In A Day with the Millers, I had mentioned that during the afternoon, Antoine had volunteered a story for the children, which I would share sometime later. On Sunday, while our children played in the park (under our supervision), I wrote out this story from a few notes I had taken, as well as what my phone had recorded.
* * * *
“Could we have a story?” Rachel Martin had asked.
“A story about the ocean?” Rebecca added.
“You want a story, you say?” Antoine replied.
“Yes, please,” the children chorused.
“Alright,” Antoine began, “I’ll tell you one. What kind of story do you want?”
“A pirate story!” Joel begged.
The others nodded their heads vigorously.
“Alright,” Antoine began. “A long time ago, when ships, instead of planes crossed the world…”
Gangs of pirates roamed the sea, plundering, looting, and robbing the merchant ships and ocean liners, taking captives and demanding high ransoms to return them. But one gang sailed high above the rest. This group held a record among other pirates as the most notorious pirate gang there ever was; for not only did they rob merchant ships and ocean liners, but they also robbed other pirate gangs, and demanded the highest ransoms of that time. One British person had had to pay about ten thousand pounds to this gang to rescue his wife and two small children.
But nothing could surpass that gang’s final raid on an estate in north-eastern Scotland, when the Mo-de Pirates, as they called themselves, raided the estate of Wilbur McKee, taking his only daughter and several items. A note was left for Wilber that read:
To Wilbur McKee–
To reclaim your goods and daughter, we require twenty thousand pounds.
Wilbur had not been home, as he was out checking his fields. He was totally grief-stricken to learn that his daughter, Elly, had been lost to the gang. It was almost as bad as her dying.
“Lord, Lord,” he begged in prayer that night, “ have mercy on her. She isn’t ready to die; please, save her soul, and bring her back to me, if it is Your will. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
A couple of miles away lived Iosag McShaw, a middle-aged man with whom Wilbur was acquainted.
“Iosag,” Wilbur told him the next day, “I need your help. I’ve lost my daughter to pirates, and I don’t know how to get her back. I don’t have the money to pay the ransom.”
Iosag thought for a minute.
“I fear she’s not ready to die,” Wilbur added.
“Have you told Luc about Elly?” Iosag asked.
Luc was the young man who had expressed interest in Elly, whom Elly openly adored. Luc’s father was a naval captain in the area.
“No,” Wilbur replied, “I haven’t.”
“Leave it to me, Wilbur,” Iosag stated. “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Thank you,” Wilbur said. “I’ll pray for you, and I’ll see you later.”
After Wilbur left, Iosag immediately left for Luc’s place, and told him about the events. Though somewhat saddened, Luc eagerly agreed to join the effort to find Elly. Luc left to get a friend of his, Ian, while Iosag went to find Peadur, a former pirate and friend of Iosag. Peadur’s knowledge of the sea would be invaluable in this search.
Iosag’s first move was to offer the pirates 10,000 pounds. They turned it down, and Iosag immediately offered 15,000. That offer was also rejected, and the pirates demanded the full amount.
“We’re going to have to do it the hard way,” Peadur remarked as the five of them sat around Wilbur’s table.
“You said it’s the Mo-de pirates?” Ian asked.
“Yes,” Wilbur replied.
“Aren’t they in Norway?” Luc asked.
“They are,” Iosag agreed. “Peadur, do you know anything about them?”
“They were responsible for breaking up the gang I was with,” Peadur replied.
“Do you think you could locate their base?” Ian asked.
“I think fairly easy, lad,” Peadur answered.
“Might I come with you?” Wilbur asked.
Iosag nodded his head. “I believe it would be a good idea if you came along.”
The five of them prepared for the trip. Peadur bought a small ship and tinkered on it a bit so as to make it look a little like a Viking ship. The five of them left quietly so as to keep the pirates uninformed.
They arrived on the shores of Norway about three weeks after they left Scotland.
For weeks they searched for any signs of the Mo-be pirates, looking for any kind of a harbor or the pirate ship. Finally an older man suggested a location that they agreed to try.
Iosag led the group, followed by Luc and Ian. Peadur and Wilbur brought up the rear.
“There it is,” Iosag stated as he stepped through a small clearing. The five of them gazed up at the sight in front of them, illuminated by the setting sun. A high, rocky hill towered above them, topped with a mid-sized fortress. Six canons protected the west and south, while the other sides were out of sight.
Iosag motioned the others to follow him. As they neared the hill, Iosag whispered, “Single file. Follow me, and don’t get spotted.”
Iosag began the ascent, followed by Wilbur. Luc and Ian came next, while Peadur guarded the rear. It was a long, tedious climb, complicated by the rocks and the requirement to keep low.
“Reminds me of Jonathan in First Samuel,” Ian remarked to Luc. “You remember, when he and his armor bearer snuck up on the Philistines?”
“Only there’s about three more here,” Luc whispered back.
Several minutes of climbing brought them to the top.
They surveyed the walls to see if they could climb the wall. Finally Iosag motioned for the others to follow him. They slithered their way around until they neared the gate.
“Luc,” Iosag whispered, “Ian. Go around to the other side, and wait for further orders.”
The two nodded their heads and quickly moved. One guard stood at the gate, gun in hand.
Iosag cautiously snuck closer, then raced for the guard. The guard caught sight of him, just as Iosag tackled him.
* * * * *
Antoine paused briefly, and glanced at the children. “Shall I stop it there?” he asked jokingly.
“No, please, go on!” they begged.
* * * * *
“Now you open this gate and you can live,” Iosag told the guard.
The guard knocked on the doors. Iosag motioned for the others to join him.
As the gate opened, Iosag waved his hand at Luc, who tackled the guard inside, pushing the gate even further. The others rushed in.
Though there wasn’t all that many pirates, the few that were there weren’t going to let these infiltrators get away with anything. A few fired at Iosag and his friends, and a risky duel ensued.
The noise brought Elly to a small window, from which she watched in horrified suspense. Finally, when Wilbur broke out of the group, Elly called out: “Father! I’m here!”
Crash! The door burst open and Wilbur rushed in.
“Father! You’re here! You’re really here!” Elly exclaimed.
“Oh thank God,” Wilbur called, “He’s preserved my daughter.”
“Yes papa,” Elly agreed. “The Lord has preserved me.”
Just at that moment, Iosag stepped into the room.
“Iosag?” Elly asked. “You’re here, too?”
“Ian and Luc came, too,” Iosag replied. “But I’m afraid Luc was killed.”
Elly blinked. “Luc gave his life for me, much like my Saviour,” she remarked sadly.
“Has God called you, my daughter?” Wilbur asked, catching that last part.
“Yes, papa,” she replied. “And I have answered.”
“Luc’s alive! Luc’s alive!” Ian called.
The others rushed out.
“Luc!” Elly called.
“I’m here, Elly,” he replied weakly.
Elly dropped to her knees beside him.
Wilbur gazed up to Heaven. “Thank You, Lord, for giving me back my daughter, and for sparing Luc’s life. Thank You, Jesus.”