Isabella never thought her first command would be in jeopardy so soon. But pirates expect results, and she wasn't delivering. If she could just get rid of her albatross, the dashing Spaniard seized from her first price; she should have killed him. But, she couldn't have known his very presence was about to send her life into a maelstrom of mutiny, imprisonment, and revenge. And, she couldn't have known that the Spaniard would become her savior, the key to restoring her rightful place as the scourge of the Spanish Main.
"The Pirate of Panther Bay is a fun and exciting adventure book that the whole family can enjoy reading. I enjoyed the suspense of being on a pirate ship."
Alex C., 15, Bellbrook, Ohio.
Isabella stormed into the cramped cabin of the Marée Rouge*, letting the door thump wildly.
How could this have happened? Everything seemed lost. And she hadn’t even begun. Her first command of a pirate ship and she let her first prize blow up out from under her! What would her crew do now? Would they question her leadership? She needed to do something, and quickly. She began a frantic pace before the powder-stained windows carved out of the ship’s stern.
Two bodies tumbled into the room just seconds behind her. A short, gangly man looked around as if expecting someone to jump or bludgeon him. A larger man discretely latched the cabin door shut. The closed door seemed to give him confidence. He straightened his shoulders and lifted his face forward. The short one stood, holding a jumble of papers and en-velopes. Unsure of what to do, he glanced nervously from place to place. The two men stood, quietly, watching Isabella pace.
The Marée Rouge heaved over the afternoon swells. The ship’s wake churned any remaining links to her prey, the 32-gun frigate Ana Maria, off into a fading horizon. How could she have let this prize slip away? God, what would Jean-Michel think?
Isabella ran her fingers through locks of hair matted by salt water and smoke. She looked out the window as white caps rose and fell outside her cabin. Isabella smirked at the thought of how well they seemed to match her mood. The sea always seemed to rise and fall with her moods. She felt free—liberated—each time she cast her gaze into the swells.
“Where is he?” Isabella barked.
The two men standing anxiously in front of her exchanged surprised glances.
“Mr. Stiles,” she asked again looking menacingly at the short one, her frustration feeding a new wave of impatience. “Where is he? Where’s the boy?”
“Err...boy?” the gangly man sputtered. If Isabella had cared to look closely enough, she would have seen his indignation. After all, Stiles, like the rest of the crew, knew Isabella wouldn’t be commanding this pirate ship at the tender age of eighteen if she hadn’t inherited it from her lover. Stiles bristled at her attitude.
“The prisoner!” Isabella demanded, impatience mounting with the spray on the cabin windows. “Where is he, Stiles? You’re the quartermaster, right?Aren’t you keeping track of our prisoners?”
Stiles shifted thin, oblong feet uneasily. “Below with the spare shot,” he said finally, lifting his chin from his chest. His British accent was unusu-ally thick. Exhaustion was eating away at him as he tried to collect his thoughts. “We’ve got him bound up good; he ain’t goin’ nowhere soon. Let the sergeant o’ arms take care o’im.”
“Don’t let him nod off,” Isabella ordered, still looking out the window. “I’ll want to talk to him.”