He Calls Himself a Captain…

ooc:
Attention! Please note the following!

This is a thread meant for humor more than anything else so I'd appreciate characters that would fit here.

Also, please be patient and do not post out of turn often! Some folks don't have as much time free time to post and it's not fair to skip over them because of that.  It's alright to skip someone's turn when it's appropriate. For example , it's alright to skip them if their character really cannot do anything. xD

Post more than five sentences and make sure that what you post is appropriate as well as relevant to the story.

Lastly, have fun!

ic:

At long last his dream had come true. There was a spring in the captain's step and a stupid ugly smile on his gray muzzle as  he walked down the sandy beach, eyeing each member of his newly assembled crew.

They all stood tall and straight-backed before him in a line. Not a single beast blinked as their captain walked down that line, scrutinizing their appearances.

"Well, innit this the saddest bunch 'o sea dogs yer ever clapped eyes on?"  Captain Zhyhin commented to no beast in particular.  " Why just lookin’ at ‘em turns me insides out. I ain’t never seen a more fearsome brood ‘o wave scum! “ He stopped pacing the line and looked at them with a toothy grin. “Righto me buckoes! Ye know why yer is here ‘an all of youse signed me contract.” He removed a scroll of parchment that had been tucked away in his belt and unrolled it before them , turning the paper so all eyes could red the poorly scrawled gibberish on the paper in red ink that the silly so-called Captain had told them to pretend was their blood.

He pointed a filthy claw at each unreadable signature with his claw and eyed his moltely crew. “Accordin’ ter this yer worthless lives belong ter me now. Soez yers gots ter does what I sez. Savvy? “

“Aye capn’!” His crew shouted a little too enthusiastically. The voices of young . A crew of like-minded, dull-witted crazies that probably would have believed the sky was falling if their Captain had told them so.

The response caused the stoat to grin. “Now thas an answer I likes! There might be ‘opes for yer yet, mates. But yer gonna need plenty ‘o lessons from me ifn’ yer wants ter be real sea beasts. “

A tiny paw shot up in the air.” Capn’  I gots a questin. “ A young rat who was hardly out of her dibbun seasons said.

Zhyhin rolled up the contract and tucked it back into his belt. “Oi? Does yer now? Well, wot issit? “

“Well, me ‘an the crew is just wonderin’ if youse a real pirate ‘an all then how comes we sees no ship?”

Zhyhin frowned at the rat as the other recruits,  five in all and mostly young rats with the odd mouse and otter were nodding their heads.  “A ship ye sez? “

They nodded in unison.

“Ye wants to see me ship, eh? Well, I’m not so sure youse lot is ready t’ see it.” He turned his back on them and crossed his arms.

“Oh please , capn’! We’re ready!”

“Aye. We is! “

Zhyhin smiled. What an enthusiastic lot! He turned to face them and pointed down the beach. “Well, alright. I’ll show youse but first I gots to test yer and sees ifn’ youse ready like ye says ye are. “

The recruits hopped up and down with excitement. “Our first job as real sea scum!”

“Give us orders , capn’! “

“Aye! Who does we gots to knock off!”

“Wot do we steal?”

Chuckling, the sea stoat  gestured down the shoreline. In the distance they could see a small fire and three shadows huddled around the fire. “ See that down there? I want youse lot to see wot they got. “ He explained.

“Wot? Is that it?”

“That sounds boring!”

There was a lot of moaning.

“Oi! No complainin’! I ne’er said bein’ a sea scum was gonna be fun ‘an games. Ye wanna see me ship , well youse gotta prove to me yer worth. Now! Git! “ He kicked some sand at them and chuckled as they scampered off down the beach.

Sadly, he fancied himself to be so clever. The fact that the only beasts he’d managed to assemble were a bunch of orphaned dibbuns hardly crossed his mind.

He wasn’t exactly a stoat renowned for his brilliance.

ooc: I'm not so good with intros in the morning.  &}

Saoirse Greenleaf was a very quiet and reserved otter.  She kept to herself mostly, and did not socialize much with creatures she did not know.  There were exceptions, however; Freedom, Miranthia, and her rather large extended family were the only ones she felt she was able to relaxe and have fun with.  But for the most part, she stayed in her shell.

