Chapter 2.4

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"Ward," said Ward.

"And your family name?"

"I don't have one – of those names."

Snapper's head withdrew into the ruff. "No family name?" It was if Ward had told him he had no legs.

"If I do I don't know it."

"Oh," Snapper said, re-emerging from the ruff. "But you must have one. How can you not? It's impossible."

"I guess so," Ward said, not wishing to labour the point.

"Good lad," Snapper said, his face breaking into a smile. "I knew you were the moment I laid eyes on you."

Ward, unaccustomed to being referred to as a good anything, felt his face grow hot.

"Humble too!" said Snapper. "Humility goes a long way with me, if you must know. We Snappers have always prized it. You might say humility is our byword. Oh, people may talk of our brains, or our courage, or our charm – but what is a man without humility?"

"Um – nothing?" Ward ventured.

"Nothing!" Snapper cried. "I couldn't have put it better myself!" And with this he piled more toast, eggs, and bacon onto his plate.

Ward looked around the galley. The sailors were shovelling food into their mouths at a terrific rate, and using language that might have impressed even Jaggles. Corvus was nowhere to be seen. He rarely left his cabin, though his archon was perched up on the rigging whenever Ward looked there. He had the uneasy feeling the archon was watching him. He wondered what Corvus was doing in his cabin. Plotting some desperate crime or other, he supposed.

Snapper mopped his plate with two pieces of toast rolled up together into a kind of wand. He whispered to the plate: "Pop by my cabin around one. I have something that might interest you."

"What?"

"An – oddity. Don't tell a soul. I don't trust any of these pirates," he glanced around warily. "But you my boy – well I've always had excellent judgement."

He seemed to be trying to convince himself.


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 I've always had excellent judgement, and I just know you're going to vote on this chapter.

*puffs self up like an adder*

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