CAPTAIN DANIEL AND THE PRIEST
Buccaneers were by nature a lawless and mostly God-less breed. Religion had little place aboard a pirate ship, although there were occasions when a captain might sometimes feel the need to communicate with the Almighty.
There is the story of one Captain Daniel, a Frenchman who found it necessary to call in at a small island in the Caribbean to stock up on food and drink. He met up with some of the frightened locals. He assured them that he meant them no harm and would in fact pay for anything that his men took. It so happened that there was a priest on the island and it occurred to Daniel that some religious instruction might be good for his crew and so he invited the priest to conduct a service aboard the ship while the required provisions were being sought.
The terrified clergyman made a start and though doing his best was being continually interrupted by coarse and vulgar remarks made by a drunken member of the crew. Captain Daniel shouted at the man in equally coarse terms and instructed the sailor to shut up. The poor priest, by this time almost too nervous to carry on, tried again but was once more interrupted by the same foul mouthed sailor.
Captain Daniel shook his head in despair, drew his pistol and shot the man in the head. The priest almost fainted, but was reassured by the captain that everything would now be all right. “Don’t worry, Father”, he said, “The fellow was a rogue who didn’t know how to behave – I’ve punished him to teach him some manners".
(I found this story in "The Buccaneers", written by Neil Grant and published in 1976 by Angus & Robertson (UK) Ltd.)
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