Hours went by and the crew were either asleep or up on the bridge. I was finally in private with Captain Lewis. It had taken me a bit of courage to ask him about a name.
“Captain,” I quietly called out to him. “Captain Lewis, can I ask you something.”
It took a while for the Captain to open his eyes and he vacantly stared at me and I whispered his name.
“Do you remember him? He had been one of your crew members,” I said to him. “He sailed with you many times. Do you recall him?”
Captain Lewis opened his mouth, but nothing came out. A trickle of tears rolled down his old, weather beaten face.
“I tried to stop them,” he murmured. “I did… by the time they ceased… it was too late.”
“What happened? Please tell me,” I implored. “He needs my help.”
“I’ll tell you if this grants me absolution,” he acceded. “I’ll tell you… It was during our second voyage to the island in the east… I had hired a new crew for this journey. I should have never let them on but, I had lost some of my crew except for a few of them that staid. We have been at sea for seven days… There was a violent outbreak among the crew… They had taken my men hostage, and did terrible things to them… They—tortured them, did as they pleased as only evil could do… Everyone taking turns repeating each torture… I couldn’t stop it… Many of my crew suffered at the hands of these savages… I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t stop it.”
Captain Lewis repeated it over and over. I don’t recall when he stopped. Sometime in the night, he passed away.
In a few days, we had reached the port. I got off the ship and walked aimlessly through the crowd. I wasn’t in a hurry to get home.
“Found your Captain, did ye?” a slurred voice growled from behind me.
I turn to see the sailor whom I spoke to in the old, seedy tavern. Whatever he thought I was after, he seem to know because what he said next, blew the wind out of me.
“Did he tell you he locked himself in his cabin while the ship was being depraved, did he? We called out for him to help us… He forsaken us… his loyal crew.”
He limped away and disappeared in the crowd.