He didn’t come back that night. He left me there, crying to myself , thinking about all those poor poor people. Wondering what I could do, in the middle of nowhere, some where out in the Atlantic ocean.
I finally fell asleep in a heap on the lounge chair.
I woke some hours later exhausted and feeling very broken, angry, and very hurt by James words. I waited for him to come, the hours ticking by. Nothing. I looked out of the small window, nothing to see still. Ocean stretching far and wide on the horizon. Then sky clouding over.
I tried the door once more, still locked. I looked through the key hole, the key blocking out anything I could see. I wonder if there is anyone on guard of me? I thought. Would he really do that, expect that from me? No. I thought not.
I looked around the room looking for something that I could maybe push the key through with and then somehow hook it under the door. Through the half inch gap. But there was nothing. James’s paper knife was far too wide. I put the back down on the table, but then thought better of it. Picking it up and carefully inserting it into the seam of my petticoat. I would never know, I may need it, god forbid.
I had to do something, I couldn’t just sit here and wait.
So I shouted and screamed. I could hear the men’s voices from outside. The chatter, the shouts and the occasional laughter. I emptied the fruit bowl, throwing the contents on the floor, and started banging the wooden bowl against the door. As hard as I could.
‘Someone has got to hear me’ I thought. He can’t confide me to quarters, I didn’t take orders from him.
‘Argha’ I screamed and with all my strength I hit the door as many times as I could manage. Screaming and shouting and in the end just kicking the door with all my might.
Then I heard a knock on the door.
‘Mam, is everything alright?’ said the voice. It was one of the deck hands or soldiers.
‘Open the door, quickly please.’ I begged. Shaking the door handle when I knew it was already locked.
‘please’ I said again lowering my voice.
‘Mam, you have to understand that I cannot do so’ I sighed turning my back and leaning against the door, hands up to my face. A prisoner on board.
‘Mam’ I didn’t answer.
‘Mam’ he asked again. ‘its against orders’ he exclaimed.
‘Who’s?’ I shouted. The anger brewing up again inside me.
‘Young sir James, Mam’, The solider replied.
I thought as much.
‘Please, please let me out. I need to get out please’ I cried. Pleading with the man to open the door, and crying as loudly as I could.
‘oh’ The man said to himself.
‘I’ll see you all right’ I whispered through the door. Thinking that he could probably be bought and paid off.
I could hear him pace on the spot, thinking about what to do. If he should let me out or not. Talking to himself.
‘Ok’ he shouted after much deliberation. ‘ I’ll let you out Mam’.
‘Yes, good man’ I whispered. Feeling the relief washing over me but not thinking what I was going to do next.
‘But Mam?’ the man asked me. ‘It would be more than my life to let you out and for the young Master to find out it was I’ he exclaimed.
‘Don’t worry’ I sighed. ‘ just let me out, hurry’ The eagerness in my voice, the panic in case someone came.
‘Hurry up, my good man’ I said as I got up and waited by the door, just grabbing my shawl from the lounge chaise. And he turned the key in the door, my hand on the handle the whole time, waiting for my escape.