Pass The Pen
Chapter Twenty - Four: A Take-Over
by Claartjke


From where they sat, Shelley and Horatio could hear the gun shots fired by the Indy. When first heard the sound came from a distance, but in the short time they remained at their spot, the sound grew louder and louder.
"Mr. Hornblower! It is time for action. We still have your friend, and this ship to take over. I believe that was the original plan, wasn't it?" Shelley wispered to Horatio.
"Ehm, hm. Yes, sir, it was."
The pirate ship sailed deeper into the fog, but with the Indy following her. Ramangard shouted his orders to fire back at the Indy, and to be prepared in case the Indy were to have another try at taking over the 'La Morte Noire'.
"They will not have her! Not my ship. I am more free here than anywhere else, and it will not be taken from me. Not from me."
*** Meanwhile on the Indy, Pellew paced on the deck to and fro. "What is happening over there, who is in command? That is one thing I'd like to know" he said to himself. The shooting at the 'La Morte Noire' had stopped for a while now the ship was getting out of sight and range.
"Sir?" Bowles asked "Aren't we going to follow more closely?"
"Of course we are, but watch the fog, she can cover us, but also reveal our position. You can never know."
"Monsieur Bracegirdle" Ramangard spoke "where is your capitan now, and your Mr Hornblower? Hmmm?" Ramangard was talking to Bracegirdle, both men on an other side of the bars. "I see Picard tied you up nicelyÖ even if your friends come rescue you, it will take them hours before you are untied."
"You won't get away with this Ramangard!" Bracegirdle hissed.
"yes. I know that. Do you take me for a fool? I will not get away with this, but I must be caught firstÖ and with this for there is a change to get away. As you have noticed, I am very willing to take that chance." Ramangard said to Bracegirdle. "My plan to use you as a hostage has not changed, it is only a little postponed." Without saying another word Ramangard left.
Ramangard walked close past a door, and hesitated to knock. "NoÖ better not now, later." he said to himself and walked on. A little later the door opened, and Horatio and Shelley came out of the room.
"That was close!" "Shh, he may be close still." "Where on earth did you get the idea to hide there?" "Because it was close to the cot, where your Mr. Bracegirdle is, that's why. Now be quiet."
"Shh, not a sound." Two figures came from the dark corner on his left. One seemed more familiar to him than the other. "Mr. Hornblower?"
"Shh! Not a s i n g l e sound. Please."
One of them stood watch, while the other cut the ropes around Bracegirdles wrists and ankles. "I bet Ramangard forgot about knifes being used to 'untie' ropesÖ"
"Quick, come this way."
Three men quickly, but without making the smallest noise, entered the room where Horatio an Shelley had come from.
"Now you can speak up." Shelley said.
"You have come to get me out, but how are we going to get off this ship?"
"We won't. We will take her over." Horatio said.
"With only us three? Mr. Hornblower, I have seen you do amazing things, and luck seems always to be on your side, but I am afraid that this time we don't stand a chance." Bracegirdle sighed.
"I believe it is possible, here is the planÖ"
"Picard, Where is La Forge? Get him here!" Ramangard ordered. "I should have asked him myself earlier. Why did I walk on? I need him to work the guns, advice, what to do with the prisoner."
"Shh! Footsteps. Hornblower, Mr.Bracegirdle, behind the door."
When the door opened the only sounds were the shriek of the door and a sort of 'clunk' was heard, when a piece of wood hit Picards head.
"Good, now we tie him up too, and head for Mr. Ramangard himself. Leave him here with that 'La Forge' friend of his."
Again the door opened, and the three men left.
"Captain Pellew, sir, we are closing in on her now, she seems to have slown down." Kennedy told his captain. "I thought you might want to see this for yourself sir" and he handed over his spyglass.
Through the fog, the 'La Morte Noire' could be seen to slow down. The top sails were taken up, and more to follow.
"Who is doing that? He sure is doing us a favour, she sails with less sails."
"Sir, I don't think they have noticed, perhaps it is not their plan, but someone elses. See, when you look up it is only 10 ft sight. Everything above those 10 ft cannot be seen from the deck. It is a risky try, but I'd say Mr. Hornblower is behind this." Kennedy said.
"Mr. Hornblower would never be so foolish. The chance to get discovered is too great to risk it, and if it is Mr. Hornblower, where is Mr. Bracegirdle, can you answer me that?"
"No sir, but I do think it is Mr. Hornblower. See, he is slowing down te ship, perhaps has taken over some of the crew, but he cant not do it all by himself. And even if it is isn't Mr.Hornblower, the ship is slowing down and gives us a good opportunity to take over the pirates."
"Mr. Kennedy, I think you are too optimistic, but it is worth a chance. Where is Mr. Bowles. Mr. Kennedy, get me Mr Bowles!"
"Aye, sir."
"Are you sure this is going to work? I mean, it did not sound like a plan to me, just stupid orders. And not from me!"
"Mr. Bracegirdle, can't you see it is working? It doesn't matter how, as long as it works. And of course the Indy should come back within sight soon now we've slowed this lady down. Come help me with those other sails, the slower the better."
"Mr. Hornblower."
"Yes Mr. Shelley?"
"Don't you think it is time for 'plan B'?"
"You are absolutely right, Mr. Shelley, be my guest!"

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