Joshamee Gibbs looked across at his drinking companion, who had just
returned from the tavern's bar with two more tankards of rum. The fellow was
a generous enough compatriot, if a bit dour. But then, with Jack absent,
t'was no wonder.
"Would you mind telling me something, Joshamee?"
"Spin ye a yarn, is 'at what ye want?"
"Not as such, no. Or... perhaps," The fellow paused and slugged back some
more of his drink, rushed enough to cause a dribble to escape the corner of
his mouth. Not at all like his usual fastidious nature, but then the rum had
been flowing freely for some time. "Tell me a bit about you and that Cotton
fellow. It's hard to think of a more unlikely pair of matelots as the two of
Josh sent a silent skeptical gaze at the other man, raising one brow and one
corner of a grizzled, stubbly lip. Even incognito in this dingy little
tavern at the far corner of town, it wouldn't be wise to mention another set
of gentlemen; a pair of blokes what might be pointed out as being even
more unlikely partners.
"John? We're fair boon mates, aye, him'n'me."
"Tell me a story of the two of you."
And so Gibbs proceeded to do so.
John 'n me, we're tight as fleas. Marty says it's on account of me ne'er
shuttin' my trap fer more'n a second, and John bein' a mute, o'course.
S'fair cop, I'm thinkin'.
John's the only bloke who ne'er gave me any lip, that's true for certain,
and t'was only that oncet that he an' me ended in a bit of a dustup.
Full-blown donnybrook that was, but we're still mates an' all...
Oh? 'ave I not tol' ye that one?
Thought sure I had.
Well. T'is a bit of an embarrassin' tale, actually. I'd rather ye didn' let
it go no further. Kin ye keep this one close t'the vest? Aye.
Not particularly proud of me actions, that day.
We'd pulled th'Pearl into a little atoll, out southeast of Bahama
way. Shipworms had become terribly pestiferous, and we'd stumbled on the
wreck of a Carolina timber hauler the previous week. Made off with the best
third of 'er cargo, and went t'find a quiet corner to haul the lady up onto
a shoal fer a solid refit of 'er lovely black bottom. heh.
T'was a likely little spot fer t'make 'er tidebound. Not a very big island,
but well suited to our needs, and as it was June, the fruit trees was all
laden with pendulous treasures. Better'n a hold full o'doubloons, after a
long stretch at sea. We'd been there, oh, long about three days, an' we'd
framed and carved and shaved enough timbers that we needed only a string of
low tides t' finish 'er off. But the tides won't rush fer nobody, not even
fer th'likes o' Captain Jack Sparrow. So we was given a bit o' shore leave.
Shoulda seen all of us scuttle fer that island, lookin' fer a little bit o'
solitude. Gets mighty close, all crammed 'board a ship fer too long. I
stayed close t'the shoreline, circlin' round t'the northwest, where any sea
wrack might most like t'have been tossed. Never know what might turn up out
of the Atlantic. 'Sides, the harvest was ripest round the sunny edges of the
I'd stopped a few times on me way 'round, eaten a couple of th'big yellow
papaya fruits growin' in the shade of the palms. But I were still lookin'
for the real prize: a mango tree.
I do love me a juicy, ripe mango.
I were walkin' just above the high-water line, toeing the seaweed and
crabshell for any little bit of interestin' flotsam, and hopin' t'find me
that mango tree. That's when I saw 'im.
He'd been dead more'n a year, I reckon, not a scrap o'flesh left on 'is
bones. A skeleton only, held in place by the fabric of his breeches an'
waistcoat. Fisherman, navyman, or pirate; no way of tellin' at this point.
But one o'the three for sure, as he'd a lovely carven pegleg, fair-bedecked
with various motifs of sea and shore.
I crouched and rifled his pockets, lookin' fer a bit o'boodle. Found naught
worth the trouble, jes' a button, a few shells, a wooden spoon, an' a tiny
swatch o' some silken goods, remem'ry of some sweetheart, I 'magine.
Took a slosh from me flask, in 'is honor. All th' sailors, lost at sea...
That pegleg were a pretty sight, an' might fetch me a bit in Nassau; the
leather straps would need replacin', but all in all, t'was in quite decent
shape. Heftin' it in me hand, it felt a bit reminiscent of a bat fer
cricket. I picked up one o' the dead feller's anklebones from his one
remainin' leg, and gave 'er a toss an' a thwack.
