I grabbed my gear, and headed for the den. Once inside, with the door closed, I opened my envelope. It had a copy of the information she already given me.
You are NED MULLIGAN
As a young man, you were a pirate, and a member of Redbeard’s crew. You were brave and clever, so that Redbeard made you one of his lieutenants. But he grew too bloodthirsty for your taste, and also promoted some unsavoury characters alongside you, including the Falcon, and the Scar.
You chose to leave his crew, and jumped ship at Tortuga, taking a bag of doubloons with you. Redbeard swore revenge, and offered a bounty for your head. Both the Falcon and the Scar vowed that they would earn that bounty. The Scar, in particular, promised to drink a toast from your skull. You have been on the run ever since.
You were in Kingston, Jamaica, and horrified to learn that the Sea Demon was in port. But you were equally delighted to learn of Redbeard’s capture – serves him right. You hear the gossip in the dockside taverns: Redbeard’s crew are all over the place. What if one of them recognizes you? The ship HMS Retribution is leaving for Bermuda. Is Redbeard’s treasure still hidden aboard?
You sign on as a sailor …
YOU HAVE – A PISTOL
– THERE IS A PLOT TO FREE REDBEARD AND HELP HIM ESCAPE
– THE FALCON IS ABOARD, DISGUISED AS A MEMBER OF THE CREW
– THE TREASURE IS HIDDEN SOMEWHERE ABOARD THE SHIP
– YOU ONCE CAUGHT A GLIMPSE OF A LETTER BELONGING TO REDBEARD. IT MAY HAVE CONTAINED THE SECRET OF THE TREASURE’S LOCATION. UNFORTUNATELY, YOU ONLY SAW ONE LETTER … IT WAS THE LETTER ‘C’
But there was more.
Teresa had included a small square of parchment, with the word ‘Pistol’ written on it with a fine calligraphy pen. And there was another note in the envelope.
– YOU REMEMBER THE SECRET RECOGNITION SIGNAL OF REDBEARD’S CREW: THREE FINGERS PLACED AGAINST THE RIGHT EARLOBE
I read everything through one more time, but there was nothing new except for the pistol, and the last clue.
There was no need to rush; the girls would take a while to get dressed and apply makeup. I decided to blow up the air mattress first. When that was done, I took out my costume and got dressed.
Craig and Eric were already in the living room. Craig had his striped shirt deckhand look; Eric was still wearing that ridiculous beard. I went downstairs to get us all another beer.
Claire was the first of the ladies to join us. If anything, she looked even hotter than she had that day at the Lido. It was a bit awkward for a moment, with three guys leering at her. Craig found a voice first.
– “Wow, Claire. You look … awesome.” he said.
Lena emerged from the Captain’s cabin. She had a scarf, or a veil, covering her head and half of her face. Her top looked like a frilly bandeau, covering her breasts, but not much else. She wore a long black skirt with gold tassels. She had some flimsy, translucent veils hanging from her shoulders, but they did nothing to hide all of that delectable skin. Between the bandeau and the skirt, her midriff was bare – and there was a lot of uncovered torso to be seen. She was so damned tall …
She looked a bit like a gypsy fortune-teller, or the girl from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. This time, I remembered my manners first.
– “Lena! That looks amazing. Where did you get your costume?”
– “Teresa take me. It is OK?”
– “More than OK.” I reassured her. “You look wonderful.”
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