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《The Price Of Freedom》的最終章〈The Black Pearl〉,附原文+自翻中譯。

 

One sunny morning in the pirate town of Tortuga, Captain Jack Sparrow headed purposefully up the dock toward his new, coal-black ship. In each hand, he carried a bottle of rum. Reaching the gangplank, he sashayed up it, then stepped down onto the black deck. His recently acquired crew of buccaneers, realizing that something important was in the offing―and that the“something” quite likely involved rum―gathered around him.

It was a beautiful day in the Caribbean, perfect for a maiden voyage. The sun was so brilliant it could nearly blind a man as it reflected off the water. Mindful of that, Jack, remembering the kohl his ladies had used on their eyes to such good effect, had acquired some of the black substance in Tortuga. When he'd dressed this morning, Jack had carefully applied the kohl to both his upper and lower lids. He was pleased with the result. It really did cut down on the glare, and, he thought, gave him quite a dash-ing air. His beard was coming along nicely. Jack was thinking about doing something distinctive with it when it got a bit longer. Perhaps he'd loop it up and tie it? Or maybe braid it?

Jack grinned at his crew, revealing the flash of two gold teeth. He'd needed work done on another front tooth for a while, and he'd figured, as long as he had the gold from the secret compartment in his cabin, he might as well use it on that problematical tooth.

A bit more than half of that gold was gone, now, but Jack figured it had been worth it to properly provision and supply his magnificent new vessel. His negotiations with Davy Jones had specified that his ship be properly armed, but all his impressive new guns required a suffcient amount of powder and cannonballs.

“All right, lads, follow me!” Jack shouted, beckoning to his men. In Tortuga's best tradition, they were a motley bunch of ruffians, scarred, tattooed. and armed to their often blackened teeth.

Smiling happily, Jack, followed by his crew, wended his way up to the bow of the ship, past her black hatches, up the starboard bow ladder bordered by the black railings, past her black foremast. He came to a halt where the bow narrowed, culminating in the long, black bowsprit. On each side of the bow hung a black anchor. Between the anchors and beneath the bowsprit lay Jack's immediate goal:the ship's figurehead, a graceful black angel, cupping her outstretched left hand to release a black dove into flight. It was a beautiful figurehead, and completely new to the ship.

Jack sometimes wondered why Davy Jones had felt it necessary to supply Jack's ship. the resurrected and transformed Wicked Wench, with a figurehead. The original Wench didn't have one.

Putting down one of the bottles of rum, Jack jumped down into the forecastle, moving as far forward as he could, so he was standing right above the black angel. Balancing himself by placing his booted foot up on the lower part of the black side rail, Jack couldn't help admiring his new footgear for a moment. They were still a little stiff, having been com-pleted just this week by the best cobbler in Tortuga. Ah, pirate boots. One could really swagger while wearing them, couldn't one?

“Mates, please listen up!” Jack waved the bottle of rum he was still holding. “Your captain has an announcement to make!” His crew stopped murmuring, giving him―or was it the rum?―their full attention.

“My fellow shipmates,” Jack said, accompanying his oration with a sweeping gesture,“today we set out on our new enterprise, seeking adven-ture, swag, and fame. And, perhaps, rum and salty wenches.” He winked broadly, and his crew responded with guffaws, elbowing each other. Jack had made sure to select only candidates with a sense of humor. This new ship was going to be a happy one; he just knew it.“And so, mates, I would like to inaugurate our maiden voyage by following tradition and smashing a bottle over our lovely angel here. May she keep us safe, and guide us on our journeys!

Jack leaned over, took aim at the figurehead, raised the bottle of rum, and gave it a vigorous swing―

―only to stop his hand before the glass touched the wooden angel's wing.

He straightened up.“Gentlemen, I find meself incapable of smashing―and thus wasting―a bottle of perfectly good rum. That would be a sin, gents, now wouldn't it?

Grinning, his men indicated their complete agreement. Jack raised the rum bottle to his lips, grabbed the cork in his teech, and pulled. The cork came free. He spat it out. “That's better! Mates, I now libate―if there indeed be such a word, which I rather doubt―our lovely angel here. May she watch out for us, keep us safe, and guide us on our journeys!

