Chapter 2. Quartermaster’s Report
That was the only word for it.
No, there was another, an add-on to emphasize the level of defeat.
The classification was undeniable.
A dead captain.
A burnt-to-the-waterline ship.
Dead crew, but for a handful that jumped overboard or were put off on longboats.
All to a single ship that out-sailed, out-gunned, out-fought the ship-of-the-line of His Majesty’s Navy.
They were adrift for three days, rowing like madmen against the ocean current before they got to an island.
The curses of having no navigator or maps.
The navigator, captain and the talented helmsman that knew how to read the sea better than anyone were all obliterated in the lopsided battle with a crew of child-pirates.
A cannonball cares not for who fired it or where it goes. Random chance, the will of gods, demons and a roll of the infinite dice of the Lord God determine a sailor’s life in battle.
And in politics, those that administer care little for God’s Will or Random Chance.
There was a ship lost, that was the question that the minister wanted answered from the only surviving officer of the Worcester.
And “Will of God” was not going to be an acceptable answer. There, the summons came.
Dressed in his military best, he entered into the chambers and walked where the squire led him.
His heels made an echo on the fitted stone floor as he walked down the hall into the chambers of proprietary governor’s office.
His Highness Gurdman Stonecutter, Governor For the Virginia Colony stood in the middle of the Great Room that served as his chambers. Tall, he was over six-feet and four inches tall and towered over everyone in the court and at ten-stone, he weighed less than most men.
Informally, his peerage called him “Longstrider”, something that he did not object to.
Archibald Whyte, late of the Worcester stood respectfully off to the side as told by the Governor’s secretary, until the Governor turned and addressed him.
“Tell me a story, Quartermaster. What happened to the King’s ship I gave to Captain Willim?” The Governor said as he sat in a large chair, built just for him. The secretary poured a large cup of wine for the Governor, leaving Quartermaster Whyte standing, without refreshment.
It was going to be a long afternoon.