honorat: (Norrington by Honorat)
[personal profile] honorat
Author: Honorat
Rating: PG-13
Characters: : Norrington, the crew of the Dauntless, Jack Sparrow, and the crew of the Black Pearl
Pairing: Jack/Anamaria somewhat; Jack/Pearl definitely
Disclaimer: The characters of PotC! She’s taken them! Get after her, you feckless pack of ingrates!

Summary: On board the Dauntless the search for the Black Pearl continues. On board the Defender, Jack Sparrow goes shopping. Every once in awhile, I have to write some raving sailing. Norrington has finally got the Black Pearl trapped. Jack is bound to do something crazy, but will it be the last thing he does?

Thank you so very much [livejournal.com profile] geekmama for the beta help

1 Ambush
2 No Regrets
3 The Judgment of the Sea
4 The Sea Pays Homage
5 Risking All That Is Mortal and Unsure
6 Troubles Come Not Single Spies
7 To Dare Do All That May Become a Man
8 Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here
9 A Special Providence in the Fall
10 For Where We Are Is Hell
11 To Beat the Surges Under and Ride Upon Their Backs
12 One Equal Temper of Heroic Hearts
13 Though the Seas Threaten, They are Merciful
14 He Jests at Scars Who Never Felt a Wound
15 To Strive, To Seek, To Find, And Not To Yield
16 A Kind of Alacrity in Sinking
17 A Fine-Baited Delay
18 To Watch the Night in Storms
19a The Natural Shocks That Flesh is Heir To, Part 1
19b The Natural Shocks That Flesh is Heir To, Part 2
20 To Disguise Fair Nature with Hard-Favour'd Rage
21 Valour's Show and Valour's Worth
22 Between the Fell Incensed Points of Mighty Opposites
23 Mark'd for Hot Vengeance

* * * * *

24 Strength by Limping Sway Disabled

Scuttlebutt aboard the Dauntless had it that the old man had finally lost it. Plumb dicked in the nob he was, the foremasters agreed in accents of profound awe.

Lieutenant Gillette witnessed the transformation himself, entering the commodore’s wardroom to discover his commanding officer scowling at an untidy stack of charts on the table. He cleared his throat, and Commodore Norrington glanced up, the annoyed frown creasing his normally smooth features shifting like a fresh wind into a welcoming smile.

“Lieutenant Gillette!” the commodore exclaimed. “Just the man I need.” He pushed the charts towards his first officer. “Tell me, Andrew, where is Jack Sparrow at this moment?”

“Sir?” Startled and incredulous, Gillette stared at the commodore, trying to decipher what was obviously a rare and disturbing jest. When Norrington continued to look both expectant and completely serious, the lieutenant glanced down on the charts, hoping for further enlightenment.

He saw that Commodore Norrington had meticulously plotted the battle with the Black Pearl from the moment of their first sighting her to the moment when she had last disappeared into the gloom of storm and night. Interspersed with the charts of surrounding seas and islands were pages of data gleaned from previous encounters with Sparrow’s ship by the Dauntless and others, including her estimated rates of speed and headings in various winds and weather.

Realizing that if his answer to the commodore was to have any meaning, he would have to master the whole collection of materials as Norrington appeared to have done, Gillette reached for a chair and settled himself at the table in silence.

Over an hour later, he looked up to see the commodore gazing out the cabin windows.

As if sensing his lieutenant’s eyes on him, Norrington turned and raised a querying eyebrow. “Well?” he asked expectantly.

Unsure just what his commanding officer required of him, Gillette shrugged. “It is all just speculation, of course, sir. If even one of my assumptions is incorrect, we would be searching an entirely wrong area. However, given that Sparrow’s ship was scarcely sea-worthy when last we saw her, his object must be to put as much distance between himself and us as possible, under cover of night and storm, before he is forced to lay up for repairs or risk her going down under him. Evidence indicates that Sparrow has always been able to get more out of that ship than conditions would warrant, so I am being generous with my estimation of how far she might have traveled. Given the weather and seas last night, I would judge that the Black Pearl must have made it at least this far,” he indicated a point on a chart that did indeed strain credulity, “and possibly Sparrow could have driven her as far as this.”

The space to which he pointed was clearly impossible, but neither officer blinked at it.

Circling his index finger around a significant portion of sea, Gillette concluded, “I would propose this as the likeliest area to search.”

