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When I Was Your Cabin Girl

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What a waste of my life! All I ever heard people screaming at me was, "Rum! I need more rum!" or "Don't forget to scrub the floors before supper!". The concept of supper was pretty laughable for me, I mean really, it was just some lousy table scraps that the innkeeper, Mrs. Bulveridge, had leftover at the end of the day. There was very little lighting at the Admiral Benbow Inn, which was where I lived and practically slaved. Since I was now 14 years of age, Mrs. Bulveridge decided that I did not need an education as much as she needed my help running the place.

The smell of smoke and cheep rum permeated the air, and soaked into the old wooden tables. The customers got a little rowdy sometimes, but it was nothing I couldn't handle. There was one guy that lived there, he was a real trip. He told great stories, though I did not know if they were true or not. One that he was particularly fond of telling was that of a treasure map that led to a huge cache of gold. The man who buried it so many years ago supposedly killed the crew who helped him, and the died himself before he could return to the cursed island to claim it. The real mystery is that no one knew who had the map now. There was also something about a one-legged man that my friends and I were suppose to look out for, although he never really told us why.

Even if they weren't true stories, they were the closest thing to entertainment that I found around that place. That is, besides my friends, Gonzo and Rizzo. They were a handful, but were a lot of fun. We loved to dream about magnificent places that we could explore, and we loved going down by the docks to pretend we were explorers. There was always something amazing going on, all you had to do was look for it. Gonzo and Rizzo also held a practical place at the inn. They helped me out with the never ending pile of chores, and also lived at the Admiral Benbow Inn.

The night was coming to a close, and all the patrons were leaving. They paid me not attention as they dragged themselves out of their chairs to go home for the night. It was the usual routine. I cleaned up the tables, washed the glasses, mopped the floors, put out the candles, stoked the fire once more, and then put out the lanterns. The last chore was the hardest, because I was only 5' 1", which was definitely not tall enough to reach the lantern hanging in the street. This is where the benefit of having friends came in handy. Gonzo climbed atop my shoulders, and then Rizzo got on the very top. He could just reach the lantern, but this was the only way anyone could reach it.

"I hate my life," I announced to my friends as we stood in a tipping tower on the side of the street before bed.

"I hate your life too," Rizzo assured me.

"I want to have an adventure! There are so many better things that I could be doing, there is so much out there that I have never seen or experienced. I am tired of working myself to the bone. What, just to survive? Guys, we gotta get out of here!" I exclaimed in joyous aspiration.

Life was just so monotonous, I was going to loose my mind! I had read stories of people going on grand adventures, finding treasure, riding elephants, and exploring wild forests. There was nobody in the town I was living in that seemed like my kind of people. There was just no life for me there. I need to go out and see the world, and do it while I was young and had my heart set on it. I did not want this feeling to go away. I wanted a better life full of adventure and real excitement.

They would have loved to leave right then and there with me, but they reminded me of two things. One, that Mrs. Bulveridge needed my help, and that two, I was an orphan with no money, so I would not make it long out there all on my own. I argued about it with them for a while, but I saw the truth in what they were saying. I was stuck there, doomed to wash and dry, and to do it till I died.

We walked back inside from the foggy street lamp, which was now extinguished, and shut the inn's door behind us. It was nearing 1 am, and we needed to be getting to bed, but then in stumbled Mr. Bones in his usual drunken stupor.

"Rum! I need more Rum!" he shouted at me taking me by the arms and giving my a violent shaking.

This was not an uncommon thing.

Gonzo rushed to go get him a glass, but Mrs. Bulveridge had a keen sense of hearing and called down from her room not for us to get him anymore rum for the night. I was not in the mood to deal with him begging me to get him some, so I poured him a small glass, hoping that he would go to bed after that. Gonzo shot me a look of "not again" and we hoped together that the effects of the strong smelling float would set him to sleep, but it didn't.

There was a faintly knocking noise and then the front door of the inn flew open with loud bang! A ghostly looking man seemed to float inside the room with all of the tables.

"Oh, Billy Bones!" he cried, "where are you? I know you are hiding from me."

He looked horrible, like he had been out at see far too long. No, make that, in the sea to long. He looked like a ghost that had just washed up on the docks. He must have also been blind because he stumbled over nearly everything in the room, including the moose head on our wall. Finally, after fondling my hair a bit and threatening my friends, he found Billy Bones, who had taken out a gun to shot him. Just in the nick of time, Blind Pew, as he told me his name was, went flying through the air, muttered a few insults and threats at Mr. Bones, gave him a small piece of paper, and the wandered back out the door into the streets, disappearing forever from my sight.

"What did he want?" I begged Mr. Bones to tell me.

A shriek of alarm and then an exclamation of horror resounded from him as he unfolded the paper in his shaking hands, "The black spot!".

He ran in a drunken whirlwind to his room pulling me along with Gonzo and Rizzo running by our side.

"Quick! There isn't much time, get my sea chest ready lads. Blind Pew and the rest of Captain Flinty's crew will be coming back to kill me. I'll go get that treasure myself. I have got to before they get the treasure map," he told us his plans, but was cut short when he fell back on the bed and started to have a heart attach. He pulled my closer to his side,"Take the map Gemmy lass, and run with it as far as you can, and then run still further. You are the only friend I got. Oh, but don't run with scissors," and with that, he died right before my very eyes.

"We are standing in a room with a dead man!" Rizzo yelled, and we ran out of the room, only to have dangerous pirates in the hallways set to kill. Rizzo, Gonzo, and I broke the glass of Mr. Bones' bedroom window, and jumped out of it to safety. Loud gun noises and yells were heard inside. Mrs. Bulveridge called to us that she would be alright, and told us to run for it, which we did, but not before a terrible boom was heard, and the inn caught on fire from the explosion that came from the storage room. We ran as fast as we could. I placed Gonzo on my back, and tucked Rizzo underneath my arm as I ran. We dashed down the alley, and in front of the village stores. The nasty pirates were following us, but were no match for us when I grabbed a horse from the stables and scurried out of town, not knowing that I would probably never return.