|"'Impossible' n'est pas français."
There's no such thing as 'impossible'.
Of all the miserable ships Will had ever seen, Captain Morris' 'Gallimaufry' was the worst, definitely making her name all honour. The crew followed the captain's example in every aspect, so they were all pissed as farts, which does not mean they were upset. The ship almost collided with the Black Pearl as the steersman had passed out completely drunk, snoring over the steering wheel.
"This is our lucky day, Will my lad," Jack cheered, rubbing his hands. "Morris knows everything about everybody. And if he doesn't, well then at least we can ask him for a spare barrel of rum."
After being doused in three buckets of seawater, Captain Morris regained consciousness. It took more time to get him into a state where he stopped insisting that Will was a winged green monkey who tried to capture his ship, though. Pintel and Ragetti helped the man up, and the first thing Captain Morris did was leaning over the railing and barf.
"Oh God, I think I die..." he groaned, the colour of his face an unhealthy shipwreck-green.
Jack gave him a few moments to recover, then he asked if Morris knew anything on the whereabouts of the Joyful Molly. Will, still slightly miffed about being mistaken for a winged green monkey, highly doubted that Morris would be of any use to them.
Will was wrong. While the pirate might not have been able to see the difference between a blacksmith and a monkey, he knew a good ship when he saw one.
In-between getting sick over Jack's booths and declaring his imminent decease, the man swore by all that was holy to him that the Joyful Molly had been sighted only a day ago close to the coast. He knew because a friend of his wife's brother who was a cousin of the inn-keeper in the village next door had heard it from the fish-monger down the street, and had only mentioned it because it was not often that one got to see a frigate of the Royal Navy sailing under a Jolly Roger.
"Now tell us, old friend, who is the captain of that ship? Has the friend of your wife's brother who is a cousin of the inn-keeper in the village next door who has heard it from the fish-monger down the street mentioned anything about it?" Jack asked patiently.
More retching. Elizabeth shuddered and turned her head away, pinching her nose, while Will poked the pirate with his sword.
"Tell us already, we don't have all day!"
"Logan," was the muffled reply. All of Jack's crew took a step back, and Pintel pulled a face.
"I'll be damned," Gibbs muttered, reaching for his flask.
"Terrible," Pintel said, shaking his head sadly. Ragetti hadn't said anything, only made the sign of the cross and looked to heaven.
Will didn't like this one bit.
"Logan? Who is Logan? You know him, Jack? Who is he? Is this good? Bad? Tell me already!"
Jack lifted his hat and scratched his head. Then he pushed the hat down again and began to fuss with the cuffs of his coat.
"Well, it is," he'd finally replied. Will held his fist under Jack's nose.
"That's not an answer! Who is Logan and what does this mean?"
Ragetti, not noticing the warning grimaces Pintel made, pushed him aside.
"Patrick Logan, or Longneck Logan as we like to call him, is a well-known pirate. He's famous for both his cruelty and his cleverness. Indeed, an example for all of us if there ever was. Four years ago, he captured the 'Fearless', the ship of Captain 'Nimblefingers' Thompson. There was a lot of talking about that around here, Mr. Turner."
Will listened with increasing worry.
"What talking? What happened?"
Jack made the gesture of cutting throat behind his back, trying to stop Ragetti from continuing his monologue, but to no use. Pintel rolled his eyes – once Ragetti started to lecture, only a sword through his heart could stop him, and it was very likely that his mouth would continue to work long after rigor mortis.
"Well, Mr. Turner, we don't know nothing for certain, but the 'Fearless' is now called 'Banshee', and Nimblefingers is known as 'Two Hooks Thompson'."
Jack flailed his arms.
"Exaggerations! Nothing but exaggerated exaggerations! Don't pay any attention to him, you know what pirates are like, Will. They add a bit of plundering here and a wee touch of torture there, it's all only good natured banter."
Will swung his sword, almost swiping Jack's hat off his head.
"Good natured banter? Good natured banter? Quite obviously, Norrington and his second have fallen into the hands of a raging lunatic! What are you intending to do about it?"
Jack looked from Will to Elizabeth, whose face left no doubt about the proper action to choose.
"I have this gut feeling that you'll suggest any moment now that we should take the Black Pearl and chase after The Joyful Molly, which is currently under the command of Longneck Logan, who has a reputation for extraordinary cruelty and who, so rumour will have it, once stuck the cut-off head of a French merchant on the spar of his ship."
"Actually, captain, that's not quite correct," Ragetti peeped in. "For all I know, it was not the cut-off head of a French merchant he stuck to the spar of his ship but the head of a Royal Navy commodore. Which he had cut off first, too."
Jack threw a grabble hook after him, but it was already too late.
"That does it! All of you, back on the Black Pearl! We're leaving immediately, and we're not stopping before we've found the Molly!"
The crew looked with little enthusiasm at the outraged Will. Jack gave Elizabeth a sidewise glance. She tapped impatiently with her foot, arms crossed over her chest, her eyebrows arched so high they almost touched her hairline.
Jack cleared his throat, then pushed his hat in place.
"You have heard what Mr. Turner said! Move, you lazy buggers! A lovely lady is waiting for us!"
Immediately, the men followed his order and began to return to the Black Pearl, climbing over drunken pirates. Captain Morris hung over the railing again, barfing and lamenting his misery.
Pintel scratched his head.
"Again I don't quite get it. What lovely lady is this about now again? I thought the captain was in love with Miss Elizabeth?"
Ragetti rolled his eyes.
"Well, of course he is! Didn't you pay any attention? Commodore Norrington, who Mr. Turner likes very much, and a lieutenant Mr. Turner doesn't like at all have been abducted by Captain Longneck Logan, who is currently on a ship which has been seen sailing the cost by the friend of the brother of the wife of the vomiting gentleman there who is a cousin of the inn-keeper in the village next door who has heard it from the fish-monger down the street."
"Means - oh, I don't know. We'll find out early enough."
With that, the two pirates hurried to catch up with the rest of the crew, for Will Turner had long legs, and it took some effort to keep track with him when he was in a hurry.
* * *
Ragetti's random notes: "'Impossible' n'est pas français" – 'impossible' is not French - is credited to Napoleon Bonaparte. Alas, and you won't be surprised to hear this, "Impossible isn't British" has been used in the past as well, and I think we can safely assume Napoleon was not involved in the creation of that version. So let's just say the proverb was created by Thomas Gillette and be done with it.
|CHAPTER 10: Through The Grapevine
by Molly Joyful