She was a very adept and skilled beast however, having a very good aim and sharp skill with a bow.  She was decent with a sword and hand-to-hand combat, but the beautiful yew bow her mother had given her was her weapon of choice.  That, and the weapon also doubled as a fishing rod.  Fishing was one of her most favorite things to do.  It was peaceful, and allowed her to think.

Saoirse was still a rather young adult, being a ripe age of twenty-seven.  She had creamy red fur, the fur around her eyes, ears, tail-tip, and paws a darker shade.  The fur on her throat clear down to her belly was an off-white color.  She had curly, shoulder-length auburn hair that she sometimes kept back in a bun.  All in all, she was pretty much a normal looking otter.  But her eyes; her eyes were a beautiful bright blue-violet.  The only other distinguishing thing about her, was the fading brand on her left cheek.

Freedom, Miranthia, and herself had been living at Redwall Abbey for about five or six seasons (years) now.  And while the creatures there had made them feel extremely welcome, even placing Freedom as the Abbey Healer and Infirmary Keeper, Saoirse just felt out of place.  She didn't want to, but she did.  So, after a season of contemplating it, she decided to go on a journey of self-relization/betterment, so to speak.  She planned to stay away from the Abbey for a season or two, in hopes that while on her journey she would be able to allow herself to become more sociable, and actually learn to have some fun.  While both Freedom and Mira were sad to see their friend go, they were overjoyed to hear it.

So now Saoirse stood on the beach, gazing out towards the sea, absolutely captivated by the sight of it.  She'd been gone from the Abbey for about three months now, but didn't look worse for wear.  Her long, light-purple dress had a few rips in it towards the hem, and the tie in the back was slightly frayed, but other than that she looked just fine.

Her ears twitched towards the sound of some beast speaking, and she turned her head towards it.  By the sounds of it, he sounded like a pirate.  She crept up a dune and watched the entire spectacle from over the top, an eyebrow raised in curiousity.  She couldn't help but grin a little at the would-be-crew and it's captain.

After the dibbuns ran off, Saoirse rest her chin in her paws, her elbows sinking in the soft sand of the dune.  "So what are you goin' ta do if they really carry out y'ur orders, mate?"

"Well, " The proud, but not so bright-minded stoat boasted, "We're gonna split the booty 'o course." Never mind that the three woodlanders that were about to be robbed probably didn't have very much. " Zhy rubbed his flat, starved belly and licked his chops, a bit of drool dribbling down his chin as he thought of the vittles his little miscreants would bring back for him.

It was only then when the breeze ruffled his thin greasy fur (for it had been some time since he'd bathed! ) that he noted the shadow behind him and whirled around , looking up to the dune . He shielded his beady eyes from the glare of the sun and spied a creature that wasn't what he was expecting to see.

"Oi! " He pointed. "You ain't part 'o me crew!" It sounded halfway accusatory. "Speak  landblubber! 'Oo dares ter sneak up on Capn' Zhyhin?! "

ooc: xD

Saoirse stared at him a moment longer, taking in his mal-nourished and dirty self, and couldn't help feeling sorry for him.  She knew only too well what that was like.  She subconciously touched the fading brand with a paw before she shook out of it a smiled slightly.

"Sneakin'?  I wouldn' qui' call it tha', mate.  Any beast fro' 'ere ta th' great fire mountain i'self c'n 'ear ya plain as day.  Ya wouldn' o' been able ta 'ear an' army marchin' at ya, let alone a sneaker."  She ran some of the find sand through her fingers, as if bored, before she turned her gaze back down to the stoat.  "O'course I ain't part o' yer crew, I'm no' a liddle un, like those'ns.  'ho'd ya snatch th' poor mites from?"

Zhyhin blinked stupidly. Could a mountain hear? The stoat pirate's ugly face twisted into a thoughtful expression  as he pondered the possibility. "Me mum ne'er tolded me tha'…"

Then he jumped at the inquiry of the dibbuns. "Snatch? I di'in snatches nobeast. I jus' borrowed 'em fer a bi'. " He clapped his paws over his mouth, which instantly gave him away. " I shouldn' 'ave said tha'. "

He chuckled nervously and waved a dismissive paw. "They joined me crew right 'n proper!" He tugged the scroll from his sash and waved it about in the air. "I gots signatures 'n blood an' evryfin' . I may be wavescum buts I takes me recruitin's in a gentlebeast manner, ye know."