Bone shattered in a poof o'shards. I laughed aloud. I reached down, grabbed
me a kneecap, did it again. Boom! T'were great fun.
Alright, I were bored; don' give me none o' yer chaff.
Well, so there I am, havin' a frolic, when I hears 'im comin'. John Cotton's
got this thing he did, when he'd be 'lone an' thinkin' none are 'round to
listen. We all known 'e does it, but at th'time, 'e seemed reluctant t'do so
'fore an audience, so we all shammed as if we ne'er noticed.
Oh, not proper singin', not a ditty with words an' such. But he's possessed
of fair-true melody, an' kin make e'en the birds hush t'listen to 'im. I
figure it's 'is musicality that's enamored that parrot to 'im so.
But th'parrot were off, gallivantin' over the island on whate'er business to
which parrots need t'attend, so t'were jes' John what came wanderin' out o'
those trees. His arms were piled high, face nearly buried behind the lovely
"John!" I calls to 'im, "Here! C'mere an' see what I found!"
So he ambles his way over t'me, an' I reaches down, pries off th'feller's
jawbone, an gives it a toss an' a bash. It don't explode quite so nice as
the kneecap done, but it makes a satisfyin' crackle, as it breaks into
pieces that fly into the surf.
John's mouth is hangin' agape, as I grins at 'im. I tear loose th'rest of
th'skull on the blighter, an' hefts it in me hand. "Here, man," I says to 'im,
"how's about I let ye take the swing on this here piece? Bet it'll smash up,
John drops the ripe, luscious fruit there in the soft sand, an' reaches for
th'pegleg that I proffer to 'im. I guess I was lookin' at the mangoes, an'
thinkin 'bout how ambrosial one o'them would be, and I missed his look, as
'e took the thing from me.
"Now, back up a bit, an' I'll pitch to ye..." But John jes' hauled off an'
walloped me upside the noggin with the leg. Knocked me clean to the ground,
an' I saw stars. A significant lump growin' on me biscuit, I was laid out on
th'strand like a bit o'sea wrack.
While I was still stunned, John fell on me and pummeled me an' gave me a
fair drubbin' fer me trouble. An' all the while 'e's makin' these eerie
keenin' noises, 'e's so galled as to 'ave forgotten t'be abashed of 'is
Well, I does me best t'get 'im off me without injurin' 'im much, but he's a
wildman, poundin' and intent on givin' me thorough wax-job. Finally, I seen
he's not going to give up, so I jes' goes all limp, an' lie there t'take it.
Only a few more abrasions an' contusions were necessary, afore he left off.
Then, he took up the skull where it lay on the gravel and shell, an' gently
replaced it atop the shoulders of Mr. Bones, a-sobbin' all the while.
Aye, I known meself fer an iniquitous sinner, then. Defacin' th'dead for
nobbut a moment's amuse.
He was trying t'bury the poor bloke, diggin' an' coverin' as best he could.
I come up behind 'im, tried t'give assistance, but he rounded on me again,
gave me another larrup with that prodigious prosthesis, So I left 'im be.
He'd enshrouded most of the body, leavin' naught but the head exposed, when
he goes t'fishin' in 'is breeches, seekin' his pouch. Out he pulls it,
findin' there's but one silver coin remainin' him. His shoulders shake,
silent in despair.
I ken his intent. I search me own breeches fer the coinpurse I keep secreted
there. Two coppers, not worth as much as John's one silver, but the last I
Widow's mite, I s'pose. Maybe a bit of atonement, held in these? I try an'
pass them to John.
He hesitates, then takes them, and lays one o'er each orb-socket. His own
eyes close tight, an' 'e begins some sort of gruntin' vocalization:
hoo hanh hih heya,...
So I joins him:
...hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come...
We lashed a stick as a crossbar on th'pegleg, t'give the dead man a
semblance of a cruciform to mark his resting place. I don't know what the
Good Lord thought o' all this, but at least John forgive me enough t' share
a couple of 'is lovely mangoes with me.
'e also shared a bit more'n jes' the sweet fruit on that there beach, heh.
*wink* But that's another tale, fer another time.
"That's quite a tale, as per usual," James leaned forward, conspiritorily,
"but I was actually hoping that you might oblige me with something more
along the lines of a real Gibbs yarn."
