Plunders Beyond the Devil’s Eye

Part two

The Cays to the North - New Light of Morning

Hidden in an inlet at the Cays with ships safely anchored, the pirate fleet held counsel on a nearby beach.  All railed at Vane - “What were ye thinkin’? Now we got no chance for a pardon! Ye've gone and sealed our fate, sign'n all our death warrants. Lost yer mind, ye have!”  

Vane scoffed while he took a drag of his old clay skull pipe. “Ye better watch your tone, lads. Remember who ye talkin’ to here. I gotta bottle o’ rum here that says your ship’s next. Keep your eyes on the prize, and ye won’t need a pardon where we’re going…”.

Red Harry threw down his armband in disgust.  “No more, Charlie - no more.  I don’t know who or what has gotten into that head of yours, but I ain't followin’ ye to some fairy tale place through the Devil’s Eye. I fancy me life! I don’t know about you, lads. I vote no confidence.” 

A hush fell over the fleet. At first, they hesitated, but then, one after another, did the same. A pile of sashes piled up on the beach, all but Vane’s second - Captain “Calico” Jack Rackham, who looked uncomfortable in this predicament.  

Vane’s First Mate Cyrus held Davie back – the boy bursting to defend his father’s honor.  

Red Harry spoke again. “I say Jack Rackham should command this fleet!”.  

“Aye” and “Aye,” and “Aye,” echoed throughout the pirate band.  

Vane’s face clouded over - his eyes darkening.  With a twisted smile, he warned them all,  

“Faithless fiends, you’ll be sorry.” Vane mocked, “And you, I thought at least ye would be true, Jackie. I Took ye under me wing and gave ye your own ship. Treated ye like me own brother.”

“Aye, but a true pirate looks out for his’self. Don’t he, Cap’n?” Captain Calico responds.

Vane took an unbothered, overly-long drag of his pipe once more and blew the smoke right in Calico’s face. Furiously, he kicked the pile of sashes and sand toward the backstabbing pirates.

“You can keep the fleet! No need for yous anymore anyway.”

Vane called to his own crew, “Make ready! We sail for the Eye - now!” 

Nassau - Government House - Early Morning

Captain Julius and Cornelius burst into Governor Rogers’ office.  “Your Honor, I have trustworthy intelligence that Vane is headed to the Devil’s Eye. I know this man, and he will stop at nothing. I request a faster ship.”  

Governor Rogers refused, “I understand he’s under your skin, Captain, but I will not risk more men and a ship for this chase of madness. If what you say is true, Vane is sailing to his death anyway.”

“Understood, Sir.” Julius saluted the Governor and walked out of the office.

Julius confided to Cornelius outside the Government House: “Rogers doesn’t know Vane as I do - can I count on your loyalty?”

On the Open Sea South of Nassau - Enroute to the Eye

For two days, the Phoenix sailed towards the Devil’s Eye - Vane feverish with vengeance and greed. When the sun began to set on the second day, Vane spotted the moon rising - at last; the eclipse was approaching. “Come on up, you beaut…lead me to your secrets.”

The ship’s lookout called from the crow’s nest: “Royal Navy Ship off the Port Stern!”
Captain Julius had found them.  

Vane was surprised but unconcerned - “he’ll never catch us in that ol’ galley. Full speed ahead!”  

But Julius was flying towards them in a commandeered sloop he snuck without permission, the HMS Lark.

Vane’s lookout shouted, “They are gaining, Captain!”.  

Vane bellowed, “Give it all ye got, boys. Tonight, we will be gods on the other side!”  

The lookout shouted again, “Cap’n, they’re rolling out the guns!” 

Julius signaled from the Lark for Vane to surrender, but Vane did not respond. The Lark fired a warning shot - it struck only a ship’s length away from the Phoenix.

Vane, unbothered, stared at the newly risen moon, took a measurement with his old mysterious sextant, and hurriedly made a calculation. He looked up wildly, “South by Southwest!  Ah, Jackie, you made the wrong choice, lad. They’ll all be sorry!” 

Cyrus looked nervously at Vane.