Ahoy, me hearties! Come ye here and sit ye down while I tells ye all the tale of when I was chased across the High Seas by none other than Mad Bess Rackham.
I should ha’ known my year would be accursed from that cold January day when that scurvy Mad Bess Rackham caught my green and unprepared crew with their britches down in Tavern Island. Blasted a beggarin’ gert ‘ole in me hull, so she did! I had no choice but to drag the drunken bilge-rats out o’ the tavern and take me limpin’ ship to Pirates Cove to get 'er fixed up.
Just to rub salt in me wounds, come February I hears on the wind that she’s gone and won 'erself a parrot companion off o’ none other than Long John Silver. Well I 'opes it pecks 'er pintle and poops on her poop deck.
March comes around, and there’s I, havin’ a quite pillage on Hull Island and who does I see? Arrh, that be right. Mad Blasted Bess, wi’ 6 guns a-blazin’. Turns out that parrot knew a thing or two about gunpowder 'n’ got 'er 2 crew firin’ 3 six-pounders apiece.
Ye’ll no call me a coward if I admits to yous that I put the safety of my lilly-livered crew first, and headed straight back to the Cove. And with a roll of a six, every last man saw the wisdom o’ me decision.
April. Still no sign of Cap'n Avalon Greasepalms, who’s reputed to be aroun’ these ‘ere parts. I’s a bettin’ she be sneakin’ around grabbin’ the treasure whilst that blasted Bess plays cat ‘n’ rat wi’ me. Blast that Bess!
Ahh, the Merry Month of May. Well I’ll be strung from the spars! I can hardly believe me deadlights when I spied in me peepin’ scope the unmistakable silhouette of Mary Read’s Riggin’, and who’s that a-chasin after her? As sure as me prow is proud, it’s Ol’ Bess, livin’ up t’er name o’ “Mad”. She be as good as black-spotted!
Summer is here, and thinkin’ Bess be Dallyin’ wi’ Davy Jones, I takes me opportunity to bury me hard-earned gains on Treasure Island. Now, it transpires that there be this ancient law what says that with the right bit o’ paper, any man (or slimy backstabbin’ scurvy excuse for a wench, as yer case may be) can lay claim to have the proceeds of an honest corsair’s rightful booty.
Yep, tha’s right me jolly jack tars. Not only was she still alive by the skin of ‘er teeth, she ‘ad one o’ them accursed paper thingummies.
I’m a-thinkin’ I’ll never be rid of ‘er.
Just as the month turns, I be a-spyin’ what looks like ol’ Greasepalms’ ship, only it looks awful low in the water. Me and me mateys, we be a-thinkin’ that’s a sign of a ship that needs relievin’ o’ some treasure!
So we snuck up on the sneak, and usin’ me grapeshot (a little trick I picked up in the tavern), blasted a gert big ‘ole in ‘er ‘ull! Straight-way she dumps half ‘er treasure out the ‘ole to stop ‘erself sinkin’, and with ‘er tail atween ‘er legs, flees fer the safety of The Cove. Just as well, as it turns out – me crew was in no fit state to fire the guns after partaking of rather too much of what they called “grape(shot) juice”.
So there’s me, a couple o’ months later, countin’ me salvage. Thar she be again! “Come back fer revenge ave ye?” I shouts at ‘er. She be a-thinkin’ that with only 2 guns on show, I’d have no firepower agin ‘er. Little did she know I ‘ad a grapple attack up me sleeve, allowin’ me to fire as many guns as I ‘ad crew. Ha-haarrrr!!!
But blow me down if the land-lubbin’ crewmates didn’t just miss ‘er completely. I threatened the lot o’ ‘em with the plank, so I did (whilst the cannonballs of Avalon whistled over ar ‘eads). It must ha’ done the trick, as all four of our 6-pounders hit home, sendin’ the ol’ buck a-scurryin. More booty for us!
So the year nears its end. Weighed down with glorious booty, we heads to Treasure Island, to earn our fame and drink of a clap or two of thunder.
And sat right there in the cove, as though he’d been a-waitin’ for us all along, there be Blackbeard. And in the distance you could just make out the sails of Mad Bess Rackham’s ship, riding high and freshly-emptied. I swear I ‘eard ‘er laffin’.
Well me hearties, you can guess the outcome of my little skirmish with Ol’ Beardy, but I’m still alive to tell the tale – although ye know now why I got this peg-leg – and what I didn’t gain in fame and fortune, I gained in experience. There’s not many a man who’s faced Blackbeard an’ won.
But I tell ‘e all a thing: I’d give me other leg to have Bess’s Becursed Parrot.