Commodore James Norrington stepped quietly to the rail, waiting patiently for Jack Sparrow to notice his presence. The pirate had been permitted the freedom of the upper decks as long as the shackles on his wrists and ankles remained in place. Even Jack Sparrow wasn't crazy enough to jump overboard with irons clapped to every limb.
"Wind's about to shift." Jack's voice was quiet and knowing.
"Sometime tonight," James agreed. "Fortunately, it will be in our favor – we may gain as much as two days' time."
"Not really in my favor, now is it? I'm in no hurry to meet the hangman."
"About that…" James could hardly believe that he was going to do this, but his honor demanded it. "I can't save both you and young Mr. Turner from the noose. One of you can be explained away or pardoned, but someone is going to have to hang for stealing the Interceptor. Especially given its current location at the bottom of the sea!"
"The lad shouldn't even face the noose for his first offence, unless the law has changed?"
"Normally, it would be twenty lashes and a branding," James agreed. "But stealing a Navy ship…even if I could keep it to a lashing, the count would have to be at least fifty. And that would kill him, far more cruelly than the noose would."
"Not a pleasant way to die."
A moment of silence, broken only by the sounds of the sea and the wind in the sails.
"Will Turner is no pirate – just a good lad caught up in bad company. Me, on the other hand…well, I ain't ever pretended to be anything else. You see to it that he's fully and officially pardoned – nothing to come back and haunt him later, savvy?"
"Upon my honor, Captain Sparrow. You have my word."
"Then we have an accord."