Porthgain, 27 January

Well I better introduce meself startin off. Im Mortimer Jacobs, used to be in Captain Robards company though that aint exactly a thing so I must be a mercenary? Though I aint exactly gettin paid so who knows what I am. Maybe the doc has mentioned me in one of those letters hes always writin. When one of the lasses said it was a man named Rackham he writes to, it put me in mind of the time I was pulled up for bustin into a warehouse owned by a bloke name of Rackham. Dont know if it was yours or one of your kin, but after that was the time I had to chose between Newgate and the army. Guess its clear how that turned out.

Anyway probably youve heard from the lasses by now about what happened to the doc but the reason I am writin is that you may have heard he was dead and he aint. Sure hes locked up in that castle and all but we figured out he was bein kept in the tower and figured out which window on account of some sort of signals he was sendin out that the lasses picked up on. Me mate Sharma (hes a Pandjy if youre wonderin about the funny name) even wrapped up some stuff round an arrow and shot it straight into the window. From two hundred yards, fukin hero of Sherwood here! Anyway your last letter was in with the stuff so I hope it was an excitin one because he aint goin to have much more for readin til we can manage a rescue.

And see thats a mite more complicated than it should be on account of Campbell and Van Dyke believin the doc to be dead. Well not dead exactly – that skeevy lowlander said it was likely he had been ass-mutilated …

… ok me mate Sharma is readin over me shoulder and he just explained that the word was supposed to be “assimilated”. That makes more sense – a good buggerin will mess a man up good but not to the point of bein dead as a rule. I dont know what he means by assimilated exactly but Im bettin its somethin to do with that sick twist Brown. That bloke is creepy as fuk-all and there aint no shortage of us whod be happy to just keep sailin and leave him be. But here I am stupid me standin with those who want to go back to the castle and take him out. On account of loyalty to the doc and all. See he patched me up right more than once now and even hatched me outta the glasshouse on one occasion, and now that we know hes alive its one of those decisions that aint really a decision at all.

Now Van Dyke, he is a skeevy lowlander as I have said before and I still think fondly of the times I punched him in the face. But I will say two nice things about him. One, he did right by us all at Carteret, kept his head, which aint no easy thing. Two, hes all for goin back after Brown. Not for docs sake, him believin him dead or assimilated or whatever, but on account of Brown bein a dire threat to the whole wide world or some shite.

No its Campbell whos most like to just up and leave. Can I take a moment here and just ask what the fuk is up with these Yanks? Near as I can figure it was the Yanks on that sunk boat fightin the Yanks with Brown all before we got there. Blood in the halls and all that. Seems like if they all hated each other so much they couldve done the same thing on their own side of the pond and kept Albion out of it. Anyway Campbell walks around with that glassy stare – hes realizin that there aint no command structure any more, just him and his tryin to figure out what to do. I had me own moment like that a ways back and I remember enough what it was like that I wont call him weak. Man cant hold his grog but he aint weaker than any other Yank.

Anyway, some of us are plottin a rescue and we thought you should know that. Meantime we found a village with some normal folks further up the coast which is where we are now. They got a bit of a situation with men disappearing in the night recently but if thats their worst problem theyre doin all right, world as it is.

Point is were safe for the moment and if you write again we can get your words to the doc thanks to our Pandjy and his keen eyes and steady hands. Two hundred yards, with a bow taller than his own self! Hes a freaky marvel and I aint just sayin that because hes sittin right here.

Me hand is fukin tired from all this writin but Sharmas remindin me of stuff I didnt mention yet. That Rachel ladys still here. Deus beard, if you saw her face when she saw Brown! Shes like to claw his eyes out with her fingers if she sees him again. Never ever saw her get wound up like that until she saw him. Needless to say shes all for goin back too. Shes a funny one. Body like your best mates sister but eyes like your grannys. Nobody knows what to do with her. But shes worried about the doc so thats somethin we got in common.

And Brown, I guess thats the main thing, you knowin just what the deal was there. I put a bullet in one his creepy assistants but it wasnt till I got a good look at him lyin there that I realized he looked just like Brown. Maybe not exactly, but as if he had spent a year or two in Bedlam and come out a little loopy in the head but strong like an ape. And that wasnt the only one. Got to the point in that fight when you had to check every body to see if it was just a Yank gunman or another Brown lookalike. Makes you wonder if the bloke Van Dyke did in on that hill in Gallia was the real man or just another copy. Hell the bloke in charge of the castle might not even be the real one either now that I think on it. Or what does the real one even mean? And how does he make copies of himself like that?

Fuk if I understand it. Im just waitin for the chance to put bullets in Browns till we run plum out of em. Hopefully bring your mate back safe too. Then he can explain it all proper and I wont have to write any more damn letters.