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The Adventures of Captain Whitebeard

by Laura

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Laura on November 4, 2007

Captain Whitebeard

Captain's log, May 14, 1886

I must say, the crew I am saddled with on this particular voyage has been most argumentative. Perhaps the first mate did drop one of his navigational tools over the side of the boat, but these things do happen. And I can't help the fog, can I? Am I Poseidon, in charge of all ocean weather? These landlubbers volunteered for this voyage and signed up of their own accord - they can do nothing now but take what they have requested. And as I have always told my trusty first mate: no one would ever learn navigation without getting a little lost now and then. Only, we are not lost, of course. We are simply slightly OFF course. As soon as the stars are visible, believe me, we'll be on the fastest ocean current straight to Singapore. These pesky bilge rats could never tell me that I don't know where THAT is! Alrighty, signing off, this is Captain Whitebeard heading to his bunk.

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Laura on November 4, 2007

Captain Whitebeard, part 2

Captain Whitebeard woke suddenly to the sound of heavy pounding on his door. "Captain!" shouted the voice of young John Maynard, the new second mate.
"What do you want at this bloody hour of the night?" he cried. "Has the ship run aground? Are the redcoats on our tail?" He opened the door to behold more than just Maynard, but several other crew members, each with a solemn expression on his face. "Well?"
"Captain Whitebeard," began Maynard, "we woke you because the men and I have been having a little talk - rather, we've been sharing each other's concerns, and as of late, we're all a little worried 'bout your . . . eyesight."
"Now, don't take offense. You're still a marvelous captain. But the fog lifted two days ago, and you still don't have a blasted clue where we're headed."
"My eyesight is perfect!"
"Eh... how many fingers am I holding up?"
"Look you varmints - I'm in no mood to play games! If you have a serious problem instead of some grandmotherly concern, then maybe you can talk to me about it. Otherwise, don't wake me from my slumbers unless there's a sea monster on the horizon! Understand?"
The door was closed with a rather assertive slam.

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Laura on January 5, 2008

Captain Whitebeard, part 3: The Island

Captain Whitebeard was awoken the next morning by the sound of the swabbing of the deck above him, and upon rising from bed was surprised at how late in the morning it already was.

"Must be up," he said to himself. "Can't have the men thinking me tardy."

The Captain mounted to the deck and stopped with a bit of surprise. Maynard and his second-hand man, Hamilton, were talking to each other in low voices, and quickly looked up as they saw him arrive. He stood and looked at them for a few seconds before anyone spoke.

Maynard took a deep breath and stepped forward. "Captain Whitebeard. I feel it is my duty to-"

"Never mind that! Where in the blazes are we? This doesn't look like Singapore at all!"

"Well you see, Captain," began Hamilton, slightly more confident than his friend, "It is my belief that we are actually quite close to the island, and have simply drifted slightly off course. However, our exact distance from our object depends on exactly where we were when we first mis-navigated, and therefore..."

"Therefore, you have no idea where we are either? Well, that's fine. We're pirates! You afraid we'll come by someone we don't know!"

"Actually, sir, we were more afraid of your retribution."

Captain Whitebeard chuckled, to their great surprise. "Ah, Hamilton, you're quite the character. You're exactly right, though. The whole key to being a fighter is not courage or principle, but rather fearing your Captain above your enemy. However," he said, surveying the rest of the men and pacing down the deck, "I have decided, in my mercy, to relinquish blame for the gross navigational errors committed as of late. I feel that we have been becalmed too long, and thus the best choice would be to now explore this island we are coming up on, and find a little adventure if we can."

"Captain, that is a wonderful idea," smiled Maynard, weakly. The rest of the men cheered.

Fifteen minutes later, they were lowering the boats and preparing to embark on the short journey to shore. Five men remained behind to guard the ship. It was not a difficult sail, as there were no rocks to be seen.
The island was not large, but its trees appeared very dense. The beach itself was deserted, and the men, after walking around for a few minutes, decided to brave the forest itself. One by one, with Captain Whitebeard in the lead, they passed slowly into the shadow-laden trees. At first there was silence, but as they walked, the men were keen to quiet, high-pitched noises on either side of them, that seemed to be gaining in frequency as they went along.

All of a sudden, with a loud whoop, a spear was hurled just past them, and a man emerged from the trees to stand several feet in front of them. The pirates had all drawn their swords, and were prepared to defend themselves, but the man called out quickly: "Stop weapons! I did not hit you. No harm to me, no harm to you. You hear? You Englishmen?"

Captain Whitebeard stepped forward. "Excuse me young man. Yes, we speak English. We mean you no harm at the moment... we would simply like to know where we are, and whose domain we have entered. If we are intruding, or there are a lot of you, we shall leave and be on our way."

The young man tilted his head sideways as if he was trying to comprehend. "Aha, I hear. You come. You give weapons and no harm to me, no harm to you. Come and visit the king - You come meet ruler: Sinco Stan!"

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