Day 63: Murphy is champing at the bit. The Lady Jean is finished except for the final touches to the décor. Murphy wants that ship so badly I can taste it.
Murphy has taken to sitting in his cabin with a bottle of rum and a bad mood. I surprised him yesterday when I took him the latest song pages. He hid something in his drawer when he came in, but I caught a glimpse of something glowing green. Murphy has one of the devices too! Whatever the devices are…
Someone must know what the glowing orbs are. Maybe Gus? Of course, Gus is still absent for the most part. He was supposed to be recruiting new sailors, but that was weeks ago. Several sailors have come to Murphy claiming to be Gus’s recruits, so I am pretty sure he’s here in town too. He must have caught a ride on another ship. I think I’ve seen him in the distance around the yard—I am almost positive of it—but never close enough to speak to.
Andrew and I have taken to following Murphy wherever he goes—it’s not like we have a lot else to do to pass the time. Today, he went back to Daltry’s office. Trying one more time to talk the shipwright out of the ship, I suppose.
I stood with my ear to the door as Andrew kept lookout again. I suppose it is unfair of me to make Jenny be the lookout all the time, but people expect to see her around the shipyard. I still stick out like a sore thumb.
Outside the door, I heard a heated argument. I wished I had a glass to hold against the door. Their voices were just beyond the limit of understanding. Heart pounding in my chest, I eased the door open a crack, putting my eye against that instead.
Daltry bellowed at Murphy that he'd only barter the Lady Jean in exchange for…his Jupiter’s Fancy! A Jupiter’s Fancy? What on earth is that?
“I’ve got one of me own,” Daltry murmured, “but ye can never have too many precious things, can you? That’s me price, Murphy. Give me your Jupiter’s Fancy, and you can have the Lady Jean free and clear. It’s a hell of a good bargain.”
“Do you think me daft, Patrick Daltry? I’ll give up me Jupiter’s Fancy when pigs fly! How could I open a portal back t’ me own world if I gave it to ye?”
I almost gasped aloud, clapping my hand in front of my mouth to hold it back. So that is the secret! That’s why the maps don’t make any sense, and there are dragons soaring the skies. We are on another world!
Murphy stepped forward, chest to chest with Daltry. “Ye had yer chance, Paddy—but ye had t’ git greedy.” He pulled his dirk and stabbed the man in the belly. Then, Murphy began rifling through the things on the desk—he held up a sheet of parchment in triumph and shoved it in his coat.
He jerked open all the drawers of the desk until he crowed in victory and picked up a glowing green orb, tucking that into his coat as well—was that this Fancy thing? It reminded me of what I had seen in Murphy’s cabin.
“Thanks, matey,” he growled. “I knew we could come to an arrangement.”
He started toward the door, and I ducked away, my heart slamming against my ribs. As soon as I rounded the corner of the office, I took to my heels, running as fast as I could.
I’ve managed to sneak a bit of pencil stub from the ship’s doctor, and a few scraps of paper from the cook. I’m recording my thoughts with them so I can reveal Black Jack Murphy’s infamy when I finally return to civilization.
There’s a universal truth about pirates. They hunt treasure, and they don’t care who they have to rob to get it.
There’s a universal truth about dragons. They hoard treasure, and they really don’t like for people to try and take it.
I was kidnapped by the infamous air pirate Black Jack Murphy and his crew of the airship The Lady Jean. They wanted me to chronicle their dragon hunts. Little did Murphy know where my sympathies lie! So, this journal — and the resulting CD, coming soon from Mage Records “Pirates vs. Dragons” — tell the true stories of Pirates vs. Dragons. The CD combines rousing sea shanties about pirates being pirates with songs about the majesty of dragons, and the journal details the privations I suffered. There’s a little something for both sides here–and I bet you find a new favorite or two.