The morning sun was starting to come through the porthole, the sun's rays slowly moving across the room, hitting Judson in the face. It startled him. He looked up from the table to see that it was five in the morning. He had been so wrapped up in what he had found yesterday that he had forgotten about the time.
He looked back down at the table and the items that were scattered about. He picked up the gold medallion, turning it over in his hands. He slowly looked at the other items and couldn't believe what he was seeing. There were several gold coins but they were not all the same. There were also gems in different shapes. He looked at the carvings on it and tried to think it where it might come from.
He was still going over each item when he realized that Gabe was knocking on his door and calling his name.
"Judson, are you awake yet?"
"Come in, Gabe."
Gabe opened the door and stepped into the room. He could see Judson still sitting at the table.
"Judson, did you even go to bed last night?"
"No, I didn't. I was so caught up in all of this that I couldn't sleep. I still can't believe that we found it after all these years."
"Are you sure that this is the right ship? It wasn't where you thought it would be."
"I've been asking myself that question too."
"I almost forgot why I'm here. Mac has breakfast ready."
"Thanks, Gabe. I'll be right there."
Judson stood up and took one more look at the items and started to smile. This could be the biggest find in a long time. Walking toward the kitchen, he realized that Gabe might be right. The shipwreck had not been close to the mouth of the inlet but further in.
"Gabe, I need that map from yesterday."
"Why do you need it?"
"Something that you said earlier about the wreck not being where we thought it was. The first time we looked for it, we found it about a hundred feet from the mouth of the inlet. Since we had to leave, there have been storms and it's possible it could have moved."
"Mac, after breakfast, we are going back to the shipwreck and find the proof we need. It has to be Henry Morgan's ship, The Black Rose."
"Judson, you called his ship, The Black Rose, but in this book, it says that he was captain of the Seahawk," Gabe questioned.
"That's true but his first ship was The Black Rose. When the English decided to end all ties with Morgan and other English pirates, they sent the British fleet to destroy all of them. Morgan sailed his ship to the mouth of the inlet and sunk her himself. It prevented the British from entering the inlet and allowed Morgan and the others to escape."
"So we go back down and find something that tells us that it's the right ship," Mac stated.
"I'm going to look at that medallion again. There's something about it, but I'm not sure what."
"What's with the medallion?" asked Mac.
"It was found with the other items but it's out of place there. It would have been too big for anyone else to wear, but not someone like Morgan. He was known to be a large man in size."
"Where are you going, Judson?"
"Back to my room to get the medallion. There has to be something that I'm missing."
Judson headed back to his room but as he walked down the hallway, he suddenly felt the coldness all around him. As he came closer to his room, it seemed to get colder. He opened the door and entered the room. He slowly looked around and then moved to the table where he had left the items. As he looked over each them, he noticed that the medallion was gone. Judson moved back to the door and headed back to the kitchen where he found Mac and Gabe sitting at the table going over the map.
"Did one of you take the medallion off the table?"
"No, Judson. We have been here the whole time going over the map. Why do you ask?"
"It's not on the table in my room. Do you think it's cold in here?" Judson asked as an afterthought.
"Judson, are you all right? You have a strange look on your face."
"The hallway is cold and it's cold in my room too."
"That's not possible, Judson. It's ninety degrees outside."
As they all walked down the hallway, Mac and Gabe could feel the coldness in the air.
"I have been standing here and I just thought of something. The only area that is cold is right here, but if we were to take one of those items and move it to the kitchen, it might be cold there too."
"Mac, take the goblet to the kitchen. Gabe, take some of the coins to the living room. Let me know what happens. If I'm right, it will get cold there too."
They took their items and went to the two areas. Within a few minutes, it became cold there. Judson followed them and soon he could feel the coldness in both rooms.
"Gabe, Mac, we may have brought back more than just that goblet and those coins. We may have a ghost or something else."
"Why do you say that, Judson?" Gabe asked.
"Mac, hand me that book on pirates of the Caribbean. I told you that there was something about that medallion that was different."
"Judson, what are you looking for?"
Judson was going through the book turning each page slowly till he found what he was looking for. It was a picture of Captain Morgan and around his neck was the medallion that Judson had been looking at only hours before.
"Look at this picture. What do you see?"
"How did it get down there?" Mac asked as she looked at the picture of Morgan wearing the medallion.
"I don't know how but we know that Morgan did get away from the island. We know that the British surprised them. It's possible that he may have left it on the Black Rose and didn't realize it," Judson replied.
The three were interrupted by a crashing sound but where was it coming from? They started down the hallway. They could still hear the sounds of things being thrown. As they came closer to Judson's room, the sounds became louder. Judson reached for the door knob and opened the door. The sounds had stopped as look around. He found that the items that were on the table were now on the floor. It looked as if they had been thrown by someone.
The air was still cold and now it felt as if he was being watched. He knew it wasn't Mac or Gabe. They had gone back up front. Judson started as he thought he felt someone touch his arm. He turned around but there was no one there. He then heard the sound of footsteps as if someone was walking around the room. He started to pick up the coins that lay on the floor but they weren't there. The other items were also gone. He moved toward the table and found the items there once more. What is going on here, he thought.
"Judson, Judson," Gabe yelled as he came running down the hallway. "Mac needs you to come topside. She says there's something wrong."
"Now what's wrong," Judson muttered.
"Mac, what's wrong? Gabe said you needed me."
"Tell me how that got there and it's not funny," Mac replied pointing to the top of the mast.
Judson looked up the mast to see that the flag was that of the Jolly Roger. Okay, he thought, what the hell is going on here?
"Gabe, did you do that?"
Just then, Mac started yelling at someone.
"Mac, who are you yelling at?"
"Judson, someone was trying to hold my arm and when I tried to fight back, it felt like there was more than one person fighting back."
