Wild Rover No More: Being the Last Recorded Account of the Life & Times of Jacky Faber

BOOK: Wild Rover No More: Being the Last Recorded Account of the Life & Times of Jacky Faber
7.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Table of Contents

Title Page

Table of Contents




Part I

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Part II

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Part III

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Part IV

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Author's Note

Read More from the Bloody Jack Series

About the Author

Copyright © 2014 by L. A. Meyer


All rights reserved. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.




The Library of Congress has cataloged the print edition as follows:

Meyer, L. A. (Louis A.), 1942–

Wild rover no more : being the last recorded account of the life & times of Jacky Faber / by L.A. Meyer.

pages cm—(Bloody Jack adventures)

Summary: In 1809, just when it looks like Jacky Faber and her beloved Jaimy will finally find their romance, Jacky is accused of treason and must flee Boston while her friends attempt to clear her name. Of course that means wild adventures for our fun-loving heroine, who manages to secure a job as a governess—and run away with the circus.—Provided by publisher.

ISBN 978-0-544-21777-5 (hardback)

[1. Adventure and adventurers—Fiction. 2. Fugitives from justice—Fiction. 3. Love—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.M57172Wi 2015




eISBN 978-0-544-37426-3





. . . and finally, just for Annetje




Miss Clarissa Worthington Howe

The House of the Rising Sun

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA


My dearest Jacky,

It is my fondest hope that this letter finds you in the highest of spirits and in the very pink of condition, you sweet little thing, you.

You are surprised by my return address up there above? Well, dear, I felt it was a perfect place for me to go—my daddy will never find me here. Thank you for introducing me to Mademoiselle Claudelle de Bourbon on my previous visit here, for through her I find I have entry to a very sporting class of people. Mam'selle is well and great fun, of course, and sends her love and affection. And do not worry, I shall not again fall into dependence on those substances she is so eager to provide—no, I am older and far wiser now.

Is your Mr. Fletcher here by my side? Oh, you silly thing, don't you know that was an elaborate little joke? It was just a game. You do realize I had to pay you back for my loss of Randall, don't you? So now we're all even—Polly Von can have both Randall and my part in your little play. That was amusing, but time for me to move on.

And the very idea of me, Clarissa Worthington Howe, being married to a very junior British naval officer—oh my dear, it just could not be. Oh, I mean he was most pleasant company on our way down to New York. We had many fine promenades on the deck as night fell, but I did find him a bit gloomy. I suspect he is still mooning over the loss of his pwetty widdle Jacky Faber. Oh well, he'll get over that. But oh! Oh! Oh! If you could have just seen the look on your face when our ship pulled away from the dock and you came running down to find James looking out to sea and me with my arm around his waist. Joy! I must say my timing was perfect! It was as perfect as that scene you staged back at Dovecote when I pulled up in my coach to find you and Randall rolling around on the grass, Randall above and you below, with your skirts up around your waist. Turnabout is fair play, right, Jacky?

Anyway, dear, thank you for introducing me to New Orleans, as the place suits me. I have taken rooms here at the Rising Sun, as it seems to be the center of all activity in this city, and I have found employment as a singer. I did have to post a bond with Madame Babineau, considering my past behavior here at the Rising Sun, silly stuff that I can scarcely recall. Anyway, I gave her a check in the amount of $500, written on the account of FaberShipping Worldwide, and she seemed pleased. You have probably noticed that one of your cunning little packets of checks is missing. Is it not the most wondrous thing, Jacky? I write out the amount and sign your name . . . I will try to be careful with it.

Thank you also for teaching me to play upon the guitar. With my good soprano voice and my beauty, of course, I am quite the hit. Could I be becoming you? Heaven forbid . . . but, possibly . . . a well-bred, cultured, and beautiful version of you, maybe. You have shown me the way, Jacky, and I thank you for it . . . and for the loan of your guitar. I'm sure you'll find another one soon.

As for my beauty, my fame is spreading. I am performing in several theatrical productions and do not lack for money nor notice. As a matter of fact, I am to be escorted to a grand ball tonight by a General Jackson—do you know him? He is friends with the Lafitte brothers, both of whom send their regards in hopes of seeing you again very soon. They were most emphatic on that.

And while we're on the subject of my beauty, if I were you, I would not go looking for the painting that Spanish boy did of you, as I have borrowed it, also. It has been beautifully framed and now hangs over the bar at the Rising Sun and is admired by all. The Lafitte brothers and I, together with Andrew, were just minutes ago standing in front of it, and all toasted you most warmly—the resemblance is simply amazing. I swear Mam'selle kneels in prayer before it every day. I cannot imagine why it upset your Mr. Fletcher so. After all, we have always known of your . . . exhibitionist tendencies.

Mr. Fletcher . . . Oh, yes, you will probably want to know about him. We parted at New York and he took ship for England, while I continued on to New Orleans. I believe he will try to regain his commission in the Royal Navy, and I say good luck to him. Actually, I think he still loves you, poor man. I did, of course, intercept a letter to you that he had placed at the Pig, wherein he suggested a meeting of reconciliation between the two of you. Silly boy. I just could not allow that to happen. I enclose that letter with this one so that you might enjoy.

