Although they may be greatly exaggerated, the stories that emerge from these two scoundrels’ ventures are always worth reciting. These lifelong friends have never made an honest penny in their days of companionship. Since pups they were dirty thieves on Port Royal, stealing fruit and trivial necessities from the market place. However, their talents amplified and so did their desires, so their heists started turning towards the face of greed rather than need. Their names are as ridiculous as their appearance, but they are arguably the best thief-duo in the Caribbean.
Neither of them are big men, but with stealth as their primary asset and not strength, it is not a necessity. This, however, does not imply that they lack in fighting ability, quite the opposite is true. More than once have they been forced to free themselves from a risky situation with their strength and not their stealth. Gravel has short brown hair, eyes to match and is tall and fairly scrawny. He hosts some stubble but no actual beard and a strange scar that looks like a permanent bruise adorns his left eye. Clipper is of a similar height, but boasts broader shoulders. He has long black wavy hair, brown eyes, and a small goatee. Both of them are generally scruffy, owing to their rogue living conditions and general disregard for bathing.
“Port Royal Ball is t’night, Clipper,” said Gravel smirking, “Which guest’s unattended house do we raid?”
“Will the lieutenant be going? I always fancied his boots, and running from his men has worn mine,” replied Clipper plucking an apple from an unsuspecting merchant stand and biting into it with his pale yellow teeth, sending juice flying out from the areas of impact.
“He will know it’s us, but that will just keep the sport of evading him interesting.”
“The lieutenant it is then. We take his boots and his liquor.”
That evening when the joyous cheering from the Port Royal Ball, which made its venue at one of the wealthiest families on the island’s manor, began, Gravel and Clipper made their journey through the untouched shadows towards Lieutenant Berkley’s living quarters. Upon arrival Clipper made quick work of the front door’s lock and with a nudge from his strong shoulder, gave them their entrance.
In a matter of minutes Blakely had been stripped of a large portion of his casual wardrobe, more from spite than actual need, his liquor, September’s salary and a few other valuables. Being arrogant about their achievement, they didn’t even care to make a conservative escape, so they embarked straight back out the front door. Unfortunately for them, a guard who had been passing by on his patrol route had noticed that door had been pried open, called for assistance and now a group of men in red coats, dimly noticeable because of the dark night, was awaiting their return.
The captain of the guards stepped forward to demand their surrender, but before the he could give they turned on their heels and rushed back into Blakely’s residence. With Blakeley’s possessions still under their arms, they galloped up the stairs and kicked out a window in Blakely’s chamber. As the guards came fumbling up the stairs they jumped out on to the roof and steadily sprinted along the Port Royal rooftops trying to make an escape. A few shots hit some roofing near them, but no bullets came near to hitting them.
When the bullets started becoming uncomfortably close to their targets, they realized they needed to find refuge. In the pitch black of the night, the only manner of safety they could find was a window which was sporting some light source. They managed to get the window open quickly, but once inside they could hear a sound they had been hearing ominously in the background all night: chattering, classical music and singing. They had arrived at the Port Royal Ball, with unlucky punctuality.
They had entered an empty room which had several tables laden with assorted finger-foods, pastries, dishes of fine cuisine and a few deserts. It seemed that this was where the meals would be collected by the servants and taken to the dining hall when dinner commenced. Thinking quickly, they swopped out some of their ragged clothing with some of Blakely’s casual wear and compromised in attempt to look more suited to being some or other servant, until they could escape.
“Blend in for now. First chance we get, we take flight,” remarked Gravel while carefully closing the window they had come through.
“Hungry?” asked Clipper, already holding two delicacies in his hand just deciding which to ravage first.
With a swift punch to the shoulder, Gravel expressed his disapproval.
“Oi, don’t eat that!” said a servant entering the room.
Clipper froze and was speechless, but partly because his first handful had made its way into his mouth.
“These are better,” grinned the servant, handing him some pastries. “Eat up, we need to get this down to the guests. I am assuming you two are the personal servants of one of our esteemed guests tonight?”
Other servants entered and began mounting trays from the tables on top of their arms and carrying them off. Gravel picked up two trays and followed the first servant out closely. Clipper indulged in a final handful and then took two trays of his own and followed the company of servants.
They entered the dining hall and tried to keep their faces concealed behind the trays as best they could. When they had set their trays down, they looked cautiously around the stunning dining hall to see if anyone was watching them. To their relief, Lt Blakely, win in hand, was talking to a group of men near the fireplace, who had not yet retired to the table.
