments. While most of the comments were trolls, I’d say a good quarter involved actual debate. I guess while some writers ‘have to take it like a man’, others get their way.

    5 gets you 10 this commment gets deleted.

  3. Neo Citizen

    Nov 9th, 2007

    Here’s a different suggestion – take your pathological need for attention elsewhere.

  4. Neo Citizen

    Nov 9th, 2007

    Nice bit of writing, by the way – nice setup, scene set well, and you really seem to have a feel for the material. I can hardly wait to read the next installment!

  5. Marie Vaughan

    Nov 9th, 2007

    Thanks. That was a lovely piece, and makes me want to log in and revisit Baron Grayson’s realm, searching for the hidden passage and such. I’ve always been fond of that neighborhood — imaginative and quite beautiful, it is.

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