Avast, Ye Scurvy Cur
by

Jim
Sunday, July 27, 2003

Yarr matey, so ye heard about the curse of the Fourside treasure. Supposedly, pirates left this lying around a small island off the Fourside coast. Of course, being the veteran treasure hunter I am, I just had to take a look. My crew was a humble one, consisting of me, a local caffeine addict I saw drinking on the street and a parrot. My ship, the Jenny, was equally as humble as it was nothing more than a simple bass fishing boat. I had gotten weeks of research done to the point of this voyage. Though the books provided few important details, I was able to come upon an agreeable location, guaranteed to the foot, and made a map based upon it.

We set sail - or set engine depending on how you view the situation - one faithful morning, a few minutes prior to dawn. I, dressed in the typical adventuring garb, was armed with my usual whip and to keep in touch with the adventurous pirates who had made this quest in earlier days, had also armed myself with a heavy but effective sword if the pen I sliced in half was any sign. The caffeine addict seemed up to the adventure, although he chose to go only with a thermos full of home-brewed coffee.

The journey was a long and uneventful one. It was the return, not the arrival that we expected perilous. Once we arrived, the caffeine drinker, whom I had mentally named Eugene due to his bearing the likeness of a quite personable British chap I once had talked to, was to watch the ship, along with the parrot. I boldly set foot upon the sandy grounds of this island, known to the locals as Jolly Island. However, I am quite sure the pirates themselves had named it along the lines of “Alfonso the Italian Pirate’s Personal Deathbed”. In order to protect my treasure, I would not have hesitated in the least to protect what belonged to me in this manner.

The forest, which was somewhere between a typical forest and a brutal jungle, was the only place to go, as there was no dirt road to follow. I roamed this vast jungle until at last, I had come across an unmistakable human structure, a hut or shack of sorts. It was rather unpleasing to the eyes. I’d have rather had my picture taken in front of the plain jungle, but on this journey, I was not in a position to pack a camera at all. My map, drawn by a world famous map expert and map maker, Liar X. Agerate, told me that it was appropriate to turn east at this structure. I checked my compass and conveniently, east was to my right.

I traveled one hundred twenty seven paces to the spot where I was to turn north once more before reaching this treasure. I made my paces then combining this rather old school adventure with modern technology, I pulled out a distance marker and pointed to the shack. The distance this device reported was exactly the same as my distance marked on the map. I could have done this without the counting of the paces, but what’s an adventure without the fun of pacing? I checked my compass, turned exactly north and made my paces once again.

And after 57 paces - Man, why do all the good stories have the adventures traveling a well-rounded amount of paces? They get 100 paces, I get 57. It sure interrupts the flow of a good story. - After 57 paces, I had decided that this was without a doubt the point to dig. The map clearly showed that this was a fairly uncleared jungle with one bare patch and I was to dig in the middle of it. I got to what I decided was the exact middle and dug furiously. Within no time at all I had hit metal.

I dug the treasure chest up, looking as beautiful as a Hollywood prop. It took nothing more than a kick to get this open and I was surprised to see that there was nothing in it but an old, worn out belt. In fact, it looked fairly modern, nothing out of the era of pirates. Besides, who builds a chest simply for a belt? I put the belt in the backpack I had brought for the treasure, hoping it would have been something of value for some odd reason. I also found a note. The note read:

“Well, it looks as if you have found the treasure of Captain Jack McPillage. My name has been slightly modified to protect my identity as many a foreign Navy is on my tail. Enclosed are exactly 20 razor blades. My men have no respect for my privacy and a fresh blade already used by one of my men is not an uncommon occurrence. It’s almost worse than mutiny, I tell you. For that reason, I had stolen these blades during the previous village raid and put them in a chest. While my crew was busy with their post-raid celebrations, I snuck onto this island and buried the blades.”

There was more on the back.

“I have dug up my treasure and for various reasons, I have left this chest and as to not enclose future explorers, I have enclosed a flask of rum. It belonged to my first mate and he has been known to abuse this flask so I decided it was time to do something. I too enjoy a good journey so please enclose an item of your own after opening this chest.”

I was rather disappointed, but delighted to know that the stories were not a sham. I considered placing the sword in this chest since my pirate days were over now. I considered my compass, but decided not to give in completely to technology. What I placed in there was a rather nice, but worn out, pair of leather gloves.

The trip was not among my most exciting, but it was satisfying and proved that pirates had existed in these waters. My crew miraculously survived a journey through a brief thunderstorm, but we never did see that loyal pirate again. That belt, whom I haven’t the slightest idea belongs to, lies in my trophy room. It is not the most glorious, but I have grown to like what this new addition brings to my trophy room. It may not be obvious to the common man, but I think it shows that we simply need more pirates in the world today. Good pirates preferred, although I never met a man who complained about walking the plank.  



 
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