Leaning over, Jack splashed a generous dollop of rum over the angel's head. Then, raising the rum high, he shouted, “I christen thee...the Black Pearl!” He took a large gulp of the rum, feeling the lovely burn as it coursed its way down his gullet. “Here's to me lovely Black Pearl, gents. Please toast our beautiful lady with me!”

The crew erupted into assorted cheers. “Huzzah! Hurray for Captain Sparrow! Cheers for the Black Pearl! Huzzah for the Black Pearl!

Climbing back up out of the forecastle, Jack passed the open bottle to his new quartermaster, a villainous-looking Dutchman named Jan van der Groote. Then he pulled the cork on the other bottle, took another drink, and started that one making the rounds, too. He hadn't managed to find a first mate yet. Maybe there'd be someone in Shipwreck Cove....

Even though he'd promised himself that he'd focus on the future, not the past, Jack found himself thinking of Robby for a moment. He hoped his friend had reached shore safely, dug up his share of the pharaoh's reward. then used the gold to go back to England and buy himself a snug little farm. Maybe Robby would actually pursue that whole seminary and talking orders notion. The lad really would make a good minister. He was probably the only Englishman Jack had  ever met that really tried to live his beliefs―yet managed not to be a prig about it. He deserved that farm and that vicar's collar, and a rosy-cheeked girl who was plump in all the right places....

The cheering was dying down now. Both bottles of rum were empty, which was no surprise. Jack wet his finger and held it up, as a breeze tugged at his loose hair. It was long now, past his shoulders. He nodded. The winds were favorable. Time to go.

Cupping his hands around his mouth, Jack bellowed,“All hands! Make sail! Prepare to cast off on my order! Helm, stand by to set course! Cheerily, lads!

Jack strode back and forth, watching, evaluating the response of his crew. The great black sails rose. as the sweating men heaved on the lines. Jack wasn't satisfied with the effort they were putting into it.“You call that heaving?” he sneered. “I've seen grandmothers that could do better! Try it again, with a will, and lively, you barnacle-encrusted lummoxes! Heave!

“Cast off all lines!

The tempo of work increased. Jack looked up, shading his eyes against the sun. I must get myself a bloody hat.

As the Black Pearl got under way, gliding out of the harbor, Jack headed up to the quarterdeck. His helmsman, a young Spaniard named Domingo Velasquez, who had proudly told Jack that his father had sailed aboard Venganza under command of Don Rafael, looked at him expectantly. Jack gave him his course. It was odd to be up here, on the quarterdeck. with everything painted black, instead of the chestnut color of the Wicked Wench. But he'd known that black paint would hide the burn marks most effec-tively. And besides...a black ship with black sails, a fast black ship with black sails, was the stuff on which legends were built, here in the Caribbean.

”You will be pleased when we clear the harbor and put up the t'gallants and royals,” Jack told Domingo.“I believe that with the wind, the Pearl will be the fastest ship you've ever sailed on. Uncatchable, savvy?”

Jack felt confident that his boast would prove true. So far, Davy Jones had fulfilled his side of the bargain admirably. Jack had been very careful when he'd negotiated, making his terms very precise.

Captain of the fastest pirate vessel in the Caribbean, Jack thouhh. Faster than Venganza. Esmeralda is going to lost that red hat of hers....

Jack took a deep breath of the sea air, and felt his soul sing within him. And I've still got it, my ruddy soul...for thirteen more years at least....

Thirteen years. And after that, Jack belonged to Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman, body and soul, to serve for a hundred years. Old Squid-face drove a hard bargain.

Thirteen years wasn't all that long a time....

Jack shivered, then resolutely gave himself a mental shake. Something would turn up. Somehow he'd get out of the bargain. I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, he thought. And I'm good at getting myself out of situations. I'll figure something out....

Jack wandered over to the other side of the quarterdeck, turned his back on the helmsman, then reached beneath Amenirdis's sash to extract Tia Dalma's compass. He flipped it open to check their heading. Right on course.

