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the mercy of Christ, our Saviour, “We thought he was a is infinite. He went down to wizard, but in truth he was a intercede for lost souls in hell saint," said the people of Keri- and I am His servant." mor when they learned at last
Salt tears were on the cheeks how the gold and silver so of the priest of Kerimor. Very carefully hoarded, and the good tenderly he gathered that light fields all the more fertile for bundle of bones and rags into lying fallow so long, had been his embracing arms. Carrying given over into the keeping of the old man easily, close- Father Mathieu.
Well they clasped as a mother carries a knew how he would make good beloved child, without stumb- use of that store, ling once in his stride, he bore For two years now there has Yvon Kergoz through the dark- been no hunger in the village ness along the road over the of Kerimor. There is no wife moor.
or child of a lost fisherman who In the grey morning of the does not pray for the repose fifth day after the Pardon, the of the soul of Yvon Kergoz. soul of Yvon Kergoz passed In the little church there is a out of the keeping of Father fine altar cloth. The Mathieu, the priest of Kerimor. Blessed Virgin, become someFor that time the priest re- what shabby, is beautifully mained by the side of Yvon robed and regilded. There are Kergoz.
two brand-new saints in niches “He looks like a saint with prepared for them. But his white hair and thin white Father Mathieu, the priest, still face,” said the simple people clings to his old black cassock. of Kerimor, who saw Yvon He will not buy a new one. Kergoz before the last Mass Yvon Kergoz did not leave was said for him.
anything to him.
DEAD MEN'S TALES.
BY BENNET COPPLESTONE.
V. JOHN NUTT OF LYMPSTONE.
JOHN NUTT of Lympstone, self and a creation of imaginawithin the estuary of the Exe, tion, he never could have come rover and sea robber, is one into being without the powerful of the most amusing and most impetus upon my mind of his satisfying of the rascals in my ingenious protagonist. I am collection. You will not find extremely fond of Richard Nutt. him in the ‘Dictionary of I love him the best of all the National Biography,' though fictitious personages who have he was fully as worthy of a owed their being to me, and place in that mausoleum as have lived with me for months was the third-rate and ineffi- and years together in the closest cient pirate, Captain William communion, and some of my Kidd—if, indeed, Kidd ever affection slops over, as it were, was a pirate, or as that less and encompasses his true bethan third-rate highwayman, Mr getter John. Richard Turpin, upon whom The first act of the comedy has been thrust the fame of a of John Nutt opens in June ride to York which was legend- 1623, after he had been in ary a hundred years before the distinguished and successful fellow was born. What I have practice as a sea rover for no to tell of John Nutt does at more than two years. I call any rate belong to him ; I owe him sea rover or sea robber him a resurrection in person, rather than pirate, because, for I have already made free though his performances were with his name and exploits. piratical in the legal sense, In a story which I published they were not stained by the in 1922 1 there appeared a cruelty and blood-lust of the romantic character, à rover of Ishmaelite deep-sea pirates of the English sea named Richard the later seventeenth and Nutt, whose surname was stolen eighteenth centuries. John from John, whose ship the Nutt was in the direct line of Wild Swan was one of John's English seamen who had been ships, and whose playful ways rovers and robbers in the Narwith Secretaries of State and row Seas for five hundred years vice-admirals of the county before his time. Every man and admirals of the Narrow put forth to sea with a sword Seas were John's ways. Though in one hand and a tiller in the Richard was in personality him- other; if he were not strong
1 'The Treasure of Golden Cap,' by Bennet Copplestone. Published by John Murray. 1922.
enough to mount safe guard traders to specialise in trading. over the goods under his hatches The light fast ship lived for he was speedily bereft of them the most part by robbery, by those stronger than him- the heavy and slower ship by self. And he did to others as commerce. On the one side dehe was done by. The Narrow veloped a fighting and maneuvSeas swarmed with rovers who ring technique, on the other were also traders, and traders side a technique of evasion and who were also rovers. All blackmail. Secretaries of State, nations and bits of nations vice-admirals of counties, even were represented, and those sometimes admirals of the Narwhose hearts were stoutest and row Seas, played their parts in whose skill waxed most adroit the game. John Nutt was a at Wordsworth's “good old specialist in roving, yet no rule” and “simple plan ”grew Ishmael as were the later pirates into the nations which we call of the “ Spanish Main.” He maritime. Our sea skill of was countenanced by high offto-day was all won for us in cial personages in London and those days of sea fighting and Devon, and looked upon with sea robbery. The Narrow Seas reverence and affection by those swarmed with rovers ; with common folk of his own county English and Scottish and Irish ; whom he had not robbed. The with Normans, Flemings, and losers in the great sea game as Dunkirkers; with Spaniards it was played got scanty symand Biscayners ; and with pathy; they were more often Turks and Salee rovers from laughed at than condoled with. the Mediterranean. There was After a brief two years of no rule, no self-denying ordi- roving, John Nutt reached eminance, under which the rover nence. His favourite pitch was traders of one nation respected Dartmouth, a harbour by its the property of trader rovers configuration admirably well of the same nation. Just as suited to his peculiar methods. the cogs of the Cinque Ports It is a harbour completely landfell indifferently upon the cogs locked. The narrow