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In Cold Blood

Blood and his men are most vulnerable as they ascend the ship and come over the rail. What differs in this boarding action from those pirates normally employed is the lack of preparation time. Peter has no time to evaluate the vessels available to him and select the best one to suit their purpose. Nor has he any time to learn more about the Cinco Llagas or devise a well thought-out plan to guarantee success. One trait Peter does possess that was essential in any successful pirate, though, is he thinks on his feet and takes advantage of whatever opportunities present themselves.

He also leads by action, rather than words. Shipwrights did not design pirate ships and sell them to sea raiders. Like Blood, pirates acquired their vessels through appropriation, either sneaking aboard at night or attacking a potential prize at sea in the light of day.


Then they adapted these vessels to suit their needs. Most pirates start out with small boats and work their way up to larger and larger ships, but Peter acquires a large ship from the first. Sabatini calls it a frigate, a naval vessel Spain first built in Flanders in the early s. As the century progressed, other navies also adopted her as did privateers.

When Don Diego de Espinosa y Valdez returns to the ship at dawn, Peter has his men haul the four treasure chests aboard while Ogle, a former gunner in the Royal Navy, prepares a surprise for the men in the eight boats heading for the Cinco Llagas. Thankful for this timely salvation, Governor Steed sends Colonel Bishop to the Spanish ship to thank those aboard. The man who greets him bears little resemblance to a certain physician indentured to him. Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter went to sea sometime between the ages of nine and eleven.

The Zeeland Admiralty approached him to command the Haze, a warship mounting twenty-six guns, to fight the Spanish for a time, then he returned to the merchant fleet. He spent ten years scuffling with Barbary corsairs, and also freed Christian galley slaves by paying their ransom. When the First Anglo-Dutch War started, he reenlisted in the navy and became a vice admiral. He waged war in the Caribbean against the English, but during a two-hour battle with English ships in Carlisle Bay at Barbados, his flagship was heavily damaged.

In he participated in the Battle of Augusta at Sicily against the French and was mortally wounded. A charismatic and brave man with keen tactical insight, he regularly conferred with his officers before implementing a course of action. Peter learns of the deception and has the Spaniard trussed to the open end of a gun. Don Esteban chooses the former, and with six other prisoners rowing the boat, Peter and Don Esteban board the Encarnacion with two chests laden with 50, pieces of eight. Deception is one tactic pirates used to snare their victims or to escape capture, and Peter plays the part well, convincing everyone aboard that he is a liberated captive returning to Spain.

Peter soon returns to the frigate, where Don Esteban learns his father had succumbed from fear prior to their departure for the Encarnacion. He warns Peter that one day he will hang from the yardarm, which makes some of his fellow pirates want to string up Esteban and the other Spaniards.

Peter, however, sways the council to put their captives over the side in a boat and sail for Tortuga, the haven of the buccaneers. This tome recounts the exploits of Morgan and other buccaneers, including Exquemelin, as well as pirate life. He sued several publishers for libel and won. Exquemelin said of it:. Then came the agreed awards for the wounded, who might have lost a limb or suffered other injuries…for the loss of a right arm, pieces of eight or six slaves; for a left arm, pieces of eight or five slaves…; a left leg, or four slaves; an eye, or one slave, and the same award was made for the loss of a finger….

These amounts having first been withdrawn from the capital, the rest of the prize would be divided…. When a ship has been captured, the men decide whether the captain should keep it or not…. When a ship is robbed, nobody must plunder and keep his loot to himself…. To prevent deceit, before the booty is distributed everyone has to swear an oath on the Bible that he has not kept for himself so much as the value of a sixpence….

And should any man be found to have made a false oath, he would be banished from the rovers…. Exquemelin, Did Levasseur actually exist? Not this particular one, but the name is familiar to any who study pirates. Jean le Vasseur arrived in Tortuga in to serve as governor. He was of Norman extraction and a Huguenot Protestant who had fled France.

A military engineer by trade, he constructed a formidable stronghold on a rocky outcrop overlooking the harbor. Armed with twenty-four cannon, Fort de Rocher successfully defended the buccaneer haven against Spanish incursions. He also implemented numerous fees and taxes, especially on hides and tobacco. In his heirs, young men named Martin and Thibault, murdered him during a quarrel over a mistress. But this was not the only Levasseur in pirate history.