Jack wasn't taking any chances of running afoul of Teague, or any of the other Pirate Lords who might be sailing the Caribbean. He was taking the Pearl straight to Shipwreck Cove, and there he would clear his name. He had Christophe's sword, and he knew Esmeralda would speak for him. And after that? Jack grinned. Merchant ships here on the Spanish Main were going to need their white flags. Particularly ships sailing under the flag of the East India Trading Company. Captain Jack Sparrow planned to honor them with special attention.

He pulled up both sleeves. The burns on his left arm, and the “P” brand on his right arm, were nearly healed and no longer pained him. His first tattoo, which he'd had put just above the “P” brand, was still a bit ten-der, but that was to be expected. Jack flexed his right forearm with satisfac-tion. The tattoo artist had done a nice job. The tattoo depicted a sparrow, flying free, over stylized ocean waves. Most fitting, Jack thought, pulling down his sleeve. Because this particular Sparrow is going to fly fast, and far, and free....

Jack headed  down the ladder to the captain's quarters. He sighed when he looked at the dark walls. He missed his bright colors. Perhaps he'd get the place repainted, when he had a bit of time.

Most of his belongings had perished in the fire, but his sword, pistol, and, of course, the contents of his sea chest had survived. He'd gotten a new baldric for his cutlass, one with a fancy silver buckle.

Jack rummaged through his sea chest until he pulled out two large rectangles of silk. One was white. He'd need it to be allowed to approach Shipwreck Island for a parlay. Otherwise, the cannons mounted on the cliff walls would make short work of his Pearl―and he couldn't have that. He'd sacrificed too much for this ship. He intended to sail with her for a long, long time. Rather like a marriage, he supposed.

The other rectangle he withdrew was his own flag. He was still refin-ing it. Against a black silk background, a white skull was shown in profile. In the upper right-hand corner, a red sparrow took wing. Very classy, Jack thought, proudly. Though the workmanship can't possibly compare to Amenirdis's. Should I hoist it, in honor of the Pearl's maiden voyage? Jack shrugged. Why not?

Carrying his flag, he went back out and strolled the weather deck, making sure everything was in order. When he was satisfied that all was shipshape, Jack went over to one of his hands, a burly black man, whose speech patterns reminded him a bit of Chamba.

“Good morning, Kwame.”

“Mornin' Cap'n Sparrow. It be a joli day, yes?”

“Extremely joli, ”Jack agreed. “I thought it would be nice to run up me flag on our maiden voyage. Will you do the honors?” He handed Kwame the folded black silk.

“Aye, Cap'n!”

Jack headed back up to the quarterdeck. He got there just in time to see his flag ascend to the top of the mast, and flutter there, black as ink and bold as brass. Seeing it, Jack nodded. Turning to Domingo, he smiled. “I'd like to take her for while.”

The wind had picked up, whipping Jack's unbound hair across his face, into his mouth, and eyes. “Stand by, Domingo, ”Jack said. Reaching beneath his sash, he found a small, folded bulge of fabric, and tugged it free. Esmeralda's red bandanna.

Jack faced into the wind, and, as his hair blew back, he wrapped the bandanna around his head and secured it.“There! Much better, don't you think?”

 “Si, Captain!”

Stepping over to the wheel again, Jack raised his hands, sliding his fin-gers over the familiar spokes, caressing them. The wheel was darker than it had been before, but it wasn't quite black. Jack glanced at the binnacle, and felt the life of his ship beneath his feet. Black against the blue sky, his flag fluttered.

After glancing at the waves, Jack turned the wheel ever so slightly, mak-ing sure the sails were precisely as he wanted them. As usual, his ship was yar. If anything, the Black Pearl was even more responsive than she'd been befoer she'd surged up from the sea bottom in a mighty burst of magic. As Jack had clung to her mast, wide-eyed, his reborn ship had coasted serenely into Tortuga Harbor―the destination Jack had specified to Jones.

Jack remembered little of the “Journey” that had taken them from the African Coast to Tortuga Harbor. There had been the sensation of incredible, rushing momentum, then a bright flash of green that had daz-zled his eyes, and then...he was back.

“She goes good, si, Captain?” Domingo said.

Jack smiled.“She goes very good indeed,” he said.

