Friday 8th June: Two English Seadogs, Three Skewered Sparrows, and the nocturnal exchange between the Oleander and the Hollyhocks.

Tonight saw the reenactment of two notable incidents from the annals of Britain’s glorious maritime history.

The Royal Navy Frigate HMS Leeds, entered Hiroshima Bay, bombarded the harbour and destroyed the warehouses of local daimyo Itsuonuri Noda which were known to contain contraband such as unlicenced Overconfidence, bootlegged Lucky Strikes, and unregulated amounts of Skill, not to mention a store of Insight-into-Other- Players’-Hands that breaks all agreed quotas.

The conflagration was augmented by the considerable quantities of Japanese alcohol that had recently been taken in by the daimyo.

It was reported that Noda had committed seppuku with a grilled sparrow skewer in the fourth hour of the bombardment; nevertheless Japanese guns opened fire on the HMS Leeds as it caught the wind and sailed back out to sea. Captain Davy “Sniffer” O’Hurtler, who had been at the wheel for most of the action, reported in the ship’s log that the damage was light and the homeward voyage swift and free.

Meanwhile, O’Hurtler’s comrade in arms, Captain Jimmy Firedrake of the HMS Manchester, sailed up Colloran Creek on the American seaboard and set about reducing the settlement to cinders at a time when it appeared that, if left unmolested, it might have got its finances back into the black after recent trading losses.

In the third hour of the bombardment a direct hit on the governor’s barbeque saw the governor himself receive a skewered sparrow in the short and curlies.

The flagship USS Kenyon is reported to have sunk to the bottom of the creek but rumours that it is completely “US” have yet to be confirmed.

Although return fire was muted, Captain Firedrake was himself hit by a parting shot from a low calibre fowling piece and skewered to his mast like a grilled sparrow as the HMS Manchester sailed away into the night.

The delay caused by that misfortune enabled the HMS Leeds slip home first, navigating by the yearly chart rather than by the Evening Star.

Pontificating upon the outcome of the evening’s action Captain Davy O’Hurtler adapted an immortal bon mot from another field of English glory, and speaking to the oleander trees and the hollyhocks, he said:

I certainly wouldn’t say I’m the best player in the game, but I’m in the top one.

And the branches of the oleander swayed in the nocturnal breeze and its leaves rustled with a whisper that sounded like, “Again… again…”

And the hollyhocks tossed their gaudy heads beneath the watery and inconstant moon and seemed to murmer in reply, “For now… for now…”

Jaime +32, +43, +58, +27, -22* = +138
David +10, -16, +28, +68, -11 = +79
Noda -7, -21, +31, -74,* +32 = -39
Kenyon -35, -6, -117,* -21, +1 = -178

* Yakitori

David Hurley

1 Comment

  1. Jimmy….surely in the re-telling of this epic seafaring tale the appropriate names should be used. Sir Francis’ did not become “Frank”, nor did Sir Walter “Wally”. James after all is a kingly name; Jimmy brings about nasty images of “cheeky” cockney wide-boys or loud American tennis players.

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