Exciting, colourful and full of larger than life characters, The Devil and Edward Teach takes you on a seafaring voyage to the doors of Hell, as the notorious pirate Blackbeard meets his ultimate adversary.
Israel Hands climbed out of the cargo hold and onto the deck slick with moisture. He glared at the wall of thick, grey fog surrounding the ship. Blackbeard stood in his usual position at the helm, gazing calmly ahead whilst smoking his pipe.
Hands shook his head and sighed in exasperation. This wasn’t the Captain Teach he had been used to serving under all these years. He was a man of action, of savage impulse and unbridled desire. Yet here he was standing helplessly to one side whilst that impostor Scrat served up dinner in the captain’s cabin. Only yesterday Blackbeard would have run him through as soon as look at him.
Hands clicked his fingers and the monkey scurried up his clothes and sat on his shoulder, chattering quietly in his ear. If only Blackbeard’s subdued temperament were all he had to worry about, though. Hands had scoured the ship looking for Amos Buckley. He had investigated every dark corner, every cobwebbed nook and cranny, and found no trace of the ship’s surgeon. Nor his three pirate shipmates.
Hands shook his head again as he glanced around the deck at the slumbering sailors. No, they were missing more now. He couldn’t be totally sure without doing a head count, but he was sure enough.
He stomped across the quarterdeck towards the helm, the monkey clinging to his shoulder. Behind him Thomas darted from the cover of a shadowed corner and scampered across the deck, jumping over the turtles crawling aimlessly around.
“We’re missin’ more men,” Hands said.
“Aye,” Blackbeard replied, blue smoke billowing from his mouth and around his bearded face.
“Is that all yer can say?” Hands whispered, prowling around his captain like a caged lion. “I’ve scoured this ship from bow to stern, an’ I can’t find no sign o’ Buckley or any o’ the others. An’ they sure as hell didn’t fall overboard.”
“Mebbe the Devil took ’em,” Teach muttered.
Hands stopped prowling and turned to face his captain.
“You know what I’m sayin’,” Blackbeard growled. “You were there with me when Sam Bellamy was after the Whyda. Remember how he lusted after her, lusted after her like she was a full-blooded woman, an’ he could think of nothin’ else but havin’ her, conquerin’ her.”
“Aye, I remember,” Hands replied. “I’ve done me best to forget, that I have, but I remember all right.”
“There’s some things in life you can’t ever forget, no matter how much rum you drink, an’ no matter how many tarts you share a bed with. An’ seein’ Sam Bellamy sell his soul to the Devil’s one of ’em.”