The Good Ship Saucy Nancy.
This is a story about some very frightening pirates who sailed the seas in their beautiful pirate ship, the Saucy Nancy.
These pirates were a desperate and dangerous crew who robbed from other ships and who came ashore at night to drink beer and play the pokies. They were feared throughout the world and where ever the pirates went, they were treated with great respect. If anyone crossed them, the pirate gang would wave their swords and shoot off their pistols and make an awful noise. Ladies would stay indoors when they came to town. Policemen would go on holidays. Those pirates were frightened of no one!
The Saucy Nancy in action: the most beautiful pirate ship in the South Pacific.
The most terrible of these terrible pirates was their leader, Captain Zachary Blackheart. He was a big, ugly man with a big belly and a scarf tied around his dirty black hair. This pirate swore louder than any of his mates; he had a fiery temper and a sharper cutlass and he would wave it around and threaten to chop the head off anyone who crossed him. On his shoulder he carried a beautiful green and red parrot named Saddam who also had a terrible temper. Captain Blackheart had lost an eye in a fight with a policeman and so he always wore a black patch over the scar. You just had to look at that terrible face to know what a scoundrel and a rogue he was.
Captain Blackheart had a terrible temper and very bad manners.
Captain Blackheart loved his parrot, Saddam, and he loved his beautiful boat, the Saucy Nancy. He loved to have a cup of tea every morning when the Saucy Nancy was at sea, gliding through the waves, chasing the whales and the dolphins and looking simply beautiful in the sea breeze. He loved to have a bottle of beer in the evening just as the sun was setting. The ship’s cook and bo’sun, Mr Smee, would serve the captain but I must say he did this very poorly – always spilling the tea or slopping the beer. You see, Mr Smee had a wooden leg. He had been in a fight with a shark and the greedy shark had bitten his leg clean off. When the boat pitched in the waves, Mr Smee’s wooden leg would slide about on the deck of the boat and he would spill the tea or slosh the beer about on the deck. Captain Blackheart would swear at the poor bo’sun; he liked to have things on the Saucy Nancy all ship shape and nice. Poor Mr Smee would also spill the soup and he was a hopeless cook. I think that Captain Blackheart was often grumpy because he hadn’t had a good dinner. Hungry and grumpy, the pirate chief would call for more beer or a bottle of rum.
The Captain liked lots of things but more than anything, he loved treasure. All pirates love treasure of course, but Captain Blackheart loved it more than anything. He kept his treasure in a special chest and would only look at it when he was alone in his cabin with the door locked. Then he would take the key from around his neck, open the chest and look at the beautiful jewels and golden treasures that filled the treasure chest.
There was a beautiful diamond necklace he had snatched from a grand lady on the Gold Coast. There were pearls from a fat lady tourist in Cooktown, a beautiful crown that he had stolen from a Princess in Proserpine and emeralds he had pinched from the post office in Port Douglas. There were gold doubloons and pieces of eight – the gold coins all pirates loved to steal. There was a silver cup the wicked pirates had stolen from the cathedral church in Townsville and gold Amex cards picked from the pockets of decent folk on the streets of Palm Island.
Captain Blackheart’s Treasure Chest: It was filled with wonderful gold and jewels.
When he was on his own, Captain Blackheart would put on the crown and diamond necklace, drink from the silver cup and finger the gold Amex Cards. He would run his fingers through the gold coins, the pearls and the emeralds, all the time gloating about what a clever pirate he was – how brave and how handsome! Saddam would squawk and cry “Plucky Pirate! Who’s a wicked boy then?” Sometimes Captain Blackheart would try to count all his treasure but he wasn’t good at sums and would put it back in the box and then under his bed for safe keeping.
The Saucy Nancy always sailed with the pirate flag – the Jolly Roger skull and cross bones. When people saw that flag, they knew that pirates were about and ran for cover. Captain Blackheart loved to fly the flag; he loved to see it flap in the breeze and frighten everyone. He really was a rich and terrible pirate.
The Jolly Roger – the pirate flag that Captain Blackheart loved.
Katie and Emily – the Pirate Girls.
Katie and Emily were two little girls who lived very hard lives. They were poor orphan girls who lived in a horrible workhouse with a mean lady known as the Matron. They didn’t have enough to eat; they only had poor shabby clothes and the mean lady made them work hard all day. They had to scrub the floors and wash the clothes and cook the dinner for the Matron. She had lamb chops for dinner every night but poor Katie and Emily only had a crust of bread and some water. So it was that they decided to run away and try their fortunes in the world.
One night after they had finished the washing up and had eaten their bread and water, Emily said, “Katie, I’m going to run away tomorrow. It’s horrible living here in the workhouse. I want to go to sea and sail in a big boat through the South Seas. Wouldn’t it be fun to live on coconuts and fish and chips!”