Norrington nodded thoughtfully. “Good work, Lieutenant. I concur with your deductions. Now,” his eyes flashed challengingly, “tell me where Jack Sparrow is least likely to be, given the same conditions and an equivalent estimate of the Black Pearl’s abilities.”

Baffled, Gillette bent his mind to the new project. In the end, the answer was not as difficult as it had appeared. “Here, sir.” He indicated an area far to the west of his first suggestion. “There is no chance of harbour to speak of, the winds are unreliable, and the currents are chancy, and it is not an area Sparrow has been known to frequent.”

“Excellent!” Commodore Norrington laughed. “Perfect. You have been of inestimable assistance, Andrew! Now,” his grin grew maniacal, “plot me a course to Jack Sparrow’s least likely location immediately. And order the Dauntless to come about.”

* * * * *

Commodore Norrington knew that his men considered him crazy for conceiving this latest plan. And perhaps he was, he acknowledged to the internal court martial regularly summoned by his mind to convene hearings on his various dealings with Jack Sparrow. However—he argued to that august and disapproving body of imaginary gold braid—flawless logic, back-breaking labour, consummate craft, even serpentine guile had availed him nothing. The notorious Sparrow and his cursed ship could scarcely ever be located, and when the Royal Navy did succeed in encountering the Black Pearl, the pirate captain always managed to maneuver Norrington’s ships into untenable positions for pursuit—into unexpected opposing currents or unpredictable storms or unfavourable shifts in the wind or even into dead lulls. The results were always the same: the Black Pearl would curvet gracefully away from her captors in a flurry of insulting stern fire, kick up her heels with a saucy flirt of charcoal sails, and vanish over the horizon.

Whether or not her hull could hold out water or her sails hold in the wind appeared to be irrelevant to the final outcome.

The conclusion was obvious: the only way to catch a madman was to join him in his insanity.

Mentally thumbing his nose at the bewigged, bespectacled heads glaring at him in his brain and feeling absurdly cheerful in spite of the fine mist laying siege to his collar with some success, Norrington prowled the quarterdeck in the dismal twilight keeping the crew on watch in a dither lest their obedience to his strange orders seem less than fully enthusiastic and thus merit his disapprobation.

The appearance of the doctor, clumping up the companionway, his expression distraught, interrupted the commodore in mid-stride.

“What is it, Gil?” Norrington inquired, his pleasant mood trickling coldly away.

“I’ve lost him, James,” Samuels said in disbelief, raising his hands in a gesture of helplessness.

Norrington had never heard quite that tone in the doctor’s voice before. A sickening and surprising sorrow swept over him like a rogue sea. “Not the little lad, Jip?” he asked, laying a comforting if cautious hand on his old friend’s arm. Gil was always surly and thin-skinned when he’d lost a patient.

“No, not what you’re imagining.” The doctor shook his head in frustrated denial. “At least, I don’t think so . . .” his voice trailed off.

When he didn’t immediately enlighten the commodore, Norrington abandoned sympathy in favour of exasperation. “Gilbert Samuels, make sense!” he ordered, accompanying the command with a brisk shake.

“I mean I’ve really lost him!” the doctor explained in bewilderment. “As in misplaced, mislaid, can’t find him, don’t know where he is. Lost!”

“How could you . . .?” Norrington thought better of the query and rephrased it more diplomatically. “How could he have gone anywhere?”

“I don’t bloody know!” Samuels exclaimed. “I would have said it was impossible. He’s still feverish, he’s missing a newly amputated leg, and I could have sworn I’d poured enough rum down him to capsize a child that size. But I leave him sleeping like the righteous, and when I return, he’s disappeared. I’ve looked, but he’s nowhere to be found.”

Commodore Norrington felt a headache beginning to grumble on his horizon.

“You don’t suppose he’s jumped overboard?” Samuels put words to his troubling suspicion.

“Of course not!” Norrington snapped more shortly than he’d intended, remembering Jip turning his own knife on himself. “Get some of the men to help you search this ship from stem to stern. Surely he cannot be that difficult to locate.”

However, though they combed the Dauntless from bowsprit to taffrail and poop deck to bilges throughout the night, not one sign of Samuels’ missing patient did they discover. All the ship’s boats were present and accounted for, so if Jip had managed to depart the Dauntless he must indeed have done so fatally.

