Morton turned to see three bony gray cats approaching. They circled him, showing broken yellow fangs, and arched backs.
“What have we got here lads,” said the largest of the three. “It looks like somebody’s fat house pet, lost on our docks.”
“Yep, he’s a pet alright, Fink.” One of the other cats started sniffing Morton’s unmentionables.
Morton objected to the scrutiny and to Fink calling him fat. Sure, he’d put on a few pounds since turning four, but he liked to think of himself as muscular.
The third cat said, “let’s get him to Black Bart, see what he wants to do with him.”
“Now hold on,” said Morton. “I’m looking for my ship the Mayflower. Once I find it, I’ll be out of your hair for good. We’re sailing for the New World any day now.”
“Did I hear you say, you’re sailing on the Mayflower?” Another cat joined the mix.
The three gray cats moved around until Morton’s and this new cat’s backs were to the wall. Morton looked at his new companion, he was an all-black cat. Perhaps this was the famous Black Bart everyone was talking about.
“Show us to our ship at once,” the new tom said with an air of authority punctuated by his outthrust chest and fanned tail.
Morton felt sure this must be the leader, Black Bart, and that Fink would take them to the Mayflower immediately. He was wrong.
“Look here, little fella. We don’t take orders from you. If you want our help, you need to ask nicely,” said Fink.
“Very well. Please take us to our ship at once.”
“That’s more like it, follow me.”
Morton and the black cat followed Fink. He led them to a huge pile of crates and barrels, waiting to be loaded by the dockers. Fink stopped in front of the pile and circled behind Morton and the black cat. “The fastest way to yer ship is through there.”
Morton saw what looked like a winding tunnel between the crates. He was about to turn and go around another way when the black cat charged ahead. Morton took a look behind him, the three gray cats stared at him with narrowed eyes and arched backs. Meanwhile, the small black tom had disappeared among the boxes. Morton had no choice but to follow.
His eyes adjusted to the dark confines of the tunnel just as he ran into the backside of the black cat, trying to wiggle his way backward out of the tunnel.
“Turn around, this is a trap.” The black tom hissed.
Morton turned around only to have the lid of a box slammed in his face. The three gray cats guffawed outside. “Black Bart says welcome to yer new home,” Fink said. “He don’t tolerate other toms in his territory. The Mayflower happens to belong to Black Bart, so we’ll have to load you little pets onto another ship.”
“See if you can butt that lid open with your head.” The black cat clawed at the other side of the crate. “My name is Captain Butler, by the way, but everyone calls me CB. Myles Standish is my person. He’s going to provide military leadership to the Mayflower passengers. ”
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