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Monday, October 29, 2007

The Allen Ginter Project: Card #5 - N19 Pirates of the Spanish Main

Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! This here be the fifth card I plundered for me Allen & Ginter Type set. I rescued this fine Buccaneer away from eBay seller slackjob, who had waylaid several bretheren of the coast and was holding them for ransom. I promised 9 doubloons to the bilge-sucking jailsman for the release of this old salt. But I waylayed the lubber, keelhauled 'im and sent 'im down to Davy Jones' Locker. Aye, this pirate's rating is perfect, for Dead Men Leave No Feedback. Arrrrr!

Ahem. Sorry about that, I went all Piratey there again. What I meant to say is that I purchased this card for 9 dollars. There was no keelhauling, murdering or pillaging of any kind. It's easy to get carried away with this set, the fronts have a portrait of a murderous pirate with an appropriate scene of buccaneerish activity going on in the background, while on the reverse there's a short story of the pirate's adventures, often wonderfully bloody and horrific. The one I snagged is of Alexander Bras-de-fer, who is pretty tough to find information about online other than in a couple of old books scanned by Google. Ol' Iron Arms was also in a 1949 Topps X-ray set (card 165), so he couldn't be that obscure. I get a kick out of having my site pop up whenever I do a Google search so I'm going to add to Alexander's online lore by copying out the text on the back of his card for those of you not inclined to squint at the scan.
About the time that Lolonois, in command of a powerful fleet, was engaged in his fiendish exploits, there was a singular adventurer at Tortuga by the name of Alexandre Bras-de-Fer, who, in his small way, was engaged in making history with as earnest a purpose as his illustrious contemporary. This brave and prudent sea-robber never joined in large expeditions, preferring to sally forth in his swift cruiser, with no one to share or subtract from his gains. On one occasion when Alexandre was bound upon an expedition of great consequence, he was overtaken by a scorching tropical calm, which was followed some days later by a furious tornado. The pirate crew were suddenly stranded upon a lonely isle. Not many days after, a large ship approached, attracted by the pure water which the island afforded. Presently a boat was lowered, and a well armed party of Spaniards cautiously landed. Bras-de-Fer laid a careful ambush; and at a given signal, the buccaneers rushed fiercely upon the Spaniards and slew them to a man. Then they donned the dress of their victims; and thus disguised, pulled out to the ship. Not until they had clambered up the sides were they recognized. The surprise was sudden and complete. In a few minutes the rich ship was a prize to the buccaneers, and Alexadre triumphantly sailed away to seek other adventures.
How's that for kicking ass and taking names? Iron Alex carries his ill-gotten booty in a BMF wallet. This is card #27 of the set. I almost bought a card of Charles Vane that was closing the same day as this card, but I held off because the back was damaged and you couldn't read the cool story. I kind of wish I had gotten it now though, this is a killer set. These suckers can get expensive too, stupid Johnny Depp and his movies had to make pirates all popular again.

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