"Mac, your arm. There's blood and it's coming from a small cut on your arm. How did you get cut?"
"This may explain it, Judson," Gabe replied. "I found this laying over here and there's blood on it."
"I don't understand what's going on here, but I'm going to find out why it's happening," Judson promised.
As they walked back to the cabin, the ghostly figures of a large man and several other men suddenly appeared. The large man was wearing the medallion around his neck.
"Do you think he will help us, Captain Morgan?" asked the small man.
"I don't know, but when he knows why his is here, he may," replied the Captain.
"Mac, sit down here. Let's get that arm cleaned up. Gabe, get me the first aid kit. Mac, did you see who did this?" Judson asked as he started to clean her arm.
"Till you said something, I didn't even know that I had been cut. Judson, there was no one but me when I yelled for you."
"Gabe, what did you do with that sword you found?"
"I laid it on the floor of the kitchen."
Judson walked to the kitchen. He found it lying on some papers. He picked it up and looked at it. Where had it come from? It was not one of the items that had been brought back from the wreck. He looked at the blade. It was called a cutlass and it was often used by pirates.
"Mac, this is not from the wreck. How did Gabe find it and how did you get cut from it?"
"Didn't you feel anything when it hit you," Gabe asked.
"Like I told you, I didn't even know I had been cut until Judson said something. There was no one there," Mac replied.
There is something about this cutlass, thought Judson. I don't know what, it's like something that you see once and it stays with you. He had been over all of the books that had to do with any of the known pirates. He looked at the cutlass once more. This time he looked closer at the blade and let his hand slowly move over the handle. He could see several jewels encrusted into the handle. Just then a smile came across his face. He remembered seeing this but which book had he seen it in?
"Gabe, where are those books on pirates?"
"I put them on the second shelf of the bookcase," Gabe replied, pointing to the shelf.
"Do you guys remember me telling you that they each had their own personalities and that some were more flamboyant than others? For instance, Blackbeard, he took pride in how long his beard was and then there was Jamie Boy. He thought that he was the handsomest of them all, but there was one and how he dressed was important to him."
Judson kept looking through the stack of books till he found the one he was searching for. As he turned the pages, he could see the picture of the person in his mind but he didn't remember seeing the cutlass on him. Of course, he hadn't been looking for it.
"Hey guys, I found him. Come here," Judson yelled.
"Who did you find?" Mac inquired.
"This is him," Judson replied, pointing to the picture.
"The name on the picture is that of Captain Henry Morgan and he was known as the gentleman pirate for the way he dressed," Gabe stated.
"It says here that he only wore the best clothes and look at his cutlass. Now look at this one," Judson continued.
"Judson that cutlass you're holding is the same one that's in the picture."
"I saw that too, but how did it get there unless someone lost it."
"Judson, let's not go there please. I still don't know if I want to believe just yet, okay," Mac replied.
"That may explain a lot of things like what happened in my room earlier and the coldness that we felt."
"Judson, are you trying to say that we may be dealing with ghosts?" Gabe asked.
"Do you guys have an explanation for what's been happening here? Mac, we need to go back down tomorrow and see what else we can find. We need proof. That has to be The Black Rose. It fits the description of Morgan's ship."
"Did you guys see that medallion we brought up? I was looking for it last night and it wasn't on the floor when I picked the other items up. I looked everywhere but I couldn't find it."
"Captain, he's looking for your medallion."
"I know, Mr. Smith, and he also has my cutlass."
"That's my fault, sir. She surprised me when I was putting up our flag and dropped it."
"It nicked her arm, Mr. Smith."
"I'm sorry, sir."
"We didn't hurt ladies then and we don't hurt them now."
"Judson, it's Mac. I need to talk to you."
"Come in Mac."
"I have everything ready for the dive tomorrow. Do you want to send rover down first and let him take a look around before we go down? Judson, why is it still cold in here?"
"That's strange because until a few minutes ago, it felt really warm in here. Now that you've said something though, it does feel cold in here."
"I don't know, but if this had happened before our trip to Arizona and what happened to Mark, I wouldn't even have thought about it, but there is something happening here that I can't explain."
"Captain, if you want him to help us, you have to help him," Mr. Smith stated.
"You're right, Mr. Smith. We have been watching him and maybe he is the one that can change things for all of us. I should give him back the medallion. It holds all of the answers and it will help him."
The Captain took the medallion off and placed it on the table. He moved to stand next to Judson. As he stood there, he placed his hand on Judson's shoulders and then whispered.
"We need you to help change what they did to us and the others of the Island of Tortuga. The medallion holds the answers."
"Will he understand what you have told him, Captain?"
"Yes, Mr. Smith. Soon he will have all that he needs to help us."
Judson could still feel the coldness but now he could feel that there was the sound of wind whispering in the room. He turned back to the table and found the medallion lying there. He picked up the book as the pages turned to a picture of Captain Morgan. He looked at the picture and then he saw the medallion on Morgan. He picked it up and looked at it again, so this was yours, he thought. He looked to see that there was a small clasp on one side of it. If I opened this, what will I find, he wondered.
I felt your hand on my shoulder, Captain Morgan. I can only do what I can.
"Gabe, where's the map of the shipwreck?"
"You put it back on the shelf. It's under that book on pirates."
"Mac, is everything ready for us to go back down to the wreck?"
Judson laid the map out on the table. He slowly looked over the image of the wreck but there was something not right. This has to be what's left of The Black Rose.
"Mac, this is the area where we found the medallion and the other items, right?"
"Yes, Judson. Why?"
Judson picked up the book on pirates and opened it to the chapter on Henry Morgan. He started reading the first page and then the other pages. He looked up and smiled at Mac and Gabe.
"What did you find?" Gabe asked.
"Just more questions, Gabe."
"Captain Morgan, maybe you need to help him, just a little."
"No, Mr. Smith. He will know soon enough."
