THE GREATEST PIRATE STORY NEVER TOLD (UNTIL NOW)


THE GREATEST PIRATE STORY NEVER TOLD (UNTIL NOW)

David K. Bryant Website


History will tell my tale,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
I’ll be more famous than Jonah’s Whale,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
Captain Flint sings that ditty in my book “Tread Carefully on the Sea”. And, thanks to author Robert Louis Stevenson, the fictional Captain Flint’s notoriety (rather than fame) has indeed been kept alive through the centuries. Yet the poor buccaneer got no chance in Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island to take part in the drama. All the many references to him were retrospective as Flint was dead by the time that great adventure yarn began.

Was that fair to the man who buried the Treasure on the Island ?
Ironically, while Stevenson gives us no description of Treasure Island’s boy narrator Jim Hawkins (not even his age), we hear a lot about the deceased Flint.

Here are the major references to Captain Flint’s deeds and character in Treasure Island:
(Note: Despite all the mentions of Flint in Treasure Island, not once is his first name given. The only clue is the initial “J” on the map at the front of the book.)

TREASURE ISLAND, CHAPTER 3

Billy Bones says: I was first mate, I was, old Flint’s first mate and I’m the on’y one as knows the place (where the treasure is buried). He gave it (the map) to me in Savannah, when he lay a-dying…”

TREASURE ISLAND, CHAPTER 6

Squire Trelawney says: “He was the bloodthirstiest buccaneer that sailed. Blackbeard was a child to Flint. The Spaniards were so prodigiously afraid of him, that, I tell you, sir, I was sometimes proud he was an Englishman.”

TREASURE ISLAND, CHAPTER 11

Long John Silver says: “…the old Walrus, Flint’s old ship, as I’ve seen a-muck with the red blood and fit to sink with gold.” Long John goes on to say: “They was the roughest crew afloat, was Flint’s; the devil himself would have been feared to go to sea with them…lambs wasn’t the word for Flint’s old buccaneers.”

TREASURE ISLAND, CHAPTER 15

Ben Gunn says: “I were in Flint’s ship when he buried the treasure; he and six along – six strong seamen. They were ashore nigh on a week, and us standing off and on in the old Walrus. One fine day up went the signal, and here come Flint by himself in a little boat, and his head done up in a blue scarf. The sun was getting up, and mortal white he looked around the cut-water. But there he was, you mind, and the six all dead – dead and buried. How he done it, not a man aboard us could make out. It was battle, murder, and sudden death, leastways – him against six. Billy Bones was the mate; Long John he was quartermaster, and they asked him where the treasure was. ‘Ah,’ says he, ‘you can go ashore, if you like, and stay,’ he says; ‘but as for the ship, she’ll beat up for more, by thunder!’

TREASURE ISLAND, CHAPTER 19

Ben Gunn says: “…the old stockade, as was made years and years ago by Flint. Ah, he was the man to have a headpiece, was Flint! Barring rum, his match were never seen.”

TREASURE ISLAND, CHAPTER 31

Long John Silver, on finding a pirate’s body laid out like a marker towards the treasure burial site, says: “…by thunder! if it don’t make me cold inside to think of Flint. This is one of his jokes, and no mistake. Him and these six was here alone; he killed ‘em, every man; and this one he hauled here and laid down by compass, shiver my timbers!”

One of the pirates says: “…but if ever sperrit walked, it would be Flint’s. Dear heart, but he died bad, did Flint. “Ay, that he did,” observed another; “now he raged, and now he hollered for the rum, and now he sang. ‘Fifteen men’ were his only song, mates; and I tell you true, I never rightly liked to hear it since. It was main hot, and the windy was open, and I hear that old song comin’ out as clear as clear – and the death-haul on the man a’ready.”

TREASURE ISLAND, CHAPTER 32

“He were an ugly devil,” cried a third pirate with a shudder; “that blue in the face, too!”
“That was how the rum took him,” added Merry. “Blue! Well, I reckon he was blue. That’s a true word.”
“Fetch aft the rum, Darby!”…”They was his last words,” moaned Morgan, “his last words above board.”

Well let me correct you, Morgan. Those were not his last words. Captain Flint speaks loud and clear in my book, “Tread Carefully on the Sea”.
From the time I read Treasure Island as a child, it seemed to me wrong that this powerful figure, Captain Flint, was only recorded posthumously. To me, Flint deserved a story of his own. There was only one way to accomplish that – write a prequel to Treasure Island. It not only gave the opportunity to piece together Flint’s story and character. There were a lot of unanswered questions arising from Treasure Island, such as:

Why and how did Flint come back alone after taking six men to bury the treasure?
How did Billy Bones come by Flint’s map where X marked the spot?
How did Long John Silver lose his leg and Blind Pew his “deadlights” in the same broadside? There’s some explanation in Treasure Island about Silver’s mishap but remember that Silver was an inveterate liar and what he reveals to a young mutineer about his past just does not stand up to scrutiny of the dates and events mentioned.
Who were the fifteen men on a dead man’s chest (in the recurring Treasure Island song Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum)?
Who was the “one man of her crew alive what put to sea with seventy-five” in the same song?

