So here's the second chapter and towards the end you'll meet my OC; but you'll have to wait until chapter three to learn a little more about her! Elizabeth and Will are part of this chapter, but I'm not sure just how much involvement they will eventually take in this story. I kind of wanted to stray away from them a little and begin a new tale but due to Norrington's feelings, there will always have to be a little mention of Elizabeth here and there if nothing else! If I can find a way to slip them into my story without causing too much confusion I will though.
I should probably have mentioned at the beginning of the last chapter that this story begins shortly after 'The curse of The Black Pearl' and I will draw titbits from the other films but for now I think it shall not follow 'Dead Man's Chest' or 'At World's End' just yet. Depending on how far I get that might change, but you shall be the first to know if this changes!
*The quote from the song 'The Parting Glass' is an old traditional Irish and Scottish song that I felt fitted my OC's feelings towards the end of this chapter and in the coming few.
I only own Fiona!
Chapter Two - The Parting Glass
"The Parting Glass"
Of all the comrades that e'er I had
They are sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They would wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all.
Perhaps it was just as well that Elizabeth Swan consented to marry William Turner in a quiet and simple manner in the small parish church in Port Royal. There was no pomp or circumstance, I am told. There were only Elizabeth's father and some of the household staff from the governor's residence in attendance as witnesses and they felt so obliged to the family that employed them to speak very little of the marriage. I consider it odd that no one noticed the new intimacies of the two young people within the port town. It was common knowledge of course that they harboured feelings for one another, but their wedding had been conducted so quietly that no one had heard tell of it.
Where I come from in Ireland, everyone knows everything there is to know about everyone. You cannot go half a mile without some person or other who is little more than a stranger asking you about yourself. Folk are curious and others are only too happy to tell the secrets of others. For this reason alone I find it hard to believe that the Turners kept their wedding so very quiet. Surely someone had to have noticed. Indeed they managed a full two months of wedded bliss before it was remarked that Will Turner the blacksmith was spending an inordinate amount of time within the governors residence upon the hill. Indeed people began to notice him leaving his forge of a sunny evening and making the short walk up the hill to pay a visit and not making a return journey until the next morning. Many women within the town thought highly of Miss Swan the governor's daughter and would not hear of her reputation being slandered. they agreed with one another on that point as they browsed market stalls together or used the same trough as a neighbour to launder their linens. Thus it became general consensus that the two young people must have married.
It is no wonder then, that Lord Cutler Beckett heard of their quiet marriage shortly after his arrival in the port town. Perhaps Will Turner had some sort of premonition, for as soon as Beckett had set up office, Will inadvertently knew he needed to leave. He may have received fair treatment from James Norrington if he had been around but Cutler Beckett would surely not wish for Will to be walking free after his recent brush with the piracy laws. He pleaded with Elizabeth to set sail with him in search for Jack Sparrow and their life's fortune whatever it may come to be; but Elizabeth would not leave her father.
So it was that one morning Will Turner was roused before sunrise by the butler in the governor's household. The man hurried Will into some clothes and downstairs to where Elizabeth and her father were waiting. "I'm sorry Will," Elizabeth whispered to him gently.
Will knew by her tearful expression that his time with her was at an end. "We knew this was coming Elizabeth. That was why I wanted us to leave this place long before now."
Elizabeth nodded but it was her father who replied. "Both of you must now face the consequences of your actions, although how either of you is to blame I do not know." The governor turned to Will then. "Perhaps what you did Turner was rash, although I appreciate it was all for love of my daughter. Rash it still was. Now you must be rash again. Away from here and stay gone until we can safely welcome you home again."
"You will not marry her off to some rich suitor while I'm gone will you?" said Will in an attempt at humour even though he did not feel like laughing at all. He buttoned his coat and took the purse of money that Elizabeth pressed into his hand.