"How do you know this?"
"Because he has started thinking more about the medallion."
"But Captain, just one hint, maybe just a little one."
"No, Mr. Smith. We have waited this long. We can wait a little longer. Come Mr. Smith. We have more to do."
As the captain moved through the room, he stopped to look at the map. You need to look here, he whispered as his ghostly finger touched the map.
"Captain, you said no hints."
"Maybe just a little one, Mr. Smith."
As they started to leave, Mr. Smith reached down and touched Mac on the arm where she had been nicked.
"I'm sorry," he said then followed the captain out of the room.
"Okay, which one of you did that?" asked an angry Mac. "And why is it so cold in here?"
"Maybe it was a ghost, Mac."
"There's no such thing as ghosts and everyone knows it."
"I'm not too sure of that," Judson replied.
"I was only joking about ghosts, Judson."
"Until we went to Arizona and what happened to me, what I saw, I wouldn't have believed it was possible either, but now, I believe they could be out there."
"But Judson, they aren't real."
"Are you so sure of that, Gabe? Can you explain why it's cold for a while and then seems to go away?"
"We need to get back down there. Mac, you and Gabe go up top and I'll be right there."
He couldn't explain why things were happening but he had felt the cold air touch his hand when he pointed to a certain area on the map. He took one more look at the map and then let his hand move to where he had felt the coldness earlier.
What is there that you want me to find? he asked as he turned his head to look at the picture of Morgan.
"Judson, come on," Mac yelled down the stairs.
"Mac, do you remember which section of the wreck we were in yesterday?"
"That's where we are going back to and don't ask my why."
As Mac steered the Equinox toward the site of the wreck, Judson could see an image of The Black Rose as it sat there. He could hear the sounds of the waves as they hit the sides of the ship and then he heard the sails as the winds hit them. You must have been some ship in your day, he thought.
"Judson, we're over the site you wanted, but why are we back at the same site?"
"It's a feeling, like I missed something yesterday and I want to be sure."
"We were in a section of the wreck that may have been cabins at one time," Mac stated.
"Let's go back to that area and look it over again. We need to look closer this time. We missed something the first time and we need to find it. I just don't know what it is. Gabe, I want you to go back to the Vast Explorer and put rover in the water. Move him through the wreckage, then move him to the area where we found the medallion and other items."
Gabe watched Judson and Mac as they leaned back until they fell in to the water and dove below the water. Moving closer, they could see the shipwreck. Mac entered what would have been the cabin section and Judson followed. He stopped and turned. He could see rover and it came through the water. It moved past Judson until it was just in front of Mac.
"Gabe, can you see anything from rover's view?"
"Not yet. I'm moving him to the section where the items were found yesterday. So far there's nothing yet."
"Gabe, get rover in as close as you can."
"I don't know how much closer I can move him. Don't touch that I told you."
"Gabe, what's the matter? I heard you yell don't touch that. What's going on up there?"
"For the last few minutes, it's like someone is trying to take over rover's controls and it's a little cold in here too."
"Gabe, what's going on with rover? He just went nuts down here."
"It wasn't me on the controls. The controls are moving like someone else is moving them."
"Gabe, where are you moving him to now?"
"I'm not doing anything with it," Gabe replied frustration evident in his voice.
"He just moved to what looks like might have been the captain's quarters. Get control back if you can."
"Did I do all right, Captain?"
"Yes, Mr. Smith. Now let's see if he can find what's in that room."
"That was your cabin, sir?"
"Yes, it was, Mr. Smith."
"What is he trying to find?"
"I had a small safe in my cabin and I kept certain things in it."
"I didn't know about a safe, Captain."
"I had to have some privacy even from you, Mr. Smith."
The two men stood and looked over Gabe's shoulder as rover moved further into the room. It has to be there, thought the captain. Just then, the captain smiled as he could see what looked to be his safe. It was still in the same place, just covered with barnacles and wreckage. I just need to...
"Gabe, rover's acting crazy again and it's moving in closer, but I can't see where."
"Judson, I have rover in sight and I can see where's he's moving to. He's in front of a pile of wreckage and if you look up, there use to be a porthole there."
"Gabe, don't move rover until I say so."
"Did you hear what he said, Mr. Smith? Don't move it."
"I heard him sir."
"Soon he'll have it as long as he moves the wreckage."
"Mac, I see rover and the wreckage, but what's there that is so important?"
"I don't know. I tried to look through but I can't see anything."
"Mac, I'm turning on the underwater light. Maybe that will help. Can you see anything now?"
"Mac, take the light and I'll see if I can move some of it."
After moving most of the wreckage, Judson could see what looked to be a metal box. He moved more of it and then moved closer. He tried to pick up the box but it wouldn't move.
"Mac find something so we can try and move it."
Mac looked around until she found what appeared to be an iron bar. She handed it to Judson who had found a corner of the box that wasn't stuck. He slid the bar under it and pushed down on it. After a few more tries, the box was free and started to move a little. Judson tried to move the box but it was too heavy for him.
"Mac, we need a pulley and tackle to get it out here. Go back to the Equinox. There should be one there."
"Judson, there isn't one here," Mac replied. "I'm going back to the ship and use the wrench on the ship. I'll be back with a rope."
"Gabe, can you hear me? Mac is on her way back to the ship. I need you to throw her a rope and start the motor on the wrench. When I tell you, start the wrench moving."
"I heard you Judson."
"Mac, here is the rope. Just let me know when you're ready."
Judson watched as Mac came closer. He couldn't wait to see what he had found. He grabbed the rope and put it over the box, pulling it tight. He looked around to make sure that there was nothing to block it from moving.
"Gabe, it's ready. There shouldn't be anything blocking its path."
Gabe started the wrench as Judson and Mac watched it move closer to the surface. From the doorway came the sound of whispering. It was Mr. Smith running to the side of the ship where Captain Morgan stood. He was watching as the rope came across the water and then looked up to see the box as it hung there.
