Arthur Ransome Wiki

Black Jake is the Captain and owner of the schooner Viper in the book Peter Duck. He is “a dark man, with black hair (and black ringlets) and big gold ear-rings that showed below his hair.” The porter says that Black Jake has “the scum of the place … in that hooker …” Black Jake accosts the Swallows, and is upset when Polly says “Pieces of eight”. Later the harbourmaster says “He’s in with every bad lot in the place” (PD1,2).

Mr Duck tells how Black Jake even tries to marry one of his daughters to get the details of where the treasure on Crab Island is buried, and after he has stolen the paper from Peter Duck’s old pea-jacket , Jake goes to the island for the “best part of a year” (PD6).

Black Jake has a crew of four; excluding Red-haired Bill, who describes them in (PD13):

  • Simeon Boon: "just out from two years hard".
  • Mogandy the negro, blacker’n Black Jake, who later wants to "kill that boy" (PD30).
  • George, a brother of Black Jake who is wanted by the police (named in PD30).
  • A man who was chucker-out at the Ketch as Ketch Can, a fisherman’s tavern in Lowestoft; presumably a rough tavern.

At the end of PD, “As for Black Jake and his friends, no questions were ever asked about them, so none were answered”.