Aboard the Pirate: Roving the West Indies
Well, Oliver, the faster you see the captain, the faster you’ll get some grub.”
She bore the stiffness and mustered the strength to speed up the descent. The two entered the captain’s quarters with permission. The sailor explained her condition while the wide-eyed captain observed Olivia. He dismissed the man and waited for the cabin door to close.
Then he summoned her with his index finger to come closer. “I’d know those eyes anywhere. Child, what do you want from me?”
She spoke in her natural voice. “Please let me work on your ship. Save for fainting if I don’t drink and eat straightaway, I promise to work hard and true.”
She held onto the back of a chair to steady her feeble self. Captain Grant got up from the bench and assisted her to sit down.
He looked down at the floor thinking for a minute, before saying, “My dear, amidst your isolation, you are unaware that we are four miles out to sea.”
“But I saw a bright light in the distance a short while ago,” she said.
“Indeed, there is a stretch of land extending into the mouth of the Delaware River on its northwest side called Cape Henlopen. On it sits a lighthouse whose light you can still see from my window,” he said, walking over to the large framed window across the stern’s end.
Olivia struggled to her feet and shuffled to the window to see. There it was, like a lone star shining brightly in the night sky.
He supported her by the elbow. “That’s your lucky star, given that we’re too far from the river to turn back. But tell me, what will your mother think, or rather react?”
Olivia smiled and embraced him. “I owe you my life, sir, she said, and took the nearest seat.
“You obviously disguised yourself as a boy and the watchman was no more the wiser. Let me see, what should we name you?”
“Water,” she rasped.
“All right then. Walter.”
She raised her voice. “No, I said ‘water’. Give me water. The watchman already knows me as Oliver. My last name is Pascal, in case you ask.”