Joy filled him. He was free, and he had his Pearl...surely life could hold no more.“Let go the t'gallant and sheet home, lads,” he shouted. “Catch that wind and put her to work!” Jauntily, Jack Sparrow began to whistle―the same pirate jig that he and Eameralda had danced to, long ago...in another lifetime.

Obedient to her captain's will, the Black Pearl followed her dark angel over the azure water; as fast as the wind, as free as the men who sailed her. It was almost as though she knew she was a legend in the making, destined for adventures both great and terrible....

 

THE BEGINNING

 

一個陽光明媚的早晨,在龜島的海盜城鎮中,傑克.斯派洛船長雙手共拿著三瓶蘭姆酒,熟門熟路的往碼頭的方向,朝著他一艘全新的,炭黑色的船前進。他來到上船用的踏板前,並大步地走上它,然後踏上那艘船的黑色甲板。他最近招募到的海盜船員,都明白將有某些重要的事情即將發生―而那「某些事情」極有可能與蘭姆有關―他們聚集過來,圍繞著他。

 

這是一個在加勒比中風和日麗的一天,完美的首航日。陽光是如此的燦爛,水面如鏡般反射的波光瀲灩,幾乎讓人眩目的睜不開眼。傑克留意到這一點,他想起他的女士們會用一種眼影粉塗在她們的眼眶上,如此便能達到良好的遮擋效果,他先前已經在龜島獲得了一些那種黑色的物質。這天早晨,當他著裝完畢,便仔細地在上眼臉和下眼臉塗上那種眼影粉。成果很令他滿意,那真的降低了刺眼的眩光;而且,他望著自己想,那給了他一個目光非常炯炯有神的樣貌。他的鬍子良好的生長著,在沒長到太長以前,他也不再去修剪它。傑克當時思索著要在他長得夠長的鬍子上做一個與眾不同的變化。也許他可以把它繞成環狀然後綁住它?或者是把它編成辮子?

 

傑克衝著他的船員們咧著嘴笑著,展示兩顆閃亮亮的金牙。他還需要一段時間來加工他的另一顆門牙,而且他料想,只要他船艙裡的秘密隔層中有黃金製品,他可能就會使用它用在他看中的牙齒上。

但現實是,有一半以上的機率是那些黃金製品也已經失去了,不過傑克並不太在乎,他認為給他壯麗宏偉的新船適當的裝備與補給是更有意義。他與戴維.瓊斯的談判已詳細列舉了他的船要有適當的武裝,另一方面,所有他令人印象深刻的新的大砲都需要足夠量的藥粉與砲彈。

「好了,伙伴們,跟我來!」傑克高喊著,舉著手示意他的夥計們快跟上。他們是一群混雜的惡棍,可說是龜島最典型的代表,身上或臉上都有傷疤,和一些奇怪的紋身,而且還會加工他們總是弄得黑髒的牙齒。

傑克很滿意的笑著,他的船員們遵從地跟隨他,朝向那艘船的船艏走去,先經過她黑色的艙口,然後登上右舷舷艏旁的艏樓階梯,一路走過她漆黑的欄杆,再經過她同樣漆黑的前桅。最後來到船艏的收窄處,在那延長的,黑色的船艏斜桅前,他停了下來。船艏兩側都掛著黑色的巨大船錨。在船錨之間的船艏斜桅下方設置著傑克此時的目標:那艘船裝飾船頭的船艏像,一位美麗優雅的黑天使,她伸展的左手,臂彎弧線優美,掌心托送著一只黑色的展翅欲飛的鴿子。那是一個很美麗的船艏像,而且,對這艘船而言,那完全是新的事物。

傑克有時真的很想知道為什麼戴維.瓊斯會認為那是必須配給他的船的物品。使邪惡女郎復活並加了船艏像改變她的外觀。他不會再有一艘原來的女郎號了。

傑克放下其中一瓶蘭姆,接著跳下艏樓,盡可能的沿著船艏斜桅向它的末端移動,直到他準確的來到那位黑天使的正上方。傑克把他穿著靴子的雙足踩在比斜桅低一點的黑色的側欄上,使自己能站得平穩。傑克忍不住欣賞了一會兒他新的靴子,它們依然還有點不適腳的僵硬,因為就在那個星期,它們才由龜島中最好的鞋匠製造完成。阿,海盜靴子,一個人穿著它們時,真的可以昂首闊步,不是嗎?