"You've met my daughter Mr Turner," the Governor replied with a hollow laugh. "Do you really think I'd try to make her see reason? I know how little she listens to her old father. In any case, I begin to see now how one's actions make can shape the good will of a man far more than money or title can. She has made her choice, but I implore you to return to us in one piece, for I do not believe my daughter could come to terms with any ill that may befall you."
Elizabeth moved forwards again, crying openly. "Go to Jack, Will. Go to Jack and find whatever it is that Beckett wants. Jack will know. Find it before Beckett does. It's the only way that you may come home to us again."
She made Will Turner promise not to return to Port Royal before he found whatever it was that Beckett sought. I do not know how she got him to make such a promise, not when in those very moments Lord Cutler Beckett was himself making his way towards the governor's residence to arrest Will Turner. I do not believe Elizabeth thought for one second that she would escape lightly even with Will making his escape from the back of the house. All too soon she would find herself under house arrest. When I first heard such a tale, I did not know how Will had been able to bear staying away. In my mind surely love would force your hand in such a circumstance as to have you clambering back up that hill as fast as your feet would find you to aid your loved one in any way you could. I suppose you would tell me reader that I did not understand love. You're so very right. I did not see the wider picture back then. I did not take into account all that was at stake.
Little did I know that I would find myself in a slightly similar position one day, where I'd have to consider so many other things besides my own feelings, and choose to leave love behind.
"That's her there," announced Daniel Hawkins to the cabin at large as he pulled from his pocket a rather grubby miniature portrait of a well-dressed young woman and handed it to the man on his right who in turn passed it around the table. He took another swig of his tankard and observed the officers as they gazed upon the woman in the portrait.
"And she just vanished entirely?" queried Lieutenant Groves as he brushed a bit of dirt from the portrait in his hand and a young girl gazed back at him with a rather vacant expression. "She appears to be little more than a child here."
Hawkins nodded eagerly, his movements marred slightly by the effect of too much rum. "That's what I thought good Sirs; too young to have gone alone. I did believe Sir Sidney's story when he told me he believed the girl had been taken from her bed. How could one so young make an escape all of her own accord and why would she want to. Of course as time went on and Sidney kept sending me out upon the sea in search for the girl I began to wonder what his intentions really were. Sidney's getting on a bit to be sure, and his niece can't be any more than a third of his age."
Although he did not tell me of such an occurrence, I imagine James will have shared knowing glances with Lieutenants Groves and Gillette. If Hawkins would slander his employer's reputation so easily, then he was no more to be trusted than said employer. I think all three men were likely predisposed to dislike Hawkins because he was a treasure hunter and little better than a pirate himself. He had simply chosen to hand a fraction of his finds over to the right authorities and thus had escaped punishment and ensured his own freedom to carry on pillaging.
"When you say ill intentions?" Groves pressed even though he received a warning glance from his Commodore who was also acting as Captain for their return voyage to Port Royal. James was tired of Hawkins' incessant babble I presume, as he would continue to be on many more occasions in future.
Hawkins now held the portrait again. "Well I'm not blind Sir. She paints a pretty picture does she not? Miss Niamh Lefroy? If you ask me, Sir Sidney had more than the interests and cares of an uncle towards her. To me it seems more likely he had a hand in the girl's disappearance-"
"Mr Hawkins, have you shared such thoughts with Sir Sidney?" James asked suddenly. "You appear to recommend a great deal upon the subject that your employer would find offensive!"
"Don't be ridiculous!" Hawkins roared as he laughed. "Of course Sidney's private life is no matter of mine, and he may do as he wishes. I just wonder at him sending me on a wild goose chase if he really did know the girl hadn't disappeared."
"Then perhaps this kind of conversation is best left unsaid Mr Hawkins," James announced as he pushed back his chair and stood up. "Perhaps you shall endeavour to employ a precedent in future of saying nothing at all if you have no kind words to utter?"