Maddeningly, there’s a paucity of dates in Treasure Island. In the very first sentence, the first person storyteller Jim Hawkins says: “I take up my pen in the year of grace 17--.” Why, oh why, esteemed Mr. Stevenson, did you not give us the full year?
Flint’s treasure map is more instructive. The margins contain the information that the map was drawn in August 1750 and handed to Flint’s first mate Billy Bones on July 20th, 1754.
So, armed with Stevenson’s statements, I set about answering the questions, working around the dates and, most importantly, writing the biography for which Captain Flint had waited more than 250 years.
To be true to Stevenson’s references, Flint had to be bloodthirsty, an alcoholic, and he died from ill health in a tavern in Savannah. He also had to be cunning and resourceful. He took six men ashore with him and overcame the lot of them.
To me this added up to more than your average roughneck pirate. So I built for him a personality as an educated, witty sophisticate with intimidating black eyes and a number of complexities. In my story he kills two men with no compunction at all, and he’s happier in the company of those he takes prisoner than that of his own crew. He trusts no one except those whose loyalty he can be totally sure of – and only Billy Bones and Israel Hands meet that criterion.
The death in Savannah was a real challenge. From Stevenson’s book, Flint died in an alcoholic haze. That was too mundane for my purposes so I had him as a long-sufferer, and in denial, of consumption, but I added the biggest twist of my story to the death scene. Cindy Vallar was kind enough to say it was “inventive and unusual”.
So rest in peace Captain Flint. You may not be more famous than Jonah’s Whale but history has now told your tale.  

David K. Bryant



To see more of David K. Bryant Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view his member details
Or visit David K. Bryant's Website

Images used for the article can be viewed on their copyright sites by click the image except.


ReadersGazette.Com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Newsletter

© Copyright 2015 ReadersGazette.Com and on behalf of their authors, all rights reserved.

Scroll Down To Leave A Comment.

Written by David K. Bryant

Visit RG Member 974
Below you can TWEET or SHARE this Article.
click the book image to see more about the book.

History will tell my tale, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. I’ll be more famous than Jonah’s Whale, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. Captain Flint sings that ditty in my book “Tread Carefully on the Sea”. And,...

Tread Carefully On The Sea by David K. Bryant

The Governor of Jamaica organized a splendid 21st birthday party for his adopted daughter, Jessica. However, the best surprise for her came the following day when her admirer, Captain Michael Townsend of the Royal Navy, asked her to marry him.
Meanwhile, Captain Flint, one of the most successful buccaneers of the colonial era, decided to take the fortune he had made from twenty years of piracy and retire to his base in Savannah, Georgia, where he would be out of the reach of j...



Please Leave A Comment


ReadersGazette.Com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Amazon USA

Amazon.com - Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies & TV Shows Anytime - Start Free Trial Now

Shop Amazon - Contract Cell Phones & Service Plans

Join Amazon Student FREE Two-Day Shipping for College Students

Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime

Amazon UK

Amazon UK Deals in Electronics and PC

Amazon Prime UK 30-day Free Trial

Amazon Prime Video UK 30-day Free Trial

Amazon Prime Music UK 30-day Free Trial

Audible UK 30-day Free Trial



Kindle Unlimited

Fast, FREE shipping and more. Prime members also enjoy exclusive access to movies and TV shows, music, unlimited photo storage and Kindle books.
Try USA Prime for FREE
Try UK Prime for FREE

Audible

Immerse yourself in inspiring voices by master storytellers who bring books to life, illuminating characters and taking you deep inside the story.
Try USA Audible for FREE
Try UK Audible for FREE

ALL THE ARTICLES

Click the image to view



Traditional Christmas Dinners Around The World

Christmas would not be Christmas without the traditional Christmas day dinner, most people in the UK and America would agree when it comes to the Christmas Day Dinner it has to be butter basted... continue reading click image.



Make Your Own Christmas Tree Decorations

Christmas is coming and one of our own family traditions as is the tradition of most families is the dressing of the Christmas tree. Each year, out would come the Christmas box, which was carefully... continue reading click image.



Indie Authors and Amazon Hachette Deal

Amazon And Hachette have finally resolved their difference but neither is telling us at the moment the contents of their agreement. David Naggar, said in a statement "We are pleased with this new... continue reading click image.



Miss Marple

Elspeth McGillicuddy is not a woman usually given to hallucinations. But when she witnesses what appears to be a woman being strangled on a train and no one else sees it, no one reports it and no... continue reading click image.



Kindle Voyage: Our First Impressions

Breaking News... Amazon are releasing the Kindle Voyage in October for the USA Market, here is our first impressions and comparisons based on all the data Amazon have released. On paper it looks... continue reading click image.



Rediscovering Enid Blyton and the Famous Five

My first Blyton book was a Noddy book, I can still remember sitting in bed as a four year old at my grand-parents house in Beddgelert, a little village that looked out over Snowdonia, the wind and... continue reading click image.



Articles

The ReadersGazette Article Section is where authors can post articles on any subject they like for our readers to enjoy. As long as the article will be of interest to the readers here and is... continue reading click image.


Pages: F  12 13 14




Try Video

Enjoy unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows. Anywhere, anytime.
Try USA Video for FREE
Try UK Video for FREE

Reading App

Read Everywhere with the Free Kindle Reading Apps.
USA FREE Kindle Reading App
UK FREE Kindle Reading App