「伙伴們,聽好了!」傑克搖晃著他依然握著的那瓶蘭姆。「你們的船長要開始宣布!」他的船員們停止了低語,給了他―或是他手中的蘭姆?―全部的注意力。

「我的同船傢伙們,」說著的同時,傑克揮動著手勢,「今天,我們將會動身新的計畫,尋找刺激的冒險、寶藏,然後我們會出名。然後,也許也會有蘭姆跟淫亂的蕩婦。」他使了個明顯的眼色,他的船員們立刻大笑著做出回應,且用肘部推著彼此。傑克確信他只選擇了那些有意者中具有幽默感的人們。這艘新船將會是有著歡快氣氛的一艘;他非常肯定這一點。「所以,伙伴們,按照傳統,我要為我們的首航舉行儀式,擊碎一個瓶子在我們美麗的天使上。願她會守護我們的安全且在旅途中引導我們!」

 

傑克俯下身,對著船艏像舉起蘭姆酒瓶,然後用力的朝她敲去——

 

——他的手當玻璃瓶撞及天使的木造翅膀後才停住。

他接著站直身體,「先生們,我認為沒有擊得粉碎―而從浪費——一瓶非常好的蘭姆。這將是一個罪過,先生們,難道不是嗎?

他的船員們咧著嘴笑著,顯示他們完全的同意那句話。傑克舉起另一瓶蘭姆到他嘴邊,用牙齒咬住軟木塞,然後拔起。木塞脫離瓶口後,他便隨口吐掉它。「這是更好的!伙伴們,現在我向她祭酒―如果真的是這個詞的話,不過我還真有點懷疑―我們美麗的天使,願她留意著我們,守護我們的安全,且在旅途中引導我們!

傑克再一次彎下身,灑下大量的蘭姆到天使的頭上,接著將酒瓶高舉,他大喊:「我命名她為……黑珍珠!」然後豪爽的灌了一大口蘭姆,感受著當液體沿著食道滑下時那令人愉悅的發燙感。「先生們,敬我動人的黑珍珠。請和我一起向我們美麗的小姐敬酒!」

船員們立刻爆出各式各樣的敬酒聲。「萬歲!向斯派洛船長歡呼!敬黑珍珠!黑珍珠萬歲!」

 

傑克攀爬回艏樓,將那開瓶的蘭姆遞給他新的操舵長,一位看起來很兇惡,名為詹汶德.格羅特的荷蘭人。然後拔開先前他放下的另一瓶蘭姆的木塞,又喝了一口,再交給船員們讓他們一人接一人的傳著喝一輪。他還沒有找到一位大副,也許能在沉船灣找到……

即使他答應自己,要專注於未來,而不是過往,但傑克發現他已思索著羅比的事一會兒了。他希望當時他的朋友已安全地到達岸邊,找到他的那份法老的報酬,然後用那些金子回到英格蘭,買了一棟溫暖而舒適的小農舍。也或許羅比目前已在完善的神學院裡談論著未來將從事牧師職的打算,那小子真的會是一個好牧師。他確實是傑克遇過唯一會如此盡心盡力的以他的信仰為精神支柱的英國人―不管是農舍主人還是牧師的職位,他都當之無愧。還有雙頰如玫瑰般粉嫩的豐滿姑娘,這一幅完滿的生活圖樣,溫馨的如童話一般……

 

歡呼聲現在已經越來越小。兩個蘭姆酒瓶沒有意外的,都空了。當傑克不受拘束的頭髮在微風中揚起時,他將一根手指舔濕,然後舉起它。他的頭髮現在已經長長了,過了他的肩膀。他測了風向,滿意的點點頭,是順風。是時候該起航了。

傑克將雙手環在嘴邊,然後大喊,「全員聽著!啟航!準備好聽我的命令解下船帆!把舵調整好航向!讓我們爽快的走吧!伙伴們!」

 