Zhyhin might have been an intimidating sight to behold, styled in a true wavescum fashion with tattoo, many a piercing and battle scars. His fangs were yellowed, his dark gray fur greased from lack of bathing and his dark, beady eyes that looked every bit shifty and untrusting.

Seasons ago he'd been a fine stoat. Strong and mighty handsome by his reckoning but the seasons alone had been harsh on him. His knowledge was in the sea, in steering a ship. He was no hunter, no cook, no tracker...it was a miracle the silly stoat was alive.

And meanwhile some ways down the beach, Zhyhin's little terrors had come upon the three campers. An elderly pair of mice and a hedgehog. The three were well aware of the stoat and his band of little rascals but they had been pretending not to notice, discussing theories about the strange corsair and what he was doing with so many children that clearly were not his.

There were five dibbuns in all. Mostly rats with an odd mouse and otter thrown into the mix. They looked as ragged and pathetic looking as their captain did but their faces were determined as they charged down the beach waving their wooden twigs which , in their minds, were really swords.  "Arrrgh! We're corsairs! Give us your booty!" They cried as they went on the attack, forming a circle around the campers and dancing around them, chanting like madbeasts.

ooc: Tiny edit. Swapped the word 'army' for 'band'. xD 5 kids does not = army.

Saoirse didn't know what to say.  She sat there, with her chin still propped in one hand, avidly watching the tiny dibbuns in the distance.  But after listening to this would-be-Captain talk, her jaw dropped and her gaze, once again, switched back to him.

What?  Was he serious?  Maybe he got dropped as a babe….  or perhaps, something happened to him long ago, that caused his mind to work like this.  Maybe it was just his way of coping.

In a lot of ways, the two were very, very similar.

Saoirse shook her head and rolled her eyes to the sky, as if seeking patience, and sighed.  Since she was on a quest of self-betterment, maybe this was the golden chance she was looking for.  "Alrigh' lookee 'ere mate; seein' as 'ow ya c'n barely take care o' yaself, an' now you 'ave five more mouths ta feed, I suppose I'll sign y'ur raggedy ol' contract, savvy?  BUT, I'm no' doin' this fer you, I'm doin' this fer th' poor liddle'uns.  'ow's tha' sound ta ya, mate?"

She knew the dibbuns couldn't cause much harm to the three travelers, but she sure hoped the stoat would make up his mind soon so she could stop them; if mischeif could be stamped at a young age, they might have a chance to grow up decent enough.  IF they didn't listen to the stoat that is....

The otter's response caught the silly corsair off-guard.  Most beasts either laughed at him (if they were vermin) or scolded him (if they weren't so vermin-ish).

Not a single older beast seemed to understand. Ah but the little ones appreciated his thirst for exploration and treasure. Their enthusiasm was matched with his own and while his plans were certainly not ingenious, it's not like the children would criticize him for being so dim-witted. He was the brightest mind of the bunch and he liked it.

It left him scratching his head. "Yew ain't tryin' ter pull me leg are ye?"  He blinked.

The dibbuns were howling now and shaking their twigs. The elderly mice grasped hands and squeaked, somewhat horrified by these wild cholderen and their lack of manners.

"Stop this at once you naughty beasts!" The elder mousemaid scolded. "Oooh when I find your parents…"

The hedgehog was trying not to laugh but his belly was shaking. Then one of the rat babes poked the jolly fellow's belly and growled. "Oi! Wot's so funny, 'edgepig? There'll be no laughin'. Jus' 'and over yer vittles 'n wha' e'er booty yew gots and maybe the capn' won't 'ave ter get nasty wit yew."

Saoirse smiled softly and shook her head.  Instead of getting up to walk down the dune, she planted her bottom in the soft sand and slid down to him, a rather large pack slung over her shoulders.  Once at the bottom she got to her feet and brushed herself off.  "No mate, I ain't pullin' y'ur leg."

