Captain Bartholomew Roberts and the Unfortunate Sea-Cook!
Captain Bartholomew Roberts was taking on extra crew for a voyage to West Africa. He liked to recruit personally and was sat at a small desk on the quayside at Port Royal, Jamaica. He was questioning a fifty-year old sea cook who had a wooden leg, an eye patch and a hook at the end of his left arm.
“So how did you lose your leg?” he asked the old salt. “We was sailin’ round the Horn in a great swell and I fell overboard. A shark ‘ad me leg before me mates hauled me out of the water!”
“I see”, said Roberts, “and what about your hand?” he pointed to the hook. “”We was attackin’ a merchantman – pistols a-blazin’, swords a-swingin’ and blow me if one of me own didn’t cut me ‘and off by accident!”
“Well that was unfortunate. Tell me how did you manage to lose an eye?” asked an amused Roberts. “It was a seagull droppin’ that caused that sir”, said the sailor, almost apologetically. “A seagull dropping caused you to lose an eye? That’s amazing!” said the captain.
“Aye, well it was me first day with the hook!” answered the unfortunate man.
(The records do not show if he was taken on!)
This story along with many others can be heard on my C.D.: The Legend of the Bell Rock and other Tales of the Sea"
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