“Oh, Emily,” said Katie, “if you’re running away, I’m coming too. I think if I scrub another floor or do another load of washing I’ll crumple up. Let’s go as soon as it gets light.”
Katie and Emily after a hard day in the workhouse.
And they did. They didn’t have any money and they only had a few apples to eat but the very next day when the sun came up, they stole away from the workhouse and headed towards the sea. I won’t tell you what a hard and terrible journey that was. The girls walked all day – it was a very long way – but at last when it was late in the afternoon, they came to the sea.
The girls were tired and hungry but when they saw the sea and felt the sea breeze they were very excited. Now all they needed was to find a place to work and they would be happy.
The girls wandered down to the port to look at all the boats. Surely someone would give them a job. Finally, when their hearts were heavy and they thought they would never find a place to take them in, they came to the most beautiful of all the ships. On the side of the ship in splendid gold letters was the ship’s name: Saucy Nancy. At the gangplank of the ship there was a notice. This is what it said: Wanted: Two Cabin Boys. Apply to Captain Blackheart.
Captain Blackheart was sitting at a table on the deck of the ship, enjoying a nice bottle of beer and smoking his pipe. A wicked looking parrot was on his shoulder and the girls felt very scared at first. When he saw the girls, however, the Captain gave a nicer smile than you might have thought such a wicked man could give. He gave the girls a gentle bow.
“Ah, my Dears,” said the Captain, “and what would two beautiful young ladies like you be wanting on my fine ship, the Saucy Nancy?”
“Please sir,” said Katie, dropping a curtsey, “we’d like to apply for the positions of Cabin Boys you have advertised at the gang plank.”
“Can you carry a cup of tea without spilling it everywhere?” demanded the Captain in a fierce voice.
“Oh yes, we can,” said Katie.
“Can you make a ham sandwich for my lunch” asked the Captain.
“To be sure we can,” said Emily.
“Then you can come on board and be my Cabin Boys,” said the Captain.
“Thank you, Sir,” the girls said.
“Say, ‘Aye Aye, Sir!’ ” roared the Captain.
“Aye Aye Sir!” the girls roared back. Katie and Emily were enjoying life on the Saucy Nancy already.
Captain Blackheart roared for Bo’sun Smee to come on deck and when he did, he sent the girls off to find their cabin. It was a sweet little one right next to the kitchen with just enough room for two hammocks to swing and a tub for the girls to wash their faces. Mr Smee also found the girls their uniforms. Each of the girls had a sailor’s suit to wear with a smart blue hat. They each had an apron to wear when they were helping in the kitchen.
They put on their uniforms and reported to the galley where Mr Smee was making the dinner. The crew was going to have mutton stew and potatoes. Captain Blackheart was going to have beefsteak for dinner. Katie and Emily were surprised by the way that Mr Smee did the cooking. He didn’t wash his hands, for a start, and he hardly peeled the potatoes – he just threw them in the stew boiling on the stove. Everything was very rough and the food looked awful when it was finished.
Mutton Stew to Feed Hungry Pirates.
Katie and Emily carried the big pot of stew up to the deck and ladled it out to the crew. This was the worst part of all because the crew didn’t wash their hands and they had terrible manners. Some of the pirates slopped up the stew with their fingers. They made a disgusting, slurping sound while they ate and then licked their bowls and fingers and demanded their pudding. Emily just looked at Katie. What could they do?
The girls took the cooking pots back to the kitchen and left everything in the washing up sink. They brought the pudding up to the deck and the greedy pirates started to push and shove to be first.
The pudding was ice cream and jelly – Emily’s favourite. The Matron never gave the girls any pudding but one day she had visitors and Katie and Emily had to serve the pudding to the visitors. One lady didn’t finish her pudding and Emily ate it up later in the kitchen of the workhouse. Now Emily saw these greedy pirates pushing and shoving. Everyone wanted to have the biggest serve and to be served first.
The delicious ice cream and jelly pudding – and none for greedy pirates.
“I’ve had enough!” said Katie loudly. “No one gets any pudding until you’ve washed your hands and sat quietly for five minutes!”
“The pirates were astonished! No one had ever spoken to them like that before and they didn’t like it.
“Here, you give us our pudding right now, or I’ll make you walk the plank!” said a big ugly pirate with red hair.
“You heard my sister,” said Emily. “And if you don’t mind your manners, mister, you won’t get any!”
Things were looking very nasty at this moment and Katie and Emily didn’t know what they should do if the pirates turned unpleasant. But just at that moment, there was a bang and everyone ducked for cover. There on the deck was Captain Blackheart with his pistols drawn. He had fired them off together and now he looked more angry than even the nasty Matron in the workhouse.
