Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/81

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taken his money-bags, his "nest of goldfinches," he had not removed his "turkey-pies," his "venison pasties," and his "sundry sorts of sacke"; so that there was no question of the pirates running short of food for some little time. Ward set a watch, and placed a good man at the helm, and called a council round his supper-table. They made a very excellent supper, and washed it down with what some one has called "the learned poet's good." As they ate and drank, they debated that if they ventured again into Portsmouth they would very speedily be hanged, at low water mark, as a warning to sailors. It was not very probable that they would be pursued; so that there was no immediate danger, and Ward proposed that they should cruise for a day or two off the Land's End; and then, if they met with any luck, put into Plymouth, to take off some of the men who had been his boon-companions there, before he joined the Navy. After that, he thought, they could "commence pirates" on a more ambitious scale. They could enter the Mediterranean, and join issue with the pirates of Algiers.

This project won the hearts of all present; so