Friday, 12 December 2008

Exploiting Greed

The pirates are furious over the desertion of Captain Wilson.

Long John Splinter has been literally hopping mad. He has been stomping around the village on his peg leg moaning about "That lily livered scum of an over-educated toff!"

It was time to put the second stage of my plan into action. Today, the Old Monkey and I went to dig in the piece of waste ground by the Railway Station.

We put on a great act of trying to do this surreptitiously, whilst making sure that we dropped our picks and spades a number of times and made as much noise as possible.

Just as I had hoped, Long John Splinter and his gang were soon on our tail. We made a big show of of our digging, and discovery of a small wooden casket. We then 'sneaked' away to the Toby Jug Tea Rooms on Mermaid Street, and indulged in a secretive conversation as we perused the contents of the casket - a parchment map.

Long John Splinter and his gang burst in and surrounded us.

Pointing to the blunderbus stuffed in his belt he cried "Hand over that document you scurvy knave or I'll blow you to kingdom come!"

"Oh no!" I cried "Forsooth we has been discovered in our trickery!"

"Aha!" shouted Splinter "So, just as I suspected, a treasure map!...and you sought to keep it hidden from us - a flagrant breach of the pirate code! Share and share alike and no secrets kept from the company."

"Oh no! Don't tell me you are going to maroon me here on this godforsaken floating island" I sobbed. I gave a fine performance, I believe, up to the standard that has so often been praised, by the cognoscenti, in Homeward theatrical productions.

"I'm afraid so - your piratical days are over, Black Uncle. Whats more, you are now officially black listed from the Royal Registry of Pirates!" screamed a red-faced Splinter.

At this I burst into tears. This is easy, I used the old actors trick of concealing a raw onion up my sleeve.

Splinter bade me a scornful farewell and ordered his crew to prepare for sail.

By the afternoon they were gone. Unfortunately, a number of the villagers, who were not happy unless they were making money, or getting famous, decided to leave with them.

"Well done, Lucy!" I declared "Those writing lessons with Benskin have certainly paid off. Your draughtsmanship is exemplary - a most convincing map. Well done, Old Monkey too. Ingenious, the way you aged it with the tea and by burning the edges."

"They'll be furious when they discover they have been duped, won't they Sir?" asked the Old Monkey.

"Yes, and I feel sorry for anyone in the vicinity of Splinter when he vents his fury - but we'll be long gone by then!" I replied.

We decided that we had to let Beaver and his gang out of the jail. But not before exacting a promise that all charges against me would be dropped.

"Well," said Beaver "I suppose that you are expecting thanks from us, Unc!"

"I was merely doing my civic duty, if you wish to express your gratitude with a small token..." I began before Beaver interrupted.

"Humbug! we were ready for a fight! we could have taken on those pirates, easily, if they had not surprised us, but as usual you did all you could to avoid fisticuffs..."

He droned on like this for some time - I could not help but notice, however, the doubtful looks on his comrades faces every time he mentioned how ready they were to engage in combat with the fiercesome pirates.

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