* * *
Dusk was settling. In the middle of the high sea just a few nautical miles from shore, the Portuguese fleet threw anchor. A slight fog had set in. Antonio was watching the horizon through the spyglass but it made the vision impossible in the distance. Kishen walked up gingerly in the foggy atmosphere.
’Sire, as per the information received, the pirate ship is just around on the other side of the small island ½ nautical mile away. But till this fog clears, we can’t risk going ahead to check their exact location.
‘Lower the smaller boat. We’ll go now to verify. I don’t want to wait till eternity for the fog to clear.’ Remembering his beloved Rosalin. He wished he didn’t had to leave her alone so quickly after marriage. She sounded so unhappy the night before he thought to himself.
‘But Sire, it is too risky.’
‘Bring me the chart.’ Antonio ordered. One of his men quickly ran up with the navigational chart. Antonio laid it over a table. Another sailor held aloft a lamp as Antonio and a couple of senior men poured over it. Antonio traced his finger over the map from various points and finally tapped on a location on the map.
‘Here we are.’ He proclaimed. He pulled out his compass and flicked it open and checked the needle. He shut it and pulled out his pistols and checked it. Satisfied, he turned to Kishen as he walked up.
‘Is the boat ready?’
‘Yes Sire.’ He answered.
Kishen then took hold of the lantern and walked across the deck and quickly climbed over the railings and down the rope ladder. Antonio followed. They lowered themselves in a small boat. Kishen unhooked the boat and took the oars. The fog was clearing but twilight had already set in. Antonio guided him across the rough sea. Sometime later they reached a small cove of the island. By now the fog had cleared and darkness had settled in. They threw anchor and ran on the other side of the island. A short distance from the island, they could make out the silhouette of the ship.
‘That’s it. It must be the pirate ship.’
Antonio looked skywards. He thought for a while and then turned back from they came from. They boarded the boat and rowed back to the ship and climbed it. He called his men.
‘I had a look at the pirate ship. Rather than attacking now, we wait for sometime when the tides are low. I want the other ships to circle around and surround the pirate ship. Stay away far as possible from the island. The pirate ship would be stuck in due to low tide. And we attack. As we approach it, no lights absolutely. Get me? I don’t want to alert them and get them to fire at us.’
Kishen saluted and retreated quickly barking orders to his men.