John King should have listened to his mother. She tried to warn him that becoming a pirate was not one of his better ideas.

But the young passenger on the sloop Bonetta—captured in the Caribbean by Samuel Bellamy—could only see the flutter of the black flag and the wild, exciting lives of the men who flew it. As the pirates boarded the Bonetta, he demanded to join their crew—or he would kill himself.

When his mother counseled caution, he threatened to kill her. His determination carried the day, and he joined Bellamy's band. Less than a year later he sank with the Whydah.