entrance of Yarmouth or of the West winds among high rocks, 80 Country or of Dunkirk or that from within the sea withFécamp, so the armed ship of out is invisible. A ship which John Nutt plundered indiffer- has passed out through the ently less well-armed ships, be channel cannot be seen unless they English or Scottish, French one climbs to the top of the or Spaniard, Barbary or Turk. girdle of hills through which Specialism entered into the the estuary of the Dart has business, as it always does into carved its way. trades as they increase in or- Nutt would lie in the river ganisation. The light highly- off Dartmouth and watch ships skilled rovers tended to special- load. He would from his post ise in roving, the heavy and of observation learn every sail perhaps less highly - skilled and rope of them, every gun and man they carried, every those who had business associapound of stores put on board. tions with John, especially at If they were by reason of weak. his favourite Dartmouth, tended ness above deck and richness to grow as blatant as he was. below holding promise of plun- According to Mr Case-Horton, der at small risk, he would who wrote on John Nutt and follow them out of the harbour his less eminent and more when they sailed, and strip commonplace brother Robert them comfortably at his leisure in the Royal United Service outside. Then he would escort Institution's 'Journal' of Auship and captured cargo to a gust 1915, “It is on record port where facilities for dis- even that a certain mayor of posal were adequate, and some- à seaport on one occasion was times would actually take them occupied in delivering from the back to be realised into plun- quay a most vituperative hardered cash at Dartmouth itself angue to Nutt on the subject whence they had lately sailed. of his manifold misdemeanours, The countryside, the peasants while his own boats on the and farmers and others of much other side of the vessel moored higher degree, favoured the there were engaged in removing rovers—by whose means they the stolen goods which his worobtained cheap luxuries,-just ship had purchased.” I must as the countryside favoured gratefully acknowledge my insmugglers and went on favour- debtedness to Mr Case-Horton ing smugglers until days within for many of the facts in this present memory. Smuggling, tale. or “Free Trading," was still Had John Nutt been an a staple industry of the West ordinary rover, we should have Country when my father was heard no more of him than of a young man.
those thousands of others who By these flagrant methods lived and fought and robbed of his Nutt became notorious and had their day. He owes above less bold and less auda- his resurrection to that effron. cious rovers. He became an tery which passed all the bounds embarrassment. Highly-placed held to be decent in an age of persons, though willing to profit easy morals. And so we arrive by his depredations, found them at Act I. in his comedy. I difficult to wink at. He was will assist my readers by setso indecently blatant. And ting out the cast.
Sir GEORGE CALVERT.
Rover of the Narrow Seas
of John Nutt
sible for Nutt's capture). Lord High Admiral of England and Patron
of Sir John Eliot
Sir JOHN ELIOT.
THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
John Nutt had by the middle builder. In 1621, two years of 1623, with his fast little ship before the curtain went up on of 120 tons carrying fourteen my Act I., he had begun that pieces of ordnance, become so settlement of Newfoundland notorious & depredator that with which his name will always Captain Best, Admiral of the be honourably associated. In Narrow Seas, clamoured for return for Nutt's assistance in permission to devote a month safeguarding the Newfoundland to his capture. Whether this ships, Calvert extended his profine old officer would have suc- tecting hand over the bold ceeded we may well doubt. rover, and—I make no doubt His ship, the Garland, was one whatever — winked at those of Elizabeth's light galleons some other lawless operations of his thirty years old, and had been protégé. I also have no doubt classed as “decayed and un- that Sir George Calvert's secreserviceable " in the Navy Office taries and his secretaries' clerks List of 1618. By 1623, five drew their percentages as a years later, she must have been commission on Nutt's unlawful still more decayed and still takings. From this it will be more unserviceable. I fancy plain that the intrusive energies that Nutt would have been of Captain Best were frowned less audacious in his depreda- upon in the Secretary of State's tions if he had had any respect office, and that the Commisfor the Garland's sailing quali- sioners of the Navy were not ties. Still Captain Best was encouraged to let Best have his eager to try what he could way. do.
It was also unwelcome news But there were strong reasons to Sir John Eliot, Vice-Admiral why the zeal of Best was highly of Devon and official suppressor inconvenient in the eyes of two of rovers within his jurisdicpersonages of high importance. tion, that Best should seek to These were Sir George Calvert, butt in with the old Garland's Secretary of State, and Sir heavy guns. For Eliot wanted John Eliot, Vice-Admiral of to achieve the peaceful surDevon. Unofficially and in his render of Nutt to the terrors spare time John Nutt was a of the law by the offer of a rover and sea robber; officially free pardon. Thereby the Vicehe was commissioned by Sir Admiral of the county would George Calvert to guard the gain as a perquisite of his office Narrow Seas against foreign Nutt's ship and any treasure rovers, and especially to watch which might lie on board of over those ships which left her. This free pardon dodge Channel ports for the New- was much favoured by vicefoundland voyage. Sir George admirals of counties, who, Calvert (afterwards Lord Balti- though they were responsible more) was one of the very first for the suppression of rovers, statesmen of England who can had no force whatever of their be described as an Empire own by which to carry out