15 July 2014

Carving a crimson career

We, the undersigned, are men without a country - outlaws in our own land and homeless outcasts in any other. Desperate men, we go to seek a desperate fortune. Therefore we do here and now band ourselves into a brotherhood of buccaneers, to practice the trade of piracy on the high seas. We, the hunted, will now hunt! Therefore to that end we enter into the following articles of agreement. First, we pledge ourselves to be bound together as brothers in a life and death friendship, sharing alike in fortune and in trouble. Second article, all moneys and valuables which may come into our possession shall be lumped together into a common fund, and from this fund shall first be taken the money to fit, rig and provision the ship. After that, the recompense each shall receive who is wounded is as follows: for the loss of a right arm, six hundred pieces of eight. Left arm, five hundred. For the loss of a right leg, five hundred. Left leg, four hundred. 

(Pirate 1 interjects: A feller can get rich if 'e's lucky! Pirate 2: Greedy, greedy!) 

If a man conceal any treasure captured or fails to place it in the general fund he shall be marooned, set ashore on a deserted isle and there left with a bottle of water, a loaf of bread, and a pistol with one load. If a man shall be drunk on duty, he shall receive the same fate. And of a man shall molest a woman captive against her will, he too shall receive the same punishment. These articles entered into this twentieth day of June in the year sixteen hundred and eighty-seven.

- Captain Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) dictates his Articles of Piracy, in Captain Blood, 1935

See also:
Books: Rafael Sabatini, Captain Blood (1922)
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