Days of Pirates, Part 1

Newfoundland Discovery Day

Reading Comprehension for June 24

Peter stood on the deck of his small cutter. It would have been much more impressive to sail into Harbour Grace with one of his treasure ships, but it would have been unwise.

His eyes scanned the coast, alert to possible opportunities. He laughed to himself. Those days were pretty much past. Pirating was a good life, but it was best to stop while you had the upper hand. Just one more stop to make.

Gilbert Pike met Peter on the shore. Peter clasped the hand of his one-time lieutenant.

"How is Sheila?" asked Peter.

"She is well, as you will see for yourself in a few minutes. She always remembers you with gratitude." Gilbert looked closely at his former commanding officer. "The rough life hasn't been too hard on you," he commented.

"I think you would live as well as I do if you had stayed with me," said Peter. "The years do not rest easily on your shoulders, my friend."

The two men walked up the road, little more than a rough track to the town of Mosquito. Soon, they came to Gilbert's home. It was plain as homes went, but large enough for the family. Gilbert's family stood in front of the building as they waited for the two men. The eldest, a boy of nine, stood as tall as he could next to his mother while the others bounced with excitement.

"Your Highness," said Peter to Sheila as he bowed, took her hand, and kissed it.

"Admiral," said Sheila, nodding her head to the pirate.

He smiled rakishly at the woman. "So, you've heard the title my men have given me," he stated proudly.

"It would have been hard not to," replied Gilbert. "We could hardly go to our own town, never mind Harbour Grace, without hearing the latest tales of your exploits. In fact, I fancy that my young crew here is hoping to hear a few tales from your own lips."

Peter winked at the children.

"I expect I could come up with a story or two. How about the story of the stolen princess? Perhaps you would rather hear how I captured a fleet of treasure ships?"

"Please, please, oh, yes, please!" chorused the children.

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