The Ship’s Captain (Feghoot)

(By John F. Moore based on a character by Grendel Briarton)

In the 28th Century, Ferdinand Feghoot always took passage on spaceships from Argol. Their discipline was rigidly based on Terran naval tradition. Indeed, Argolian law compelled every cartain, on assuming command, to identify himself withe some sea-going hero of Earth, actual or legendary. One wore an eye-patch, another a false wooden leg; some carried harpoons, spyglasses or belaying pins; they wore pea-jackets or gold-braided coats, and uttered such phrases as “Yo-ho-ho!” and “Damn the torpedoes!”

On a trip to Argol itself, Feghoot met a young captain whose only peculiarity was his habit of sounding the ship’s klaxon several times whenever they made planetfall. He explained that he was warning his crew of temptations aground–as many blasts of the klaxon as there were loose women per thousand of population. Feghoot approved, and was shocked when the captain, on arrival at Argol, was placed in arrest for having no Terran prototype. Gladly undertaking his defense, Feghoot explained to the Court about the temptation index and the warning.

“And what,” sneered the Prosecuting Officer, “has all this to do with the great heroes of Terran seas? Nothing whatever!”

“You are wrong,” replied Ferdinand Feghoot, “Throughout your whole fleet this splendid young man is known as … Captain Horatio Hornblower!”

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