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 April 26, 1717 - Whydah Gally - Cpt. Samuel Bellamy - One hundred forty six souls

 It wasn’t his impending death that brought Sam Bellamy to his quarters to write one final letter. It was the idea of leaving this world without saying goodbye to the woman he loved.

 The storm was far more powerful than he had first thought, and it pressed his ship closer to the rocky shore and certain destruction. He and his men fought hard to get out of the predicament they now found themselves in, but their efforts were in vain.

 The vessel shifted to one side, sending Sam head first into a wall. He grimaced and touched the side of his forehead. His fingertips were now a glossy crimson, but he had no time to waste. The letter! He looked around the wooden floor until he spotted it. Scrambling to his hands and knees, he grabbed the parchment that was damp from contact with his soaked clothes, and got back to the desk. Still on his knees, he scribbled the last words he would ever write to his love.

 My darling Maria,

 It is with considerable pain in my heart that I write this letter. I could not bear leaving without saying goodbye. We are caught in a tremendous storm, and I fear that we will not survive the night.

 Sam grabbed hold of the doorway to steady himself as the vessel rolled to the port side. The hull creaked as what sounded like a barrel tumbled across the deck and one of the cannon sounded like it broke free from the ropes securing it to the gunnery deck and crashed into another.

 He continued writing.

 I'm so terribly sorry that I did not fulfill my promise to you. I did my best and almost made it, but it seems that it is not to be. Take heart, my love. I will find you in another life.

 Yours forever,


 Sam wiped his wet face. He rolled the parchment and placed it in an empty rum bottle, then unfastened a chain from around his neck. He pressed the silver oval pendant tight to his lips, after a second glance, put it inside the bottle, and plugged it with a cork.

 A short, stocky man poked his head in the doorway pushing his wet hair back out of his face. “Sam, we’re losing her sir—”

 “Thomas, my friend, listen…I think we should forget about the plan.”

 “What? Why?” Thomas asked.

 Sam shifted his grip on the bottle. “There’s no telling who will make it through this, if anyone.”

 “We’ll make it,” Thomas said resolutely.

 “If you reach land run, and don't look back. There will most certainly be soldiers looking for survivors.”

 “What about the treasure?”

 Images of the past years struggle flashed through his mind. He had amassed a massive horde of treasure, and now it was about to end up on the bottom of the sea. “Lost.”

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