“You heard what the girls said, you bunch of dirty scoundrels!” roared the Captain. “Get up the tub and wash your hands – and wash your face and behind your ears. And anyone who doesn’t scrub hard will get no pudding at all!”
The pirates sulked back to the tub and found the soap and the face washer. It took a long while to clean up those terrible pirates and Katie had to run below to get clean water before they were finished. At last they were done –and not a moment too soon because the ice cream was beginning to melt. Katie dug into the ice cream tub and Emily served the jelly. Katie made sure that each pirate was clean; Emily made sure that each one said “thank you”. When the pirates were finished their pudding, the girls collected the plates and the pirates could enjoy a smoke or a bottle of beer. Next morning, they would be off with the tide, sailing away.
While the pirates relaxed, Katie and Emily did the washing up. Mr Smee, very happy to have the girls in the kitchen, left them to do everything while he joined the lazy pirates in a game of cards. It took the girls ages but they had to hurry because Captain Blackheart wanted his dinner too. Katie cooked the steak and Emily steamed some nice vegetables. They arranged the dinner on a tray with a nice glass of cordial and Katie took it down to the Captain’s cabin. When the captain had eaten [he had two serves of pudding] the girls could settle down and enjoy some dinner themselves. How they enjoyed that mutton stew! They were so hungry they could have eaten the cooking pot as well. Then they had some jelly and ice cream. When it was time for bed, they slipped into their hammocks and fell asleep in a minute. The gentle rocking of the boat was the best feeling they could ever have.
Now that was the start of the happiest days in the girls’ lives. They went to sea next morning, the Saucy Nancy cutting through the waves and making a fine sight. The girls made the crew a nice breakfast and then settled down to clean up the kitchen which Mr Smee had left in a very big mess.
The washing up tub in the Saucy Nancy – a terrible mess indeed!
Once all the things were washed up and stacked to dry, Katie started to open cupboard and look in drawers. She found an old tea kettle and polished it up. She found some cake tins and scone trays and cleaned them as well. Best of all, Emily found in the bottom of the cupboard a nice coffee set with a big silver tea pot and milk jug. Captain Blackheart had bushranged this from the Governor’s own yacht and forgotten that it was there. The girls worked hard on the silver pots and soon they were gleaming. They made the crew salad sandwiches for lunch and then they made a nice batch of scones for afternoon tea. They served the scones with jam and cream on the deck and Emily cut some dainty cucumber sandwiches for those members of the crew who were particularly hungry.
The breeze blew beautifully as they served the scones and poured the tea. Captain Blackheart declared that these were the best cabin boys he had ever had on board ship. It was hard work for Katie and Emily but they weren’t afraid of that. They loved the Saucy Nancy and every time they might have wanted to be back on land, they only had to think of the horrible Matron and the dismal workhouse and they were happy again.
A Terrible Fight With Pirates.
One evening, the captain had anchored the Saucy Nancy in the lagoon of a beautiful coral island. It was a lovely night and Katie and Emily had made the crew their favourite dinner – sausages and baked beans – and everyone had eaten plenty. Now that Captain Blackheart was having nice dinners and his beer wasn’t being slopped by Mr Smee he was a much nicer pirate captain and no one had been made to walk the plank since Katie and Emily came on board. Everyone had settled down to sleep for the evening except Katie and Emily; they had sat up on the deck and watched the moonlight on the waves. It was very beautiful and I think that the girls probably fell asleep.
They were wakened by a strange sound: someone was climbing up the side of the boat! Some one was on the deck – someone with a big cutlass and a terrible sword. There was a sudden cry, a scrambling of feet and a lot of swearing.
Katie knew what it was and so did Emily. Pirates! The Saucy Nancy was being attacked by a pirate band. “Be very still,” Emily said. “Perhaps they won’t see us.”
And they didn’t. The wicked pirates had surprised the poor crew of the Saucy Nancy and they soon were all captured.
“Line those swabs up on the deck,” shouted a horrible voice. The attacking pirates were dressed all in black; they were dragging the struggling crew of the Saucy Nancy up on to the deck from the cabin below. All the crew had their pyjamas on – even Captain Blackheart. The pirates had tied their hands and legs with chains.
When he held up the lantern, Katie and Emily could see the face of the pirate chief; he had a wicked leer on his ugly dial.
“Well,” said Captain Blackheart sadly. “It’s Captain Pugwash of the Barracuda. I might have known!”
“Yes”, said the ugly pirate, “Your old friend, Captain Pugwash. And you, Captain Blackheart, will walk the plank tomorrow morning and I will take your boat – and all your treasure.”
You see, Captain Pugwash and Captain Blackheart used to be good friends until they had a quarrel about a parrot. Now they were the most terrible enemies and Captain Blackheart knew that the next morning, for certain, he would have to walk the plank. Probably he would be eaten by sharks in the lagoon. He would lose his beautiful boat and all his treasure. “Where is Mr Smee, that rascally, lazy bo’sun?” demanded Captain Pugwash.