Your piratical friend Flaco Jimenez was in New Orleans last week. I believe he came because he had heard I was here, and he showed me an excellent time. The Lafittes do not know all of the low dives in this town, but Flaco is familiar with all of them. He asks after you, of course, but has invited me to go a-roving with him. He might even give me my own ship. I must say the offer is most enticing and I might do it someday . . . The dread Pirate Howe—it has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

The night is very pleasantly warm and the air is heavily laden with the perfume of tropical flowers, and, oh, I do believe Andrew is here to escort me to the ball.

Till later, Jacky. Keep well. I do love you, you know, in my own way. I used to think you were something nasty stuck to the bottom of my shoe, but I have changed my mind on that. Since you have come into my life, you have been ever so much fun.



Clarissa Worthington Howe





Part I
Chapter 1

In the late summer of the year eighteen hundred and nine, we were just back from a fine Caribbean cruise on the
Nancy B. Alsop,
my lovely little two-mastedGloucester schooner—sixty-five feet in length, thirty feet in the beam—a fore-and-aft rig, and as sweet a sailor as ever did cleave an ocean wave. We angled in on a light, fair breeze toward our usual dockage on Boston's crowded waterfront. As we headed in, I noticed that the
Morning Star,
the larger of Faber Shipping's two dories, was not moored in her usual spot. Solomon Freeman probably had her out on the bay, hauling traps, but the
Evening Star
was tied to the floating dock.

I noticed also that the mighty British frigate HMS
was moored alongside Broad Wharf. Well, fine. I am done with all that—the British Navy, BritishIntelligence, young British officers, be they navy, or cavalry dragoons, or whatever.

And that is for certain, as sure as my name is Jacky Faber. Though born in England, I sail under American colors, and my company, Faber Shipping Worldwide, is based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I am a free woman of nineteen years, and I owe no allegiance to any man, having vowed to live single all my life. My business thrives, and my many employees are happy with their lot, as I am with mine. I prosper and I am content.

After seeing the
Nancy B.
properly tied up, with her crew and passengers sent off to wives and sweethearts and other pursuits, I am headed back to the offices of Faber Shipping Worldwide to exchange reports of a business nature with my very able friend and lawyer Mr. EzraPickering. On the way there, I reflect on our latest cruise:


On this trip, I had taken along Joannie Nichols, my fourteen-­year-old ward and fellow Cheapside orphan, and she purely reveled in every minute of it, knowing full well she would have to go back to the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls upon our return. She is most unwilling to return to those hallowed halls, to be sure, much preferring a life on the open sea, as do I; but she has made many friends there now, so it will not be so hard on her this time.

I no longer permit Joannie to bundle with Daniel Prescott, another member of my crew and her long-time beau, as I perceive her to be now fully grown and capable of getting herself into trouble. No, she is kicked upstairs to sleep in my cabin with me, as I need the nighttime company to ward off the nightmares and she needs to watch herself, for Mistress Pimm accepts only certified maidens in her school. I should know, having been closely grilled by Mistress on that very topic more than a few times in the past.
Yes, Mistress, no longer your student but still a maiden, and I shall remain forever so.

Davy Jones is also on this trip, as well as his dear wife, Annie. So, with Joannie, Jemimah, Annie, Dorothea, and me, this was quite the petticoat crew. But I don't care—it's my ship and I'll do what I want with her.

All in all, it has been an enjoyable cruise, and more and more each day, I am liking my new life free of males.

In addition to the others, I have my son, Ravi, by my side as ship's boy, both of us filled with joy at our reunion. After a few trips across the Big Salt on my brigantine
Lorelei Lee
—to prevent him from being retaken by the Boston authorities and tossed back into that wretched boys' reformatory—he pronounces himself “a true son of the sea, Memsahib, a sailor man skilled in many useful things. The clever Sinbad has not a single thing on sailor boy Ravi.” He, too, must return to school soon, now that we've docked in Boston, but in the meantime delights in showing his fellow
ship's boys around the town. They are told they may eat and drink their fill at the Pig and Whistle, but are warned against visits to Mrs. Bodeen's fancy house. Don't tell me I don't know ship's boys, as I once was one.

Ah, yes, a lovely cruise, and one enjoyed to the fullest by Dorothea and Mr. Sackett, she being a former classmate of mine at the Lawson Peabody and he being a teacher at the same school. The two had been tossed out on their ears for the crime of marrying each other. Both are dedicated scientists and were in absolute glory over the richness of the fauna we had found in the warm waters of the Caribbean. Joannie and I delighted in getting back into our swimming suits and diving for specimens, as well as for dinner. Yes, plenty of lobsters, fish, and shrimp for our cook, Jemimah Moses, to work her magic on, but no more riches from the wreck of the
Santa Magdalena,
which had once yielded so much in the way of Spanish gold for the treasury of merry England . . . and for me. We look forward to more such voyages in the near future, and the Sacketts pronounce themselves delighted. I even plan a crossing of the Isthmus of Panama to explore the west coast of this continent. How I will accomplish that, I do not know. I do know, however, that I will
attempt to sail through Tierra del Fuego, down at the tip of South America, for I have heard too many stories of that fierce wind-blown passage. Plus, I do not like the cold.

BOOK: Wild Rover No More: Being the Last Recorded Account of the Life & Times of Jacky Faber
7.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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