I think Hawkins must have had no choice but to agree with such advice when under the watchful gaze of James and his quirked brow. I've seen that look upon his face a hundred times and even I in my own hot-headedness have found myself a little intimidated by such a gaze.
If Elizabeth was expecting preferential treatment from Cutler Beckett, in some ways she was right to think so. She was placed under house arrest with her father, with all visitors to the house to be monitored. Beckett told her on the first morning of her incarceration that she would remain behind closed doors until Will Turner returned. She realised something was afoot almost at once. Beckett knew a lot more than he should have done about Will and Jack Sparrow's escapades of a few months earlier and seemed to believe Will could give him Jack Sparrow.
Elizabeth knew though that there was something else Beckett wanted. He had not left his prudent life in England behind simply to oversee trading in Port Royal when there was already a governor in place. She was not surprised when he called at the house almost every day to make small talk with her, asking the occasional question about Will Turner and Jack Sparrow that Elizabeth refused to answer. In part she relished in such meetings because she could tell that her non-compliance was beginning to wear a little thin upon the man.
on one such morning, Elizabeth descended from the upper floor of the house to find Beckett already within the drawing room, with tea set before him. Before she could cross the hallway though, a man she did now know with a sour expression that only enhanced his wrinkled face barrelled past her and into the drawing room. When Beckett saw the man he jumped up out of his seat. "Mercer? Have you word?"
The man called Mercer handed over a sealed letter to Beckett, a grim smile in place. "James Norrington is returned from London with a new ship Lord Beckett. He docked this morning with a new crew and retreated to his own residence some hours ago. With this new crew came word that the company have granted you permission to search all Irish trade and merchant ships within the vicinity of Port Royal Sir. It seems Sir Malcom Sidney has been at his work again. We do not have permission to openly pursue any Irish ships in free water as you had hoped. It seems Sidney is still pedalling the myth that his lost niece is out there somewhere and he does not want her harmed."
Elizabeth moved forwards on the pretext of hearing a little more clearly, her foot narrowly missing a large terracotta plant pot as she moved. She grimaced a little as the rustling of her skirts would surely carry into the drawing room. Remarkably though, it seemed the men had not heard the sound.
Beckett spoke again. "The old fool Sidney still believes he can win her back does he? I should like to see him try. After all, once our plan comes to fruition she will be lost to Davy Jones' locker. He will lose his mind over a non-descript young woman when the reality is that the real treasure was staring him in the face all along. If this niece is as clever as we think she is, she will not have spoken of Sidney to anyone at all, and never will. He has nothing to fear of her sailing the sea. Even if she did voice her concerns, who would believe her?"
"Is it time then Sir?" Mercer asked then, the anticipation in his voice indisputable.
"Yes, it's time to bring down the much loved Captain O'Malley and his rather tricky first mate! Then we will concentrate our efforts upon Jack Sparrow."
Elizabeth sank back into an alcove as quickly as she dared without making any noise as the two men left the drawing room and crossed the hallway. Beckett in his arrogance left no word with the butler at the door in apology of his early departure. Elizabeth waited in her hiding place for a few minutes in case either of the men returned to the house, but they did not. her eavesdropping had not provided her with very much information at all, but she was suddenly sure that James Norrington would find it all very interesting indeed. Despite her apprehension at seeing the poor man again after she had spurned him for Will Turner, she felt within her a strange need to see the Commodore. He was a methodically logical man and would likely make more sense of what she had just heard. He at least would have the opportunity to find Will and warn him about Beckett.
Within just a few short hours, Elizabeth glimpsed Commodore James Norrington climbing the hill towards the governors residence in a resigned sort of despondency. He would likely no more want to see her than she wanted to see him. She greeted him in the doorway as an old friend would in an attempt to re-affirm the notion of good-natured friendship. He greeted her coldly, with only a nod and she led the way into the drawing room, extremely glad that her father did not yet know that James was visiting. She had only a few moments she was sure, before the butler told his master of his guest. James approached the French doors that led out onto a pleasant garden at the rear of the house and fixed his gaze upon the water fountain as he tried to contain his tumultuous emotions. The door to the room clicked closed softly and he heard the voice he had imagined hearing in his mind for so many months since he had last seen her. "James?"