Poor Mr Smee was unlocked and brought forward in his pyjamas.
“Now, Smee,” said Captain Pugwash, “I want you to go to the galley and bring us up all the beer and rum that you have on board. My men and I are thirsty and we are going to have a party!”
Captain Pugwash – another terrible pirate.
Mr Smee had forgotten all about the girls. He didn’t see them hiding behind the mast as he went downstairs; he only remembered them when he saw how tidy the kitchen was. Emily had cooked a beautiful apple pie for pudding and there was just one slice left, sitting on the window sill. Mr Smee would have liked to have eaten it but he was too frightened of what Captain Pugwash would do if he were slow coming back. He grabbed all the beer and rum that was in the cupboard and struggled back on deck.
“Lock all of these boobies in the aft cabin,” Captain Pugwash ordered, “and bring me the key.”
While the poor sailors were driven below to the prison cell, Captain Pugwash passed out the beer and the rum and soon all the sailors from the Barracuda were drinking and having a party. Katie and Emily watched them from their hiding place. There were six of them – and all of them were very nasty looking types.
Pretty soon the sailors had drunk all the beer and they were opening the bottles of rum. They passed the bottle around; they sloshed it down and made a mess on the deck. They drank and drank until there was no more beer and no more rum. Captain Pugwash had more than any one else – he was a very greedy sea captain. The pirates then told naughty jokes and sang rude songs; finally they all fell sound asleep on the deck.
When Katie and Emily were certain that the pirates were sound asleep, they ventured out from their hiding place very carefully. Katie crept across the deck as quiet as a mouse;
One of the drunken sailors from the Barracuda.
Emily kept watch to see if any of the pirates stirred. With great care, Katie lifted the key to the prison from out of Captain Pugwash’s pocket. Then they crept down the steps to the cabin where all the crew from the Saucy Nancy were locked away.
When they got to the cabin, they could hear some of the crew crying and Captain Blackheart and his parrot swearing very loudly. In fact, they were making so much noise that they didn’t hear Katie turn the key in the lock and the girls come running in.
When Captain Blackheart saw the girls he couldn’t believe his eyes. Saddam squawked so loudly that Emily thought he would wake the drunken pirates on the deck. It took a little while to unlock the chains on all the crew but once they had done this, it didn’t take much time at all to creep back on deck and surprise Captain Pugwash. Soon, the wicked crew of the Barracuda were chained up on the deck, still asleep and snoring loudly. That’s just how they were when they woke up in the morning. Imagine their surprise and anger when they found that they had been captured by two little girls!
What to do now with those wicked pirates? Captain Blackheart wanted to hang them all but the girls were very tender hearted. They persuaded the captain to put them ashore on the little coral island with some water and sandwiches. The police boat that sailed up the coast would be there any day now and would find them there and take them off to jail. Of course Captain Blackheart didn’t want to meet the police boat either so Captain Pugwash and his villainous crew were put ashore. Bo’sun Smee took four of the crew from the Saucy Nancy to be the new crew of the Barracuda. They would all sail on to Cairns and look for some more crew for both boats.
The night before the boats reached Cairns, Captain Blackheart gave a special party for the whole crew. Katie and Emily made sausage rolls; they had cheerios and potato chips and lollies. When everyone had eaten all that they could, Captain Blackheart gathered all the crew on deck and made a little speech. He told the crew that this was the happiest voyage they had had because they had the best dinners. And if it hadn’t been for Katie and Emily, they would all have been shark food and their beautiful boat would now be sailed by someone else. All the sailors clapped Katie and Emily and the girls were so proud.
Captain Blackheart had two enormous parcels under his arm and he gave one to Katie and one to Emily. And when the girls opened the parcels, they were absolutely astonished.
“Here you are, Katie,” said Captain Blackheart. “You can have this crown from my treasure chest. And you, Emily, can have this precious jewel.”
The crown that Captain Blackheart gave to Katie and the beautiful jewel he gave to Emily.
“Why, thank you, Sir,” the girls said modestly. They dropped a curtsey and Captain Blackheart put the crown neatly on Katie’s head and pinned the jewel on Emily’s apron.
The girls had many adventures with Captain Blackheart and the boys from the Saucy Nancy. They went through terrible storms at sea and made the crew the best hot cross buns at Easter. They cooked nice roast dinners and once had an encounter with a sea monster in which Emily was almost eaten – and I think she would have been, too, if Katie hadn’t poked the monster in the eye with an umbrella. The girls never lost an eye or waved a cutlass but they loved the crew of the Saucy Nancy like their brothers. They were the happiest pirate girls on the whole seven seas.