"Captain, they found it."
"I know, Mr. Smith. They have brought it up from the bottom of the inlet."
"Judson, where did you find this? Was it in the same section as the medallion?" Gabe asked.
"It was in one of the larger rooms under some wreckage. Based on the size of the room, I'd say it was the Captain's room. Mac, we are going to need something to open it with."
"They have it, Captain."
"Yes, Mr. Smith, they do."
"But don't you want him to open it?"
"Yes, I do but I can wait until tomorrow. After all, I have waited over two hundred years, so I can wait another day."
"We can open this tomorrow."
"But you want to see what's inside."
"Yes, but not right now. I have a feeling he wants to wait."
"Yes, Judson, we can wait till tomorrow," Morgan whispered as the captain smiled, then turned and walked away followed by a muttering Mr. Smith.
"Wait all this time and now he wants to wait one more day."
"Now, now, Mr. Smith. Remember I can still hear what you are saying."
"Yes, Captain," Mr. Smith replied as they continued walking until they were gone in the air.
"Judson, what are you doing out here? I thought you had gone to bed," Mac asked.
"I couldn't sleep. All I could think about was this box. I don't remember seeing this yesterday and I found the medallion close to where this box was."
"Have you tried to open it yet?"
"No, I haven't but then I haven't really looked at it either."
"What you guys doing up here? Oh I see. That box has your curiosity and I can tell by the look on your face that I'm right."
"Judson can't wait till morning but I can," replied Mac.
"You're right, I can't wait till morning. Gabe, we need some of Mr. Jones Barnacle Eating Microbes."
"Mac, help me turn it and then we can put the spotlight on it. Now that I've looked it over, it looks more like a safe. At first, I thought it might be some type of a strong box but it's not."
"Do you think there's anything inside?"
"If there is, who knows what kind of condition it's in after all these years. As soon as Gabe come back, we'll try and open it."
Judson just stood and looked at the box. He could only think about what he might find inside. On the deck of other ship, a ghostly figure was running to the wheel where Captain Morgan was steering The Black Rose as it moved through the waters.
"Captain Morgan, he couldn't wait. He's going to open the box tonight. Don't you want to be there?"
"Yes, Mr. Smith, I do but I know what's in the safe. I put everything there remember."
"I'll be back," Captain Morgan said as he looked around at his ship.
With Mr. Smith beside him, they went back to the Vast Explorer. They watched as Judson poured what looked like water on to the spindle of the lock. Within a few minutes, the microbes had done the job of removing anything that might be on the safe. Judson tried to turn the dial on the lock. It moved just like a new one, now how to open it. It has to have a combination but then he saw a set of numbers written in the night dew. He quickly wrote them down.
"Why did you do that Captain?"
"Because there's no other way to open it and yes, I want to see what I put inside."
"I don't know who did that but it's the combination to the safe."
As he opened the box, he was expecting water to come out but there was none. It was dry inside after all these years. There were several boxes inside of different sizes, each one different than the others. Judson looked at each one of them as he pulled them out. As he did, he wondered what they held inside.
"Guys, we need to go inside so the air doesn't hurt them."
Judson, Mac and Gabe started down the stairs taking care not to drop any of the boxes.
On the deck, the ghostly figure of Captain Morgan just stood watching. As the moonlight touched his face, a single tear slowly rolled down his cheek. He stood there, unable to move.
"Captain, what's wrong? I haven't seen you like this since you lost your beloved Mary."
"I forgot that I put it in the safe."
"What sir?" Mr. Smith asked when the captain didn't proceed.
"He took out a pink box that belonged to her. I couldn't find it after she died. I don't remember putting it there, but I guess I did."
"He says that he is going to open all of them and see what's inside."
"We must hurry, Mr. Smith. What he needs is in one of the boxes."
As they came down the stairs, they could see that the boxes were sitting on a table. They came to the edge of it and stopped. Morgan moved his hand to touch the pink wooden box. He wanted to open it, but he couldn't do it. He then saw Judson move to pick up the box. He didn't know if he wanted him to, so he put his hand on top of the box to try and stop him.
Judson picked up the small pink box. He tried to open it but it wouldn't open as if something was blocking it's being opened. Silently he made a promise. No one but the three of them would ever see what's in the box.
"Captain, he's made a promise to you, so let him open it."
"I don't know if I can, Mr. Smith."
"Please let him, Captain."
Judson tried one more time to open the top of the small pink box. It opened as he turned the lock. He laid the top on the table gently. He couldn't believe what he saw. There were jewels of all shapes and sizes as well as other jewelry and rings. As he took each one out and laid them on the table, he was stunned. There were emeralds, rubies, diamonds and pearl necklaces. As he looked at them, he knew that there had to be a million dollars or more worth of jewelry in the box.
"Judson, are they real?" Gabe asked as he looked at them.
"I would say they are."
"Judson, what would they cost today?"
"Maybe a million, maybe more, but they are not for sale."
"Because I said so, that's why."
"I remember the day you gave her the emeralds. It was the day you became Governor of Port Royal."
"I remember that day well but a few months later, we were running for our lives and I never saw Mary again. Jamie Boy came back but he couldn't find her either, just the box and its contents. I was lost for a long time without her and I still feel lost. Let's leave for a while, Mr. Smith."
"Let's look at the other boxes," Judson said.
They opened each box, but there was really nothing of importance in them. There was one box that he noticed that needed a key. He would have to find a way to open it, but he could do that later.
"Judson, I've been reading more on Henry Morgan and it says he met and married a woman by the name of Mary. It says that they were married but he never told her that he was a pirate. Then a few months later, the King of England offered amnesty to Morgan and then appointed him the governorship of Port Royal. It goes on to say that he was only Governor for a few weeks until the people learned that he had been a pirate. They forced him to flee Port Royal. After several weeks at sea, he went back to try and find Mary, but he never did."
