“I know it looks like an easy mark, Captain. But I have a bad feeling about it,” said the young sailor to Captain Bray.  

 

     “Look at it, laddie. We have the breeze behind us and there are no other ships in sight. I would lose the respect of my men if I didn’t take it. Besides, there are no men on deck. For all I know, it might have been abandoned and it would be a waste to pass it by for some other scurvy dog to seize.”  

 

      “I have a feeling that it is a death ship. I’ve heard that the black death has raised its hideous head in some ports. What if the crew met their doom aboard the ship?”  

 

     “If that’s the case it will mean no one will stop us.”  

 

     The captain leaned over the railings and shouted down to the helmsman and the crew that handled the sails.  

 

     “Steer for that ship over there. Unfurl the sails.”  

 

     The men agreed with him and set the sails. Ten minutes later, the pirate ship was next to the other ship. Grappling hooks were thrown onto the other ship to draw the vessels close to each other.  

 

     The silence was a bit unnerving. But the sailors were armed to the teeth in case the crew was hiding to ambush them. The memory of Blackbeard being taken by the Royal Navy in an ambush was still fairly fresh.  

 

     “Boys, the gods of the sea have given us this ship,” said the captain. “But stay sharp, just in case this is a trick.”  

 

     The captain and half the crew dropped down upon the deck and headed for the hold. The captain headed for the captain’s cabin to see if he had left any indication that there was trouble aboard the ship that forced the crew to abandon the vessel.  

 

     Captain Bray cautiously opened the door of the captain’s cabin after listening for any noise on the other side. Just in case of trouble, the captain had his saber in his right hand as he opened the door.  

 

     Inside the cabin, there were a couple of rats feasting on the last meal that was served in the room. They scurried away when Captain Bray approached the table. He sampled the rum that was in the mug and in the jug. It was still good.  

 

     Captain Bray walked over to the desk that was near the stern windows and rummaged through the captain’s books and papers. After setting his sword on the desk he sat down to look at the record.  

 

     In his mind, he heard an English voice saying, “August 21, 1717. The strange flying object was seen off the port side at least 100 feet in the air. It had to be larger than this vessel and brighter than the moon. I saw no guns on the vessel, so I have to assume it is no threat. But my heart is troubled because I fear it might be a ruse to cause us to lower our defenses.” 

 

     The captain had no more entries in his ship’s log. So Captain Bray examined other papers on the desk to see if there were more entries concerning the flying craft.  

 

     There was a knock on the door.  

 

     “Come in, laddie.”  

 

     The door slowly opened and two of his crew members shoved a crew member of the seized ship into the cabin.  

 

      “He was hiding in the hold drunk as a skunk,” said one of the sailors. 

 

     The other sailor said, “He told us a tale that sounded like the ravings of a madman.”  

 

     “But it’s true,” the man insisted. “It came out of nowhere and took the rest of the crew after shining a light brighter than a lighthouse beam on the deck. Everyone was sleeping on the decks since it was beastly hot that night. Even Captain Johnson was out there.”  

 

     “Was it a flying vessel that was larger than this one?” Captain Bray asked him.

 

     “Yes, yes.”  

 

     “How were you spared kidnapping?” Captain Bray asked him.  

 

     “I was hitting the head below deck at the time. I was opening the hatch that led up to the main deck when I saw the bright light and shut the hatch.”  

 

     “You said the captain and crew were removed from the deck. So you’re the only one that didn’t share their fate.” 

 

     “There were two other crew members that were below deck at the time. They loaded up one of the lifeboats with a chest of gold and gems and enough rum and food to hold them for at least a week. They said the ship was cursed and didn’t want to be here when the flying craft returned.”  

 

     “Why did you stay aboard the ship?”  

 

     “I was waiting to be rescued. There is enough food and drink aboard the ship to last for weeks.”  

 

     One of the sailors said, “We also counted at least six chests of booty. But if the ship is cursed, maybe we should leave it.”  

 

     “Nonsense. We’ll take everything of value off of this ship along with the food and drink,” said Captain Bray. “It would be a waste to leave it behind.”  

 

     Another sailor rushed into the cabin and said, “There is a flying vessel off the port side about a quarter mile away. What should we do?” 

 

 

     What should they do? Maybe you’ll know and complete this story.   

 

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