She unshouldered the bag and dropped it in front of him; it was bursting with food that she had gathered, cooked, and accumulated from several beasts she met on her travels.  She pierced him with a stern stare before she continued. "Now, no sneakin' any vittles while I go roun' up ya crew.  When I come back 'ere an' find tha' th' bag 'as been messed with, Cap'n' 'r no', I'll smack ya paw.  Now, 'scuse me a tick while I go rescue those campers."

Saoirse didn't wait for him to reply and struck out for the would-be-corsairs, the dismayed squeaks of the elders becoming louder.  Before the little rat babe could poke the hedgehog again, she snatched the stick from him and snapped it in half.  "All righ' you lot, pack it up an' ge' back to th' Cap'n'.  Any one o' ya liddle terrors bother these po' folk anymore an' I'll tan all ya hides an' ya won't get any supper.  Now scoot!" she barked at them, authority with a slight hint of menace in her voice.

Zhyhin's beady eyes were fixated greedily on the food. The starving stoat nodded furiously as the otter spoke. "Oh aye. Won't touch yer vittles. Cross me 'eart ." He made a criss-cross gesture, dragging a filthy black claw over his chest.  Though in the back of his thick but scheming little mind, he had every intention of doing exactly the opposite.

The moment she turned her back, the stoat paced circles around her haversack. "Heeheehee…silly river dog. Should knows better than ter trust a pirate. Let's see what's in thar...." He cast a quick, nervous glance over his narrow shoulder to see if any beast was looking.  Saoirse had her back to him as she was making her way down the beach to stop the wayward dibbuns.

"Harr harr...'an pa sez I ain't got no brains...." He began carefully rummaging through the bag. He was quite a crafty little thief, easily freeing an oatcake or two from its confines and causing nary a wrinkle. Just looking at the bag, one might not have noticed anything was amiss.  Zhyhin wolfed those cakes down faster than a beast could blink and he was about to help himself to more when he heard the dismayed squeaking of his terrified crew.

The corsair choked and stumbled away from the bag, the only evidence to his crime were the crumbs stuck in his fur.  He quickly spun on his heel to face the incoming dibbuns.

"Oi! Wot d'yew lot think yer doin'? Where's the booty, mates?"

"Oh capn'!" One of the rat babes wailed. "'Twas terrible! We was attacked by a nasty river dog! "

Zhyhin frowned and scratched his head. "River dog?" He blinked stupidly but then he remembered..."Oh...righto. Er...I sent 'er meself." He nodded.

Relieved that they were being terrorized by the wild youths no more, the elders thanked the noble ottermaid whom had come to their rescue. "Oh thank you, miss." The male thanked her, dabbing a nervous brow with a kerchief.

"That wretched stoat! Someone ought to go over there and teach him a thing or two!" The female huffed. "Stealing little ones and making them do such things! Oooo!" She stood up and made off to go after him. "Let me at him!"

"Muriel! Get back here!" The male followed after her, but his pace was far slower than Muriel's , no thanks to his being much older and rounder than she was.

"Oh boy. Look at her go." The hedgehog remarked with a chuckle.

"Bertram! Don't just stand there. Go get her! "

The heghehog, Bertram shook his head and with a sigh he heaved his stout frame from the sand and jogged down the beach after the angered old woman.

Now, Zhyhin saw Muriel gunning for him and bravely hid behind the dibbuns. Though he wore a rapier in plain view, the stoat's paws went nowhere near his belt.

" Er heh heh heh...'ello there, marm. Nice day, ain't it? "

Stopping several pawsteps away from the thieving stoat, Muriel pointed a shaky accusing finger at the corsair and shouted. "You! You ought to be ashamed of yourself!"

Ooc: face-palm

Saoirse held a paw to her forehead and shook her head slowly, inhaling deeply before letting the breath out heavily.  "Aye methinks this is goin' ta be more trouble than 'tis worth.  Y'u shoul' prob'bly stay 'ere marm, it migh' be a liddle safer." she said to the remaining female before she walked back to where the catastrophe was taking place.

A part of her was wanting to let the older female berate Zhyhin, she really had every right to.  But the other part, knew she should step in and intervene.  Though he hadn't proved to be a threat just yet, he was still armed, and she would hate to see him use the rapier at his side.  So against her better judgement, she placed herself inbetween the angry female and the hapless stoat captain.

