Sunday, August 16, 2009
18th Letter of the Alphabet, Letter R
Rough letter "R". How bout that. Interesting story actually how R came to be, R was totally and entirely conceived by the pirates of the south pacific back in the 1500s, here is the story:
Captain Theodius Pencivaleon, known as "Cap T", was a notorious pirate in his day. He was leading his fleet of three majestic tall ships into the Caribbean to set up an intercept attack point for a popular English merchant sailing vessel, "King of the Seas" led by Briton Captain William Fenton. Cap T and his crew were hopelessly greedy, and craving of some juicy plunder, the grog be runnin' low, and they be hopin for a crate o'rum, a crate o'rum they be hopin for indeed.
Captain Fenton was sailing back to England with his cargo holds full to the timbers of South American gold, Aztec artifacts, and gifts from the local inhabitants of the newly discovered world. A nervous eye held to a brass scope swept the horizon to and fro, to and fro, in search of dangers lurking in the form of the evil black Jolly Roger a' furlin'. The sheer weight of the cargo was holding the ship low in the warm waters of the sea, makin er a prime target for any pirate a'plundering.
It wasn't five days into the journey when lo and behold a cry from the crows nest came, sending a cold chill through the blood of Capt Fenton and his crew. Cap T was in sight, and closing in fast.
Be the morn of the 12th day of the 4th month, a valiant fight ensued. Many English man led by the sword, followed their spilled blood into the all-too-well-known locker o' Mr. Davy Jones, timbering their place into pirate lore.
It wasn't longer before Cpt. Fenton had but two options, die or surrender. He made his choice, and requested his 1st officer to bring out the white flag.
"I wish to speak!" Fenton cried from above the crashing and clashing of steel. The fighting stopped and all became silent, save for the creaking and grinding of the two captain's ships joined at the ballast, the seagulls crying overhead, and the moans of the injured celloing through the stagnant salty air.
"Aye!! Speak then! And Be fast! Ye I shall Plund!" shouts back Cap T, followed by cheers.
"We have been defeated. You have taken a lot of my men and we cannot continue to fight."
Another large piratic cheer flooded the area and died down when Cpt Fenton began to speak again, "I have something you might be wanting, something you have always wanted; the name Captain Theodius Pencivaleon in the Annals of Antiquity, and not because of what you have TAKEN but because of what you have GIVEN!"
"Aye??? AND WHAT BE THAT?? I AM A MAN OF THE PLUND!! I 'AVE NOTHIN' TO GIVE!?" replies Capt T with sarcastic intonation, and a hint of reverent curiosity.
"The King of England has asked of me to find a new symbol to be placed in the English alphabet in homage to the new lands found. If you accede my ship and my mates safety, I will bestow the task on thyself for the commissioning of the new symbol. What say ye Captain Theodius? What say ye to that??"
Fenton stood steadfast on the blood soaked deck, starring up at the stoic pirate captain, watching him consider his offer. Knowing his enemy well, he knew his offer would not be refused. A pirate captain's life is plagued by many things, but most of all, he is plagued by his own ego, and refusing an offer which promises a bolster his ego was not an option. Not now, not never.
After minutes, the silence was broken. "Aye!" Cap T shouts. "I ACCEPT YE"
"What be thy new symbol then Theodius? What be thy new symbol you have chosen?" Fenton asks, motioning to his 1st officer to quickly fetch the scribe from below.
Cap T turns to his crew and shouts "AYE! MATES!! WHAT BE YE SYMBOL?"
In a unison response of orchestrated sword raising madness, a large cry came up from the pirates..
The letter "R" came to be, came to be it did, carved into the large sails of Capt Fenton's ship as it sailed sheepishly into harbor on a cold foggy day. A violent reminder of the letter's origin, and a testimony to the ego of a pirate.
"Sir, we are ready to drop anchor, on your command" the first officer informed.
"Right then, ready the anchor, ready the raft, drop the anchor."
"Roger, Captain, Roger that."