* * * * *

No matter how desperately his mind tried to track its way out of the labyrinth of disaster in which the Defender was now lost, Captain Walton kept returning to the stomach-sinking realization that none of the past day would ever go away. He could not turn it aside with fist-clenched disbelief nor with tightly shut eyes nor with any other means of denial he tried, and he had tried them all. But always he was brutally wrenched back to the reality—his lovely ship was in the hands of pirates, his crew bound and made prisoner. Their faces, varying in degrees of rage and terror as they were dragged roughly below decks, haunted the backs of his eyelids, mutely accusing.

His actions had brought them to this.

Over and over his tormented thoughts sought for the one moment at which everything had gone wrong, the one false step that had plunged him off the path and into the briers. It was inconceivable that Jack Sparrow should not only have flown the trap set for him but also have turned it on its own perpetrators—and yet the man had done it.

A grudging respect for the pirate captain trickled amongst the great currents of hatred and disdain that swept through Walton’s unquiet breast.

At his most honest and bleakest moments he could admit that he had been outmaneuvered by a consummate strategist with greater craft and determination than he possessed. Jack Sparrow had taken the Defender as an eagle takes a fish—by sovereignty of nature.

The fact that his loss to the elusive pirate also placed him in an elite and rather numerous company was no comfort at all.

In addition, the thrice-damned villain possessed an absolutely vile sense of humour accompanied by a stranglehold grasp of irony. It had amused Captain Sparrow to allow his vanquished opponent to remain un-incarcerated while his ship was ransacked. Propelled along by assorted pirates variously violent, his hands uncomfortably bound behind him, his hip a red revolt of pain, Captain Walton stumbled, heartsick, after Jack Sparrow, forced to watch as the pirates cannibalized his beloved Defender.

The pirate captain sauntered through Walton’s ship like a housewife on a shopping expedition at a particularly fine market. Anything that could conceivably be used in the restoration of the Black Pearl was pounced upon with delight. It soon became obvious that the pirates would leave the little brig scarcely more than a shell. Bulkheads, canvas, spars, rigging, tackle, powder and shot, weapons, water, food, even the scanty personal possessions of his crew all fell prey, over the course of the day, to the voracious locusts under Sparrow’s direction.

The naval captain had to grind his teeth on his growing wrath to keep from blurting out any word that might inspire the wretched brigand to besmirch his problematic honour and order the Defender’s crew put to the sword so that he might finish his plundering in peace.

Sparrow seemed particularly charmed by Captain Walton’s bed. He ran a tar-stained, much be-ringed hand over the clean linens and poked an exploratory finger at the mattress, making a pleased little humming noise—exactly like a contented wasp, Walton thought bitterly. Leaning over, the pirate captain sniffed heartily a couple of times, then straightened with difficulty and beamed into his unwilling host’s face.

“I must congratulate you on maintaining such first rate sleeping accommodations, mate,” Sparrow said warmly to the naval captain. “And I thank you kindly for keeping them so hygienic, as it were.” He patted the cover with approval. “My own bed has been the site of a few too many surgeries and one too many assaults this day. In this instance, I believe the victor will generously allow the loser to have the spoils, and I will transfer this thoroughly unspoilt mattress to the Pearl—a plan remarkable for its perspicuity, wouldn’t you say, Captain Walton?”

As he pantomimed the proposed trade, the pirate’s grin had too many teeth in it for the pleasant tone, so Walton held his tongue and restrained himself to a short tip of the head. He reminded himself sternly that if Jack Sparrow chose to exact his revenge by needling the captain of the Defender into a frothing and futile rage, that was a small price to pay for the safety of his men.

“Tearlach!” Sparrow bellowed, turning and practically bumping into the chest of the silent giant who still trailed behind him, head bowed in the tight space.

“Oh, there you are.” The pirate reduced his volume slightly. “For a man the size of a mountain, you certainly are hard to keep track of. Can’t you make the least little bit of noise?”

The large man shrugged and obediently shuffled his feet on the deck.

Sparrow’s genuine smile flashed, and he waved an incongruously elegant hand in the direction of the bed. “If you would be so kind?”

The enormous crewman nodded carefully and, still stooping, picked up the mattress, bedding and all, as though it were a mere cushion, and wrestled the mass out the cabin door.

His place at Sparrow’s back was immediately taken by an equally silent, elderly pirate on whose shoulder perched a colourful parrot that glared balefully at Walton and occasionally snapped its beak with a fierce click.

