A few weeks ago I wrote about my recurring character, Sam Jones, and shared one of his early adventures aboard the Enterprise. I thought it would be fun to share a more recent adventure too. Today I have a story about another Jones-incarnation. This Jones is less law-abiding than the security guard from the Enterprise, considering he’s a pirate aboard Captain Red Ballantyne’s Ocean Rose. Some things, however, like Jones’ clumsiness, never change.
This scene is pretty far along in Red’s Girl, but most of the context isn’t necessary. All you really need to know is that the Rose is in port, and Red, Tam and Jones have come ashore, where they need to, ah, borrow a wagon. Red specifically brought Jones with the idea that he might need some uproar, commenting earlier in the chapter, “Jones might’ve seemed like a strange choice [to bring], but I had a hunch I’d need to create some chaos. Jones can create more chaos just walking down the street than most folk could with a week of planning.”
The group splits up to explore the docks and look for any wagons that aren’t being watched. Red continues to narrate this scene.
When we regrouped, Tam hadn’t seen any wagons without people and with horses, and Jones had only seen one, which had a dozen pigs in the back.
“Pigs could complicate things,” I acknowledged. “Fortunately, I saw a wagon with only one person watching it. He looked bored and probably happy to be distracted.”
No one was watching the pigs. Time to take advantage of Jones’ chaos-creating talents. I sent him to open up the back gate of the wagon. Tam and I took up positions where we could see both Jones and the wagon I’d marked for borrowing, then watched. Jones pulled the gate open fine, but then the pigs weren’t interested in moving. He clambered up into the back of the wagon, and gave the nearest pig a push. It fell out with a surprised-sounding “oink.” This attracted a few more, as the first was voluntarily followed by the second and third. This was none too soon, as a few passerby were starting to wonder what Jones was doing. They came closer to investigate, and were taken out by the fourth and fifth pigs. The sixth one knocked Jones over. His resulting shrieks and thrashings spooked the remaining seven, who all came rushing out in a great wave of pork, carrying Jones with them.
“I thought he’d go over sooner,” I said.
“For Jones that was good,” Tam agreed.
Jones wallowing about among the pigs upset them, and attracted more people to the scene. Many of them were promptly knocked over too, further increasing the chaos.
I twisted my neck to watch our friend with the wagon. He was already looking towards the bedlam surrounding the pigs.
“Come on,” I murmured, “you don’t want to sit there. It’s boring there. You want to go see what the excitement is about. It’ll be safe leaving the wagon for just a minute…ha, there he goes!” It took Tam and me just a minute to borrow the wagon, driving it out of sight into a nearby alley. I left the kid there and went to rescue Jones.
I waded into the chaos of the pigs and managed to grab Jones by one frantically waving arm. I hauled him along behind me and made for the edge of the expanding confusion.
“Well done,” I told Jones as we set off.