Ambrose spat mud out of his mouth as lay face down in the dirt. A stinging jaw greeted his return to consciousness, though it was unclear whether the pain was from the heavy landing or the fist that put him there. Hands on either side of him he pushed himself off the ground, testing his jaw as he got up, is it supposed to make that clicking noise? A cart rumbled past right where he had been laying, doubtless it would have run over him rather than stop, especially since the driver was nowhere to be seen. As his eyes adjusted to his surroundings an burly man with an ugly scar along his jaw stood with fists ready and an angry scowl. Behind him stood an even angrier looking woman, with a sparse amount of clothes. Ambrose narrowed his eyes and thought about the situation, he pointed to himself and then to the woman as he silently mouthed what he thought might be the case. He had hoped this would be one of those times when he awoke the day after being knocked out, but alas it had been just thirty seconds. Ambrose smiled, bowed and fled.
His run was slow and comic as he squelched through the mud, the man close behind while his woman screamed profanities from the whorehouse doorway, unwilling to get dirty. Ambrose turned a corner and found himself on a pebbled surface, happy to away from mud, he smiled as he jogged lightly down the alley. The alley stopped abruptly and a sniggering laugh behind him alerted Ambrose to the dead end he had previously failed to spot. With a swish of his cloak Ambrose turned to face the advancing man, who had since drawn a cutlass and a knife and had murder in his eyes. Ambrose stood straight, adjusted his dilapidated coat and strode forwards.
"My good man. My large, good man. I implore you to see reason! Daisy was just-"
"Dorothy." grumbled the man.
"Quite, Dorothy was just fetching me a drink." Ambrose came closer.
"The compromising situation you stumbled upon was just a comedy of errors! I had spilled my drink you see." Ambrose stopped a foot away from the larger man.
"I had deigned it gentlemanly to aid her in removing the soiled clothes-" A heavy thwack sounded as Ambrose drove his forehead into the man's nose and in a single movement grabbed the man's knife wielding hand driving the blade up and thought he base of the jaw and into the head. The man dropped dead.
"How was I to know she had been payed for?" Ambrose remarked to himself as he strode away in search of a tavern that hadn't banned him for the week.
The sign above the door swung slowly in the cooling sea breeze. The Sea Bitch. Ambrose hesitated before entering he recalled the bartender had threatened to kill him if he entered the place again... or was that the Sea Hag by Shorestrap lane? Thinking he might as well try his luck, Ambrose entered with all the swagger and gusto of a man half drunk and oblivious to the brawl right at the door. He stepped over a concussed man and made for the bar. The Keeper of the Inn gave him the usual angry scowl that he seemed to attract but no threats of killing or maiming arose so Ambrose was satisfied this was not a place he had become unwelcome in. He ordered ale and sat by the bench as he begun another normal night in Tortuga.
"Troubles brewing in Europe, another war so they say. Means a harder life for the decent pirate." Spoke an older man who was continuing a conversation with the Barkeep.
"Most of the lads are shipping out over the next few weeks, people fear a raid on the island." Replied the Barkeep, handing Ambrose the ale.
"And you sailor? You leaving like these other boys?" he directed at Ambrose.
"I fear not. No ship will have me. Over-qualified you see." Replied Ambrose who by now was much more interested int he contents of his tankard than of their conversation.
"You must have a plan to leave should things get worse?" pressed the older pirate, a few seats from Ambrose.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Ambrose chanted, still staring into his cup.
"Right..." The barkeep and the man moved off to one side to continue their conversation.
"The lord has a plan for every man, or so they say." Declared Ambrose, eyes still in his cups.
"But he fails to mention women in this plan, so maybe they have their own?" He spoke at the bench but his words were aimed at the lone figure to his right. For he had seen her as soon as he entered the establishment and had deduced her gender from afar.