“Let’s celebrate the removal of the curse my dear.” The fair maiden said to the pirate captain when the smoke of the vanishing Huntmaster disappeared.
“Ye’re sure we can trust ’tis Huntmaster to do as he says?”
“Of course we can, every story I found confirms his honesty toward those done wrong and you me darling were done wrong.”
“Then to Nancy’s we go!” the called out proudly, “Round up th’ crew!”
Nancy’s Tavern some claimed was the finest tavern in all of the city. With the finest tankards of ale, the best tankards of cider and the deepest tankards of rum Nancy’s tavern was not just the finest tavern in the city it was the finest damn tavern on the whole of the country.
“Nancy’s?” The fair maiden asked. “But that place is a den of debauchery, violence and sin.”
“Aye, It’s true Ol’ Nancy don’t care who comes to her Tavern. She don’t care that they be cut throats ‘n low life’s but most ‘o th’ crew have be drinkin’ thar fer years, because it’s th’ finest damn place in th’ whole ‘o th’ city!”
The fair maiden considered the pirate captain’s words carefully, they were the words of an experienced man, but above all they were the words of a true leader of men, men that like him were cursed by a pirate incapable of doing his job. The fact that Nancy was also the recruitment grounds where most of the good captain’s crew had come from, even before he was captain, also made it hard for the fair maiden to deny the request.
“Nancy’s Tavern it is!” she called.
The crew were spread between the moored Privateer, the storage barns, and the grounds of the estate and it took nearly half an hour to round them all up. Once the group was together the pirate captain told them where they were headed, which was met with cheers, but not why they were headed there.
The group left immediately marching off the estate and down the paved roads of town towards Nancy’s to immerse themselves in the seedy tavern lifestyle. The good pirate lead his crew of bawdy sea men through the streets, past the hotels, past the houses, the whole time they walked the sang a song about drowning their sorrows with Nancy.
It was true that for most of the men Nancy’s was usually a place to drown their sorrows, lament over a battles not won, crew mates lost, or just days that didn’t go as planned. Many a time a pirate had sat in the corner seat of Nancy’s and prayed that all their sins would be gone when they woke up the following day. It was just that sort of place, a place where you might enter with regrets but leave with none.
The rowdy crew entered Nancy’s Tavern behind their captain who walked straight up to the bar with his fair maiden under his arm. Throwing a bag small bag of doubloons on the bar top he looked the old lady behind the bar up and down. She looked a 100 if she was a day, her long scraggy grey hair hung well past her shoulders, parted across the top and dropping down each side. Her wrinkled face hide more than it revealed and she wore a dress that flowed all the way to the floor ballooning outward as it passed her hips.
“Nancy ye ol’ hag.” the pirate captain called out in a loud voice greeting the Tavern’s owner.
“Rummenhaggle me ol’ salt, long time no see.” Nancy replied. “What can I get ye ‘n ye boys?”
The good pirate captain ignored the name Nancy had used to greet him, he hoped his fair maiden would as well, “We be here to be celebratin’. gift th’ men whatever they want. I trust what be in that bag gunna more than cover what we need.”
Nancy looked on the little baggy the pirate captain had thrown on the counter and without pulling one out the bag she identified it immediately. Pulling the draw string on the bag she then placed it inside her dress between her ample bosoms where no man alive was brave enough to steal it from.
“I heard a rumour ye came into some wealth, I be predictin’ its not a rumour.” Nancy said in a lower voice. “Obviously ’tis here lovely lass be part ‘o that wealth. Congratulations fair maiden, he be quite th’ catch.”
“Ma’am,” the fair maiden said in greeting.
“Sit down, heartly enjoy ye evenin’!” Nancy replied giving the pirate and his crew her blessings.
While the crew spread themselves casually around the Tavern drinks in hand the pirate captain and his fair maiden sat down in the corner with their own tankards of ale.
“’tis be whar I met th’ barnacle-covered scurvy dog wit’ a rusted hook fer a hand who told me th’ tale ‘o th’ map that he had. It cost me a pair fine tankards ‘o Nancy’s ales but it was worth it.” the pirate captain told his fair maiden.
“I’ve heard this story my great man, I’d much rather be hearin’ the story of Rummenhaggle.”
The pirate captain looked directly at his fair maiden and smiled, he’d really hoped that she hadn’t heard the name Nancy had given him, there was some secrets a man didn’t need to share with the woman he loved. The problem was he knew that she wouldn’t rest until and answer was given so he told her the story.
“When I was a young scurvy pirate on me first visit to Nancy’s I was not a wealthy scurvy dog. I tried to barter wit’ Nancy fer a tankard ‘o spiced rum, I had no idea how thin’s worked so I started by offerin’ her three bits, when she said no, I offered her four, then five. Nancy took me money then told me she only charged a pair bits fer a tankard ‘o spiced rum. After than she started callin’ me Rummenhaggle.”
The fair maiden laughed loudly, “Oh dear, my little Rummenhaggle!” she joked.
As the crew got louder and more boisterous the pirate captain decided it was time to tell the men why he had brought them all to Nancy’s. Ordering another round for himself and the fair maiden he waited for the drinks to arrive then with tankard in hand stood up on the table and called for the attention of the bar.
“Ye probably be wonderin’ why I called ye all here this day.” he started.
“Because ye be th’ best cap’n ever!” Pegleg Pete called.
The good captain smiled, nodded toward Pegleg Pete in a sign of respect then continue. “Well it be a hearty thanks to th’ lovely fair maiden here who not only researched th’ curse that had befallen us since we made th’ terrible cap’n Morgan walk th’ plank,” there was loud cheering and hooting from the crew, “but also worked out how to summon th’ Huntmaster, we no longer need to worry th’ curse has been lifted.”
The bar went silence in disbelief until the second mate spoke up. “Are ye sure?”
“I not be kiddin’ ye me fearless crew, thanks to the fair maiden we be curse free!”
Tankards clinked, ale, rum or cider sloshed out onto the floor of the tavern and the crew hooted, hollered, whistled and cheered at the good news.
Previous Pirate story here.