If it had not seemed so very unlikely as to be impossible, Walton would have said that Jack Sparrow was being hovered over by several of his crew, rather as if he were a wandersome chick and they great, raggedy, ungainly hens attempting with no success to herd him to some more sheltered roost.

The impression strengthened when his egregious escort abruptly about-faced and all but dragged Walton back out through the door they had just entered. But not before he had seen Sparrow brought to his knees on the hard deck by a wracking spasm of coughing. The hens converged on their charge, clucking in consternation and hiding him from Walton’s craning backward looks.

Apparently the pirate was more badly injured than he wished to reveal to his enemy, for the two barbarians, who, Walton was prepared to swear, breakfasted on infants and picked their teeth with the bones, kept casting ineptly surreptitious, anxious glances behind them as they hustled their captive out of sight and earshot of their captain’s weakness.

Their relief was palpable when Sparrow reappeared, his impervious façade slightly marred by the lines engraving themselves deeper beside his tight mouth and the tinge of pallor under his tanned skinned. Walton suspected the comradely arm on which the pirate captain was leaning was more a necessity than an affectation.

There was a loyalty among these men, he observed, wonderingly. He had not expected to find such virtue amidst pirates. In fact, a great many of his assumptions about these wolves of the sea were coming under fire this day.

In truth, apart from his treatment of Walton, Jack Sparrow showed himself remarkably compassionate towards his captured enemies. Somehow, the man seemed to be holding in tenuous check the ferocious rage Walton saw blazing in the eyes of every pirate who looked at him. However, occasionally that control slipped. Observing several members of his crew turning against one of their helpless captives, Sparrow had ordered the offenders back to the Black Pearl, and Walton never saw them on his ship again.

When Walton realized in horror that the entire stock of food and water had been removed from the Defender, visions of long and ghastly starvation crowding his mind, he was relieved to see Sparrow verbally stripping the culprits down to the bone for their error. Later, those same miscreants could be seen sheepishly returning a reasonable portion of their stolen goods.

Perhaps the most surprising incident was when one of the pirates assigned to guard the naval prisoners brought a request from the Defender’s surgeon that he be allowed his supplies and equipment to attend those wounded in the battle for their ship. Captain Sparrow granted the request immediately and unconditionally but inquired whether, when the surgeon had seen to his own men to his satisfaction, he might offer his services to those of the Pearl’s crew injured during the previous days’ encounters.

Walton awaited the outcome with trepidation. He had no doubt that his surgeon would refuse to assist the pirates. The man had a hatred of the breed that surpassed anything the naval captain had ever seen. Patching up criminals and gallows bait would go against everything the good doctor held dear.

Captain Walton had not misjudged his man. When the emphatic response that the naval surgeon would fry in hell before he prolonged the life of any such “spawn of Satan” for a single minute was reported to Sparrow, the pirate captain’s mobile face went still as a snake poised to strike, but he merely nodded and said in tones that could freeze hot blood, “I see. Very well then. We shall contrive on our own.”

Fearing that the doctor’s principles had overwhelmed his prudence, Walton attempted to intercede for him.

Sparrow’s lip curled in scorn, but whether at Walton or his obdurate surgeon remained unclear. “What do you think I’m going to do to him? Filet him with his own scalpels? Men like that attract their own retribution, eventually.” He turned away and resumed his patrol of the Defender.

For once Walton was not unwilling to be herded after him. He wanted to hear what this unusual man had to say next.

“There’s no law says he has to love us, is there now?” The pirate shrugged. “And in the end, what difference is there between a man who’ll order a cannon fired at your head and one who’ll stand there, bandage in hand, and watch you bleed to death?” Sparrow tossed a raised-brow glance over his shoulder. “I’d just as soon none of mine be treated by a creature that desires nothing more than their demise. Your surgeon could have done me more harm had he been a less honest man.”

Such forbearance was little short of astonishing. Captain Walton couldn’t help wondering what had driven a man such as Jack Sparrow into a life of piracy.

* * * * *

Captain Sparrow did not sleep that night, vibrating back and forth between the two ships overseeing the transfer of loot and the repairs to his vessel. While Walton’s presence served no useful purpose, he was forced to remain awake as well, propelled hither and yon aboard his ship as various items were stripped from the Defender and sent on their way to the Black Pearl.

