The item below is a transcript of a one-sided conversation in which Queen Elizabeth I talks to Francis Drake during his circumnavigation of the Earth. What Drake said can be understood by inference.
Hello, Frankie. It’s about time you called. I was beginning to think you’d got lost. . . . You have? That’s a pity. Anyway, apart from not knowing where you are, what have you to report? . . . You had to scuttle two ships while crossing the Atlantic. Why? . . . Oh, too many men perished to keep all the fleet going. What a shame. You haven’t said what happened to the Portuguese merchant ship you picked up on your way but never mind that. Anything else? . . . One more ship lost to storms in the Strait of Magellan and another sent limping back home. . . . Really, Frankie, that’s pretty careless of you. I mean, you started with five vessels, added another and now you’re down to one. I hope it’s your flagship. . . . Oh, good. You’ve renamed it. So what do you call it now? The Golden Hind. I see. Well, I liked it when it was the Pelican, but I suppose you had your reasons. They say there’s method in your madness, although I sometimes think it’s more case of madness in your method. Hang on a minute. One of these pesky courtiers wants to tell me something.
Back again. Have you managed to collect any plunder? . . . Oh, attacked a few Spanish ports, eh? That might be a bit too provocative. It wouldn’t surprise me if Philip sends an armada here within a decade or so. I hope you’ll be back if that happens because I have you in mind for second-in-command of our lads to repel any possible assault. . . . No, you can’t have the top job. That’ll probably go to Hawkins. Now, about the marauding and pillaging. I need oodles of boodle to keep the country going. . . . You captured three ships. What did you get from them? . . . A load of wine. Well, that isn’t much. Ah, 25,000 gold pesos. That’s about 37,000 ducats in Spanish money. Very good! Is that all? . . . Well, well, it’s gets better. Eighty pounds in gold bullion, twenty-six tons of silver plate, thirteen chests of royals and another load of plate. Excellent work. I can use that kind of loot. Just a moment. Another interruption.
Here again. What’s that? You executed Thomas Doughty. A bit drastic, I’d say. I mean, he was your co-commander. However, what’s done is done. Anything further? . . . You couldn’t find the way back to the Strait of Magellan. That’s quite an admission for a chap who’s supposed to be an ace navigator. So what will you do? . . . Cross the Pacific Ocean. Wow, that’s a long haul. It could take a year or more. I could do with you back here sooner. Still, as long as you return with all that lovely mazuma, we’ll call that a success, big time. If all goes well, there might be a knighthood in it for you. Now, I’m being pestered by affairs of state, so we’ll have to close. All the best for what remains of your voyage and try to stay in touch. You know what they say – don’t be a stranger. Bye-bye.
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