48 Hours a Day
Chapter 179 - Turning The Tide Around
“Captain, what should we do now?” asked the pirates on the Blizzard.
Hutcheson was in a dilemma as well. The Quidah’s hull had been severely damaged by another pirate ship earlier. It seemed like they were on the verge of breaking up. Not only did they not stop for repairs, but they continued charging at the Blizzard, carrying out a suicide attack.
On the other hand, the Jackdaw had managed to deal with the intruders coming from the gunwale, ready to assist the Quidah. After a long bout of hesitation, Hutcheson decided that he would retreat for now. Immediately, the Jackdaw went after them. They attempted to fire on the Blizzard, but unfortunately, Hutcheson managed to dodge every attack with his masterful maneuvering skills.
Anne, too wasn’t happy when she saw the Blizzard trying to make a run for it and wanted to continue pursuing them. However, she was stopped short by Dufresne. Though the Jackdaw outgunned the Blizzard, they had fewer pirates with them now. With only 20 people on board, the Jackdaw couldn’t utilize her firepower to its fullest.
The Blizzard might even retaliate if the Jackdaw continued the chase. So after a short pursuit, the Jackdaw decided to turn back to Goddess’ Spear. Seeing that the Jackdaw was no longer on their tail, Hutcheson became incredibly frustrated. This was indeed a significant loss to him. Initially, he intended to attack and plunder the Quidah and the Goddess’ Spear with two pirate ships. If he managed to pull it off, he would become the most powerful pirate of the area.
Not only did his plan fail, but it also cost him a ship and half his crew. Fortunately, his Blizzard did not suffer any damage. In the end, he wanted to take out the Jackdaw as a consolation prize. Sadly, the Jackdaw did not continue their pursuit. Left with no other options, the Blizzard had to flee the scene as fast as possible. Though the battle was thrilling and tumultuous, it lasted for only 20 minutes from beginning to end.
Currently, the Quidah’s condition was worse than Hutcheson estimated. Seawater was gushing into the bottom of the ship. Even though their carpenters were trying their hardest to plug up the hole, the seawater had flooded the cabin and was now up to the pirates’ knees. It would be impossible for them to participate in another battle.
Before the Blizzard fled the scene, the Quidah had already begun repairing their ship. The helmsman, Eric, and everyone else aboard chipped in to help. They looked for everything around them that could be used to close up the hole. At the same time, some pirates activated a pump, hoping to flush out the entering seawater. With their combined effort, they managed to get the water out faster than it could come in.
At the same time, Black Prince Sam was done with counting the loot on the Goddess’ Spear. With the Blizzard out of the game, it was now easier for them to divide the spoils.
“I want to thank you for helping us. Honestly, you guys deserve a larger share than us. However, the Quidah suffered a great deal of damage from the battle with the Blizzard. We’ll need a lot of money to repair our ship. Consider that I owe you guys a favor for what you have done for us,” said a remorseful Black Prince Sam.
“Captain Sam, you are most welcome. If the Quidah wasn’t here, they would have surely targeted us instead. It’s a miracle than your ship managed to retaliate and sink the enemy. Only your crew can pull off an insane move like this.”
Black Prince Sam simply shrugged. It was indeed not an easy task for the Quidah to turn the tide around after their ship was severely damaged by the enemy. Black Prince Sam welcomed all the compliments poured at him and his crew with a big heart.
“Eric is good at coordinating battles. With his sharp skills, he is more than capable of becoming a captain. I have talked to him a lot regarding this matter. However, it seems like he’s not interested at all.”
While they discussed, their pirates were done dividing the loot. Black Prince Sam was probably the most reasonable captain around the entire Nassau. He had this certain charm that could draw people closer to him. Always behaving humbly, he told everyone that his crew was the reason for his success. However, almost everyone from the Quidah could be replaced except for Black Prince Sam. Without his charm, it would be impossible for the entire pirate crew to band up and work toward the same goal.
Influential people usually came with a mighty temper, something that would never change over the course of time. Black Prince Sam might look like an easy-going captain, but the truth was, he was the only one on the ship that could make everyone obey his orders without being questioned.
The Jackdaw was getting closer to the Goddess’ Spear. They rescued a couple of pirates that had jumped off the enemy ship earlier. After a series of interrogations, they finally discovered their background. Hutcheson’s pirate crew had only been formed recently. They were initially a band of raiders. Not too long ago, they encountered a merchant ship flying a British flag. Technically, they were not supposed to plunder them, but when they found out that they were hauling a considerable amount of silk, Hutcheson decided to break the rules and attacked them. To make sure that no one knew about it, he ordered his men to kill everyone on the merchant ship. Unfortunately, someone on his boat sold him out in the end.
Once he knew about it, he had to flee the port with the rest of his men. Before they left, they didn’t look for information about their next target, eventually wandering the high seas for two weeks. One fine day, Hutcheson came across two pirate vessels that were fighting against each other. He then helped one to eliminate the other. Not only did he receive a portion of the loot, but the winning captain even thanked him for his assistance. However, Hutcheson, being Hutcheson, quickly decided that he should destroy the other ship as well. The other vessel, on the other hand, was unprepared to face Hutcheson’s surprise attack. In the end, he destroyed them and took all their loot into his possession.
After this incident, Hutcheson felt that it wasn’t such a bad idea to conduct a ‘dog-eat-dog’ style of business. So, he placed some of his men on the pirate ship that he captured, recruited a small batch of pirates, and ordered them to loiter around pirate-infested waters. They would plunder merchant ships and other pirates that were heavy with loot. He was smart enough to make sure that both his ships would not get too close to each other, with only a mirror to communicate with each other. When one of his ships attacked its target, Hutcheson would pretend that he was passing by. He would ‘help’ the target to ‘attack’ his pirate ship. When the right moment arose, he would turn around and attack the ship that he ‘helped.’
That was the time when Hutcheson mastered the skill of dodging cannonballs. Many powerful pirate crews around the area lost out to his tactics. This time, though, Hutcheson changed strategy, but his goal remained the same. Loot wasn’t the only reason that motivated Hutcheson to attack the Quidah. After several victories, Hutcheson’s ambitions got more demanding as well. Money could no longer satisfy his desire, and now, he yearned for his name to be known in the entire area. If he managed to defeat the legendary Quidah, he would surely be able to make a name for himself.
Unfortunately, his wish wasn’t granted this time. Captain Sam had brought a group of elite pirates with him to board the Goddess’ Spear, and he managed to trick everyone with his realistic acting as well. The best part was, he managed to make the Quidah suffer severe damage. Still, the Quidah somehow managed to destroy one of his ships and pushed him to a corner.