Joshamee grinned at his long-ago commanding officer, and his current
captain's clandestine courtier. "S'not my fault you an'Jack haven't managed
a rondee-voo in a month of Sundays. I tol' Jack he oughter come with me this
trip t' Port Royal, but he's under th'impression that ye can't keep that
Leftenant Gillette o' your'n on a short-enough leash."
"Gillette is a bit of a nuisance, yes, but hardly an insurmountable threat."
James's brow furrowed with a bit of worry.
Gibbs divined Norrington's unspoken fear; Jack had tired of this game of
sneak-down-the-alley and sought greener, safer pastures in which to slake
his carnal desires. And deeper fear, that lust was all held the pirate's
interest in the commodore.
A low, throaty chuckle escaped him. "James, listen to old Josh fer a minute,
'ere. Word come down of a Spanish convoy out'a Barra Patucca, headed fer
th'Windward Passage an' ripe fer th'takin'. Full-laden with gold an' tax
monies. Sparrow's been doin' his bes' t'keep his mitts of'n yer various
charges, an' it means th' pickin's 'ave been slimmer. 'E couldn't pass up
this chance, not wi'out riskin' a mutiny on th'Pearl." He placed a
hand on the shoulder beside his own. "Only reason the Pearl could spare me
is this order from the chandler's got t'be paid fer, an' taken delivery
afore the end of th'month, or it's up fer auction fer th'lot. We've need of
the new fittings, an Marty can't make do with the odds & knobs we've left
us, no more." Gibbs lowered his voice and leaned in to murmur in James' ear,
"Jack would 'ave been 'ere if he could, sure as th'sun will rise. Still
right daft o'er ye, 'e is. Lord only knows why."
"Surely, a pirate captain is presented with greater opportunity to indulge
the libidinous craving, than one in my own damnable position." James knocked
back more of his rum, seeking to quell his self-pitying state, but only
worsening the condition. Hanging his head over his drained cup, he said,
"Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me he's not been..." His voice choked off.
"Now, why would I give ye a lie like that, James? Jack's got a good right
hand, same as you do. But apparently, ye've fergott'n the uses of yers!"
Josh elbowed James roughly. "Mayhap ye need t'go back t'the nursery fer some
lessons, eh lad?" Gibbs grinned, and reached under the trestle, placing a
hand on the other man's thigh. "I'd be glad to give ye a refresher."
Gibbs sturdy wrist was twisted sharply by the Commodore's grip. "Were it not
imperative that I not draw attention to myself here, I would scour the floor
with those whiskers of yours," he whispered fiercely.
"Jes' trying t' 'elp." Gibbs laughed again, pulling his arm free to suck at
the stinging skin there. "A real Gibbs yarn, is that what ye be wantin'
then? Me throat's a wee bit dry for tale-spinnin'..."
"More rum?" James raised his hand to signal the barkeep. The night was a
busy one, but he managed to catch the man's eye, and received a nod and a
waggled finger, indicating they'd be served at the next possible moment.
James had been tipping well. And the man was in his pay as an informant,
anyway. He often came to this public house in search of subtle intelligence.
Soon, the tavernmaster stood before their table. "Another round of the same,
"Actually, if'n ye don't mind, I'd rather have a bit of th'mescal ye serve
here. Learned a taste fer it in th'Navy, when Cap'n Hammond poured the rum
over the side, an' we had to..." Gibbs' narrative was quashed by a stern
look from Norrington. "Well, that's a much longer story than ye'll be
wanting t'hear this night, I'm sure," Gibbs ended graciously.
"Mescal, eh? I've heard that drink can be dangerous." James demurred.
"Ye ne'er seemed like a fellow what shirked at danger much, James."
"Courageous is not a synonym for foolhardy."
"It's jes' a strong drink. Don' tell me ye can't handle yer liquor?"
Norrington paused, then turned to ask their host, "Would you recommend
The barkeep's composure suffered an amused twitch. "Oh, I believe it's a
beverage that every gentleman ought to sample, at least once in 'is
adventures, sir. T'is really rather palatable, once one becomes accustomed
to it. Just..."
"Yes?" The commodorial eyebrow quirked.
"Not too much all at once, if you please, sir; it can have an unusual
effect on some fellers. Not that I believe you'll be one of those who suffer
such a fate." But the bartender eyed Gibbs suspiciously, as if thinking that
perhaps that might not be the case for all of the present company.