"Captain, they are reading about and Mary."
"I know, Mr. Smith."
"Captain, he's opened another box and it has your journal in it."
"Judson, look at this. It's a journal and it has Captain Morgan's name on the inside cover."
"Gabe, let me see it."
Gabe handed the book to Judson. He turned each page slowly while he skimmed over them. Only a few pages had any writing on them but what he read was making him think about what history had to say about Morgan. This can't be right, thought Judson. He had written down in detail what happened between him and the English during their war with France. According to Morgan, his men were offered amnesty if they would fight for England.
I can't believe what I'm reading, thought Judson but it was Morgan's handwriting. He slowly read each page of the journal until he came to the last page. As he turned the page, he found a map on the other side of the page. He took a closer look at it and wondered what it represented. Could it be a treasure map? He wasn't too sure of that idea. He looked at the page over and over until he could remember every mark, every detail of it.
He laid the journal down on the table but he couldn't stop thinking about what he had read. He looked to see that Mac and Gabe had opened more of the boxes and looked at each of the items that they had found.
"Judson, you need to see this. It looks like the royal seal of England," Gabe said as he handed the seal to Judson.
"The King of England gave this to Morgan when he made him Governor of Port Royal."
He laid the seal back in its box. Any other time, that seal would have been important to him, but he couldn't get over what he had seen in the journal, especially the map. He picked the journal up again and opened it to another part. As he started to read it once more, he could feel himself standing in the cabin that was Morgan's. He saw him as he sat at a table and wrote in the journal. He then heard the sound of a man's voice. It was Morgan talking as he wrote.
It has been several weeks since I left Port Royal. I should have known that it wouldn't work. Now many of my men are in jails waiting to go back to England where they will be hanged as pirates. I remember when we were part of the Royal Navy but that even changed. I miss my Mary. I tried to find her, but she wasn't at the house and I don't know what happened to her. I have made many mistakes in the last few months, but this one is right. We should be in Tortuga soon and then won't have to run anymore for a while. Mr. Smith says that I need to have things ready so Jamie Boy will know how to find everything if something happens to me and he is right.
I have drawn a map in the back and he will know what each mark is and where to find that place. My only regret is that the King of England did not keep his promise to me or any of the others that helped him in his fight with France. So many of France's ships lay on the bottom of the ocean along with their crews all in the name of England and its King. I expect that the Royal Navy is looking for all of us now that the war with France is over. He has lied to use once again.
As Judson read more of the journal, he couldn't hear the sounds of the wind as it flowed through the room, but there, next to him, stood the ghost of Morgan and Mr. Smith. The captain looked over Judson's shoulder to see that he was reading more of the journal and he'd found the map on the last page but Morgan knew there was more to the map that Judson needed to know.
"Captain, does he know why he really is here? He has found some things of yours but there's more."
"I don't know if he realizes that the map is one of the reasons for him to be here. Maybe I should help him just a little. Mr. Smith, I need the medallion."
"I have it here, Captain. I thought you might need it."
"I'll just lay it here on the table. Hopefully he'll see it. One more thing -- the clasp -- I need to open it so it will open when he picks it up."
What was that, thought Judson. It felt like someone touched my shoulder and it was a cold touch. He turned to look but there was no one there. He turned toward Mac and Gabe but he knew it wasn't them. He went back to reading when he again felt someone touching his hand. He moved his head to the left and looked down where the medallion lay. How did that get here? I thought it was locked up in the safe.
"Mr. Smith, did you do that?"
"Yes, I did sir. I just thought I would help him a little."
Judson put the journal down and picked up the medallion. He still didn't know how it got there but he would put it back in the safe. He started to move down the hallway to his room, but as he moved, the medallion, it opened just a little. He turned back to the room and entered the room. He walked toward the table and laid it back on the table. It opened more and Judson watched as a key fell out of it. He opened it more and inside was a folded piece of paper. He unfolded it and saw that it was a map but it looked like the one in the journal. Judson opened the journal to the last page and compared them. They were the same, he thought, but where does the key go?
"Judson, how'd the medallion get out here?" Mac asked.
"I'm not sure, but I have an idea."
"Where did you find the key?"
"It was inside the medallion. It fell out when I picked it up and that's not all. This map was inside it too. It matches the map on the last page of the journal. He wanted me to find this map and key. These items and what he wrote in his journal have a lot to do with what's happening here. Just in the time we've been here, I have an idea that history has something to do with it. Otherwise, why would Morgan be here and its connection to him."
"Mac, tomorrow we're going to the Island of Tortuga. We have to find answers and maybe we'll find some of them there."
"Does he know now, Captain?"
"I believe he does, Mr. Smith, but we'll know for sure tomorrow. Come Mr. Smith. It's time to retire for the night."
Judson walked to the railing and stood looking at the sea that covered The Black Rose.
I will find out what really happened here. That's what you want isn't it, Captain Morgan?
"Judson, all I want is for the truth to be heard," was the reply heard as the sound of a whispering wind moved out, over the sea.
"Judson, the Equinox is ready," Mac updated.
"I'll be there in just a second, Mac," Judson replied turning to Gabe. "Gabe, I want you to stay here and use that computer. See if you can find where the x's are on this map. Use a map of Tortuga as a start."
"Why Tortuga, Judson?"
"It was the last place Morgan was before the British attacked the island. If he was to leave something behind, it would have been here."
"Do you want me to let you know if I find anything?"
"Yes, use the cell phone. The map is in the safe."
"Are you ready now?" Mac asked.
"Let's go. We have a lot to do on the island and I have a lot of questions."
Mac started the motor of the Equinox and turned the wheel, heading for the island. She looked to see Judson staring at Tortuga as they came closer. Judson was deep in thought.