Olivier le Vasseur hunted in the Indian Ocean in the early eighteenth century. Among the treasures La Buse captured was the Fiery Cross of Goa, a gold cross encrusted with rubies, diamonds, and emeralds. Its weight required three men to transport the object. Le Vasseur was convicted at St.

He comes as the representative of the Compagnie des Indes Occidentales , or French West India Company, an organization the buccaneers detested. This, combined with the amnesty the French king offered, brought the buccaneers and the governor into coexistence.

Beyond the ties of blood : a novel, Florencia Mallon

During the Franco-Dutch War, Spaniards captured and imprisoned him on Hispaniola for several months before he escaped. In he led five hundred buccaneers on a raid of Puerto Rico that ended in disaster. Many buccaneers, as well some pirates of the next century, sailed in consort. In Henry Morgan sent word for the buccaneers to gather at Cow Island off Hispaniola, with the intent to attack Cartagena. Why this particular target?

En route, they took a Spanish prize laden with 40, pieces of eight, jewels, and a rich cargo of cacao. He eventually became a buccaneer in the s, and as was true of many of his comrades, he had a deep hatred for Spaniards and showed them little mercy. He remained true to his word. Once again the two pirate captains separate, which is when Levasseur decides to ransom the captives he had concealed from Blood. Exquemlin described the region thusly:. In the strait giving access to the interior part of the bay are two islets. The easterly one is called Isla de la Vigia, or Lookout Island, because on a high hill in the middle stands a watchtower, with a sentinel on duty day and night.

The other is called Isla de las Palomas, or Pigeon Island. Beyond these islets, deeper inland, is a lake of sweet water, sixty leagues by thirty. This lake flows through the strait into the Gulf of Venezuela and the open sea.


The entrance for shipping between the two islets is no wider than the range of an eight-pounder. On Pigeon Island stands a fort guarding the strait, as any ship wishing to enter the lake must pass close to the island. For at the mouth is a bar, or sandbank, in fourteen feet of water, and about a league inwards is another sandbank called El Tablazo, where there is only ten feet of water. Thereafter, as far as Rio de las Espinas about forty leagues along the lake the water is six, seven and eight fathoms deep. After the explosion that destroyed the Oxford in , Henry Morgan and the remaining buccaneers decided to attack Maracaibo.

It was dusk when Morgan and his men reached the fort. They found nobody inside, for when they saw the buccaneers close by the walls the Spaniards had let off some gunpowder and made for the woods under cover of the smoke. Exquemlein, Night came, and the moon shone bright.

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The buccaneers…slipped anchor and let the ships drift with the tide until they came level with the fort — then they clapped on all sail and sped with the land wind behind them beyond the bar…. Rumors of the wealth of this new region spread throughout Europe, but a French privateer named Jean Fleury exposed the truth behind the rumors in France and Spain were at war, and that year he encountered three Spanish carvels off the coast of Portugal.

Although one vessel escaped, he subdued the other two. Such riches led other European countries to claim lands in the New World, but the navies of these countries were unable to defend those territories. The Caribbean governors licensed the buccaneers to protect their islands against Spain.


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In times of peace, though, these privateers continued their raids. This often led to problems back home, especially if the English monarch wished to placate Spain. The buccaneer arrived there in , but once again political factions shifted and he soon found himself appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica.

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Sir Thomas Lynch, the Jamaican governor who had arrested Morgan, wrote:. In actuality two other gentlemen serve in that position in Christopher Monck, Duke of Albemarle, and Hender Molesworth. While Bishop makes inroads in suppressing piracy, one pirate continues to elude him — Peter Blood. The buccaneers found Port Royal appealing because of its close proximity to trade routes that allowed them easy access to prey. The large harbor accommodated their ships and provided them a place to careen and repair these vessels.

Port Royal was also ideally situated for launching raids on Spanish settlements. Colonel Bishop does manage to arrest Peter Blood, but not for piracy. At this point, the situation in Europe once again intrudes.

A Blood Ties Novel, no. 2

In England, Queen Mary gives birth to a son. Normally this would be cause for rejoicing, but this son, who would become known later as the Old Pretender for his attempts to regain the British thrones for the Royal House of Stuart, upset the line of succession. If Mary dies, her younger sister, Anne, succeeds to the throne. Since the queen is fifty-two and has failed to produce an heir before this, rumors surface about the legitimacy of this baby.