The following morning the crew assembled on the deck of the Revenge. Captain Ardent addresses them from the poop deck.
“Well lads, I think it’s safe to say that you’ve just written another chapter in your own legend. The only crew clever and daring enough to steal straight from Port Royal’s treasury. I tip my hat to you all, you may not be the finest of men, but you are the finest of pirates. Now, I know all you want to do is take your share in what is a very large haul, find a tavern, a homely woman and some good food, and I don’t blame you. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have a problem at all, but I’ve been informed of a target that’s too big to pass up, so big it will ensure our place is legend as the greatest pirates ever to sail the seas and let us live in luxury for the rest of our lives. So are you with me men, will you stay on board, hold off on the taverns and give yourself a chance to make us all very rich men?”
“This goes to a vote. I for one would follow the Captain anywhere, if he says it’s a haul too big to pass up, then I know it must be so, but each man needs to make his own decision,” said Jackson.
“How big is this haul?”
“That’s a good question, Smithy. I don’t know for certain, but if my source is right, and I’m confident he is, it’ll be enough for us all to live like kings, enough to retire if you want.”
“All those against, raise a hand.”
One or two sailors raise their hands.
“All those fore.”
“Everyone else raises their hand.”
“Okay, this one is going to take skill, cunning and lots of planning, so first we head back to base and rest up for a few days.”
Sometime later, in the port of Hispaniola, sits a merchant vessel, one of a hoard of different ships that Ardent has captured and uses for different tasks. In a tavern frequented by the crews of merchant vessels is Ardent, Jackson and eight of their crew, dressed as Danish merchants. They’re drinking and making merry, befriending anyone in the place, buying drinks for other merchants. A group of Spaniards enter. Ardent catches the eye of his men, all of whom are acting drunk, but are bright-eyed.