|Notable inhabitants||Richard Guthrie|
Harbour Island is an island in the Bahamas located off the northeast coast of Eleuthera Island, about 70 miles from Nassau. Unlike Nassau, Harbour Island remains under English governance. It contains a number of wealthy estates, including that of Richard Guthrie until he was convicted of black marketeering and fled. Harbour Island has since become the encampment of a large English garrison of some two hundred men under Captain Hume.
Captain Flint and Billy Bones travel to Richard Guthrie's lavish estate on the island. They are greeted at his door by a servant, and Flint introduces himself as "Mr. Smith," and tells the man that Richard is not expecting him. They are led into Guthrie's office and told to wait there for him. When Richard arrives, the two pirates catch a glimpse of a wealthy looking man being entertained by prosititues. After the door is shut, Flint tells Richard that he prefers the far more hospitable welcome the man in the other room is receiving. Richard tells Flint that that man is a sugar factor from the Carolinas, who sells the pirates' stolen cargo, because he trusts Richard. He trusts Richard because Richard has gained his confidence and prevents him from ever seeing the pirates.
Flint then tells Richard the story of Vazquez, a member of the Colonial Intelligence division of the Casa de Contratación of Seville. Vazquez was stabbed by his former employers because he insisted that an escort could not be found for the treasure galleon, the Urca de Lima. Flint asks for Richard to introduce him to his contact in Havana, so he can piece together the Urca's schedule, but Richard refuses. Flint says that the risk is all his but Richard tells him that if he were to make inquiries about the treasure galleon, Colonial Intelligence would kill him. Flint grows angry and pulls Richard's arm behind his back and threatens to break it unless Richard gives him the name. He then orders Billy to put his pistol to Richard's head. Billy, under strict orders from Gates to make sure Flint doesn't ruin their relationship with Richard, instead points his pistol at Flint. Before the situation can escalate further, they hear the sounds of horses arriving outside, and Billy looks outside to see who has arrived.
Captain Hume of the HMS Scarborough enters with an escort of two Royal Marines. Before he arrived, Flint, Billy and Richard all sat down in their chairs to give the appearance of a normal meeting. Richard tells Hume that he's interrupting him at business, and Hume asks what sort of business. Richard begs his pardon and Hume repeats the question. Richard tells Hume that Flint and Billy are sugar merchants from the colonies, and he'd like to complete his business with them without further interruption. Hume asks if they have gossip in the Bahamas, wondering if it could survive in such a remote place. Hume tells Richard that gossip holds civilization together, for it reinforces shame. Hume then tells Richard that the gossip in London is that Richard makes his profits selling cargo stolen by pirates, and believes Flint and Billy are pirates. Despite Richard's attempts to deny this, Hume attempts to arrest them. Flint and Billy then knock out Hume and his men, but during the struggle Richard is shot in the shoulder. They return to their skiff and sail back to the Walrus.
Billy later mentions his visit to Harbour Island to Gates, citing it, along with the murder of Singleton, as an example of when Flint has gone "too far." Gates however, brushes him off, saying with the Scarborough so close, they need Flint's leadership. Pastor Lambrick informs Miranda Barlow that he has heard that the HMS 'Scarborough has docked at Harbour Island, and that the King wishes to reassert colonial rule in Nassau. He and his flock eagerly await the day this happens. Captain Dyfed Bryson arrives in Nassau and Eleanor Guthrie attempts to convince him to give over his twelve pounder cannons to Captain Flint. Bryson is angered at the idea of handing over his prized cannons to a pirate. He asks Eleanor if this has anything to do with the Scarborough being docked at Harbour Island. Bryson tells her that he originally intended to stop there and unload the slaves in his hold, but when he say the Royal Navy warship, he decided against it. Bryson says Navy ships frequently stop at his home port of Boston, hinting that he knows of the warrant out for Richard's arrest. He then asks to speak with Richard privately.