傑克大步的來回穿梭,觀察與評估他船員們的反應。當人手們揮灑著汗水拉動著操控索具時,那些壯麗的支索三角黑帆被升起。但傑克不能滿意他們盡力操帆的結果。「你說這叫升帆?」他譏諷地說,「連我的祖母都做得比你們好!再試一次,用你們的幹勁與活力,你們像船底的甲殼生物,愚蠢又不中用!快升帆!」

接著他又朝爬上繩梯的水手們大喊:「解下所有的收帆索!」

那些人工作的速度增加後,傑克抬起頭,迎著艷陽遮擋著他眼前的日光。我必須要有頂好帽子。

 

當黑珍珠啟航,開始流暢的滑出海港,傑克迎著風走向艉樓後甲板。他的舵手,一位年輕的名為多明哥.維拉斯庫斯的西班牙人,他曾自豪的告訴傑克,他的父親曾登上復仇號在唐.拉菲爾的指揮下行駛。他充滿期望地望著傑克,而傑克給了對方他所要的航向。在艉樓後甲板上向前望去,整艘船是很與眾不同,一切都是漆成黑色,而不是和原來的邪惡女郎一樣的栗子色。這是因為傑克明白,黑色的塗料要掩飾那些燒灼的痕跡是最有效果的。而且,除此之外……她同樣漆黑的桅杆上掛滿黑帆,一艘掛著黑帆且航速優越的黑船,這樣的特徵將會是傳說的建立,在這裡,在加勒比。

 

「當我們離開港灣且升起宏偉的上桅帆和頂桅帆後,你會感到滿意,」傑克向多明哥說明著,「我相信隨著風,珍珠號會成為你所駕駛過最快的船。她是無法被追擊到的,明白嗎?」

傑克有把握那些他所自誇的事情將會被證明都是真的。到目前為止,戴維.瓊斯已充分的履行了他那一方的交易條件。傑克與他談判時非常注意,要使他的表達方式精確明瞭。

加勒比地區最快的一艘海盜船的船長,傑克想著。比復仇號更快。埃斯梅拉達將會失去她紅色的帽子……

傑克深吸了一口海洋上舒爽的空氣,感受著他的靈魂像在他體內愉悅高歌。我仍然還有它,我完好的靈魂……至少也要給我比十三年更多的時間……

而且,過了十三年之後,傑克將會成為戴維.瓊斯與飛翔的荷蘭人號的船員,他的軀體與靈魂都必須為其服務一百年。老魷魚臉提出了一個艱難的交易條件。

十三年並不是很長的時間……

傑克打了一個寒顫,接著立即鼓舞自己,有些事情會改變,也許未來,他可以找到解決那項交易的方法。我是傑克.斯派洛船長,他想。而且我是善於使自己脫離險境。我會想出辦法的。

傑克轉身,背向他的舵手,漫步走到艉樓甲板上的另一邊,然後從伸手抽出懸掛於阿蒙尼爾迪斯的腰帶下方的蒂亞.多瑪的羅盤。他迅速地翻開它,檢視他們的方向。對的航線。

 

傑克並沒有存著僥倖的心態期望可以迴避掉與蒂格,或是其他可能會航行在加勒比的海盜王們的衝突。他將乘著珍珠號筆直地朝向沉船灣,他有了克里斯托夫的彎刀,而且他知道,埃斯梅拉達將會替他辯護。那之後呢?傑克咧嘴笑了,在從前西班牙屬地的加勒比海海域上運送貨物的船隻,會掛著他們白色的旗幟,尤其是那些東印度貿易公司所屬並為其行駛的船隻。傑克.斯派洛船長計畫要特別留意向他們致敬。

他捲起兩手的衣袖,望著他左手臂的燒傷和右手臂的「P」字烙印,傷口已經幾乎痊癒,不再使他感到疼痛。他的第一個紋身,就位在那「P」字烙印的上方,有著紋身的肌膚依然還有些敏感,一觸就痛,但是那代表著他的期望。傑克滿意的彎起他的右前臂,紋身藝術家的工作完成得很好,那個紋身描繪了一隻麻雀,自由的飛翔在風格化的洋面波浪上。這是最適合的。傑克想著,放下了他的衣袖。因為這隻獨特的麻雀將會飛得很快,飛得很遠,與自由遨翔……

