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The Waiting Room

~ Chapter Seventy

Wilmot and Sparrow

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Jack found a corner of the room to sit, sliding to the floor, alone and depressed he uncorked the bottle and swallowed the liquor long and hard. On his lap lay the remains of the letter.

He needed his ladies, all of them. He missed each and everyone of them. Jack’s eyes followed The Room as he remembered them with fondness and wondered if they remembered him. He sucked another swallow from the bottle.

Three of them, he knew did. Carrie…Jessi…and…he looked down at the letter..her.

He thought of Shelley and the troublesome monkey. He recalled how Crissy had given him his hat. He remembered the talent of Kait and her exquisite cages. Where were they? What were they doing?

Who knew? he thought, bringing the bottle back to his lips.

The pirate adjusted himself. He was soaked to through and through and was finding himself a bit uncomfortable in the wet clothing. The foam was beginning to dry on his skin giving him a more-than-dirty-pirate kind of feeling. He longed for one of Lady Pamela’s hot baths.

He gave an inebriated laugh as his memory served him long enough to recall her expert hands.

His thoughts drifted as the drink began to take its affect. Images flashed before him as his eyes grew weary and his thoughts fuzzy. He barely was able to lift the bottle for one last draw before everything went black.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Something was pounding his foot, urging him to wake but Jack did not want to leave the comfort of the total abyss that had swallowed him the night before. He drew his foot away from the offending intrusion.

The pounding moved upward and Jack felt a sharp poke on his thigh. One poke, two pokes. On the third poke, Jack’s hand lashed out and caught whatever was causing the infringement of his privacy.

He opened one eye and found he had come in possession of the end of a cane. Jack’s eye tracked the length of the cane until it focused on the face of its owner. He found himself staring at Lord Rochester. Jack’s other eye opened as the Earl tried to regain his cane from the pirate’s grip.

“I say, my dear man, it is unacceptable to try to pinch another man’s walking stick.” Wilmot complained as he tugged against the pirate’s grip.

“And what, me lordship? It is proper to poke a man awake as if he were a sleeping cur? Bad luck they say…to wake a sleeping man.”

“Perhaps you are correct. I do not follow such superstitious folly. But how am I to return your letter if I do not wake you? I certainly was not going to merely leave it on your heaving chest after the Frenchman and I so painstakingly translated it for you.”

Jack let go of the cane and bolted upright. The letter! Wilmot had translated Carrie’s letter!

He looked to find in the Earl’s free hand a sheaf of paper. With much fanfare, Jack pushed himself from off the floor, a feat onto itself as his head pounded from too much rum.

“I can see you were deep in your cups last night Captain Sparrow. I do hope that you will be able to understand what I am…”

The Earl was cut short as Jack snatched the letter from his hand.

“Stop standing on ceremony, man! I just want to read me letter!” Jack looked down at the words, every letter trying to come into focus, blurred, doubled, weaving side to side until finally the words became clear and he could see.

“What the…?” he grumbled then shot a hot look to Rochester. “These be the same bloody French words I gave ye yesterday! Where be the real words? Where’s the translated letter?” Jack fumbled for his pistol but found it missing.

“Where’s me pistol?” Jack asked frantically as he looked down at the floor were he had just moments ago been laying. He realized his sword was missing too.

“Me sword! A thief among us! Which one of ye flea-bitten rats have taken me effects?” He pushed himself past the Earl and into the center of The Room, turning slowly taking in each one of the men, waiting for an answer to his question.

When he completed the circle and his attention returned to Rochester he forgot briefly the lost sword and pistol.

“Me letter? Where be the translated letter?” he held out his hand waiting.

“Up here I do fear, Captain,” Wilmot indicated, tapping his own temple. “I have more or less memorized your penned correspondence. Something I am blessed with as it turns out to be your good fortune. For you see, the Frenchman and I had no paper onto which to transcribe your letter.”

“Paper? If ye needed paper why not be asking the damned writers?” Sparrow rolled a bit as he turned to look in Mort Rainey’s direction. Even the pirate knew that with his new-fangled thing called a printer Rainey required paper. He had seen the writer use it on occasion, only to crumple and discard what came out.

He then swiveled to bring the Duke into his eye line. At the table sat the gonzo journalist’s typewriter, a sheaf of paper sticking out like a white tongue.

“I do fear, dear Captain, that Mr. Rainey denied us access to his paper. He gave no reason. Only told us to do something to ourselves that sounded like a delectable idea at the time. As for Mr. Duke. Something about being accused of being responsible for the loss of one of your letters. So we were required to translate your letter mentally. But if this be your behavior then perhaps our memories will no longer serve us.”

And with that, the Earl turned on his heel and walked away.

“No! Wait!” Sparrow’s plea stopped the Earl. He turned to face the pirate who closed the space between them. Jack brushed away an imaginary piece of lint from the Earl’s coat, his demeanor more mellow.

“Me apologies, yer lordship. Let me just say that I be quite impressed with his lordship’s ability to memorize the letter, in English, I do hope?”

The Earl narrowed his eyes at Sparrow, then gave an acknowledging nod.

“Ah, good, then please, let us indulge in more pleasantries over at the bar where we can share a fine glass of …er, sherry,” Jack tried not to wince at the idea of consuming anything other than rum, “and ye can enlightened me on the contents of me lovely Carrie’s letter.”

Wilmot paused but a second, then bowed towards the pirate and led the way to the bar where young Jack was already filling the sherry glasses.


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