Gaargh, I were tossed off into the surf by me slippery serpentine steed. I took me timber to the brute, but half-hearted like, since Little Bo Pete stoppered its gob still. With the devil’s own glare it buggered off out to sea, leavin’ me chunderin’ brine onto foreign sands till I passed out from retchin’.
I awoke, with me beard crusty, to the sound o’ folk scrunchin’ along the beach, jabberin’ in an aggravatin’ sing-song. I concluded they were simple folk but as they seemed eager t’offer me shelter and sustenance I withheld me urge to slap ‘em. I explained me circumstances, bein’ unjustly cast adrift an’ of me heroic wranglin’ o’ the sea beastie. ‘Tis possible me stained garb lessened the effect somewhat, for they presented me with a tufty nether-wig. At the time I knew not what it were, an’ explained I’d no need of a pet. Aarr, it took a number o’ explainin’s t’impress its purpose an’ their profession upon me before I accepted their gift. Gaargh, a drink would’ve been more welcomin’, though it were handy for layin’ down me head.
I were overjoyed to learn them yokels lived on the fringes of the port-town o’ Merkin, called after its peculiar trade; yarr, it might be t’other way about: I cared too little t’enquire. I’d lost me ship an’ crew to that scabrous syphilitic scallywag (which I’ll not go into on account o’ the pulsin’ in me eyeballs an’ me spittlin’ tendency when enraged), so me desires in town were simple: loose women and a bottle o’ rum to take me troubles from me.
I’d no interest in the weavin’ o’ twat-thatches and sought out the bands o’ vagabonds what lurked in the darker twists o’ Merkin’s alleys. Aarr, I’ve dragged me finest crewmen from such hovels an’ let ‘em wake ten leagues out to sea. The local vice were goin’ twos a-tootin’ on the poppy-pipe. Yarr, its blissful oblivion were a fine alternative t’ knittin’ furry codpieces an’ I settled in it easy-like. Twas a happy time, though I confess me memory of it be none too clear.
Yaarr, all was well till I stood up one day after a good night’s stupefyin’ an’ fell flat upon me face. Twas not an unusual start, but on this occasion twas the fault of havin’ but one foot! I’d a tortoise tied about me arm implyin’ some form o’ trade. I were not pleased, though ‘tis possible I’d consented in me befuddled state. In a wrathful mood I hopped off after me foot, pocketin’ me tortoise for a future snack.
I went straight to me good friend Umberto Phlapjaquet, head o’ the merkin-makers guild. He were distressed to see me truncatered so, an’ agreed that a tortoise were improper barter for me foot. The local noble man, the Duke de Mons-Plumage were a man o’ strange an’ unhealthy tastes afeard for ‘is deviancy an’ the abuse of ‘is peasantry. Umberto reckoned ‘is Grace’d be the likely culprit, an’ for cover, charged me with the delivery of a cleft-carpet he’d been commissioned to weave.
The Duke’s manor were a sight to make ye eyes sore. The gates were lined with rows o’ giant porcelain flamingos an’ the hedges carved into rutting beasts. Twere quite an unsettlin’ stroll. I’d constructed, with Umberto’s aid, a cunnin’ facsimile o’ me lower leg out of a wadin’ bird strapped to a goblet which gave me a passable lollopin’ stride.
I were swiftly ushered into the Duke’s private rooms. Arr, the in were worse than out- awash with a décor that’d shame a cut-price Bangkok brothel. ‘Is chamber were strewn with tapestries o’ vile an unnatural acts between man an’ beast; even Barry’d’ve feld a-shriekin’.
The Duke bade me sit and drink ‘is third-finest wine, so thrilled he were at the delivery. ‘E were a runty fellow with squinty eyes and a lascivious countenance. Twas as he filled me glass that I noted the object upon ‘is desk: a freshly severed and upturned foot, its toes curled about an ivory ashtray. I held back me vengeance on account o’ the disconcertin’ly pretty yet burly and well-oiled guards. The Duke took a pleasure in stubbin’ ‘is cigar out on me big toe and commentin’ upon his fortune in acquirin’ such a rare article. I smiled with clenched teeth and murmured such pleasantries as I could muster.
Graspin’ ‘is groin he abruptly demanded a fittin’, chasin’ his guards out the room. Umberto’d not mentioned such duties, but I swallered a shudder and unwrapped the package. ‘Twere a gilded merkin, of gold an’ silver filigree, dotted with emeralds an’ rubies: quite the most hideous object I e’er laid me eyes upon.
When I turned about the Duke were facin’ me naked, but for his boots, with a leer upon ‘is lips. I gingerly reached to hang the genital garland as best I could. As he admired ‘imself in the long mirrors I took me chance. Seizin’ me foot I clubbed the vain dolt clean across ‘is skull with it. I booted ‘is bloody crown for good measure an’ peeled me eye for an exit. ‘Twould have been smarter to plan me escape first, but me leglessness’d made me tetchy.
In the mirror I caught sight of Mons-Plumage’s galleon that Umberto’d once mentioned, bobbin’ in the waves. I ‘opped out the window, foot in hand. I’d barely scuffed the path afore a cry went up and soldiers flooded the grounds. Their oiliness made ‘em slip about somewhat, allowin’ time to arm meself. I strung me tortoise and whirled ‘im over me head. As the first guards came about the corner I let slip and knocked ‘em out cold. With me reptile flail I escaped and hobbled toward the pier.
I were almost there when the Duke’s men cut me off. Arr she were a gorgeous craft, but for the name ‘The Sirrup of the Seas’, which I’d be not long in changin’. The soldier’s menaced me with their swords an’ suggestive winks an’ I bethought this might be me end. It seemed likely I’d slain the perverted Duke an’ that these’d seek revenge upon me.
There came a bold shout an’ shots rang out, fellin’ the guards. I stood amazed when I were hailed by a friendly tone – ‘twere Umberto with me opiated pals come to the rescue. Apparently in me poppy-fogginess I’d waxed lyrical about the joys o’ piracy and a life at sea an’ somewhat inspired ‘em. We overpowered the rest o’ the soldiery and boarded the Sirrup.
They were learnin’ their way about a ship when I espied a glint of grotesquerie shamblin’ down the jetty. It could only be that ugly loin-drapery, hung about the near-naked Duke. I were displeased by ‘is liberties with me limbs an’ in no mood for swappin’ innuendo, so I shot ‘im in the eye with’s own musket. As he toppled, ‘is merkin snagged upon a nail, strippin’ the man’s plumage and leavin’ ‘im obscenely splayed in the sun. Full cheered by this, I proposed a lootin’ of the mansion with shares for all. Gaargh, I lost near half me men in returnin’ to the estate. The Duke had furious concubines and no end o’ brats were keen t’avenge ‘im.
But still, I felt free and footloose once more, with a new ship to be baptised in piratical mischief. We set off in search of that usurpin’ thief whose name I’ll not befoul me mouth with, and them crewmen o’ the Lollipop doubtless marooned by said worthless chumbucket. Arr, for I missed me former crewmates and had little doubt that I’d lose the rest of me newly drafted an’ drug-addled landlubbers on the way.
Twas only later, dozin’ on deck, that I recalled the unfortunate cannon misfirin’ upon the Lollipop that’d left me leg shorter by a foot; gaargh, a galleon for me stump-extender were a fine swap!