Seventy two days until we reach Key West.
I be studyin' the cryptic chart when thar becomes a ruckus on deck so loud I can no longer concentrate on the strange symbols. Damnation! How am I to manage this high strung crew? The shouts raise to a din like screams across the ocean. I hesitate not and rush topside.
Every man be on deck. I try to push me way through to the shouts and accusations, "Gangway!" I make out "Keelhaul!" and I take me steps faster. In the opening, Stephen Woodbury, the Moor, asserts angrily that it be bad luck, while across from him one of the newly hired hands be in a ready stance, expecting a fight. "Throw her overboard! Thar be no room asea for a woman- tis a bad omen, I tell ye!" I be utterly confused! "Avast!!!" I manage to shout, with little affect and the Moor moves forward to grab her. As he reaches for her arm, a hand so swift brandishes a dagger and cunningly, skillfully, artfully, cuts through the air with such calculated force that the sailor- and the rest of the crew- meself included, jumps back! She blasts: "The first one of ye bastards that lay a hand on me I'll gut you like a fish and feed your cock to the gulls! Make your move motherf*#ker!" Rashly, three other sailors surge towards her from behind. In a flash thar be another dagger when she thrusts both hands through the air to masterfully keep her attackers at bay. At this, what seems like the entire crew begins to move forward as a mob. She turns to face them defiantly, blades shining in both hands from a defensive position that shows no sign of fear. I taint never seen such fighting power in a man, let alone in one so young! How be this warrior a woman? As the mob steps closer, she bounds nimbly like a cat to the ratlines. At this, nine of the young recently hired "pirate" crew bursts in front of the mob brandishing cutlasses, pistols, and a blunderbuss, which one lad tosses to this warrior who has all ready sheathed one dagger and easily catches this weapon of destruction. The mob, in shock at this turn, freezes. The nine lads, though small, clearly mean to protect this warrior to the death. The mob steps back.
Not knowing what to do in this strange prediacament, afearing a massacre, from the sidelines I fire me pistol into the air and storm across the deck placing meself between the warring factions of me crew. Leaping from the rail, this uncanny warrioress crosses the deck and confidently walks the line of tension between merchant sailors and pirates 9 to stand before me. "Order your crew to stand down Captain, or evey man on deck is a dead one. We take no prisoners!"
Aye, no quarter. Well that's what I hired these young ruffians for. Uneasiness mounts as we stand before one and other. To me surprise, after an immeasurable silence, she exclaims, "Captain William Jackson Wordsworth, I am here to help ye find the key. We band together now as one to become the Brethren of the White Spirit of the Castaneda, or continue in peril." This warrioress' voice be a memory. It cannot be! Impossible! Be this the bride of me employer?? "Captain, I am the Pirate Princess, the Villainess Alvida Viper, and I be at your service on this destiny voyage." She removes her tricorn hat in an exagerated bow where from black curls tumble down. "I be the great great great great great granddaughter of the Ancient Mariner, and the girlchild of Falcon LaGrange.
My name has been called: your Servant, Captain Billy Jack Wordsworth