These articles contained, inter alia, the common provisions that, should the two vessels separate, a strict account must afterwards be rendered of all prizes severally taken, whilst the vessel taking a prize should retain three fifths of its value, surrendering two fifths to its associate. These shares were subsequently to be subdivided among the crew of each vessel, in accordance with the articles already obtaining between each captain and his own men. For the rest, the articles contained all the clauses that were usual, among which was the clause that any man found guilty of abstracting or concealing any part of a prize, be it of the value of no more than a peso, should be summarily hanged from the yardarm.
All being now settled they made ready for sea, and on the very eve of sailing, Levasseur narrowly escaped being shot in a romantic attempt to scale the wall of the Governor’s garden, with the object of taking passionate leave of the infatuated Mademoiselle d’Ogeron. He desisted after having been twice fired upon from a fragrant ambush of pimento trees where the Governor’s guards were posted, and he departed vowing to take different and very definite measures on his return.
That night he slept on board his ship, which with characteristic flamboyance he had named La Foudre, and there on the following day he received a visit from Captain Blood, whom he greeted half-mockingly as his admiral. The Irishman came to settle certain final details of which all that need concern us is an understanding that, in the event of the two vessels becoming separated by accident or design, they should rejoin each other as soon as might be at Tortuga.
Thereafter Levasseur entertained his admiral to dinner, and jointly they drank success to the expedition, so copiously on the part of Levasseur that when the time came to separate he was as nearly drunk as it seemed possible for him to be and yet retain his understanding.
Finally, towards evening, Captain Blood went over the side and was rowed back to his great ship with her red bulwarks and gilded ports, touched into a lovely thing of flame by the setting sun.
He was a little heavy-hearted. I have said that he was a judge of men, and his judgment of Levasseur filled him with misgivings which were growing heavier in a measure as the hour of departure approached.
He expressed it to Wolverstone, who met him as he stepped aboard the Arabella:
“You over persuaded me into those articles, you blackguard; and it’ll surprise me if any good comes of this association.”
The giant rolled his single bloodthirsty eye, and sneered, thrusting out his heavy jaw. “We’ll wring the dog’s neck if there’s any treachery.”
“So we will — if we are there to wring it by then.” And on that, dismissing the matter: “We sail in the morning, on the first of the ebb,” he announced, and went off to his cabin.