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The Log of William Turner: Twelfth Entry

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Twelfth Entry

It has been twelve days since my Elizabeth sent me out with a stern warning to learn of my heritage. I have written of this event in methodical detail my first entry, though, out of respect, I withheld my thoughts concerning her desire to join as well. If she had not duties to her father, she surely would have stolen a pair of Anna Maria's trousers and made off with us. Her desire to set me off on adventure even while she cannot was my inspiration for this log.

Until today, this record reads more like a textbook than any memoirs I have ever before read simply because I have spent the entire trip thus far learning myself. I had joined the crew feeling much like the first days of my previous apprenticeship. Although I was only assigned mundane tasks suited for one of my position, there was still an overwhelming sense of inexperience I thought I would never be obligated to submit to again. This time I do not mind much as I am more pleased in my current unease than even my mastery of swordsmithing granted me. My skills may have been great with the forge, but I realize now that the pirate blood in my veins would not have remained appeased without new challenges. However, it shall have to be pacified by small quests such as this for when I return home I will still have to fulfill responsibilities to my former life. I successfully paid off my apprenticeship fees before this voyage, but still remain are the seven years I must work as a blacksmith as required in my contract. As such, I have completed my own set of working tools and even went so far as to inquire purchasing such supplies I cannot make myself, such as an anvil. Yet these actions are not ones of freedom, but of servitude. It is amusing to think that the breach of a contract would be a trivial thing if I were to remain on board the Black Pearl as crew.

I should not write of such things.

I was discussing my erudition obtained while sailing with Captain Jack Sparrow. Compared to all I have written previously, the one gem of knowledge I have come to appreciate is to not force an accent. I shall let time destroy what linguistic skills society has taught me and forgo my atrocious attempts of "pirate speak." Yet, for learning purposes, I have decided to endeavor to study a word or phrase a day. For the first installment, the phrase is "bilge rat." The bilge is the lowest level of the ship, filled with ballast water, which has a rather putrid odor. A bilge rat is then a rat from this part of the ship. Though, as you may have guessed, this is an insult, it is used commonly among peers in a friendly sort of manner.

But I have strayed from my original topic of discussion. I merely mentioned my belief of Elizabeth's exploratory nature now as I am sure today's events would have suited her well.

As I mentioned in my tenth entry, the pirate flag, which once provided it's own sort of shelter above us, disappeared without a trace. There has still been no clue as to its current location, but I only recall this fact for I imagine today's events would have played out quite differently had to been soaring proudly above us as it is supposed to.

We came upon an English ship as swift as only the Black Pearl can. Even without the flag, the Black Pearl is menacing in appearance and I was surprised that we were met with no resistance. I believe this confused Captain Sparrow as well, for he gave orders to Anna Maria to wait aboard the Black Pearl with the rest of the crew for his signal. He then looked at me expecting for me to follow and, though I did not understand his reasons, had faith in his judgment and complied.

It was a most curious ship, though what made it peculiar was its crew. But that is a detail for later. Captain Sparrow boarded the ship with every intention of plunder; however, he waved off his crew from their attack. I watched how his demeanor change when something had caught his eye. His swagger was lost as he walked tall, shoulders back, yet relaxed and chin set forward. The mischievous gleam remained in his eyes. Although he appearance was opposite to his normal stance, there was still something about him that was disarming and non-threatening. I knew not what could cause a transformation in a man such as Jack, but now I believe it was the figure of the cook we would later speak to.

Captain Sparrow addressed us to the captain of the ship we boarded with perfect English, not a syllable missed! I was glad to be ignored by Captain Smollett as I was lost on Jack's plan and was terribly afraid of ruining it.

Though a small part of me jumped at the thrill of the challenge.

We were introduced as merchants and Captains Sparrow began discussing local trade as if he had lived it everyday. After a five-minute tirade, he requested to speak to the cook to see if there was something that might be of use. We were asked what we had to offer. Jack replied, "Rum." Though, in typical Jack fashion he embellished the answer, describing how it was the finest rum known to man, that even a king would be intoxicated by its potent powers. He claimed it to be made by creatures of folklore so deep was its flavor, and many other such declarations. To which the captain replied, "I do not tolerate alcohol aboard my ship."

Though I am sure this would not have been a setback for Captain Sparrow, he was so struck at the idea mentioned that he appeared to be completely bewildered, as he did not respond immediately. Knowing some other item must be offered, I began speaking about utensils and knives and such things I hoped would be of use. The man I assumed to be the cook assisted me, suggesting that another set of knives would be helpful.

Still, Captain Smollett was rightfully wary of our ploy and instead directed our attention to the Black Peal. He wondered about the black sails which we navigated under. Jack began blaming a lack of funding and a recent storm. Then he said the most absurd thing in a most honest manner. "We had not the money for new sails, so what you see there are not sails, but my bed sheets."

It was Captain Smollett's turn to be stricken, but the man beside him, Squire Trelawney, became rather content at this answer, as if it had been the most natural response in the world! The fellow seemed to have some pull, most likely financial, and insisted we could speak to Long John about whatever was needed.

It was for that reason we were herded down to the kitchen and left in private. Jack greeted the man. "Long John Silver."

"Jack Sparrow."

"Captain Jack Sparrow."

They then proceeded to throw insults at each other until, both grinning, they moved onto other things. I must admit I do not remember what they spoke of, for again I was confronted with the peculiarity of the crew. I do remember talk about another ship, the Wicked Wench, but I know not what context it is from. Being unable to hold my tongue for any longer, I pointed at the giant fuzzy lobster and said, rather rudely, "Do you not realize that the captain and half this crew are merely puppets with people's hands stuck up their-"

I was quickly interrupted by Long John Silver, "Yes, but you should hear them sing!"

Elizabeth would have like that.

Then he responded to my attack with a comment that seemed to wound only Jack as I do not understand its implications. I shall close today's entry with them.

"At least the Figurehead on my ship isn't a mouse!"

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2003/12/01