Her voice was soft, some of it's lacklustre missing as she moved further into the room. There was even a hint of pain there. His resolve weakened entirely and he turned worrying eyes upon her. Miss Swan," came his gravelly reply. his use of her previous surname a clear attempt at creating a boundary between them.
"It's Mrs Turner now, as I'm sure you've been informed," Elizabeth supplied meekly. She knew this statement would hurt him even if he was already aware of her marriage.
"I had not been informed." He glanced away again and Elizabeth thought for a second he would turn and leave the house without another word to her. She told me how she could clearly see the pain written all over his face. Now that I've come to begrudgingly accept her, I understand that she did feel so sorry for the pain she had caused him. sharply he turned to her again, as if coming to the conclusion that the sooner he said what he needed to say, the sooner he could leave. "I offer yourself and Mr Turner my heartiest congratulations. I hope Turner endeavours to deserve you. Forgive my intrusion madam but I heard that you had been placed under house arrest by Lord Beckett. I came to enquire after your welfare...and that of your father's."
Elizabeth nodded, resigned to the fact that he was all formality with her now, whereas before they had been quite friendly. I always do wonder who it was who initiated such friendly terms. I don't think it could have been James. I know him too well. No, it must have been her. In essence I like to think that for it makes it easier then for me to blame her for the pain he felt back then. Blaming her is unfair now, as I suppose I would call her my friend now too. "We are well. My father is a little unnerved at having so many armed men about the house but on the whole he continues with his paperwork in his library as he always has done."
"And you?" He gazed at her with such concern that she sighed heavily and shook her head. "There are things I must tell you James. Something occurred only this morning that has increased my worry tenfold for Will, wherever he is."
"He is not here with you?" James asked in incredulity but Elizabeth told me that she thought he relaxed a little, sure in the knowledge that Will Turner was not there to witness such a painful and awkward experience.
"If he had been here with me, he'd have been arrested," said Elizabeth. She explained everything to James that she had heard that morning, watching his frown deepen with each moment that passed.
"So Beckett is in pursuit of Sparrow? I cannot say I blame him," James quipped, but there was no malice in his voice, only concern. "What worries me more is his intention to trouble Captain O'Malley. O'Malley is a privateer. He is no pirate to be trifled with, he is currently in the employ of the crown. I know him, he's a good man. He has aided the capture of many pirates and was the captain of the ship that came to the rescue of myself and my men not so long ago."
"Regardless of all of that James, Will has gone in search of Jack Sparrow and now they have a tail! Beckett wants Jack Sparrow, and if he finds them both together, they will both hang! Can I prevail upon you to go after Will, to warn him about Cutler Beckett before he crosses Jack Sparrow's path?"
Her request was ludicrous. I know it now, and both Elizabeth and James knew it then. Elizabeth Turner, newly married to the blacksmith she professed to love was appealing to the good will and sense of duty in the man who had loved and lost her. She was not blind to how much anguish her request would cause, but she knew not what else to do. He relented of course. He could not bear it, to see her so upset and worried. He promised to leave earlier than he had planned and to go in search of Will Turner. He swore to Elizabeth though, that if he encountered Jack Sparrow on his travels that he would bring the pirate back to Port Royal to face the execution that he had so artfully dodged months before. Her worrying frown only increased but James would not be dissuaded by it. It was going to be his life's work now if he lived long enough to rid the seas of pirates and prove to Sir Malcolm Sidney and everyone else that he was more than qualified to take up position as Admiral of the fleet of his own merit, with or without a crown that granted the wearer immortality.
