“Aye cap’n,” an out of breath Scruffer Spragg came jogging up to the Good Captain, his search was obviously over and he could afford to stop and take a breath before his next words. “Nancy wants me t’ be passin’ a message on t’ ye.”

The Good Captain was overseeing some modifications to the Revenge and the Privateer that would see them able to sail even faster than they already did, things were going well but at the mention of Nancy having a message he was all ears. “Well pirate don’t be dilly dallyin’ around pass on that message.”

“She says she needs ye ‘n a few good scallywags t’ come ‘n scuttle a Cannonball Tongue from th’ tavern.” Scruffer said.

Now Nancy the tavern wench was an old hag, and an old hand, if she was asking for the Good Captain’s help she obviously needed it.

Within minutes the Good Captain had himself a group of ten men and they were headed to Nancy’s Tavern, swords in their sheaths slapping against their legs and loaded flintlocks holstered by their hips. Had it been required of them to have more than ten men Nancy’s message would have said so but the Good Captain knew his messages and Nancy’s mention of a Cannonball Tongue told him he was ridding the tavern of little more than an overbearing, over talking, pest who would not leave when ordered. He wasn’t expecting trouble, at least not with ten men, but he was prepared.

When the Good Captain and his men arrived at Nancy’s they walked straight up to the bar where Nancy was polishing tankards ready for their next refill, which would no doubt be for him and his boys when they had disposed of the Cannonball Tongue.

“Rummenhaggle me ol’ salt!” Nancy said in her familiar drawl, “Thank ye fer comin’ at such short notice.”

“Nancy ye’ ol’ hag. Th’ pleasure be all mine. Where be he?”

Nancy pointed to the man in the corner, he was sedate and watching the pirate crew intently he knew why they were there but he hoped if he remained quiet they would not pick him out of the crowd. The Good Captain recognised the man immediately, he was once considered for a position on the Privateer until it was realised that he was little more than a drunkard with no work ethic and little ability to do more than wake up each morning. He spoke a fanciful and often hurtful game with a forked tongue and had well and truly earned the nick name Cannonball Tongue.

The Good Captain, with his ten men close behind, walked towards the table in the corner. A path cleared for them but there was not a voice heard in the tavern.

“I believe ye ‘ave been asked t’ vacate th’ premises ‘n nah return Cannoball Tongue.” The Good Captain said when he got close enough to the man.

The man drained his tankard then began to protest but the Good Captain was having none of it. Nancy did not call him in just to rid the place of drunkards, they were her main clientele, she called him in to rid the sort of person refused to go quietly.

“Hush!” Called the Good Captain loudly so as to interrupt the man’s ramblings. “I shall b’ ‘aving none o’ it. I know o’ ye ‘n where ’tis that ye be from. Ye don’t deserve t’ be in such a fine establishment as this.”

As the Good Captain paused for a breath the Cannonball Tongues seized the opportunity to talk and once again his ramblings were full of the vitriol and hatred he was being removed for. “Fine? ye call this fine, ’tis a rat infested stink hole. Th’ barmaid’s a wench ‘n th’ men are all lowlife’s.”

The Good Captain was getting less impressed by the minute, he was prepared to remove the man with force, but he was hoping it didn’t come to that. He tried one more time to talk the man into leaving under his own steam.

“Enough! I say tha’ is more than enough!” The Good Captain’s growl eased and he began to talk in a loud but stern voice. “Th’ stale stench o’ broken promises drip from yer cracked lips, ye ‘ave ne’er once held true t’ a promise ye ‘ave made. Yer progressions in life faded long ago slain continuously by th’ countless lies ye ‘ave spewed forth. Yer convictions change more often that ye change th’ bloomers under yer pantaloons ‘n they stink jus’ th’ same. Ye be a teller o’ fiction ‘n nah a word comes out yer mouth that ain’t a lie.” The Good Captain took a breath. “Black be th’ shade o’ yer heart ‘n ’tis gettin’ darker each day. Ye be naught but a poisonous Cannonball Tongue ‘n ye be no longer welcome here at Nancy’s.”

The man sat in the corner staring at the Good Captain, it was almost as if he had heard none of the words, then almost as if to prove that he sprouted. “Did I tell ye blokes about th’ time I caught Nancy o’er thar in th’ field, naked wit’ a sheep?”

The Good Captain ignored the words and said. “Ye be caught in th’ darkness o’ yer owns poisoned heart, makin’ up tales be yer only art. But ’tis a dyin’ art ye will take ye t’ an early grave. Ye take one step forwards ‘n two steps back, yer every natter becomes naught short o’ an attack on those around ye.” The Good Captain’s voice then changed to a quieter are more demanding tone. “Wit’ yer head buried in th’ sand ye would still natter a tall tale ‘n ’tis time ye left or ye shall be carried out ‘n dumped in th’ street t’ be picked up by th’ street cleaner. Th’ choice be yers Cannonball Tongue!”

In a flash nearly too quick for any pirate’s eye to pick up the man bolted along the walls and straight for the door. When Squinter Mcgee got to the door and looked outside he reported that the man was not to be seen. Where he had gone no one knew or cared.

“Thank ye Rummenhaggle me ole mate nah wha’ be ya poison?” Nancy called.

Previous Pirate story here.