The sturdy ship Surprise sat peacefully in a charming port in the Americas. She was moored next to a government building. It was an incongruous sight to see her there, since from her flag staff she was flying the red flag meaning the vicious pirate ship would give no quarter to merchant ships in her sights who resisted capture. Surely the pirate captain knew that Royal authorities would see the dreaded sign and seize the outlaw. I have to tell ye leavin’ that dreaded sign flyin’ was a major oversight of the ship’s quartermaster and boatswain, not to mention the Captain himself.
To satiate me curiosity I boarded the vessel via the aft lanyard to investigate. Other than a few barrels o’ hardtack, sacks o’ grain, a store o’ cannon balls and gun powder she was deserted. I later learned that, sure enough, the authorities had spotted the ship’s red flag and after a brief battle at sea captured her and brought her into port. Now, the unruly crew sits in the local prison awaiting transport to Port Royal were they will surely be tried and hanged.
Me crew and I offered to furnish them with books to make their stay in prison productive. The local magistrate asked why we would bother. I told him that with pirates you never know and if they should escape doing some powerful reading might set them on a different path. “Aye!” says he, “reading is wholesome and can be redemptive. Bring on your plunder.” Aye, we did and have hopes that books will do their magic.