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7th July, early evening; Wet behind the ears

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7th July, early evening; Wet behind the ears

Post  Martin Darling on Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:55 am

Do the captain's washing. It was a simple enough chore. How many times had he washed his own clothes out here? But these were the captain's things, weren't they, and that meant he had to be particularly careful with them. Martin had no desire to provoke Captain Blackwood's formidable temper by failing to thoroughly clean every shirt, stocking, and neckcloth.

He stared the narrow body of water that had been called a river, however, and felt dismay form in the pit of his stomach. The pale brown water did not look at all suitable for washing anything. What if it stained everything the instant it touched fabric? That would be even worse than returning unwashed clothes. Perfect. Brilliant. Just what he needed.

Then it dawned on him to use his own washing as a means to test the water's cleanliness. If his things were ruined, it would be less of a disaster. Feeling a little buoyed, Martin carefully laid the bundle containing Captain Blackwood's clothing aside and fished out his own dirty shirt and trousers. These would definitely go in first.

The work of washing would have gone without mishap, had Martin paid more mind to where he was stepping. A piece of the bank crumbled beneath his shoe and prompted a startled yelp. He felt his balance faltering and flailed for the nearest solid object - the bundle of Captain Blackwood's clothes. Unsurprisingly, the canvas bag offered no support and instead followed Martin closely into the muddy-brown water. His own dirty clothes began to float lazily away, his grip on them having been lost.
Martin Darling
Ordinary Seaman

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