After Billy fell from the bow of the Walrus, the men of the Scarborough captured him and brought him back to the garrison at Harbour Island. There, Captain Hume tortures him with a techinique he learned from a Spanish bishop. Billy is placed in a tight leather vest and left out in the sun. It is said that after six days, the leather shrinks so much it makes the ribs shatter and puncture the internal organs, and on the seventh day, he'll rest. Hume says that five days previous, Billy refused to divulge anything, but after so much time in the vest, Hume thinks he'll be more forthcoming, Hume says to Billy that he thinks he is of great value and can help Hume get out of Harbour Island. Billy is released and sent to Nassau with instructions to capture Captain Flint and bring him to Hume, as reward, he and nine others will receive Royal Pardons.
When discussing the upcoming attack on Fort Nassau, Flint and Benjamin Hornigold discuss how long repairs would take. Hornigold tells him that it would take ten weeks to replace all the batteries, and twice that amount of time to secure the interior. Hornigold acknowledges that it is a risk, but a relatively short window in the grand scheme of things. Flint reminds him that this short window of time coincides with the Scarborough at anchor at Harbour Island only forty miles from them.
After washing up in Nassau and being coached on what to say to the crew by John Silver, Billy tells the crew of what happened after he was captured. Billy tells the assembled crew that he was taken to the garrison on Harbour Island, and saw an armory and barracks. He tells them that the Navy wasn't merely passing through, they are fully encamped forty miles from Nassau. Billy tells his crew that he was able to escape after his guards got careless. As the vote between Captain Flint and Captain Hornigold draws near, Billy tells Dufresne that they should support Flint. He also tells Dufresne that they also have an alternative, and tells him of the deal he made with Hume for ten pardons in exchange for the capture of Flint. If they doubt Flint's ability to bring about what he has promised them, Billy, Dufresne and eight others will subdue Flint and bring him to Hume on Harbour Island.
After Flint wins the vote, Billy tells Dufresne to find eight men and meet him by the bluffs. Billy meets them, along with Joji and a large amount of the former Walrus crew. Billy says that being tortured is a degrading experience and he would do anything to ensure none of his brothers ever had to face it. He tells Dufresne that he said what he said to escape Harbour Island, but had no intention of honoring Hume's proposal. Now, Billy is getting rid of all dissent against Captain Flint, believing him to be their best chance of survival, and exiles Dufresne and his men. Dufresne later finds a dejected Hornigold preparing to leave Nassau. Hornigold wishes to leave before England arrives to reclaim her island, seeing no reason to be dragged to his grave by it. Dufresne tells him that he might have something to offer England that would earn them a pardon.
While in Charles Town, Charles Vane attacks Flint's ship and captures most of the crew. He later has a private converstion in the captain's cabin with Billy. They discuss their mutual hatred of Flint, but Billy tells Vane that Flint is talking about their survivial for what comes next, not who is owed what like Vane. Vane scoffs at Billy, saying Flint has him afraid of an imagined threat but Billy says he's wrong. Billy tells Vane how he saw the garrison at Harbour Island, with a full company of Royal Marines waiting for orders to exterminate the pirates. Billy says Flint is the only one with a plan to face that.
While Eleanor is meeting with Underhill, Hornigold, Dufresne and their men kill Eleanor's bodyguard, Babatunde, and take Eleanor captive. They then deliver her to Captain Hume at Harbour Island. Hornigold tells Hume that although he was supposed to give ten pardons to Flint's captors, Eleanor is a far better prize. Hornigold describes Eleanor as the trade boss of Nassau and "queen of thieves." He tells Hume to imagine the celebrity and spectacle that will meet him in London as reward for capturing her. Hume then gives Hornigold and his men the pardons and sails with Eleanor to London.
"I saw it with my own eyes, the garrison on Harbour Island. Royal Marines, a full company of them. The Scarborough anchored. And a commander just waiting for the order to begin his assault against us and exterminate every last one of us." - Billy Bones to Charles Vane in XVII.