The Red Ribbon, Earring, and Shell Necklace.
“What have you got there Andrew?” John piped up from across the galley. Anne tried to stash the earing she’d been gazing at, but Captain Frobisher’s hand caught her wrist before she could hide the bauble.
“Ah-ha!” Captain Frobisher laughed, “I knew you had a girl somewhere, Andrew!”
Anne’s brain raced, “It’s nothing sir.” She tried to twist her arm away but Captain Frobisher plucked the earing out of her hand and held it up to the lamplight.
“This is quite the pretty piece. Who’d it belong to?” While the rest of the crew knew of Anne’s disguise, the captain was still blind and Anne preferred to keep it that way. Whether through brotherly friendship or bullying she had gotten the crew on her side, but she hardly knew how Frobisher would react to finding out that his ship’s boy and protégé was a lass.
“A girl back home. We’re promised to each other.” Anne supplied quickly, hoping that it would shut the captain up. The Captain handed the earing back to her. “I don’t think she’ll wait around long, might even be married by the time we get back, she is a few years older than me.” Anne heard a few of the men snicker and she gave them a vicious glare, which only made them chuckle more.
“An older woman?” The Captain roared with laughter. “You’ll learn Andrew,” Captain Frobisher swung an arm around Anne’s shoulders, “women are as changeable as the tides and plentiful as the fish in the sea. We’ll just find you another one, won’t we men?” The crew gave a resounding assortment of cheers and laughter.
“Sir, I’m only sixteen! I went to sea to get away from women!” Anne protested, only making her situation worse. “I appreciate the offer captain, but-“
Frobisher waved Anne’s pleas away with a punch to her shoulder, “No buts Andrew! When we dock in Bristol the first order of business is to find you a buxom lass to have some fun with.”
“As you wish Captain.” Anne rolled her eyes and ducked out from the galley and scurried away to her hammock. It seemed funny to her how she’d grown up around men all her life, and yet she had barely known anything about men until she had signed on with a crew of them. Once there she pulled out the earing again and looked over the small metal hoop with the glass bead embedded inside. It had been one of her mother’s things, a mismatched earing that Anne had played with since she’d been young. It had been a bracelet until Anne’s wrist had grown too large for the opening. It was the only thing she carried of her mother.
Anne’s hand found the shell that hung from a string around her neck and she gave the good luck charm a small squeeze. Once again she’d just barely escaped another awkward situation with the Captain and crew. Captain Frobisher was mostly bluff and blunder anyway.
“You all right lass?” John’s head peeked over the edge of Anne’s hammock and she nodded. “Whose earring is it?”
“Mine. Same as the ribbon.” Anne stashed the earing and rolled out of her hammock. “Does the captain need me?”
“We’ve got watch now, c’mon.” John patted Anne on the shoulder and the two of them headed up to scan the horizon.
Look for the last installment of "Anne's Clothes" tomorrow- The Shirt. Hope you have enjoyed reading these little stories, if you've missed any just look for the tag "Anne's Clothes" to find the rest of them!