" 'old 'ard there marm an' please calm down.  'e's with me, an' no, he didn' steal th' liddle'uns.  They're orphans."  She highly doubted this was going to help matters any, but that was the first thing that had popped into her head, and she'd always been told to go with her first reaction.

ooc: There shall be many moments of the epic face palm! This is only the beginning! cackle

ic:

Hearing this, Muriel backed down a bit though she eyed both the stoat and his newly acquired otter friend with more than a little suspicion.  Being a creature of tradition and bias (though not completely unfounded!) , she had been taught that vermin were bad, especially those of the corsair variety.

"Is he now?" She inquired with a tone that suggested that she wasn't quite foolish enough to believe it.  " You make an odd pair."  She wrinkled her nose.  An ottermaid and a corsair!  She'd never seen anything like it in all her seasons.

She had to wonder if the poor maid was also a victim of the stoat but…

The corsair himself seemed pretty addle-brained and harmless. Muriel hadn't even noticed that he was armed at first until she'd drawn close enough and had begun scolding him and she feared that , if angered, he'd draw the dreadful thing and start threatening them all with it.

Zhyhin stared at Muriel ,his ugly scarred face wrinkling and bewilderment shining in his beady little eyes.  "Huh...I 'ad'nt thought 'o tha' 'afore." He scratched at the little tuft of silvery fur on his chin thoughtfully.

She made a pretty good point. The little ones didn't have as much swashbuckling experience as he. Against more savage creatures, they'd be killed.  "Yose right, marm. I shoulda thought 'bout givin'  'em a lesson 'afore turnin' 'em loose like tha'."

And sticks weren't a very effective weapon. He'd need to get them something more appropriate...

The stoat seemed to miss the point entirely and Muriel's temper was far past the snapping point. She stared at him incredlously for awhile.

Was this idiot real? It was hard to believe that any beast could be so careless and, well, empty-headed!

It was a miracle anyone with such a low level of intelligence could survive.

"You rogue! I'll give you a lesson!" She bristled and she started to charge, slipping around the otter that was defending  him. She shook  a tiny , wrinkled and very angry fist at him.

"Oi! Take it easy, lady..." The stoat pirate held up his paws defensively. "I dun wants no trouble..."

But Muriel didn't heed him. She was on him in an instant, snatching one of his tattered,pierced ears and pinching them unmercifully.

It was quite a pathetic sight, really. To see a groan and somewhat fearsome looking stoat being admonished by a little old mouse woman.  Sadly, the poor stoat was so starved that he looked nearly as frail as she did.

"I was jes'...woah!  Ow ow ow! H-hey...git back yew crazy cheese eatin' gran! Ow ow...tha' smarts! 'O me ear...!"

"Hey! Yew can't do that to the capn'! " One of the rat babes protested. The other two rats fell over one another, sniggering.

"Oh no! I can't look!" The otter babe covered his eyes. "Poor capn'. I never knew him but he was a good stoat..."

The mousemaid gasped and clung to her otter friend. " Oh no! I think she's going to paddle him!"

"Ho! Muriel!" Bertram arrived now, running to meet the group at top speed. The big hedgehog stopped beside his mouse friend and bent over huffing and wheezing. "M-muriel..." He caught his breath and straightened up.  he gently took the angered mouse by the arm and pulled her away from Zhyhin.

"Easy there. I'm sure the stoat meant no harm. Right? " He looked at Zhyhin.

The corsair stood there nursing his aggrieved ear.  "She's a wild 'un! Jus' like me ole mum..."

"Why you...!" Muriel made as if to go after him and Zhyhin squeaked and stumbled back. As he did so, his paw got caught up in Saorise's pack and he fell flat on his back.

The dibbuns burst into a chorus of naughty giggles.

"Oi! It ain't nice ter laugh at youre capn'!" The stoat shook a fist at them. "Keep it up an' I'm cuttin' yer rations inter smaller pieces I am!"

The dibbuns didn't heed him, and they fell over each other laughing even harder.

