Text of a ancient letter found on the skeleton of a man discovered in the Sahara.1
I'll never forgive the treachery of that bleedin' crew. Mutiny! I'da never thought I'd see the day when I'd lose control o' me own vessel to a scallywag band of misfits. Ah well, no use thinkin' about that now, Molly, ol' Rufus is in Africa.
We had just sailed out of port, back in July, in search of the Silver Train. The damnable Spanish had more money than they needed, and I'd be a landlubbin' clerk before I were gonna sail home without a load o' their precious cargo. That was before the storm; The grandmother of storms, I'll tell ye. Some slouch had left the whippin's on the main mast loose, and when the storm took us, she tore the mast to bits before we could bring 'er down. The bos'n came into me cabin shoutin' that we lost three men blown starboard into the drink. I shouted o'er the gale to keep steady and keep the ship from listing any farther starboard. Nobody could hear over such a wrathful wind. I sent the steersman away and took control myself. The men kept shouting about being left behind, but I'd take no heed o' that. I had to save the ship, not three dirty dock-dregs I'd hired for a three-pence and a share of booty. I managed to keep the ship mostly together, though we lost two more men before the storm passed.
We were just off the coast of Africa, and were in sore need o' a refit. I told the crew that we were needin' ta stop and repair the masts and get more powder (the kegs we had were waterlogged, more crew problems). I could hear the men a'grumblin'. They had the taste o' Spanish silver in their mouths, and it was hard ta be gettin' it out. That night I knew there was trouble brewin' when the bos'n came to give me the report and his face was grim. Six men piled in behind him with swords drawn. They told me the bos'n was ta be the new cap'n and that they'd be leavin' me in Africa. Fate were grinnin' at me that day, since they let me take a small boat and leave the ship, my ship. I suppose it's good I have me life though. I've found a caravan from the East India Company, and they've let me buy passage back home. Across the leakin' land! I've spent a lot o' time thinkin' since they took me ship. I dream o' the open sea. I dream o' the salt air in me nose, and sound o' the waves. I dream o' ye sometimes, Molly-Mae.
But mostly I dream of boats...