He couldn't believe that all of the people on this island were descendents of pirates that had made their homes there. He went back to the book he had read on the pirates of Tortuga and many of them were well known in history. He couldn't wait to find out who they were and if any of them were Morgans.
"Judson! Judson, do you hear me? I need you to tie that rope off."
"Sorry, I had my mind on other things. What part of the island are we on?"
"It looks like we may be close to the center of the town. What are we looking for?"
"I'm not sure but the map and the key are some how connected to this place. Mac, listen for Gabe to call. He's using that skill of his to see if that map is any part of the island."
Judson, where is the combination to the safe? Gabe questioned silently. Let me think. If I was Judson, where would I put it?
Gabe had already been through the desk but then he looked at the picture in front of the safe. He wouldn't put it there, he thought, but knowing Judson, he would. Gabe turned the picture around and there on the back was the combination. After opening it, he took out the journal and walked back to the dining room where he'd left his computer. He already had the map of the island on the screen. He had been working on a new way to read maps that would give a more detailed look to it. He scanned the map and then programmed it into the computer. It would take some time, so he picked up the book on pirates and started to read it.
While reading the book, Gabe didn't notice the person as it moved across the floor and into Judson's room. It went to the safe and with a small ghostly hand, reached into the safe and brought the fragile pink box out. She laid the box on the table and opened it. She pulled each piece of jewelry out and gently laid them on the table. As she looked at them, the tears slowly rolled down her cheek. They belonged to me, but how did he get them? I thought that I had lost them. They were on my dressing table. When friends helped me get out of Port Royal, they brought me my things but the box wasn't there. Someone is coming... I have to go.
Gabe was walking toward Judson's room. He was done with the journal and wanted to make sure that it was back in the safe. As he came closer, he could feel the air as it became colder the closer he came to the room. He stopped at the door, still feeling the cold air. He also thought he felt a ghostly form move past him and the coldness of the air seemed to move away. He went back into the room and headed for the safe. He started to put the journal back when he realized something seemed to be missing. After looking more closely, he realized that the pink box was gone. He knew he hadn't touched it. As he turned to leave, he noticed the box and its contents lying on the table. He picked them up and put the box back in the safe and closed the door. He heard a ringing sound signaling the completion of the program his computer was running. He walked back down the hallway and went to the desk. The x's had been overlaid on a different place on the island. He went to call Judson and let him know that it was done. The phone in Judson's pocket rang. He pulled it out and answered it.
"Judson, it's done. According to the map of Tortuga, each x is a separate location on the island and something has happened here. I found the pink box and it contents lying on your table. I put it all back but I could feel that there might be someone else here," Gabe reported.
"We'll be back soon. We're going to the Hall of Records to have a look."
"Judson, there's the building we're looking for," Mac stated.
"Captain, what's in there?"
"I don't know, but let's follow them and find out what they are looking for."
Just then a small, older man walked past them and suddenly Mr. Smith looked at him and gasped.
"Captain? He looks just like me when I was that age."
"That's possible. With all the women you had, at least one of them had to have had a child. Come, we have to stay with them."
"Mac, have you found anything in that set of records?"
"No, did you find anything?"
"Mac, come look at this. The records show that between 1760 and 1998, there were 206 babies born with the name of Morgan. This doesn't make sense. According to history, after the British attacked Tortuga, Morgan and many others escaped by going through the woods to the other side of the island where Jamie Boy had The Seahawk anchored. A few months later, they were all captured by the British and hanged for crimes against the crown."
"Judson, you've got that puzzled look on your face again."
"It says here that the first one was born July 10, 1688 and he was named Jacob Morgan, but that's not possible. Morgan was hanged months before he was born but look at this one. It's another boy and he was born January 19, 1708 and his name is James Morgan."
"Judson, I am looking at the records of seven more that were born between 1726 and 1737 and they all have the last name of Morgan."
"Captain, where did these children come from?"
"I don't know, Mr. Smith."
"Maybe one of the ladies at the inn?"
"No, Mr. Smith. I would never do that to Mary but where did they come from?"
Mr. Smith was looking over Judson's shoulder. He was trying to see the name on the piece of paper but every time he tried, Judson moved his arm and blocked his view. He stood there with a frustrated look on his face. There has to be a way, thought Mr. Smith, and I'm going to find it. He looked to see that Judson was looking closer at it. It gave him an idea. He put his head between Judson and the table. He was now able to see the paper and saw the name of the father. It was Captain Morgan's name but how? I need to let the Captain know.
"Mac, did you feel the cold air a few minutes ago? It was like someone kept touching me but now it's gone."
"No, I've been too busy looking at these records and I found something you might be interested in. You need to look at them. It may explain why there are Morgans here."
Judson picked up the birth record of Jacob Morgan and started to read it. It was no different than the other until he read the name of his parents. His mother was listed as Mary Morgan and his father, Henry Morgan. He was still puzzled, wondering how this could be, when he heard the sound of a man's voice as it came closer to the table.
"Can I help you?" asked the man as he looked at Judson.
"Maybe... Have you lived on the island all of your life?"
"Yes, I have but why do you ask?"
"My name is Judson Cross. I have been looking for Captain Morgan's ship, The Black Rose, and a few days ago, I found it. I also found a lot of questions and no answers. Now I have found more questions. Maybe you can answer some of those questions."
"I know who you are, Mr. Cross. We have been watching you for several days now. If I can help you, I will. What are your questions?"
"What is your name?"
"My name is Joseph Kidd and before you ask, yes, I'm one of his descendents. Next question."
"I'm looking at the birth record of a Jacob Morgan and it says that he was born in 1688. It also says that his parents are Henry and Mary Morgan, but that's not possible. Mary was lost on Port Royal and Morgan was hanged months before Jacob was born."
"The records are correct, Mr. Cross. Come with me and maybe this will help you to understand better."
The man walked to a corner of the building that had rows and rows of books. He went to one of the shelves and took one book down, handing it to Judson. Judson thought it might be a journal or a diary but had no clue who's it might be. He took the book from the man, opened the cover and turned several pages of it until he came to what appeared to be the beginning. The first words were Mary Morgan's Journal.
"Mr. Kidd, this says Mary Morgan's Journal but that's not possible. She was lost when Morgan fled Port Royal."
"Yes, that's true according to history but that's not what happened. Many of her friends were able to help her get to a ship and escape from Port Royal. After several weeks at sea, she came here, but many asked how she knew to get here. She told them that she was brought by one of Captain Morgan's close friends using his ship. The captain only had one or two close friends and then they heard how Jamie Boy had gone back on the Crimson Blood and helped rescue her. However, we don't know if that story is true."
"We do know that a few months later, she gave birth to Jacob Morgan. She told them that he was Morgan's son. It was months later that she was told that Morgan and several other captains and their men were captured by the British and returned to England to be hanged for treason against the crown."
Then the man reached up and took another book off the shelf and handed it to Judson.
"You must read this one too. It will have more answers for your, but first, you must come with me. I have something to show you."
Judson and Mac followed the man out of the building. They walked several yards till they came to a large iron gate. He opened it and continued walking until he was standing in front of a very large stone.
"After hearing of Morgan's death, Mary became very sick, but after a while she seemed to be getting stronger and was able to raise her son. However, after many years without Morgan, she became ill again and one day she died as she cursed the British for hanging her Henry. This is where they buried her and this is the resting area of the Morgan Family."
"Mac, do you feel the air? It's starting to get a little colder. I thought I felt someone brush up against my arm as we stood there."
"I feel it," Mac replied as Judson's phone rang again.
"Judson, it's Gabe. You need to come back to the Explorer and really look at this map as more of it comes together."
"We'll be there shortly, Gabe. Mr. Kidd, we have to leave. May I take these books with me and then return them to your after I'm done?"
"That's fine, Mr. Cross. Maybe you'll find the answers you seek."
"Judson, why are you so interested in that other book?"
"Because, Mac, when I looked at the first page, it has Morgan's handwriting on it. The date is months after he was hanged. There's a cold feeling here, just like a few minutes ago. Let's go."
As Judson and Mac walked towards the gate, he could feel the air as it became colder and then he heard the sounds of the whispering on the wind.
"Captain I followed them here, but I didn't know where they were going until I saw the stone and the name on it."
"Why did you bring me here, Mr. Smith?"
"Because you need to see this Captain."
"All right... what am I supposed to look at?"
"You need to look at this one," he replied as he pointed to the name on the stone.
"Is this some kind of joke, Mr. Smith?"
"No sir, Captain."
"This can't be Mary, but then, maybe Jamie Boy was telling me the truth."
"Captain, he wouldn't lie to you. When he tried to tell you, you thought he was lying but we wasn't. He did go back and find Mary. He brought her here but by then, you were fighting to stay alive."
"For years, I blamed myself for leaving without her, but she made me leave. Jamie Boy did save her and my son. I didn't even know anything about him."
"Are you all right, Captain?"
"Yes, Mr. Smith. I just want to stay here for awhile with Mary."
As he stood there, Mr. Smith saw the tears as they rolled down the Captain's face. You're getting closer, Mr. Cross, just keep looking and soon you will know everything, thought Mr. Smith.
Gabe was walking towards the kitchen when he thought he heard voices above on deck. He turned and went to the stairs and started up when he saw Judson coming down.
"Am I glad to see you. There's been things going on here that I can't explain. I told you about the box. Now I keep hearing the sounds of a woman crying and when I go to look, there's no one there. Just now, I was going to the kitchen because I heard the crying coming from that area. Once again, no one was there."
"There's a lot of strange things going on. Remember when I read about how the Captain felt about losing his Mary? Well, he didn't. We went through the birth records for several children that were born on the island. We found nine of them had the last name of Morgan. The first one was Jacob Morgan and his mother was Mary Morgan."
"You're going to tell me that his father was Henry Morgan but Morgan had already been hanged by then."
"I told myself that it wasn't possible but we met this man who was willing to help us with any questions. We showed him the records of Jacob and he said that it was right. He then took us to a cemetery and showed us the grave of Mary Morgan. He gave me these two books to read. One is Mary's journal. The other one has to do with Henry Morgan."
He thought he could hear someone yelling down the hallway. He looked up to see Mac coming and she looked like she was mad.
"Judson, someone has been going through my room and they have moved everything on my dresser. The necklace that Jean Paul gave me is gone and this was sprayed all over my things," reported an angry Mac as she held up an empty perfume bottle.
"I thought I heard sounds coming from your room, but I decided not to look. Sorry, Mac."
"I want the necklace back, so whoever took it had better return it."
"Gabe, we came back because you said that you have the location of the x's on the map."
"Yes, it's here on the computer. I used a map of the current Tortuga and then overlaid the map from the medallion. This is what I found. All of the x's are a different location on the island. This also came up. It looks like some kind of emblem. At first I wasn't sure, but then I remembered seeing it on the medallion."
"This map has to be some kind of treasure map and the x's could be where it's buried. However, most of the treasure was turned over to the English. There are only four x's so tomorrow we go back to the island and see what's at each x."
"Judson I've been reading the first few pages of Mary Morgan's journal and she was some lady. She was born into nobility and was fascinated by Captain Morgan and his exploits on the high seas. Against her parents' wishes, she married Morgan and went with him to Port Royal. You have to listen to this."
It has been almost six months since Henry and I came here. He is doing great as the governor. Many things have changed with this port city. We receive things every day from England and the attacks on the ships have stopped. Many feel that Henry is responsible for it, but there are others who are saying that Henry's men are behind them and that he is controlling them. I'm afraid that something may happen here soon. One of my close friends came today to tell me that the people are becoming quite upset over the latest news. A British ship has been attacked and sunk with everyone on board. Many of those were family members of others here in the city. I went with Sara for a walk today and I could hear them as they whispered behind me as I walked along. Sara is right. I will have to stay in the house. Her husband, James, has been bringing me news. I haven't seen Henry for several days now, but I know that he is all right.
James was here today and the news was not good. The people want to hang Henry. They have been told that he is the captain of The Black Rose and it is a well-known pirate ship. James has had some men come to the house. They are going to help me get off the island, but I still don't know about Henry.
The men have come to take me to a ship and away from Port Royal. There is something wrong. They are not going in the direction of the harbor but toward the city. They keep saying that I will take my Henry's place on the gallows to avenge the death of their family members who died. We haven't gone very far when we were stopped by several men. They say that they are here for me and that if anyone should ask, tell them Jamie Boy took Captain Morgan's wife. I know very little about him but Henry has talked of him. He says that there is only one place where I'll be safe and that's the Island of Tortuga.
"I'm starting to get an idea of why I'm here. This is pretty much a love story of two people who were separated by the hatred of people, but there's more. I can feel it. We are going back to the island and get started on the map. Gabe, pick up that book on the table. There is something interesting about it and we are going to find out now."
"He is getting closer to all of the answers, Captain."
"Yes, he is, Mr. Smith and then maybe I can finally rest."
"Captain, there's someone else here. I can feel it."
"Come, Mr. Smith. I'm very tired and I need to rest for a while."
"I've been waiting for you to come back and I can wait a little longer," replied the soft-spoken voice.
"Mac, what's the matter with you?" Judson asked.
"Didn't you smell it?"
"I could smell my perfume and it seemed to be floating around the room. I thought I could also hear bells ringing."
"That's what that smell was, but I didn't hear any bells."
"My missing necklace has three little bells and I swear I could hear it."
"I'll give it back soon," came the soft voice of the woman as she held the bells in her hand.
Judson picked up the journal that Joseph had let him borrow. As he turned each page and read what had been written, he found that he was right. He compared the two writings and then knew they were the same. This journal had been written long after Morgan had been hanged.
"Captain, he found the journal that you kept. Did you want him too?"
"Yes, Mr. Smith. Now he will find more answers and we need to go with him. He is going back to the island to locate the x's on the map."
"Are you guys ready? We need to go back to the island. I have more questions and I need to know the answers," Judson stated.
"For the last few days, we have been reading these journals, hoping to find the answers, but all we've found are more questions. What we need to do is find the Morgan family and talk to them."
"The two journals were written by the same man, that we know for sure, but there is still something wrong here. I'm just not seeing it."
"Judson, we know the first journal came from the wreck but Mr. Kidd took the second one off the shelf and handed it to you. If Morgan wrote the second one, how did it get on the shelf? Morgan was in a prison in England," Gabe inquired.
"The first one he wrote after leaving Port Royal because he talks about Mary and the year was March 1688. The second one is dated December 1688 but that means it was written after he was hanged. This is his handwriting though."
"Judson, what are you thinking?" Mac asked.
"What if Morgan didn't hang like history says he did. Remember King George offered him and his men amnesty to fight in their war against France. What if he used that to free himself and the others?"
"According to history, it was Morgan and the other captains and their crews who were hanged," Gabe stated.
"I have been reading some of the pages and I think I'm on to something. Listen to what I've read. It's Morgan's thoughts."
The morning sun will soon be here as I look around at the other captains and their men. I know how they feel. We were betrayed by the very King that promised us amnesty to fight for him but soon it will all be over. I sit here watching Mr. Smith. He has been with me since the beginning and is my closest friend. He has a wife back on Tortuga and I'm sure that the British have all but destroyed the island. He must be worried about her.
In the last few hours, I have heard from the guards that they have captured Blackbeard. I thought that he would have made it. I have been watching but I have not seen or heard about Jamie Boy. I hope he has made it to safety. I have been unable to sleep for the sound of the gallows being built. It is an awful sound.
Many of the guards are now running as if for their lives. Some are saying that several ships have blocked off the harbor and that men are running toward the prison. One of the guards says that the men are pirates here to rescue their captains and the others. I will stop here and hope it is Jamie Boy.
"This may explain some of the journal. He wrote parts of it while in prison but there are more entries at a later date."
"Mr. Smith, how did they get that journal?"
"I kinda put it on the shelf so that he could find it. Mr. Kidd let him take it so he could read it."
"Once again there's a Kidd in my business just like the old days, Mr. Smith."
"We need to talk to the Morgan family now. The answers are starting to come together. We are going back to look at the records of the Morgans that we found earlier."
As Judson walked toward the Hall, he could see three men coming closer. Judson and the others entered the hall and went to the records of the Morgan Family. Judson glanced over his shoulder and saw the men and they came into the Hall.
"Excuse me, but are Judson Cross?" asked one of the men.
"Yes I am and this is Mac and Gabe. May I ask who you gentleman are?"
"We may be able to help you with your questions. My name is John Morgan and these are my brothers, James and Steven. Joseph thought that we could help."
"Maybe you can."
"We heard that you were looking for The Black Rose. Did you find her?"
"Yes, I did, a few days ago. We have brought up several items from the wreck including a medallion worn by Captain Morgan. Yesterday we recovered a safe in what would have been Morgan's cabin. When we opened it, we found several boxes. In one of them, we found his journal. On one of the page, he writes that someday someone will find the truth and that will change everything. Do you know what he means by the truth?"
"Everyone knows that Morgan was a pirate and that he was hanged by the British for treason," Gabe commented.
"Ask yourself this? How do you hang someone for treason if he's not a British citizen?"
"You wouldn't be able to unless he was a citizen," