It was the boatswain.
"Ere the riggings, and into the nest with you, boy!"
The butcher couldn't believe what he was hearing. He felt himself bristle. He turned around to find the man standing feet shoulder-width apart, arms crossed, looking him up and down, unsure of how this little test would turn out.
"Dammit, Tuttle! Ye know I'm the finest surgeon on these waters, and ye know me also to be two years your elder!"
He paused to belch loudly.
"I ain't climbed no riggin' in fifteen years, and not you or The Holy Ghost could entice me to 'ere them now"
Bill took a step towards the man.
Neither one of them really expected the blow to come, but it connected squarely with his Adam's Apple and took the smaller man completely off his feet. Bill could only sigh inwardly as he listened to the man's ragged breaths. Nothing to do now he supposed, but grab his pack and try to get off the ship. He hid Tuttles crumpled and mortally wounded frame behind a large communal trunk, and began...