The Reluctant Pirate, Chapter 9

PiratesYusuf saw Abdi facing down the boys. He saw him send them to lift Mo carefully aboard and make him comfortable in a cabin. He saw the wake of the ship widening as it came up to speed, heading for Harardhere. He saw the money and power the ship would bring. He saw Nadifa choosing a new dirac for the wedding. He saw himself walking amongst the wedding guests, distributing sooryo, fresh green dollar bills for everyone. He saw a son who was tougher than he had thought, and he was happy. Happy for himself, and happy for Amina. She needed a strong man to control and protect her.

And a woman in the crew. Yusuf thought this was useful. She would be a valuable hostage. More money, and the money would come quicker. Westerners were fools like that, they paid more for a woman than for a man. But she would also be trouble. His boys were not used to a woman amongst them.

He was glad he had Abdi. Abdi understood Western women. He would make the woman behave and keep her from tempting the boys. He would keep her safe, because safe she was worth money.

Yusuf had his gun pushed hard into the captain’s back. “Go closer, Captain,” he ordered. “Anchor close to shore.” The captain was trying to explain something about draft and shoals, but Yusuf was getting angry. He wanted the ship anchored close to the beach. It was easier to protect then, easier to get to and from. He wanted it close, because it was his ship now and he did not want anyone to take it away from him.

Abdi was at the back of the bridge. He did not know anything about ships. But he knew the captain was not happy to go further. “Father, the captain says the ship is not safe if we go close to the beach,” he translated. “He says we must stay this far from the shore. If not we touch the bottom, spill the oil, don’t we.”

Yusuf thought that the ship was small and could go closer. But his son had spoken to him with respect, and the others had heard. “OK, Captain,” he growled. “Anchor now. Here.”

As the captain gave the order to drop the anchor Yusuf turned to Abdi.

“You will keep the woman in one cabin,” he ordered. “Our men must not see her. All crew sleep in captain’s cabin, only her alone. You take her food. No-one else. We will not wait too long for our money, Inshallah.”

Then suddenly happy, he turned to the captain. “Anchor OK, Captain? Now satphone. Come quick. We call office. My son Abdi will talk. Your company pay five million US dollars. Then you go home. No shit. No pay, you die.”


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