Mr Pligitt Observes Three Kidnappings

Dear Diary,

(I would put down the date, but I have quite forgotten what it is. Sometime in the 14th century perhaps?)

I have seen many odd things aboard this ship, from my lookout-tower of sorts. I have seen sparrows painted like parrots, fat men attempting to eat wooden seagulls, and most recently, Spanish rowboats being consumed by pirahna-sharks. Many nights have been lonely, the nights where pirates sleep in the more obvious crow's nest a little way below mine even more so, but for the first time I feel a sort of changing tide. I'm not sure what it is.

A little while ago, I was inexplicably brought a diary and an inkwell, and so I grabbed a seagull's feather and began to write. I shall now report what is both the strangest incident in both this diary and my entire observances; a few days ago, we entered the midst of a storm and were attacked by a ship of ghostly characters. In fact, they were ghosts. I was observing the battle meticulously, being sure not to miss a detail, when there was a sudden gust of wind and my telescope flew out of my hand! I am rather near-sighted without it, and so could not tell what was happening, until inexplicably, I found it in my clutches again. I thanked good fortune.  As I looked back again, I saw the damned vessel sounding the retreat.

Then, the storm cleared, and another ship approached. From this there came a rowing boat, and up climbed none other than la capitana! That same woman who had launched an attack one week previous. She came up to the deck, and looked the captain right in the eye. I thought for a second they were going to embrace, until quite the opposite occurred; with fire in their eyes, almost at the same time, they flew into a whirlwind of passionate swordplay. It is the most intense clash of swords I have ever seen. It has been two days now, and the battle has not yet finished. All the crew have been fixated upon it, except Jimmie, who took it upon himself to work the ship and feed the crew, and the castaway, who spends most of his time sitting beneath me, staring out to sea. Well, Jimmie for a little while at least, until eventually the other ship, the Fantasma, pulled up alongside ours, and the crew boarded. Mostly, this was to watch the terrific swordfight, but one Spanish woman wearing a cook's apron ended up talking to young Jimmie, and eventually the two boarded the Fantasma. Now I'm not sure who's taking care of the ship, so there's no great change there.

It seems I was the only one to notice that three of the number were missing. The peg-legged man and the french one were two, who boarded the ship. The other is Hans, of all people. I am not sure what happened exactly, but at the same time as that gust of wind, I heard the clatter of ghostly chains beneath me and the yells of a dutchman. Perhaps the two incidents are related. In fact, now I think of it, I heard similar rattlings last night, and though there were no wails, I notice that the castaway is dead silent beneath me. But then, he's usually dead silent, so it's hard to tell.

Most predominantly, I have spent my time in an important practise; I have decided to give myself a first name, until one comes up. Perhaps Archibald? Or Henry? Or maybe Donald? I'm sure one will come to me. As I write now, even if her fatigued state, Maria has managed a skilled spinning-thrust, met with a diving-block of equal prowess by the good captain. It is all very confusing at present. I wonder how long it will last?

The End

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