A Hallowing Evening
by Jamie

A Hallowing Evening - part one

"You know what day it is?" Styles asked Oldroyd.
"Nah, it is just another day to me,"Oldroyd replied.
"It's All Hallows Eve. This is the day when all the ghost and goblins come out to haunt. They pick on unsuspecting simpletons," Styles said trying to scare Oldroyd.
"You mean they are coming after you, too?" Matthews told Styles.
"Hey, there!" Styles interjected.
"I know all about ghosts and goblins. I know about witches, too. I ain't as stupid as I look, you know," Oldroyd told the two of them.
"No, you are stupider," Styles shot back.
"Enough of that jabbering. Mr. Hornblower wants us to get our work done. I don't want him breathing down our necks,"Matthews told his mates.
They finished off their work and went to dinner. Lt. Bracegirdle came up to their table and spoke to them.
"Well, gentlemen, how are we this evening?" Bracegirdle asked.
"Fine, just fine,"Matthews replied.
"Good, good. You do know there is a masquerade party given tonight, don't you?" Lt. Bracegirdle told them.
"Yes, but I assumed that was just for the officers," Matthews told Bracegirdle.
"All the members of the ship are invited -- Captain's orders. He says it is good for morale."
"I ain't got no costume," Oldroyd announced.
"You don't really need one. Just enjoy the party."
"Where is it being held? Is there free food, beer and women?" Styles asked with smirk on his pock marked face.
"It is being held at the Old Benbow Inn. A bunch of us are going to go after dinner, want us to wait for you?" the Lieutenant asked.
"You really want us to come along with you, sir?" Matthews asked.
"Why not? It will just be for tonight."
"I am game for it. What about you fellows?" Styles asked.
"I would love to get off the ship for a little while. It should be amusing," Oldroyd stated.
"Good then, I will meet you on the deck at 8 bells," Bracegirdle said to them as he left the crew mess.
"Imagine that. I must be dreaming. The officers actually want to be with us people,"Styles said with amazement.
"I am waiting to wake up, but I ain't so sure all three of us would be having the same dream at the same time,"Oldroyd said.
"I am just waiting to see if the dream turns into a nightmare," Matthews replied.
Up on deck, the others were waiting. There was Master Bowles, Lt. Bracegirdle, Mr. Heathers, Horatio Hornblower and Archie Kennedy.
"Glad you could make it gentlemen, we are just waiting for Mr. Cleveland to join us,"Bracegirdle said cheerfully.
No one was dressed in a costume, so that made the Three feel better.
Styles whispered to Matthews, "Better not have a costume than have one if'en nobody else is not wearing one."
Matthews nodded in agreement to Styles's statement, then got into the boat. Cleveland shuffled along the deck to meet everyone. Bracegirdle had Bowles steer the jolly boat.
Matthews looked towards the shore and said, "You can hardly see any lights on the pier, sir."
"That is odd, it is usually lit up like a Christmas tree,"Bowles replied.
"Wrong holiday, sir. Styles says it is All Hallows Eve," Oldroyd said.
All the men in the boat just stared at Oldroyd for a second. Horatio broke the silence by saying, "Bowles is right, when we loaded the jolly boat, everything on the pier was lit up."
"Where is the pier now? Or the Indy for that matter?" Cleveland asked.
"There it is, over there,"Heathers said as he pointed to a ship.
"That is not the Indy, that is the Justinian," Archie uttered with a dumbfounded tone.
"It can't be the Justinan, we saw her sink with our own eyes," Bracegirdle responded.
Archie's face went blank. Bowles asked him if he was all right.
Archie gulped for air and hesitantly said, "I am fine, just fine."
Matthews put a reassuring hand on Archie's shoulder and said in a fatherly tone, "You will be all right, don't you worry."
"Thank you, Matthews,"Archie said between breaths.
Bracegirdle noticed that they were steering towards the ship and asked Bowles, "Are you steering us in the right direction?"
"I am trying, but she is floating herself. Almost like we are being sucked towards the old ship," Bowles exclaimed.
"Good Gracious! That is the Justinian!" Heathers cried out.
"She does look worse for wear, doesn't she?" Cleveland added.
"Is that a ghost ship, sir?" Oldroyd asked.
"Ghosts? There is no such thing as ghosts!"Bracegirdle demanded.
"Then how are you going to explain Mr. Simpson waving to us from the deck, sir?" Styles said as he looked straight ahead.

