A Heap o' Trouble
by Sara B.

"Yer gonna get yerself in a heap of trouble, Styles."
"Eh, don't worry, Matty. Ain't no way the officers'll find out. They
never do."
"I don't want no part in it," said Matthews. "I gotta bad feelin'
'bout this one. One day yer gonna get caught!"
"Aww, but I need yeh to give the signal when Oldroyd's commin'!
Please, Matty!" begged Styles.
Matthews rolled his eyes, but he knew he'd end up helping Styles in
another childish prank aimed at Oldroyd. Styles had rigged an old
bucket full of seawater in the rafters below deck, around the corner
from the wardroom. Styles had arranged for one of the younger
ratings, Bennett, to send Oldroyd in that direction. When Oldroyd
rounded the corner, Matthews would give the signal to Styles, who
would be hiding in the shadows. After the signal, Styles would pull
the rope and spill the bucket of seawater right onto Oldroyd's head.
Matthews almost let a smile escape when he thought of Styles'
creativity on this one, but sobered up when he recalled Styles' ego
and how much he'd bragged for the past few days. Matthews was
astounded that the officers hadn't found out yet.
Nevertheless, Matthews let out a sigh and said, "Alright, Styles, I'll help."
"Yer the best, Matty! Now, I been thinkin' that it'd be right funny
if the signal were a salute when 'e walks by... Yeh know, ter make
fun of 'im. Be the perfect beginnin!" gushed Styles with an impish
grin.
"All right, Styles," said Matthews grudgingly. "Yeh just lemme know
when yer sendin' the boy up to fetch 'im and I'll be ready."
* *
*
Meanwhile, above deck, Lieutenants Hornblower and Kennedy were
enjoying an after-dinner stroll, when they noticed something strange
was going on.
"Archie?"
"Yes, Horatio?"
"Have you noticed anything strange about the behavior of the men this evening?"
"Yes, now that you mention it, Horatio."
"I'm not sure that I like the looks of it, Archie. I think I'll
search for Matthews and see if he has any information."
As Horatio decended the staircase, he passed Bennett, who was on his
way up. Just as he was about to round a corner, Horatio cape upon
Matthews, who looked as though he was expecting someone.
"Matthews, the men seem to be acting rather peculiar this evening...
Smiling at each other and acting mischevious. Do you know anything
about this?"
"What should I do?" thought Matthews. "No, sir. I don't know nothin'
about it," he lied to the leftenant.
"Very well," said Horatio. Matthews saluted him as he walked away,
and Horatio decided, that since he was below, he'd go ahead and make a
trip to the wardroom.
Matthews realized too late the mistake he'd made. As Horatio rounded
the corner, Matthews yelled out, "No, sir! Wait!" But it was too
late. Styles had seen the signal and pulled the rope.
As Styles leapt out of the shadows, grinning, Matthews held his head
in his hands and said miserably, "I told yeh yeh'd get yerself in a
heap of trouble, Styles."