"It is with inestimable pride, moderately tempered with a true Christian humility, that I present my son James Pemberton."
The Governor of Jamaica, or as I should say former Governor of Jamaica, looked over the boy outwardly with a benevolent and fatherly glance, while inside detesting every ounce of him. How many more of these simpering idiots could be foisted upon him only for him to pursue the most tedious route of foisting them upon others? He hated doing it and those he politely asked – his request could never be refused seeing his station and influence in the admiralty – hated him for it.
On occasion there would be that rare Captain who had been unlucky enough to have lost half his midshipmen to yellow jack who would be willing to take one or two aboard, but Lord Pemberton simply asked too much. His eldest son Henry had gone into the service two years ago and out again via the rail, sewn into his hammock, a year later.
The Governor smiled and before he had released the boys pathetic grip a name came to his mind, one that he did not mind imposing upon, indeed he relished it; his own brother. Being a newly removed Governor had its privileges, but being the older brother of a newly appointed Captain whose ship had recently limped into port following a defeat, in this instance, had even more. The two combined would certainly prove to be a tide to powerful to stem.
"I believe I may be of assistance to you once more your Lordship."
"And once again I am most humbly in your debt Sir," replied Pemberton.
Pemberton was everything the former Governor was not, short, fat, and bald, and young James appeared to be an apple that had fallen so near the tree as to rest against its trunk. The thought of this fatty lump climbing the rigging made him smile, while the thought of his brother contemplating James' ascent and the frustration it must necessarily bring, would have made him laugh aloud had he been alone. He made a mental note to think upon this point when next alone, but then his face darkened when he realized that that hope may not be realized for days. The business of leaving an office seemed far more tedious than that of accepting, and he was right in the thick of things when Pemberton had ran him to ground. Turning to leave the Governor said, "Your Lordship, have you any other sons?"
Pemberton looked down at his pudgy fingers, thought for a second and replied, "No Sir, only five daughters."
"Well, then it appears our business is concluded once and for all."
© 2005 Dmitri Reavis