Chapter one

The Ghost Ship

Sailors tell a story about a big, black pirate ship. They see it sometimes when the fog is thick. The ghostly pirates on the black ship can never leave it because the ship carries a curse.

But this is only a story. There aren’t really any ghosts. Or are there?


The Dauntless sailed slowly through the thick fog. It was a big ship, and it carried fifty guns and a hundred strong men.

Twelve-year-old Elizabeth Swann stood at the front of the ship. She was on her way to Port Royal in Jamaica. Her father was the new governor there.

«I’d like to meet a pirate,» she thought. She remembered an old song:

«Yo ho, уо ho, a pirate’s life for me,

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life…»

Suddenly, a sailor called to her.

«Quiet, Miss!» he said. «Pirates sail this ocean. You don’t want to call them to us.»

«Mr. Gibbs!» Captain Norrington shouted at the old sailor. «Don’t be afraid,» he said to Elizabeth. «There aren’t any pirates here today.»

«I’m not afraid,» said Elizabeth.

But she knew the stories about pirates and fog.

They looked down at the dark water. There was something there. What was it? Wood? A box?

«Look!» Elizabeth shouted to the captain.

«It’s a man!» said Captain Norrington.

«No, it’s not,» said Elizabeth. «It’s a boy. Quickly, quickly, help him! Somebody help him!»

Captain Norrington called to his men.

«Get him out!»

The men pulled the boy onto the Dauntless.

«Is he OK?» asked Elizabeth.

«Oh, yes, Miss,» said one of the sailors. «He’s fine.»

«But where did he come from?» asked Elizabeth. «There’s nothing out there. Only the ocean.»

Nobody spoke. And then a big ship came out of the fog. Every man on it was dead.

The men ran to the side of the Dauntless and looked down at the water. Were there any more people there?

«Miss, you stay with the boy,» the captain said to Elizabeth.

Elizabeth sat down next to the boy. He was about the same age as her — ten or maybe eleven. Slowly, his eyes opened.

«Hello,» said Elizabeth. «My name is Elizabeth Swann.»

«I’m Will. Will Turner.»

And then he was asleep again.

Elizabeth watched him. Then she saw something inside his shirt.

Something gold. Slowly, she took it from him. She looked at it carefully. It was a medallion and there, on the front, was a skull and crossbones!

«Oh!» she thought. «Will Turner, you’re… a pirate!»

When Captain Norrington came back, she quickly put the medallion under her dress.

«Did he speak?» he asked.

«His name is Will Turner,» she answered.

Inside her dress, she felt the gold medallion.

She looked out at the ocean — and there, in front of her, was a big, black ship. And it had the skull and crossbones, too!

The black ship turned away. But Elizabeth was suddenly very afraid.


next page