As we last left our heroes. They were on a jolly boat on their way to a masquerade party, when mysterious things began to happen. The boat was being pulled towards the ghost ship of the Justinian.
"Quick men! Grab an oar! We have to get away from this apparition!" Archie shouted in panic.
Archie and Horatio grabbed an oar and started to row away from the ship but with no luck.
"Your rowing is getting us there faster not pulling us away!" Bracegirdle demanded.
"I don't understand it, sir," Matthews cried out.
Jack Simpson was in calling range and exclaimed, "Come aboard my friends, join the party. It has been such a long time."
"I am not going on that ship! I would rather be cast adrift a million times than see that man again!" Archie told everyone.
"This has got to be a prank of some kind," Styles announced.
"We can only hope so," Matthews said as the jolly boat glided against the ghost ship.
Jack called down to everyone, "Good Evening gentlemen. Cleveland, Heathers, my old friends, how have you been?"
"Jack, what are you doing here?" Heathers asked.
"We thought you were dead,"Cleveland said.
"Ah, yes, thanks to Snotty, here. I see you have brought your little pal, Archie. I thought I got rid of you," Simpson said with a snarl.
"I can say the same for you, but here you are," Archie mumbled.
"What are your plans for us? Is your Captain here?" Bracegirdle asked.
"I am Captain here, this ship is mine! Captain Keene met with an unfortunate accident, twice. One while living, and once while dead," Simpson said with a devilish gleam in his eye.
Styles whispered to Matthews and said, "Remember when you said our dream may become a nightmare? Well, welcome to my nightmare."
"Mr. Simpson never disturbed us, but I am afraid for Mr. Kennedy. I don't like the way that Simpson is eyeing him and I am afraid Mr. Kennedy may have a fit,"Matthews told Styles.
Across the deck, two blond sailors were arguing. The younger of the two whined, "Why did you stamp the fruit? I'm Huuunnngry!"
"It's English beef we want, and English beer! I don't want fruit. All they ever give me is fruit and burgoo. I am tired of it. I helped save that Spanish Captain, why am I stuck here with you? You are always hungry!" The elder of the two men yelled as he stamped his foot on the deck.
"Mr. Hunter, come over here and take our guest downstairs," Simpson said.
Mr. Hunter walked over to the men. Hunter tripped over his own feet on the way. Oldroyd gave a little chuckle.
"All of you, come with me, except for you,"Hunter said as he pointed to Bracegirdle.
"Why can't I go with my men?" Bracegirdle demanded.
"We have other plans for you. Besides, I am just following Captain's orders, sir. I am, after all, the King's man. I do what I am told."
Horatio and the rest were put into a locked room below deck. They heard a man cry and then a loud splash.
"That is Bracegirdle, I know it! They have killed Bracey! I won't stand for it. Let me out! Let me out, I say!" Archie said as he pounded on the door.
"Calm down, Archie, are you sure you are all right?" Horatio said concernedly.
"All right? All right! Why do people keep asking me that? I am not all right! Can't you people tell when I am having a nervous breakdown? For goodness sake! Let me out of here!" Archie shouted as he pounded on the door.
The younger blond man opened a little window in the door and asked, "What do you want? You can't have any food, we are on half rations."
"I don't care about your rations. I have to get out of here!" Archie yelled at him.
Horatio got up and walked over to the door. "Mr. Bunting, I am not surprised to see you on this ship. You haven't changed a bit. Please let my friend out," He calmly asked.
"Well, I know that Mr. Simpson wants to see him. He might as well see him now, rather than later," Bunting said as he unlocked the door.
Archie realized what Simpson had in mind for him, but he thought that if he made a mad dash, he would be able to escape.
As Bunting opened the door, Archie ran out the door and up the steps. The men heard gunshots and heard something hit the deck.
"First Bracegirdle and now Kennedy, I wonder who is next?" Oldroyd asked as he wrapped himself up in a ball.
The men tried to sleep that night, but between the rattling chains and the pain over losing their friends, it was tough to sleep.
The next morning, someone unlocked the door. Everyone looked around the room and wondered who would be the next to leave.
"Rise and Shine, gentlemen, it is another day!" It was Bracegirdle, he was not dead. With him was Mr. Kennedy, very much alive.
"With the?" Styles asked.
"We thought we would treat you men to trick or treat. We decided on the trick rather than the treat," Bracegirdle chuckled to himself.
"Of all the nasty jokes, what about the ship? What about the ghosts?" Heathers asked.
"The ship is the Julia. She is a sister ship to the Justinian. The ghosts are actors. Horatio and Miss Katherine Cobham helped with them. I did my part, too. I always wanted to be an actor," Archie said with a smile.
"Horatio? That is not like you to play such a prank,"Cleveland said.
"I just played along with help from Archie, Bracegirdle and Bowles. It pays to have friends in high places and in low," Horatio explained.
"Bowles is in on it, too, sir?" Matthews asked.
"Someone had to steer the boat to the Julia. We are sorry if we scared you. I am surprised we were allowed to have it work. I was sure you would notice the slight difference in voices between the actors. They did their work and that part was well done," Bowles said.
"Does this mean there are no ghosts?" Oldroyd asked.
Just then, a cold, fierce wind blew. It was as if the spirit world was answering Oldroyd's question.
Archie said, "I can't answer that question. I would have to say there is something out there. What it is, I don't know. But, I would definitely say there is something out there."

The End
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