Saoirse put a paw to her mouth, trying hard to quench the giggles that were threatening to escape her.  She finally managed to take control of herself and she sighed semi-sadly.  "An' this is what I got maself into.  Bravo Saoirs, bravo."

She turned to Bertram and patted his arm lightly.  " 'e really is 'armless.  An' like it 'r no', I'm stuck with 'im.  I figgerd since 'e really isn' all tha' bad, I c'uld 'elp 'im 'r somethin'." she shrugged lamely and looked at the two inquisitively, hoping that maybe possibly they would understand.  "Ya think?"

She broke off and shrugged again, then walked over to Zhyhin and lifted him up to his feet, trying hard not to breath through her nose.  "Lemme tell ya somethin' mate, y'r defini'ly gonna take a bath, that's f'sure!  An' you lot, quit that laughin' unless ya wan' a good paddlin'.  Y'ur not off th' 'ook yet!"  Saoirse brushed Zhyhin off, noticing the crumbs in his fur.  "So, this is what'ya get f'r sneakin' vittles mate." she crossed her arms and tapped the sand with a footpaw and her rudder-like tail, piercing him with her mysterious, and fierce, blue-violet eyes.

Chuckling, the big hedgehog crossed his thick arms over a very round belly. Bertram smiled lazily at the otter and nodded. “Aye. Seen worse, I have. I think if he wanted to cause any harm, I‘m not for doubting that he wouldn‘t have used that sword of his. Stranger still that he’s gathered up a buncha young ‘uns for his crew. I ain’t seen no other vermin about. Have to wonder what’s goin’ on in that head of his. “ He shrugged as well. “Ye may as well be right, miss. An’ ‘tis a good thing for him that he’s got a sensible beast willin’ t’ set ‘im straight, aye Muriel?”

Muriel’s whiskers twitched with irritation but the laughter of the children was infectious. She sighed resignedly. She didn’t believe

“Thanks, mate. I was sure that ole mouse was gonna gimme a real thrashin’.” The stoat said as he was helped back up to his feet, but his ugly face scrunched up in horror at the mention of a bath. “A b-b-bath!? “ He looked at her with wide fearful eyes. It was as though she’d just told him the most dreadful thing he’d ever heard in all his rotten years.  If stoats could blush, Zhyhin’s face would have turned a brilliant shade of cherry. He adopted an innocent look, “ Wot ? I didn’ takes noffin’. “ He noted some crumbs stuck to his vest and desperately tried to brush them off. “Er…I mighta sneaked a lil’ erm…snack?” He grew nervous under her stare.

Hearing the otter’s threats, the dibbuns shut up instantly. They had more brains about them than their Captain did, apparently.

"Well she 'ad every righ' to, since ya set y'r crew o' rougish dibbuns on their camp." she said with a slight growl, the the fierceness in her eyes had abated for the time being.  "Oh yes mate, a bath.  If I'm t' be travelin' with ya, y'r gonna be smellin' like roses, no' like death warmed ov'r."  She rummaged around in her pack and found a package of candied chestnuts, then gave one to each of the dibbuns.  "Tha's it, good job liddle'uns.  We may be able t' make proper, civilized beats ou' o' you yet.

"Sorry f'r th' trouble these'uns caused y'u fine folk." Saoirse said to Bertram and Muriel, indicating the rougish "crew" and their captain.  "But, I think I c'n get them goin' down the righ' path." she smiled slightly and looked down at her footpaws.  "At leas' I c'n try that is."

“No! No way! Out ‘th question! ‘Ow am I apposed ter strike fear inter the ‘earts ‘o me rivals iffin I ain’t got a filthy , intimidatin’ visage I asks yer.  Ain‘t no corsair that‘ll takes me seriously iffn‘ I‘m all nice ‘n prettied up like. I‘m Zhyin the stoat! Best ‘o the best! Most terrifying‘, bloodthirsty scallawag ter sails the roarin‘ waves! Harr harr! “ He drew his rapier with what was intended to be swiftness and precision but it slipped from his paw and dropped soundlessly into the sands. “Whoops…”

The dibbuns giggled through mouthfuls of candied chestnut.

The stoat fixed them a stern glare and bent over to retrieve his weapon. It was a fine thing. Elegant and silver. It was highly polished and obviously cleaner than the creature that wielded it. "Slippey thing…c’mere.”

