National Geographic : 1946 Jun
Pirate-Fighters of the South China Sea 793 Ready to Fire The cannoneer applies a lighted stick to the touchhole, while his mate stands by to swab out the gun. At the base are several projectiles; size and shape do not matter, providing they can be crammed into the barrel. Steel plates protect the stern of this large trading junk, which would be a valuable prize for pirates. Long John Silver Himself Would Probably Hold No Terrors for These Boys Pirates are all in the day's work aboard their floating home. During an engagement these children of the crew helped load guns and carry water. Here, beside a cannon, they play mah-jongg with a young visitor wearing a sun helmet. Entire families often live on the ships.