Th’ Legend o’ Albus Hickleby (Part 4 o’ th’ Red Star Saga)
When we last left our pirates, the crew was sailing the sea again. They had no idea where their next adventure would take them but after weeks they were ready to find land.
Off in the distance Capt. Mischa Jolly Skulls and Capt. Hallie The Kidd both spotted land-ho. They pulled the Red Star up to a small island.
A young lass, who was walking along the shore, stopped when she saw the ship. “Aye, who might ye be?” she asked as the crew got off the ship.
“Aye, I be Capt. Mischa Jolly Skulls. This here be Capt. Hallie th’ Kidd an’ this be our crew. We be sailin’ th’ Red Star. We be havin’ landed on this isle, arrr an’ would like t’ camp th’ night.” Capt. Mischa said to the lass.
The lass nodded and welcomed the newcomers. She introduced herself as Bootlace Betsy and told the crew that she worked in the tavern across the way. She was on this side of the island, going for a walk. As she laid down some logs to start a fire, she told them how not many people came around to this part of the island. Strange things had been known to happen.
With everyone gathered around the campfire, Bootlace Betsy continued her story. “There be a legend that two hundred voyages ago, an infamous buccanneer named Albus Hickleby, buried a booty one night. Soon after, he be killed by a couple o’ ninjas who had been pretendin’ t’ be swashbucklers. Nobody ‘ere knew what he buried an’ nobody be brave enough t’ go an’ find th’ tresure.”
Bootlace Betsy paused as Dirty Nicki gasped. Dirty Nicki had never been fond of spooky stories and this one was no exception. She knew she would not be able to get any sleep tonight, even though she was exhausted from all of the sailing.
“They say strange sounds can be heard at night in this here part o’ th’ isle, arrr. Some say that ’tis Albus Hickleby tryin’ t’ find his way aft t’ his ship. He had been tryin’ t’ get aft an’ sail off t’ th’ next port, pillage it o’ grog an’ ale an’ rum.” Bootlace Betsy told the others.
Capt. Mischa looked intently at Bootlace Betsy, “What happened t’ th’ rest o’ his crew?”
“Well, they say that he had only had a first mate an’ deck swabber aboard. They had been in th’ tavern drinkin’ t’ high seas when ‘t happened. When they found ‘im early th’ next mornin’, they buried ‘im a wee ways off an’ continued t’ th’ next port.”
With that, Bootlace Betsy hurriedly stood up, “”Well, I best be goin` now. I hope ye be havin’ a safe night here.”
Capt. Mischa stood up as well, “Nay, Bootlace Betsy, why dasn’t ye stay here wi’ us fer th’ night? `Tis already gettin’ dark an’ ye`ve probably got a ways t’ go before ye get aft t’ th’ other side o’ th’ isle.”
Not really wanting to walk home at this hour, Bootlace Betsy decided to stay with Capt. Mischa and the rest of the crew. She settled off to sleep next to Bonny Marina, Wench o’ Th’ Sea.
Dirty Nicki, who could not sleep a wink, picked up her book to give her a little more confidence.
After awhile, Dirty Nicki, who wanted more than anything to prove to the rest of her crew mates that she was a worthy pirate, made the decision to seek old Albus Hickleby’s treasure herself. Ever so quietly, she got up and walked away from the camp. She picked up Capt. Mischa’s lantern to help light her way through the darkness.
About twenty minutes later, Bonny Marina stirred in her sleep. The chill night air woke her up. Groggily, she looked over to see that her friend was not there! Bonny Marina threw up her arms, yelling, “Wake up! Dirty Nicki be gone!”
Capt. Mischa was at Bonny Marina’s side at once, “Calm down, Bonny Marina, what do ye mean by this?”
“She be right next t’ me, readin’ this here log,” Bonny Marina handed the book to Capt. Mischa Jolly Skulls, “She must be havin’ wanted t’ pillage th’ booty, after hearin’ th’ legend. She`s nay very brave or confident but I know she wants t’ be, moreso.”
Bootlace Betsy, who had been listening to the whole conversation, got up, “Don`t worry, Bonny Marina, we will find yer matey, Dirty Nicki. We`d better move soon. If she be lily livered o’ that legend, imagine what th’ night sounds will do t’ th’ lass’, while she`s off on th’ isle, aye, alone this night.”
Meanwhile, Dirty Nicki continued trudging through the dark woods. She wasn’t exactly sure where the treasure was to be found, however, she was not about to give up.