"Jes' bring us th'bottle, mate." Gibbs said gleefully, "I'll see he don't
come to no 'arm." At the commodore's nod, the bottle was indeed produced.
Not the golden cast of the more typical rum, nor the deeper browns of the
occasional whiskey shipped in from the American colonies, but a
silvery-clear liquid sloshing viscously up the sides.
"You were going to tell me the rest of that tale?" James prompted.
"Drink up, man," Josh replied. "This one'll curl the hair on yer balls."
"The mescal, or the story?"
Gibbs winked. "Both, aye."
Norrington sipped cautiously, and his eyebrows rose in surprise. Not as
sweet as rum, nor as smooth as a good barley distillation from Scotland, but
with a tang of desert herbs and the hint of fragrant night-blooming plants
of the tropics. "To curling one's hair, once in a while," he toasted his
companion, tapping their earthenware of their mugs together. "Now, you were
telling of the sharing of mangoes... and a good deal more?" A slow smirk was
all the encouragement Gibbs needed to continue.
Aye, t'were a warm afternoon there on the beach where we'd buried Old
Boneybritches, and we'd built a bit of a thirst with that brawl we'd had. I
offered John a swig from me flask, but he disdained it, instead cutting in
to the first of 'is mangoes, lyin' there in the scattered pile where 'e'd
dropped 'em to give me that crack on the knob.
T'was an indication of how riled he still be, that he dinnae offer me none,
not 'til he started in on 'is third.
But by then, his choler had dropped more'n enough to pass me a nice, red
specimen of the fruit. It took nearly all my strength not to chomp straight
into it, suck down every last morsel of the juicy thing. But I've always
been canny of the main chance. One mango is a lovely thing, but a trusted
mate is a pearl beyond price, and one unselfish deed can mean the difference
between months at sea with a companion or with a calumniator.
I took me knife and cut into the thick, rubbery skin of the orb in my hand.
Juice gushed between my fingers, as I took the first slice, carefully
separated the meat from the peel, and held a little golden crescent-moon of
honey-sweetness with my fingers.
Sliding my arse across the sand, I moved in close to John.
I brushed his bristled chin with the backs of me knuckles, to warn him of my
intent, then brushed 'is lips with the tip of the fruit. "C'mon, John,
theresaluv... Open up for me," I says, and it's a phrase I've used a time or
three, in other situations, shall we say. Brings a fond glint to 'is eye, it
He sucks on the tip of the slice, mouth makin' a delicious little "O" as I
slides it on in, and then he brings those teeth of his together in a fierce
chomp that severs the thing at the halfway mark. His grin as he chews
dribbles a bit of the liquid down his chin, an' I lean in to give 'is beard
a quick lap with me tongue.
Waste not. heh.
Poor John, it's never a pretty sight, watchin' the feller try to swallow a
large mouthful. He's without the aid of most of 'is tongue, but I've grown
accustomed to 'is face. He tilts back, so the bit of stump 'e's got left 'im
can be of use, and...
..oh. Nevermind that part then. sorry.
So, John swallows an' gives me a grin, and lifts 'is own mango to me face,
t'give me a bite.
I gives a bite, alright; jes' not to the mango. He's got this spot on his
neck where he likes it, right about here... and he's rather fond a little
nip in the pursuit of pleasure. But I made sure that mango didn't land in
the sand, neither. After some attention was paid to the nuzzle and I'd
consoled the little red mark with my lips, I took up my own mango, and his,
and held them up together.
Ye should have seen John's face light up when I took 'em an' began t'slide 'em
against each other, nice and slow and easy. Mango's slippery stuff.
Slipperier than ye might imagine.
The juice was runnin' down me sleeves to the elbows, an' John's always of a
mind to keep clothing from having to face too much time on the washline, so
he comes after me shirt-buttons, and I'm not unwillin' to assist. After we
get meself divested, we lay the fruit on me shirt, and I help John take off
his, well... might as well take it all off, since we both know where we're
I was jes' shuckin' me breeches off me ankles when I noticed him.
He's watchin' me an' John from the bushes.
An' he's seen I seen 'im.
Well, now. Time for a little bit o'flourish, then, wouldn't ye say? So I
takes up the opened mangoes, an' I sucks a bit of juice into my mouth, and
then I takes them both and rubs them up and down John's chest, and then on
lower, and I gives him a goodly coat of sweet, sticky, slithery...