 

傑克走下艉樓階梯,進入船長室。當他望著艙房中深色的艙壁時,輕輕地嘆了口氣。因為深色讓艙室看起來有些陰暗,他不由的想念起從前女郎號那明亮的顏色。也許當他有很多時間時可以再重新上漆一便,使艙房回復成原來的色彩。

他大部分的財物都在女郎號焚毀後失去,但他的彎刀、燧發槍,當然還有他水手箱內的東西,都倖存了下來。而且他有了一條新的,具有別緻的銀色扣環的刀鞘背帶以便攜帶他的彎刀。

傑克翻找著他的水手箱直到他拉出兩條長方型的絲織物。其中一條是白色的,他會需要它來談判以被允許接近沉船灣島。另外,珍珠號上的那些大砲已被安置在船舷的砲窗上,能立即開火―而且,他不能再讓她面臨險境,他已經為這艘船犧牲了太多,他已打算要與她一起,久遠的航行下去,他認為這在一定程度上,就像是婚姻關係。

另一條他取出的長方型絲織物是他自己的旗幟,他展開它端詳著。它有著黑色絲線織成的底色,上面描繪了一個白色骷髏側面的圖像。在離骷髏上面一些的右面一角,是一隻伸展著雙翅的紅色的麻雀,非常漂亮,傑克自豪地想。雖然這手藝不能跟阿蒙尼爾迪斯的相比。為了向珍珠號的首航表示敬意,我該升起它嗎?傑克聳聳肩,為什麼不?

 

他帶著旗幟走出船長室並在露天甲板上漫步巡視,以確定所有工作都在軌道上。當一切都井然有序的令他滿意時,傑克走向其中一個他的船員,一位健壯黝黑的男子,他的說話方式讓傑克有一些想到昌巴人。

「早安,卡瓦米。」傑克首先向他的伙計問好。

「早,斯派洛船長。今天是美好的一天,是嗎?」

「非常美好,」傑克很同意,「我想在我們的首航中升起我的旗幟是最好不過的。你願意做這項光榮的事?」他把摺疊好的黑色絲織旗幟交給卡瓦米。

「當然!船長!」卡瓦米順從地接過旗幟。

傑克回過身,朝著艉樓後甲板走去,他登上那裡並回頭一望時正好即時看見他的旗幟在桅杆上升高,然後它到達桅頂,便在那隨風著飄揚,漆黑如墨,顯眼如黃銅。傑克望著它,滿意的點點頭。他轉向多明哥,微笑著說:「我想要駕駛她一段時間。」

風捲起了傑克沒有綁束的頭髮,狂亂的飄盪在他臉龐周圍,一張嘴就會飛入一些髮絲,或是扎到他的眼睛。過了不久,他終於有些受不了,「過來接手,多明哥,」傑克說著。接著他把手探向腰帶隨意摸索,他突然發現一個小小的,摺疊到有一定厚度的布料,他用力抽出來一看。那是埃斯梅拉達有著印花的紅色大手帕。

傑克迎著風,當風把他的頭髮往後吹時,便用那條大手帕沿著額前向後腦纏繞,然後綁緊它。「你瞧!好多了,不是嗎?」他驚喜地笑著問。

「是的,船長!」多明哥看了傑克一眼,也笑著回答。

傑克再一次走向舵輪,多明哥識相的退開。他抬起雙手,將手指細細地滑過舵柄,沉醉於他所熟悉的觸感,他輕柔的撫摸著它們。舵輪的顏色同樣比以前更深了,但那不是完全的黑色。傑克瞥了舵輪前方的羅盤櫃一眼,且感受著他的船的生命力在他腳下脈動。湛藍的天空映襯她漆黑的船身與風帆,他的旗幟在風中飄揚。