Eerie sounds echoed in Dirty Nicki’s ears. She paused every few seconds, not sure what this noise came from, or that one. In the daylight, Dirty Nicki might not have been so frightened, however even ordinary sounds became louder and more appearant after twilight.
“wha’s that?” gasped Dirty Nicki, looking behind her, quickly. She heard a rustling sound nearby.
The rest of the Red Star crew, along with Bootlace Betsy, hurried through the woods in search of Dirty Nicki. Bootlace Betsy pointed through some trees, “I think I saw a movin’ light o’er yonder.”
“Come on,” Bonny Marina replied, speeding up her pace. The others followed closely behind. The moon, high in the sky, illuminated their path enough for them to see objects, such as trees, close by.
After about an hour but what seemed much longer, Dirty Nicki came upon a spot of land. She looked up, too nervous to go on. Something about this spot gave her an odd, spooky feeling inside.
While she pondered what to do, Dirty Nicki was suddenly grabbed by the arm! She let out a scream and tried to wriggle her arm free and run.
Dirty Nicki became quiet as she heard a familiar voice say, “Dirty Nicki, calm down! ‘Tis us, yer crew mates.” She turned around to see that it was Capt. Mischa who was holding her arm.
“How-how did ye guys know t’ find me?”
Bonny Marina stepped forward, handing her friend the book, “I found this ‘ere ye had been. I knew ye wanted t’ be more like yer idol, Guybrush, an’ so we tried t’ follow ye. It be hard but we caught glimpses o’ th’ lantern an’ knew we must be goin’ in th’ right direction.”
Bootlace Betsy looked down; she covered her mouth, pointing to an “X” on the ground. The others gathered around her.
“Do ye think?” asked First Mate Kaya Flint.
“There’s only one way t’ find out,” answered Capt. Hallie the Kidd.
Capt. Hallie, Capt. Mischa and First Mate Kaya all grabbed whatever they could find, to dig a hole. The other three stood back, watching in astonishment as, after a short while, they pulled out a small chest.
Inside the chest there was simply an old notebook and quill pen. Capt. Mischa lifted it up and opened to the first page. On the page was written a note, by the infamous pirate, Albus Hickleby, himself. Capt. Mischa handed the notebook over to Bootlace Betsy, to read aloud.
“‘Aye, it seems ye have found this here treasure. In this journal ye can write a message for future pirates t’ read.'” read Bootlace Betsy. She handed the journal to Dirty Nicki. “Here, ye write an entry fer us t’ sign.”
“Why me?” asked Dirty Nicki, surprised.
“Because, if ‘t wasn`t fer ye, we might nay be havin’ found this treasure,” Bootlace Betsy replied. The others agreed.
Dirty Nicki took the journal and quill. She thought for a moment, before she scrawled a note on one page. Then she signed her name and handed it off to the next person to sign. The journal and quill went around the circle until everyone signed their name.
After everyone signed the journal, they put it back into the chest, along with the quill, and reburied the treasure. In that instance, Dirty Nicki’s odd feeling went away and whole atmosphere seemed lighter to her, somehow. She wondered if the spirit of Albus Hickleby had something to do with it or if it had just been her imagination. Either way, she felt accomplished in helping to find the special treasure. She felt a little more confident, although she still was not a fan of spooky stories. Now that she had become apart of the history, the legend of Albus Hickleby didn’t seem frightening anymore.
As they left to head back to camp, the sun was starting to slowly rise in the distance. Bootlace Betsy suggested they all have a party. The others agreed; they had had an interesting night. Now that they were restless, a party sounded like a good idea.
Bootlace Betsy found some stashed away grog. Capt. Hallie gladly took a swig of her favorite drink.
Capt. Mischa even decided to have some grog in cheerful celebration. Bootlace Betsy, First Mate Kaya, Bonny Marina and Dirty Nicki all had a fun time dancing until the sun was shining down on them.
After the party, the crew of the Red Star had to say goodbye. There was no doubt they would miss this little island and their new friend, Bootlace Betsy. As they boarded the ship, Dirty Nicki and Bootlace Betsy hugged.
“I be missin’ ye already,” Dirty Nicki whispered.
“Aye,” agreed Bootlace Betsy, “I be missin’ ye, too. We`ll reckon this adventure fer a long time t’ come an’ maybe we`ll meet again in th’ future. Thar`s more fun t’ be had.”
With the crew of the Red Star ready, they sailed off once more, in search of new adventures.