TITLE: AGAINST THE SEA
GENRE: Historical Fiction
“Habakuck Prickett, not guilty.”
So there it was; I would not hang for the murder of Henry Hudson. The High Court of Admiralty had acquitted me.
But of course I was guilty. We all were. I was aboard the Discovery on the day the crew mutinied and set the master of our ship adrift with only the most meager of provisions. I had protested against the violence, but not strongly enough. In any case, I was just a passenger, not a member of the crew. My words carried only the ugly weight of self-interest.
Men had waited up all that evil night until a stingy white sunlight bled into the gray sky. When Hudson stepped out of his cabin on the morning of June 22, 1611, two of the crew grabbed the captain from behind. He was barefoot, still in his striped nightshirt. They pinned his arms behind him and dragged him towards our second boat. There had not been food for three days, and we were sure that Hudson was secreting away a hoard of his own.
“What are you doing?” bellowed Hudson.
“You’ll know soon enough,” muttered Henry Greene, oddly calm.
Hudson was flailing. “You’ll hang for this when you get back to England. You’ll hang. Think of your wife and children.”
Greene snorted a laugh. “Better to hang in England than to starve in this wilderness.” And he wrenched Hudson’s arm and heaved him into the boat, a small but sturdy shallop.