Chapter Eight

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Chapter Eight

A thick fog settles down around the ship as it nears the cursed island of De Murta. The entire crew leans over the railings of the ship. All around us are ships. Broken ships. Masts torn in half, hulls shattered. Jack stands at the wheel with Mr. Cotton. The blue-yellow parrot sits upon the bow.

“Dead men tell no tales.” The parrots scratchy voice echoes through the fog.

“Puts a chill in the bones, how many honest sailors have been claimed by this passage.” Gibbs comments beside me. The ship hits something sending a loud creak through the air. I don’t like this one bit. The fog. The battered ships. It’s creepy and I happen to agree with Gibbs. Too many men have died while trying to reach the treasure that lies within this island. Will looks toward Jack at the helm.

“How is it that Jack came by that compass?” Will asks looking at Gibbs and myself.

“Not a lot’s known about Jack Sparrow before he showed up in Tortuga with a mind to go after the treasure of De Murta.” Gibbs explains. “That was before I’d met him. Back when he was captain of the Black Pearl.”

“What?” Will looks slightly shocked, but quickly masks the expression. The blacksmith looks back at Jack. “He failed to mention that.” Gibbs leads Will toward the center of the ship and I follow.

“He plays things closer to the vest now. A hard learned lesson it was.” Here we go. Gibbs is going off again. “See three days out on the venture, first mate comes to him and says everything’s an equal share. That should mean the location of the treasure too.” Gibbs looks at me for a moment before continuing. “So, Jack gives up the bearings. That night, there was a mutiny.” Gibbs snarls the word mutiny. “They marooned Jack on a island and left him to die. But not before he’d gone mad with the heat.”

“Ah.” Will comments. “So that’s the reason for all the . . .” Will does an imitation of Jack.

“Actually, I think it’s more like this.” I do my own Jack imitation. Will creaks a smile. My heart lifts at the sight.

“Rose.” Gibbs gives me a look. Turning back to Will he starts again. “Reason’s got nothing to do with it. Now Will, when a pirate’s marooned, he’s given a pistol with a single shot. One shot. Well that won’t do much good hunting nor to be rescued. But after three weeks of a starving belly and thirst, that pistol started to look real friendly.” Gibbs makes a gun with his hand, holding it to his head. I grimace at the thought. “But Jack escaped the island and he still has that single shot. Oh, he won’t use it though save on one man. His mutinous first mate.”

“Barbossa.” Will concludes.

“Aye.” Gibbs confirms.

“How did Jack get off the island?” Will asks.

“Can I tell him Gibbs?” I beg. “Please!” Gibbs rolls his eyes nodding.

“I’ll tell you.” I lean forward from my place beside Gibbs. “He waded out into the shallows and he waited three days and three nights, till all manner of sea creatures cams acclimated to his presence. And on the fourth morning he roped himself a couple of sea turtles, lashed them together and made a raft.” Smiling I lean back.

“He roped a couple of sea turtles?” Will sounds unconvinced.

“Aye. Sea turtles.” Gibbs agrees with me.

“What did he use for rope?” Will questions. I look at Gibbs not knowing the answer. Gibbs opens his mouth, stops and looks thoughtful. He brows wrinkle as he searches for an answer.

“Human hair.” Jack’s voice causes me to jump. “From my back. Let go anchor!” Jack shouts the order.

“Lower the anchor line!” The crew answers rushing about.

“Young Mr. Turner and I are to go ashore.” Jack informs Gibbs and I.

“I’m going to.” I rush to walk beside Jack.

“Rose you’re staying here.”

“No!” I shout. “I want to go with you.”

“Rose.” Jack stops turning to me. “You are my first mate. While I’m gone, you need to look after the ship.” I huff angrily nodding while staring at the ship deck.

“Captain.” Gibbs steps forward. “What is the worst should happen?”

“Keep to the code.” Jack orders.

“Aye. The code.” Gibbs agrees. Crew members help Jack and Will into one of the long boats. The boat hits the water with a splash. Jack sits in front holding a lantern, while Will picks up the oars. I smile. Typical Jack. Making others do the work.

“Mr. Gibbs!” I shout turning away from the island.

“Yes, Ms. Rose.” Gibbs appears at my side.

“I want this ship ready to leave on a moments notice.” I order. “There’s no telling what could happen.” Gibbs nods.

“Aye Captain.” He turns away giving orders to crew members. Spinning around I stare at the island again. I hope everything goes well. And that my baby sister is safe.


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