傑克掠過閃閃發光的洋面波浪,他的眼神如波光一樣綻放光彩,他只需非常輕微地轉動舵輪,不必費力於修正她,她行駛的方向便非常精確就像他所希望的。如往常一樣,他的船是敏捷與易於操縱,若要說有什麼不同的話,黑珍珠是超越強大迸發的魔力將她從海底升湧上來以前,她的反應是更為靈敏、更易控制。當時傑克緊緊抱著她的桅杆,睜大眼睛望著他獲得重生的船就平穩的沿著海岸航行至龜島港―那個傑克向瓊斯指定的目的地。

傑克依稀記得那趟把他連同他的船一起從非洲海岸帶回至龜島港的「旅途」中,經歷了不可思議的事;有急速升湧的沖力,接著閃爍一道燦爛的使他眩目的綠色光束,然後,他就回來了。

「她航行得很好,對嗎?船長?」一旁的多明哥問著。

傑克看著他微微一笑,「她真的航行得非常好,」傑克答著,語氣中透著珍惜。他的目光憐愛的遊走在船身上,他感到滿足,他是自由的了,而且還有他心愛的珍珠……雖然安穩的生活不會再有了。

「放下頂桅帆且綁好帆角索,伙伴們,」他大喊著下著命令。「讓她乘風破浪!」傑克望著遙遠的海平面,愉悅的吹起口哨―那同樣的海盜舞曲的旋律,他曾與埃斯梅拉達跳過的,在好久以前……在他過往的另一段人生。

順從於她的船長的意願,黑珍珠號伴著她的暗黑天使橫越蔚藍的大海;航行得像風一樣快,像駕駛著她的人一樣自由。幾乎可以說她很清楚自己正在建立一個傳說,她無畏地前往壯大與險惡的冒險……

 

* * *

註 ①:擊碎瓶子,新船下水時的祈福儀式。在以前,遭遇船難後倖存的人就會把訊息寫在紙上,並裝入酒瓶中,任它隨著波浪漂流遠去,希望能被其他船隻或岸上的人們發現。後來,期望可以不要再見到那樣的漂流瓶,便會在新船下水後在船艏擊碎酒瓶,而且要越碎越好,代表著這艘船將平安的航行。這項儀式在現代稱為「擲瓶禮」。

註 ②:操舵長(quartermaster),在海盜中,操舵長幾乎和船長擁有同等的權利,他負責維持秩序,解決爭端,分配供給。

雖然quartermaster和helmsman都可以翻成舵手,但操舵長和舵手(helmsman)不同的是,舵手大部分的時間都是負責掌舵,而操舵長涉及的管轄範圍很多,權力也大得多。如果有舵手的話,操舵長一般就是扮演著像大副的角色(像是文中的麻雀還沒有大副),若沒有舵手,操舵長才會親自掌舵。在加海中要區分的話可以看舵手卡登和加4裡黑鬍子的殭屍操舵長(這裡的quartermaster就應該翻成操舵長才對)。很明顯卡登的權勢不大,而殭屍的地位並不會亞於大副小安,看看他跟小安說話的態度……

註 ③:復仇號(Venganza),就是埃斯梅拉達所駕駛的船,本是英王喬治一世的護衛艦。Venganza為西班牙語,復仇之意。

註 ④:阿蒙尼爾迪斯的腰帶,阿蒙尼爾迪斯(Amenirdis)失落之島上的公主,本名阿伊莎(Ayisha)。麻雀的那條有著紅條紋的腰帶就是她織的。而且那特殊的織法是可以在一定程度內保護他不受傷害。

* * *

 

好閃好閃阿>/////<

有愛有愛阿>////<

麻雀那孩子,敬酒說成祭酒……(噴一個XDDD)。是說我真的不意外麻雀那頭巾是女人的東西XDDD

黑珍珠號,誕生了。

麻雀是海盜了,小黑也成為海盜船了。其實埃斯梅拉達說過,Wicked Wench」是一個很棒的海盜船的名字。命中注定吧,Wench終究會成為海盜船的,雖然麻雀不再那樣叫她。

遭遇火吻的Wench已回不到原來的樣子,正如麻雀手臂上的「P」字烙印,那些傷痕,會永遠的留下來。無法回復的過往生活……

但,是嶄新生活的開始。

 

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