On the Ninth Day of Christmas there Just So Happened to Be, Nine Ladies Dancing!
Anne endured the teasing jibes of her fellow sailors with the least amount of blushing that she could manage, which only made them tease her more about her “tumble” with Roxy. It was a well known fact that Anne liked to stay away from brothels, and Andrew always took flack for not visiting the houses of ill repute during shore time.
“So, you’re finally a man now are you Andrew?” Frobisher gave Anne such a hard slap her back that she almost choked on the mug of beer that had been handed to her moments before.
“I s’pose so Capt’n.” Anne rasped out as she caught her breath.
“Couldn’t let the men keep teasing you about being a girl.” Captain Hawkyns teased with a twinkle in his eye. Anne wrinkled her nose at her father and too a swig of beer.
“Exuse me.” Came the voice of young Daisy Crazy LeStrange, a member of the Bristol Buskin Frolic. The bells on her hat and belt jingled brightly as she bounced up and down with excitement. “We’re going to start dancing and need some men!”
“Come on Andrew!” Captain Frobisher dragged Anne from her seat. “Go dance with the girls.”
The menfolk helped to move most of the tables in the Dirty Duck Inn to the sides of the room, creating a fairly good-sized dance floor.
Those of the Bristol Buskin Frolic who played musical instruments pulled their various noise makers out from nowhere and a few more of musicians joined in starting with a lively reel.
While Daisy Crazy LeStrange dragged Anne into the dance, it soon became apparent that Anne Drew was the only “man” among the dancers. In fact, they seemed to be one lady short of ten dancers. Fiona LeSmitherfield the Fiddler was dancing in among the others while playing her fiddle.
As Anne hopped and twirled and chassed her way through the reel she wondered how much breath she’d have by the end of the dance. The musicians seemed to never want to end the weaving and turning melody. One by one dancers dropped out and were replaced by others. It came down to Daisy and Anne as the only two original dancers remaining.
Anne could hear the shouts of encouragement and teasing coming from her comrades, and she could see how Daisy was starting to tire out. Anne knew how to push through being tired from her days on the Gabriel. She also knew when to spin out of a dance, and now was not the time to be competitive.
Jumping out of the dance Anne added her voice to the triumphant cries congratulating Daisy on staying in the dance the longest. Daisy collapsed against a table and was surrounded by her friends laughing and hugging her.
The musicians gathered together for a few moments then started another country tune. Anne decided to sit out this one and catch her breath, there’d be time for more dancing later.
Sorry about the short length of these last two posts. I'm battling something that's not quite a cold and writing's been tough, but I'm still plugging away!