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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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19th Century

Fitzsimmons Noakes (of Amster Damned, by Nils Nisse Visser)

Dear readers, tonight with me is Fitzsimmons Noakes, the modest captain of the airship ‘The Centennial Kestrel’, the fastest Channel-Runner in business I am told. 

We were actually hoping to interview Miss Alice Kittyhawk about her adventures, but she  had pressing obligations in London and sent Captain Noakes in her stead.

Captain Noakes has a peculiar way of speaking which might sound a bit odd to modern ears, and we suspect that this particular interview is NSFW. You have been warned.


No offense, but I was expecting one Miss Alice Kittyhawk… erm… Mister…?

Cap’n Fitzsimmons Noakes, at your service. Alice asked  me to come, said I’d be better at it cause I never shut me sauce-box. Damfino why,  I am more quiet than a nun what took vows of silence, ‘onest Guv, you’ll find me jaws are locked tighter than the creamy thighs of a……

Yes, quite, so you can tell us something about Miss Kittyhawk? How long have you known her?

Since she was a nipper, used to perch on me knee and I’d sing her a ditty or two, didn’t I? Not that dull patriotic rubbish, mind you, proper songs like ‘Ere’s to the Grog and Lily White Thighs. I’ve ‘eard Alice whistling the tunes aboard the Kestrel, proud as a peacock I were, to know I been such a good influence.

By the light of a candle I happened to spy
A pretty young couple together did lie
Said Nelly to John if you’ll pull up my smock
You’ll find a young hen full as good as your…..

I get the gist of the song, thank you. Was this in the village of Rottingdean?

Yarr, Rottingdean in Sussex. I were crewing for Alice’s old man, you see, on The Salty Mew, the fizziest aerocraft on the south coast at the time. ‘Er dad were John ‘Awkeye, you must ‘ave ‘eard of ‘im? Course you ‘ave, everybody ‘as!! Cap’n ‘Awkeye being famous in…..erm…..the business of logistics. Continue reading “Fitzsimmons Noakes (of Amster Damned, by Nils Nisse Visser)”

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Midshipman Colyer (of Daedalus and the Deep by Matthew Willis)

Daesalus and The Deep - Matthew WillisDear readers, tonight with us is a cadet officer from Her Majesty’s Ship The Daedalus. He will tell us of his adventures on the seven seas, and in particular about encountering a mysterious sea serpent.

 

Tell us where you grew up. Did you always want to join the navy?

I grew up in Harwich. It’s a Navy town – the Navy’s never far away. From the cottage where I grew up you could see the ships coming and going, and when you went down into the town the forest of masts above the roofs didn’t let you forget either. I suppose I did always want to join. My brother went to the naval college as soon as he could – Father had been a surgeon in the old Conqueror, so his sons were entitled to go – and I always wished I could have gone with him. You wouldn’t have thought there was any chance at all of me going too, but… well, I never actually thought it would happen, but it did.

What are you duties on board, as a midshipman?

My duties? Ha! To get under the feet of the petty officers, to annoy the officers and amuse the hands, or so you’d think. Really, a Mid is there to learn how to be an officer, to make sure we’ve salt enough in the blood, sea legs and know a sheetbend from a sheer-hulk. Half the time we’re used as skivvies and messengers and the other half we’re being sent up the masthead as punishment for something or other.

Continue reading “Midshipman Colyer (of Daedalus and the Deep by Matthew Willis)”

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