Near staggering with fatigue and pain, Captain Walton saw the disintegration of his slender, sky-raking Defender with hot-eyed, throat-tightened grief. Believing himself unobserved in the predawn gloom, he leaned heavily against the sturdy comfort of one of her ribs, resting his cheek against the rough-hewn timber, and whispered his apology for failing to keep her safe from such a fate.

Looking up, he was startled to realize that Jack Sparrow was watching him, an expression akin to sympathy in his dark, shadowed eyes.

At times, Walton felt the whole nightmare would have been easier to endure if he could have continued to view the pirate captain with unalloyed hatred.

* * * * *

As the eastern sky began casting out lures to the coming dawn, Commodore Norrington’s hope that they would find their missing pirate aboard the Dauntless went down for the last time and refused to resurface. His mind insisted on bringing up the image of a child left behind in the gathering night, alone on the deadly sea, leagues from any land, watching life and light sail away on the white wings of a tall ship. Had he regretted his choice at the last? Perhaps called for help, unheard?

No. The corner of the commodore’s mouth tilted in a sad half-smile. If the little firebrand they’d plucked from the sea had chosen to divest the Royal Navy of its prey, he would have gone to that fate with the same spirit and fortitude with which he had endured his amputation—and cursed them all roundly as he did so.

Norrington found himself wandering towards the surgery where he discovered a woebegone Samuels straightening his already immaculate tools. To the momentary glimmer of hope in the doctor’s uplifted glance the commodore shook his head fractionally.

“I’m calling off the search, Gil,” he said quietly.

The light quenched, and the doctor sighed. “So he’s really no longer aboard?”

“So it would appear,” Norrington said regretfully. “Even the other lads didn’t find him in any of their impossible hiding places.”

Samuels scowled at the retractor he was holding. “I wish he could have believed . . . “

His words were interrupted by Bailey bounding into the surgery, his wide white smile splitting his dark face. “They find him, doctor! The li’l pirate! In the fo’c’sle!”

The words transformed the doctor.

“Now that is excellent news,” Samuels beamed, thumping his assistant on the back hard enough to remove the air from his lungs.

In an excess of good spirits, Bailey threw his arms around the doctor. Not satisfied with the single hug, he turned on the commodore. Too startled to object, Norrington found himself being embraced by the overly enthusiastic crewman. But the commodore was neither given the time nor had he the heart to chastise the man for the familiarity.

Bailey was already tugging on the doctor’s arm. “Hurry, doctor. The li’l boy, he don’t look too good.”

Exiting the surgery, the men headed for the forecastle at a pace that perilously resembled an undignified trot, Bailey ranging ahead of the two officers and circling back like an eager hound.

The small crowd clustered in the narrow passage between the berths in the forecastle parted smartly to allow the commodore and doctor through. The watch had just changed, so none of the men had yet turned in. The object of their interest appeared to have wedged himself into the tiny space between a sea chest and the hull of the ship.

“I swear I laid me glims on that there chest just ‘alf a minute past,” a burly foremaster was proclaiming loudly. “An’ ‘e warn’t there. I jist nipped over t’ the ‘ead for a bit of a piss. An’ back I comes; an’ there ‘e is!”

Jip lay curled behind the large chest like a fallen cherub, his mop of gold hair matted with dirt, his clothing encrusted with all manner of filth, apparently unaware of the commotion surrounding him.

He roused briefly, when he was carefully pried out of his hiding place, to murmur, “Have you found my ship?”

“No, we have not,” Norrington told him.

“Good.” A small smile hovered on his lips, whisked away, and then Jip was unconscious again.

“Move out of my way you great lummox,” Samuels growled, elbowing the commodore aside.

“That is Commodore Lummox, to you,” Norrington remonstrated mildly. “At least counterfeit some respect if you have it not.”

The good doctor had never been able to see rank as anything more than a mass hallucination of the Royal Navy, but he generally humoured the delusional men with whom he served. However, whenever his medical instincts were roused, all divisions and gradations of men vanished from his mind without a trace. The commodore’s only evidence that his chiding had been heard was a preoccupied grunt.

Resigning himself to gross insubordination until Samuels had treated his errant patient, Norrington asked, “Where do you suppose he has been all this time?”

“Certainly not just hiding somewhere quietly. Look at this.” The doctor lifted one of Jip’s hands, revealing the calloused palm broken-blistered and bleeding. “And he’s been crawling quite some distance,” Samuels added, pointing to Jip’s bruised and scraped knees making their way into the world through his torn breeches. The filthy bandage covering his amputation glistened with bright, fresh blood. “He looks like hell,” the doctor finished cheerfully, “but there’s nothing wrong with him that time and rest won’t cure. His fever’s all but gone, now. He’s just thoroughly exhausted.”