It was a foolish notion for him to promise such a thing to Mrs Turner. That night he would fret over it so terribly that numerous times he would approach the doorway of his own home with thoughts of going back to her and recanting his promise. How could he go in search of the man who had ruined his happiness forever, with the intention of aiding him? Did he not sit alone in near darkness each night, with a bottle of port at hand wishing Turner into an early grave so that he could claim the only bride he had ever envisioned at his side. Now that he had given such a promise though, he knew he could not take it back. That was when he realised he did not want to go in search of Turner. I'll wager his mind strayed then to thoughts of forgetting Will Turner altogether. He could tell Elizabeth that he was going in search of him, and instead begin his search for this crown of myth and legend that he had been tasked with finding. He told me that he was very set in his ways that night, that he would not look for William Turner. Even as the sun rose the next day he gave orders for his crew to follow not the usual trade route to Tortuga, but Mr Hawkins' direction out into open waters.
What was it that pulled him towards Tortuga then in the coming days? James told his crew that it was Hawkins' uncertainty that led them towards the pirate infested island. Whilst it was true that Mr Hawkins was still struggling to decide where they should begin their search and was no doubt infuriating James beyond belief, I can't see that being the sole reason. Perhaps yet again it was something magnetic or otherworldly that had him land upon the very shore that I would wash up upon just a day later.
When I woke on the deserted beach at the easternmost point of the Island, for the first few seconds I really did believe I had died. It was only the agonising pain I felt coursing through my whole body that assured me I was still alive. my throat burned in reaction to the salt water invading my mouth and no doubt from all of the screams of torment that had passed my lips some time before. My knee, which was always painful for me in some form was that day twisted and bent at an odd angle in the wet sand, but thankfully I had felt pain like it before and knew it had perhaps taken a nasty knock but nothing more. I was lying half in water and half out and tried to pull myself a little further up the beach with my arms, but the pain in my shoulder prevented any such movement. I yelped as the wound in my shoulder protested and sank back onto the sand, a thick and foggy headache building behind my eyes ever so quickly. Gingerly I pressed my hand to what should have been a clean musket ball wound and found the flesh torn and disfigured.
I let my head fall back onto the sand and prayed for the heat of the sun to kill me, for I knew my shoulder wound was not enough to do so, at least not readily. It's one of the darker moments of my life, but not the darkest. before my eyes flashed the scenes I had witnessed the night before, if it had indeed been the night before; aboard The Grace that are scared across my memory. I'll never forget the scenes I saw that night for as long as I live and they are by far the most gruesome that I've ever seen. I watched the men who had become my family torn apart by cannon and musket so swiftly that I barely had time to comprehend what was happening before I too was sprawled on deck with my shoulder torn open.
It was Mick's face, gazing back at me blankly with no life in his eyes that drove the screams of desperation from my mouth. Of all the people in the world, I still wonder why he had to die. He was the reason I'd survived, thrived even. Back then he really was everything to me and I thought he'd live forever. That was how he made me think and feel. After everything I'd been through in my short life, meeting Mick was the beginning of a wondrous adventure that I thought would last forever; but every man must die.
I wanted to die too as I lay in the wet sand, blood pooling at my side. It was the thought of Mick that pulled me upright and set me staggering off down the beach, checking my pockets with the arm connected to my uninjured shoulder as I went. I could hear him cursing me for my dark thoughts, telling me how much life I still had in me. Remarkably, I still had a few coins in my pocket and some trinkets. I knew Tortuga well enough to find my way ever so slowly from the beach to the edge of the port-town, but I was not foolish enough to try my luck with the establishments on the sea-front. my legs felt like lead and I stumbled many times as I climbed higher into the town, singing under my breath as I went to try and focus my attentions a little.