I never tasted a man so good. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, that was the best
flavor I've encountered in many a long year, if'n you'll pardon the
blaspheme. Tongue all up an down the length of him, and he did firm up right
quick at the sensation, aye. It wasn't long afore I could feel 'im throb,
right at the brink.
So I stopped. There were more I was wantin', an knowin' Jack was givin' us
the spy-eye gave it that little extra sizzle, as if there was a few
capsicums in the soup.
I leaned over to the pile of ripe fruit there next to us, still plenty of 'em
left, and I took two more, and gave 'em each a stab, sliced off a pair of
wide cheeks from each of them. Then I laid down, and placed 'em on my own
chest, as a sort of invitation t'John.
John's not slow to take a hint. Soon I was covered in plenty of the lovely,
slick liquid, and John was entertainin' himself by giving me own self a
nibble and a taste. John's got the most mobile and mischievous mouth I've
known; those lips of his are capable of things a Tortugan whore would pay
money to have lessoned to her. He left me covered in the marks of his
progress, raked my skin with those straight incisors of his, and suckled me
red in so many places that I looked more scarred than Sparrow himself.
Now there's something you must know. John may not have much of a tongue, but
the little he's got, he can use to excellent effect on certain rather lonely
parts of the anatomy. He's got a jaw can practically unhinge like a snake's,
an' he's posessed of the most gentlest touch on the balls. When he takes'em
both in at once, it can make a feller think ye've died and gone t'heaven.
But the best, that's when he takes yer cock deep in, that bit of tongue at
the very tip, a-circlin' and a-swirlin'... It's enough to drive a feller
around the bend with madness.
I were right close meself, when John took a goodly handful of the mango,
slicked his fingers an' his hand, and made to see if there might possibly be
a lovely port for 'is approachin' storm. I 'llowed how there jes' might be
one of those ports handy, aye.
As John quested for entry, I thought to meself, "I wonder if anyone else has
ever discovered a mango for such use?" which of course brought to mind the
varied exploits of the captain, and so I gave a glance over to the shrubbery
where he'd been concealed before. Aye, still there. Jack seemed to be
enjoyin' the scenery quite a bit, kneeling with his britches dropped to the
thighs, and right hand giving himself a bit of assistance, so t'speak. He's
far too pretty with his jaw slack like that, to my mind.
But my attention didn't drift for long, as John replaced fingers with his
eager, fruity prick, and I was taken in hand; luscious, glossy mango-coated
hand that wrapped me warm and tight and moved. Hot sand crunched
under my shoulders, and I slid my legs higher, t'help John reach that deep,
John cried out first, but I held my breath, and listened for Jack's muffled
gasp before releasing my own pleasurable sounds.
Aye. I do love me a nice, juicy, ripe mango.
He found himself laying back on the bed, as the other man's fingers traced
fine lines of molten blaze over his skin. Up the arms, across the chest,
down the belly, out to the hands once again, up the arms, across the
chest...a little lower on the belly this time...
It was hypnotic, and even more so because of his drunken state. Four
tankards of rum had barely touched his sobriety, but that single mugfull of
the silvery, sharp-tasting alcohol had knocked James out of his senses.
"What...?" The face before him came into focus. For a moment all James could
register for an identity was the existence of an awful lot of skin, and an
awful lot of hair.
For some reason, the fellow kneeling atop him was unclothed; for some,
likely identical reason, so was James.
What the hell have I gotten myself into? he wondered.
"Oh, ye decided to come back t'wakefulness, after all! Tha's lovely. Thought
ye might have been one o'the fellers what jes' passes out from it."
"What was in that drink?" James demanded.
"Well, I hear they make it from some sort o'cactusy sort of thing, over away
west in the Spanish Colonies." Gibbs leered at the woozy commodore, "Now,
shall we get back to where we was, when ye decided ye preferred a wee kip
t'me amorous attentions? Ye've not been the politest of gentleman this eve,
Oh. My. Lord. thought James, as the room spun about him.
Then he saw the pile of mangoes on the bedstand.
James began to chuckle. In a lesser man, it might even have been termed a
This should be...
Special Note: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.
Mangoes can cause an allergic dermatitis reaction in some people. which um.
yeah. NOT GOOD NOT GOOD.