Chapter eight

Dinner with Barbossa

Elizabeth sat at a table on the Black Pearl. There was a lot of food on the table — bread, fruit, and meat. Captain Barbossa sat at the other end of the table.

«Are you hungry?» he said. «Please eat.»

Elizabeth was very hungry. She took some bread and some meat and started to eat.

«Have a drink,» said Barbossa.

Elizabeth drank. Then she looked at the captain.

«You’re not eating!» she said. «Is something wrong with the food? Are you trying to kill me? You eat it!»

She gave the captain some bread, but he didn’t take it.

«I can’t eat it,» Barbossa said unhappily. «I’d like to. I’d love to. But I can’t.»

He took the gold medallion from his coat.

«This gold, Miss Turner, is very old. The Aztecs gave it to Cortes when he arrived in the Americas. There are many, many more of these. And the Aztecs put a curse on them.

«We found the gold on the Isla de Muerta,» said Barbossa. «We took all of it. We bought food and drink with it. But then, suddenly, we couldn’t eat and we couldn’t drink. When we took the money, Miss Turner, the curse came with it.»

The captain suddenly looked happier. «But now we can end the curse. We had to find all of the gold. Then we had to put it back on the island and give some blood. For ten years we looked for the gold on every ship and in every town…»

«And now you have all of it,» Elizabeth said.

«Yes. With this gold medallion, we have all of it. Thank you.»

She thought for a minute.

«You have everything, and you’re going to be free of the curse. So why am I here?»

«There’s one more thing. You’re Elizabeth Turner, the daughter of the pirate Bill Turner. He was one of us, but he isn’t with us now. We have to have your blood!»

Elizabeth didn’t understand, but she was afraid. Her blood?

She jumped up and tried to run. But Barbossa stood in front of her. She took a knife and pushed it into him. Then she ran outside. She closed her eyes. Her blood! What could she do?

She opened her eyes and saw the pirates at work. Then she looked carefully. They weren’t men — they were skeletons!

Barbossa was behind her.

«Now, Miss Turner, you can really see us.» He smiled. «Yes, Miss Turner, we’re all ghosts. You’re in a ghost story!»


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