bound by decencycaptured by freedommenaced by nobilitybedeviled by propriety

Bound by Decency

Captured by Freedom

Menaced by Nobility

Bedeviled by Propriety

Monday, May 21

Division of Ideals

February 2, 1717

England lies behind us now. With the wares from Singapore logged and accounted, we sail for the Colonies. The crew has weathered the seas, though at times these last few months I began to question if they would not all be better suited amongst the sharks. A more disagreable, unsatisfiable lot I have ever met. These honest seamen, these men who sail to bring trade goods simper like women over the most ordinary things.

But I wander in my thoughts. Greater things concern me, most especially now that the seamen are not spilling tears into their mugs. During my brief visit on the mainland, I met again with William Prescott and Richard to discuss our forthcoming merger. We will sign the final accounts upon my return from this voyage west. Mister Prescott is a most fair businessman, and I find his dealings shrewd in a most admirable fashion.

'Tis a matter of business Richard spoke of, when Prescott concluded his discourse for the day. He presented to me three ledgers, the accounts for a minor fleet of Prescott's, North Atlantic Freight. It would be unwise to put to quill and parchment the precise details of what conversation occured upon the presentation of these financial records. The nature of my friendship with Grey is such that I would not wish to embarrass him should these meger thoughts end up in the wrong hands.

Suffice it to say that I found myself looking on a concerning matter. Figures that speak to a practice I cannot endorse, that of slavery. A practice it would seem the esteemed Mister Grey has come to the decision he wishes to pursue. A dispicable business, of which, he and I do not share the same mind. We argued fair violently; he as adamant we should pursue the limited course North Atlantic Freight has assumed and expand it, and I adamant we shall return to a life of paupers before we subject men to the vile conditions on a slaving ship. They are men, I say.

When I reminded Grey of our pact upon leaving The Flying Gang's waters, his memory experienced a moment of clarity, and he recalled, quite succinctly, that we were in the business of shipping market wares not human bodies. He declared I should forget the matter and we shall not visit the conversation with Prescott about assuming this portion of his trade.

Still, I cannot say that I am pleased with our notes of parting. Grey is displeased,;I am uncomfortable with the knowledge the man I would call brother is so driven by the accumulation of great wealth. It is not as if we require the additional coin. Grey and Cathain has done quite well. It leaves me, as I sail these chill waters, with the awareness that my presence should make itself known more frequently on land. My interests in this business cannot be so overlooked if I made it habit to linger in London more oft than I do.

I will have to debate the matter more. The time has come for me to join this feckless crew for morning watch. Eight bells rings, and I will tend to the recording of my thoughts another time.

~@ Cain

Saturday, January 28

The Hush of Night

January 7, 1717

The candle burns dim as I compose these words. My eyes grow weary, my body even more so, but my mind will not allow me to rest. When I do, the dreams come. The dreams I dare not speak of, yet hold so dear to my heart. It is a time when I am free to be as I will, where there is no shame in word or deed, and where Teddy...

I must not think of those things now. My heart knows it is wrong. I am to wed Richard Grey, and yet, the very thought of him touching me the way Teddy does in my slumber makes me wish to weep. He came to call today, as ardent as ever in his pursuit. There is but one merit in a life forever bound to propriety: he vows that as his wife, he will allow me to run North Atlantic Freight as I desire. It is my fondest wish, one my father, bless his loving heart, despises.

I see a bright future. Trade routes we have yet to explore with hungry markets. With the gab about France's protective assertations on purebred brandy, the sugar markets will demand new ports. I yearn to be part of that. To establish myself as an equal and competant ally with my father, and Richard and Teddy's grand venture in partnership. What a sight it would be if my records exceeded mine husband's!

But such hopes would be vain, and I am too well-bred to dream of such. If it should happen it will be because fate desired such. My father would be shamed, and for that alone I do not speak of these dreams to anyone but Richard.

With the merger of the Grey and Cathain fleet into Prescott Shipping, I would be wise to keep mum about my piddly fleet. Richard will be well received, myself as well. I should not wish to damage that reputation.

But alas, if only life could bear the hope of dreams. What a different world this might be. Perhaps I should be lucky enough to know that world. New horizons greet us all, and for those who rely upon the sea for livelihood, tis a grand season of opportunity.

And now, I fear, its time to let slumber collect me. I know that my secrets are safe here, yet still my hand hesitates to compose the words I wish to most. I shake as I confess, 'tis Teddy, the man I have never met yet hear so much about, I cannot wait to see again when I close my eyes and embrace wickedness.


Sunday, January 22

From the Captain's Journal

January 5, 1717

For the first time in three arduous days the lady of the deep dark blue is calm. It has been a long journey this year from Singapore, and my men are suffering.  Two fell off the rigging when a fierce gale whipped them free.  We saved Emery, but I fear Phillippe was swept away.  Seven more are in The Kraken's belly with Stuart, their lungs full of salt and their minds riddled by fever.

It is times like these I do lament the heartier, sturdier men I once knew.  While I can find no true objection to the men in my employ this season, it would seem as if they lack the will to live, unlike those who sailed with The Flying Gang.  Avast! What would the mighty Royce say of this weakened crew?  Nightshade would leave them all upon the nearest port, I am quite certain.  And Drake?  Drake would curse them for the despots they are and trade them to the nearest slaver, should one, let alone two find it impossible to hold fast to the lines amidst a gale.

But this is my course, the one I have willingly chosen.  There is no life for a seaman who cannot abide by the maritime laws or who must live with a pistol tucked beneath his head at night.  The joys were many, but it is a greater future I desire.

Richard has proven there is opportunity in a noble life, though this I have long known.  Just before my departure from London he announced he is to wed India Prescott.  It is a shame I had to miss the engagement celebration.  I should like to meet this lass who has him so besotted.  Though, I confess, I wonder how much of his joy comes from the promise of marriage or the promise of her father's significant power and wealth.

Damnation!  The men are at it once again.  I grow so weary of the constant complaints, the whining that is more akin to woman than my ears can tolerate.

For another day,

~@ Cain

Warning Fair Tresspasser

You be knowin' who we are, mate.  We be knowin' why yer here.

Should you think of touchin' that shiny lil' box there... Let's just say we don't be recommendin' it.

Unless you be willin' to lose yer hand.