The Expeditions of Streebor D'lanod
THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL EXPEDITIONS
DONALD HARRY ROBERTS
AN INTRODUCTION...I SUPPOSE
To begin....or should I say to start...because this is not exactly the beginning, a point of time I shall address later.
First, I will make an attempt at painting an image of Streebor D'Lanod. I mean of his character and who he is to me ....exactly.
Of his physical appearance it is best displayed on the cover page of this writing. He looks now as he looked when I first met him fifty nine years ago. I was six years of age. He was my imaginary friend that, as such acquaintances go, no one but myself ever saw or heard.
I was told that some day he would go away....disappear....but he never did....a point which I am thankful though his presence caused me to be diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic because...well...I talked to him on a regular basis and....I lived his life vicariously...my mind being the vehicle of carriage.
Streebor D'lanod was middle age...according to himself.
He was a good person when allowed to be. Not so good when circumstances of a dark nature or people of a dark nature forced him to be.
"All in all Short Stop, I am what I am when ever I must be."
Streebor had many names for me...always affectionately spoken.
A point I will make now is....he was always there when I needed him! He is still with me and I feel his hand touch my shoulder regularly......
So now you know enough about Streebor D'lanod. Thus I shall tell you of one of his WEIRD AND WONDERFUL ADVENTURES.
BTW....For those of you who might take an interest or care...My name is Timothy Chyme. I am...or was...until age caught up to me...a wanderer, vagabond and busker for most of my adult hood.
Now on we go.
It was that simple. The mist gathered around Streebor D'lanod and presto he was standing on the dock of Swansea face to face with thirteen year old Black Bart. The year was 1695. Of course he was not that infamous pirate yet but would grow into those boots a decade and some further on in the passage of time.
The friendship/bond between Bartholomew Roberts and Streebor D'lanod began with a scrap over who would board the ship awaiting its crew, ready to sail out to the vast sea of adventure. It was luck that the Captain witnessed this meeting of souls and, grabbing each fighter by the scruff off the neck and lifting each up upon their toes said, "I will take both of you on if you will agree to be good mates while in my service." Of course the two young lads agreed, shook hand and were the best of friends there on until an ill fated day when...well....I shall tell that part of this adventure in due course and place.
For the next eighteen years they sailed the seven seas together signing on from one ship to another until in the good year 1718 the signed to the Princess, a slave ship captained by a worthy skipper named Abraham Plumb.
Bartholomew became third mate while Streebor decided to remain a simple seaman, for reasons of his own. But he was ever loyal to his friend.
Now things went on as fine as a good wind and an even keel until a time when the Princess was anchored at Anomabu situated on the Gold Coast of Africa. It was early June.
Here I quote Streebor D'land from an extract of his journals.
"We were soon to take on a cargo but as the sun came to mid morning we spied two ship advancing on us. There was no doubt of what they were for The Royal Rover and the Royal James were well Known Vessels of the Pirate Howell Davis, a Welshman just like my companion Bartholomew.
We were taken quickly with the good fortune of no loss of lives. Several members of the Princess crew however were forced to join the pirates. Including Bart and myself."
Davis was not long in discovering Bart was well versed in ships navigations and was soon consulting him. They spoke to each other mostly in their mother tongue of welsh keeping information hidden from the crew....except myself because Bart had taught me the language which we conversed in most of the time for about the same reason.
I must say Bartholomew did not easily embrace the Pirates life but after a time he he recognized the advantages it offered.
Said Streebor in his Journal. "More than once my friend said to me, "In an honest service there is thin commons, low wages, and hard labour. In this, plenty and satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power; and who would not balance creditor on this side, when all the hazard that is run for it, at worst is only a sour look or two at choking? No, a merry life and a short one shall be my motto."
It was only a few weeks later when we experienced the harsher side of a life of piracy though some of a prosperous change came of that day.
The Royal James had been abandoned because of worm damage so we were all aboard the Royal Rover as we came to the Island of Principe under the flags of a British Man O War and were allowed to enter the harbour.
A few days on Captain Davis invited the Governor of the island to take dinner aboard the Royal Rover. Of course the good captain had an ulterior motive. That was to capture the Governor and hold him hostage for ransom.
It was a simple plan and Davis harboured no suspicion when the Governor requested that he be collected by Davis and that they shared a glass of wine at the fort.
What none of us knew was that the Portuguese Governor was well aware who Davis was and cleverly turned the tide.
On the way to the fort Davis's party was ambushed and the captain himself was shot dead.
I can not describe the state we were all in when we hoisted sails and skeedaddled out of there before the ship itself was attacked.
We did not slow until the island was well out of sight and no ships were seen in pursuit.
to be continued