Medical Log - Monday 20th June, 1719
All my years of medical training did not prepare me for this hellish life. When Captain Bottoms engaged me, he deliberately misled me as to the nature of his vessel. I came aboard that first day, ready to treat members of the upper classes on their way to the New World, not these scurvy dogs.
I cannot keep proper surgery hours, and the receptionist I was promised was a fabrication. Lord knows when I'll get paid.
Last week, I performed a cosmetic below-knee amputation on a Mr.Oily Follicle, an old boy who said he'd always fancied a peg leg to go with the bird which sits on his shoulder.* Sadly, we had no rum to hand so had to improvise by using the rum flavouring Tubby keeps with his baking ingredients. As I suspected, it was less than effective and the chap half-deafened me with his screams. Next time I will use earplugs. I reassured him that his current prosthesis is only temporary and that we will have a proper peg leg fitted at the next port-of-call. Meanwhile, the captain is managing quite well with his three-legged table, but Tubby has to keep borrowing the pudding basin back.
*NB. Mr Follicle is under the misapprehension that this bird is a parrot. To me, it looks like a blackbird painted green and red, but he says he has a certificate bearing its pedigree, which was given to him by the rascal who took 20 doubloons off him in the hostelry known as the Mangy Moggy in Portsmouth.
Do these people think I'm qualified in psychotherapy? I had to turn Mr. Ascott-Pendergast away today when he consulted me about his sudden unwelcome (and distasteful) attraction to Jim the cabin-boy. I told him he'd be better to visit the Pastor, Mr. Roe, and confess the whole sorry matter to him. If he's suddenly started fancying lads, it'll be between him and his eternal soul, in my opinion.
Stirling Farquharson MD, FRCS,