Bertram shook his head, grinning. “Don’t worry much about it , miss.  Tweren’t not much trouble at all. To be honest, we were just worried about the little ‘uns. Kind of unusual to see one like him with..well, y’know. “ The hedgehog shrugged again.  “An’ we’ve had our share of nasty sea beasts in our time. Never can be too careful, eh?”

“Right yew are, spikes. I don’ blame youse. I’m pretty scary lookin’. Sometimes me own reflection scares me.” Zhyhin oh so graciously added in his two cents.

Bertram chuckled. “Indeed. Well, you’ lot are welcome to join us by our fire if you like.” He invited but the moment he did Muriel shot him a death’s glare.

"Tha's mighty kind o' ya sir, but I think we best be on our way.  Tha' an' it'll save ya th' tongue waggin' tha's sure t' come."  Saoirse said, trying to ease the old mouse's glare.  "Thank ya kindly f'r th' offer though." she curtsied at them and turned back to the rabble she was now stuck with.

"Oh yes sir stoat, a bath.  If ya don' take one at least once a day, then I won' share me vittles with ya." she crossed her arms and stuck her nose in the air.  "Me an' the liddle'uns will eat it all up, an' ya won' get any of it."

Bertram's grin nearly took in his ears. He nodded and turned, walking back to the fire with Muriel in tow.

Zhyhin gasped and yanked his bandanna so the material just barely hid his eyes. "Once a day!?" He was mortified. One bath was dreadful but taking two, three  and more consecutively!? The horror!

"I don't wanna…!" He was close to whining but he could smell the food in that bag she was carrying and his mouth began to salivate. His stomach roared, announcing it's hunger and the poor corsair whimpered as he felt his growing hunger pains.

But he hated baths! He turned his back on her and crossed his arms stubbornly, pointing his nose up. "No bath! 'Tis final! I'm a Capn' an' I ain't havin' no beast tell me wot ter do!"

His stomach growled firecly once more and he whimpered and spun around to face her and threw himself down at her paws on all fours. "Oh please, please share a small smackerel!" He blubbered pathetically.  "I'll does wotever yer sez! I'm so 'ungry!"

She handed him the remainder of the candied chestnuts and shouldered her bag before he could attack it further.  "Done.  A bath once a day, an' you'll get proper nourishment.  Same goes f'r you lot too." she said to the dibbuns, eyeing them in a menacing sort of way.

"B'fore we set off, I don' think I've introduced m'self yet."  she held out a paw to Zhyhin.  "I'm Saoirse Greenleaf."

Those candied chestnuts were gone almost the instant that they were in his paws. Just as he had done with the unfortunate pair of oatcakes, Zhyhin scarfed the little sweets down without stopping to properly chew them and as a result the fool of a stoat began to choke.

Alarmed, one of the dibbuns hurried over to the corsair's side and pounded on his back as he was bent low over the sands, spluttering for air. Zhyhin slammed his chest hard with his paw and gasped for breath shortly after a chunk of chestnut became dislodged from his throat and dropped into the sand.

"Ugh…"

"Are you okay? " The concerned young one, the mousemaid asked him.

Zhyhin nodded. "Aye. Thanks lil' messmate." He straightened up swept his grimy red bandanna from his head. He bowed as elegantly as he could like he'd seen gentle and proper beasts do before though his movements  were awkward and stiff. Not a gesture he practiced very often. "Saoirse, eh? Tha's a funny name- er...I mean... pleased t' meet yer. I'm Zhyzin the stoat."  He straightened up out of his bow. " I ain't ne'er met any river dog tha' din'un wanna 'url one 'o them throwy spears at me afores. No 'fence."

"None takin', but ya 'ave t' admit, iff'n yore (that's it!) 'ome was constantly unner attack by all sorts o' baddies, you'd chuck a spear firs' an' ask questions later."  She curtsied politely and patted the top of the little mousemaid's head fondly before looking to the stoat again.  "So, where's this contract o' yours, an' where's yore ship?  If'n I'm gonna feed you lot good an' proper, I need t' see what 't is I'm exactly workin' with 'ere."

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