There was a knock on the door, which a servant went to answer. Lt Blakely was called to the door and he spoke to someone concealed by the night. When he turned around and waved the man off, he was bordering on a distasteful rage. Gravel and Clipper began for the hallway, to try and return to the quiet room and escape at last. When Gravel made one final look behind him before rounding the corner into the hallway, Lt Blakely’s furious eyes caught his and Blakely immediately began rushing forward toward him.
“Should have known it was you! What are you doing here, Gravel? Trying to escape a crime scene?” roared Blakely.
“Bein’ helpful, sir. Can’t arrest me for that.”
“Where’s that other bastard? If I find him here, that’s proof enough!” shouted Blakely as he walked past Gravel into the hallway.
Loud footsteps could be heard on the winding stairs above, and when Blakely looked up he saw familiar boots climbing them.
“I may not be able to see the face I was looking for, but I know that is you, Clipper. You stole my bloody boots and now you come and hide under my nose! Someone, call those guards I was speaking to, back. Tell a portion of them to wait outside and shoot any wastrel that they see running along rooftops!”
Blakely pinned Gravel to the wall with his huge paws and then two servants came and took over from him. Blakely raced up the stairs, with long strides and missing a few steps, as he drew his pistol. He managed to track Clipper to the room he and Gravel had entered from by following his obnoxious footsteps. The first shot he took just missed Clipper jumping out the window. He ran to the window, reloaded his arm and then followed him out.
Meanwhile, the guests were standing around aimlessly and concerned, while the servants kept Gravel plastered to the wall. Gravel mustered his strength and broke his right arm free, elbowing the weary servant in the face and then grabbed the other by the neck and pushed him to the wall in a fierce turnabout. He then liberated his left hand and drew a double-barrel pistol stowed under his sash, which he then stationed under the servant’s chin.
He moved away from the servant and, using the pistol as incentive to not approach him, he made his way towards the dining table. He picked up a pastry, devoured it and then aimed at the door. He ate a few more bites of food until the guards finally stormed in through the door. He took the first two guards out with his pistol and then stowed it back in his sash and drew a cutlass. He ducked behind the table as the remaining two guards fired at him with their bayonets, slowly moving along it towards the door. When they finished firing he leaped up onto the table and ran towards them before they could reload, with no regard for the dinner that had been laid out upon it.
The first guard charged towards him with his bayonet, but Gravel dodged and grabbed hold of the weapon’s sleek barrel then jerked him closer and gave him a clean cut under the ribs, swiftly ending his righteous campaign. With a swipe from his boots, he swept the dying guard off his feet (a deadly romantic) and lunged at the next one. The second guard proved more of a challenge as he dodged the attack and gave Gravel a painful bash to the shoulder with the butt of his rifle. Gravel jeered back and held his shoulder in agony. The guard, first foot forward and on the attack, then thrust forward at him with his bayonet, but Gravel dodged. This time Gravel took advantage and made a hack at the guard’s left shoulder. Another lunge from the relentless guard forced Gravel to drop to his knees and then roll to the left to avoid a third. Gravel then took hold of the guard’s bayonet under his right arm, but he had to strengthen his grip with the help of his hand due of his throbbing shoulder. The guard tried to take advantage of his disability by pushing forward with his bayonet, but Gravel allowed it to slide through his grip, bringing the guard right up to him. Gravel was holding his sword in his left hand and at the last minute straightened it in front of him, using the guard’s momentum to get the sword in deep to his courageous heart.
Gravel drew his blade from the dead guard, wiped the spillage off with a rag and then looked at the shocked guests.
“Terribly sorry, this started out as a hunt for new boots for my friend Clipper. The death toll won’t surpass five, I swear. So far we are on four…” Gravel said.
He walked out of the manor and made his way calmly down the street while reloading his pistol.
Clipper had concealed himself on one of the roofs not very far from the manor. Blakely was treading softly along the roof, looking for him.
“Aha, found ye!” came a shout from a disillusioned guard in the streets below. He raised his bayonet and began taking aim at Blakely.
“No! You fool, this is your lieuten…”
A shot was heard.
The guard dropped and Gravel appeared from around the corner.
“I believed thanks were in order for the broken door and stolen valuables, lieutenant. We shall see you around,” grinned Gravel.
Clipper ran out from his hiding place and leapt off the roof, landing near Gravel.
“Really nice boots, sir. Did you see that landing?”
Then they strolled off down the street, with Blakely’s valuables still in their pockets or somewhere on their person. A shot flew by and hit a pillar.