Finally, I thought I had reached a safer part of town where I thought I might find somewhere I could go to ground for a few days. In a daze I surveyed the facades of the inns and taverns, but I could see no stark differences between any. picking one at random I approached the doorway and entered, the usual sound of chatter and the clinking of glassware reassuring me a little. There weren't many taverns that were confident enough to supply their patrons with glass to drink from instead of pewter tankards so my mind immediately decided I'd successfully chosen a reputable establishment. I stood in the doorway for a few moments, exhausted and dazed before someone shoved me on their way past. I came to my senses then and moved towards the bar. If my mind had been a little more together, I'd have probably imagined Mick screaming at me to check my surroundings but I didn't even think to glance behind me at the cluster of tables to see who else frequented the tavern.
There was a young woman behind the bar who glanced at me as I approached. She appeared rushed off her feet, her black sleek hair swinging madly about as she ran the length of the bar. I tried to gain her attention as a man barraged her with drunken requests that made my stomach roll. If I'd been well enough I'd probably have taken offence at his lewdness. The girl seemed oblivious to his slurs though and I realised it was likely because she didn't speak much English. She was Chinese I thought.
By the time she caught my eye, I'd managed to wrestle from around my neck an old necklace that was really just a chunk of metal in some Irish design that I'd never really took the time to decipher. It was something I'd found years ago in a field back home in Ireland and it was one of the only pieces I had left of home. I was fumbling in my pocket for the few coins I had left when the Chinese girl placed a bottle of rum before me. The coin I had was just enough to pay for it. uncorking the bottle I moved aside the lapel of my shirt and poured the contents of the bottle onto my wound, letting out a hiss of pain as the alcohol met my torn flesh. my legs all but fell from under me as I tore the scarf from my neck and pressed it against the musket ball wound.
"You...need...remove..?" the Chinese girl asked me suddenly.
"No..." I shook my head weakly as I realised she was talking about the musket ball. "That's been taken care off."
A man who had been standing behind the bar, watching the young woman work stepped forward suddenly and spoke to me in an a northern English accent. "I'll have no trouble here!" He was pointing to my shoulder and I shook my head again.
"There won't be any. I just want a room." I presented the palm of my hand to him, the locket resting upon it. "How many nights stay can I get for this?"
He shrugged and appeared deep in thought. He was watching someone over my shoulder as he spoke, "Three nights."
"Th...Three?" I stammered. "I'd get a weeks stay on the sea-front for this!"
He waved at me dismissively then. "Go back t'seafront then!" He turned away from me and I sighed heavily, still pressing my scarf to my injured shoulder.
"Sir, isn't that O'Malley's lass?" Groves asked as he pointed at my back. "Weren't they saying earlier in the port that the ship ran aground and no crew were found, that they were all lost?"
I didn't want to go to back to the seafront. At least here in the more upmarket part of town I was more likely to find a lock upon the door of my lodgings and a comfier bed to ride out the fever I could feel taking over. I sighed wearily and moved along the bar a little towards the back of the room and caught the man's eye again. "Fine, three nights."
I presented the locket to him and he reached out and took it from me with a grumble. "It's two nights now for your cheek!" I shook my head wearily, not entirely sure I could withstand an argument and accepted the offer of two nights. I had some of my mother's rings in my pocket that I did not wish to part with if I could help it, but if I wanted to stay for longer I had that option.
"Didn't that fisherman say all aboard The Grace had perished though?" Gillette asked the group at large. "Indeed she looks like death herself. Perhaps she is a phantom! Don't they say that can happen sometimes; when a ship and its crew perish that the crew members are seen on land sometime later, bidding farewell or something?"
James knew the signs of a fever well. Pale and clammy skin, trembling limbs and the unmistakable bloodstained clothing. He no more thought I was a phantom than he believed in Davy Jones's Locker. Back then he did not think of such things because to him they did not exist. "Obviously not," James muttered to his friend as he stood from his chair and made his way to the bar where I stood.
Like my previous story, I think the chapters of 'An Irish Wind' will all run to around 5000 words but if this is too long please let me know! Personally I like reading quite long chapters that I can really get stuck into, but I know this isn't the same for everyone!