Chapter nine

The Island of Tortuga

Will helped Jack on the Interceptor. The weather was good, and the wind was strong.

«You’re not a sailor,» said Jack. «You’re a blacksmith. Where did you learn about sailing?»

«I worked on a ship when I was a boy,» said Will. «I came from England. I wanted to find my father — Bill Turner.»

«Is that right?»

«You knew my father,» said Will. «I asked for your help when you were in the cell. You weren’t interested. But when you heard my name, you said yes.»

«Oh, I knew him,» said Jack. «Everybody knew Bill. He was a good man. He was… a good pirate.»

«No!» shouted Will. «You’re wrong. My father wasn’t a pirate.»

He pulled out his sword.

«Put that away,» Jack told him. «Why are you getting excited? Your father was a pirate, Mr. Turner. A good man, but a pirate. Now help me with this ship.»

They arrived at the island of Tortuga.

Tortuga was a small, dirty place. It had a harbor, some houses, an old store, and four bars. Bad men and pirates went there. They wanted to drink and to find women.

«Come with me,» Jack said to Will. «We have to find some sailors for our ship.»

They went into a bar and found an old man. His name was Joshaemee Gibbs. He was asleep, and he had a bottle in his hand. Jack kicked him.

«Wake up, Mr. Gibbs. We have work for you.»

Slowly, Gibbs opened his eyes. «Oh, it’s you. What do you want?»

Jack moved near to the old man. He didn’t want Will to hear their conversation.

«We’re looking for a ship,» he said. «The Black Pearl.»

«The Black Pearl?» The old man sat up. «That’s not smart, Jack Sparrow. You know the stories about the Black Pearl. Do you think Barbossa is going to give you his ship?»

Jack laughed. «Oh, I think he will,» he answered. He looked at Will, and the old man’s eyes followed his. «I have the boy and they want him.»

«That boy?»

«The child of Bill Turner. His only child.»

Joshaemee Gibbs didn’t speak. He thought about Jack’s words. And then he smiled.

«Ah, I understand,» he said. «His only child. I think I can find some sailors for you now.»

Gibbs did his job well. Some of the sailors were small; some were tall. Some were fat; some were thin. Some were smart; some were stupid. But they were all good sailors. They stood in front of their captain.

Jack looked at them. Then he showed them the ship.

«There’s my ship, the Interceptor,» he said. «It is a fine ship, a fast ship. Sail with me, and at the end you can have it! What do you say?»

The sailors shouted, «Yes!»

Jack stopped in front of a sailor in a very big hat. Suddenly a hand came out from under the hat and hit him. Jack fell to the ground. The hat fell, too — and showed a woman’s face.

Jack stood up.

«Hello, AnaMaria,» he said.

«You took my boat!» she shouted.

«Ah…» said Jack slowly.

«And where is it now? Do you have it?»

«No, I don’t. But this ship is better.» He turned to the men. «Get ready!» he said. «We’re going to sail. And AnaMaria will give you your work.»

The sailors ran onto the ship, and the Interceptor left Tortuga.

Gibbs and Will sat and looked out at the ocean.

«Do you know Captain Sparrow well?» Will asked.

«Oh yes,» said Gibbs. «I knew him when he was captain of the Black Pearl.»

«What? Captain of the Black Pearl? But how…?» «Listen to the story,» said Gibbs. «Jack Sparrow was a pirate, but he was a good man. He found the Isla de Muerta — and there was gold for every sailor on his ship. But his sailors didn’t want Jack Sparrow. They wanted the gold. So they left him on an island with no food and no water — only his gun.» «They left him?»

«They left him — but he got away. And now he wants to find those pirates, and he wants to use that gun. He wants to shoot their captain, Barbossa!»


The Black Pearl was at the Isla de Muerta. «It’s time, my dear,» said Ragetti.

He smiled at her, but his one good eye watched her carefully. They put her in a small boat and left the Black Pearl. The fog got thinner. Elizabeth could see a big, black cave. «Are we going in there?» she asked. «Yes, my dear,» said Pintel.


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