Norrington frowned as Samuels and Bailey prepared to transport Jip back to his quarters in the surgery. Just what, exactly, had their little conundrum been up to that had left him in such a state? No good, that was assured.

“One minute.” He forestalled Bailey lifting the lad. “Search him for weapons.”

Samuels shot him an outraged look, but Norrington snapped. “Do it!”

Even the doctor gave way when that note appeared in the commodore’s voice. He nodded to Bailey, and his assistant rifled through Jip’s scant garments.

Only Norrington was unsurprised when the investigation revealed that Jip was once again in possession of the knife he’d brought aboard the Dauntless. Wordlessly, Bailey handed it to the commodore.

As Bailey began trundling the oblivious Jip back towards the surgery, Norrington turned the elegantly shaped, well-worn blade in his hands. Just what had the boy planned to do with that knife? Or had he already done it?

At the door of the surgery, Norrington delayed Samuels with a hand on his arm. “Keep a better eye on him, Gil,” he suggested.

Samuels grinned wryly. “I promise, either Bailey or I will always be in the room with him. He won’t be able to wander off again. In fact, I predict he’ll sleep for vast tracts of time before he awakens full of the Old Scratch.”

Privately, Norrington was convinced that Jip was already as full of the devil as he could hold, waking or sleeping.

Not a watch later, the commodore’s conviction was vindicated and the doctor’s reputation as a prophet lay in tatters. A sheepish Samuels reported to his commanding officer that their captive pirate was once again at large.

“I swear, he simply evaporated from under our noses,” the doctor complained. “I didn’t take my eyes off him.”

On a whim, Norrington felt his pocket where he’d absent-mindedly slipped Jip’s knife. As he’d half expected, it was gone.

Resignedly, he ordered the hunt for Jip resumed. After a brief moment spent considering just what a pirate the size of a bar of soap after a hard day’s wash might consider doing to interfere with the operation of a first rate Royal Navy warship, Norrington also ordered a watch set on the rudder chain and doubled the watch on the powder room.

The hunt was unsuccessful. The rudder chain and the powder remained unmolested.

Jip simply reappeared, hours later, sleeping in the hammock from which he’d vanished, as though his absence had merely been a figment of their corporate imaginations—except that he looked even more exhausted and filthy, if it were possible. His knife was not on his raggedy person.

His whereabouts and activities while he was gone remained a mystery. Jip merely looked blankly uncomprehending when questioned, as though the fact that he had been out of the room at all was news to him.

Commodore Norrington was not deceived by the innocent act. That a child might stray in delirium—possibly so. But that he should be impossible to locate and should pick the commodore’s own pocket under such circumstances—impossible. And yet they had no evidence that Jip had been up to anything subversive.

Pondering whether or not to solve his dilemma by locking the boy in the brig, Norrington decided on a compromise until he had a definite accusation.

“I’m sending you someone to help you keep an eye on him,” Norrington informed the doctor. “Two someones, in fact. Misters Murtogg and Mulroy could use something to keep them busy, and they have a certain amount of experience herding pirates.”

Having disposed of the problem of Jip for the nonce, Norrington returned to pacing the quarterdeck. The Dauntless was beginning to object to the course she was held to. Never at her best in fretful winds, she seemed sluggish and out of temper. His lady always had preferred her weather and seas to be ideal, circumstances he could seldom give her when pursuing Jack Sparrow, and particularly not on this, his latest wild throw of the dice. The currents in this part of the Caribbean were indeed vexing.

It was, Commodore Norrington thought bitterly, perfect Sparrow territory. If that miscreant wasn’t here, it was certainly his fault that Norrington was. All that was missing were hidden shoals. Perhaps Sparrow was busy arranging for them to be imported.

To add to the niggling difficulties of the day, his ship had apparently sprung a seam during the storm and her pumps had been required twice now. So far the ship’s carpenter had been unable to locate the leak, let alone patch it with oakum and tar.

It was shaping up to be a classic Sparrow hunt, indeed. Norrington hoped that, wherever he was, Jack Sparrow was having a close brush with hell.

* * * * *

25 She That You Wrong'd, Look You Restore
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