Captain Tory - a short story about how Captain Tory learned to take heed of others, no matter how unreliable they may seem

Essay by SolidusHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2007

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

“Captain Tory! There be a man on the docks wanting your attention. He got a boy hostage!” Wiley Baxter urgently informed. Captain Tory sighed in annoyance and glanced at the docks. He observed a bearded man holding a lantern in his right hand and a small boy’s right arm in his left hand. Flickering lights appeared near the two.

“How do you know what he wants?” asked Tory, “I just see a man and a boy.” Wiley Baxter’s face cringed in frustrating confusion, then he ran off to his room upset. Captain Tory refused to stop the ship for anyone, especially not for two mysterious strangers. He was shipping an urgent cargo of plastic explosives to the Boston Harbor for the United States military – he could not afford any detours.

The bearded man started waving frantically and angrily, unmistakably at the ship. Intrigued, Captain Tory quickly held up the binoculars from his neck and looked through the device in the direction of the two strangers.

Was it important? Why were they trying to get the ship’s attention? Tory was suddenly faced with an agonizing dilemma – continue his job and live with unsatisfied curiosity or stop the ship to satisfy it but lose his job.

Realizing the ridiculousness of his dilemma, Tory decided to ignore the two individuals. He enjoyed his job, especially when Wiley Baxter did his in return. Baxter always spent his time listening to the radio in his cabin, shirking his simple navigation duties. But now Captain Tory was alone. He watched the boy and the man fade into the fog as he steered his ship towards docking station 8. The two quickly faded from his mind; he was now occupied with delivering his dangerous cargo and taking care of the fragile Wiley Baxter.

After arriving at their destination, Tory and Baxter dropped off the supplies into the armored truck. When the job was completed, Tory and Baxter slowly strolled back onto the ship and proceeded to head back towards England. On the way back, more flashing lights and noticeable commotion blazed at the exact place where the boy and the man used to be. Eyes wide open and shot with adrenaline, Captain Tory stared frozenly at the mysterious incident. “What happened?!” screamed Captain Tory.

“I told you, boss. He had the kid hostage and he wanted something. Something of ours. He killed the kid!” replied Baxter with questionable confidence.

“That’s ridiculous.” Tory tried to shrug Wiley Baxter off as delusional, but the more he watched the disturbance, the more worried he became. Suddenly, he had an idea. Captain Tory ran to Wiley Baxter’s room and turned on the radio.

“…Ten minutes ago, a man threw a small boy into the Boston Harbor. He was apprehended. The suspected terrorist was charged with attempting to hijack a ship full of explosives, using the kidnapped boy as hostage.” Tory slowly turned the radio off and lied back on Baxter’s dirty bed.

He could not sleep that night. He had an overwhelming sense of guilt, but for no apparent reason. It was not his fault. He probably did the right thing. But what about Baxter? Captain Tory felt guilty for ignoring Baxter, who knew about the incident. Wiley, not phased by the news, slept normally that night. Tory felt restless.

When he finally arrived in England, Captain Tory officially announced his resignation. He no longer enjoyed his cargo delivery because of the uneasy feelings associated with the disturbing occurrence. Patting Wiley gently on the back, Tory said, “You were right, Wiley. I should have listened to you. I should have paid more attention.”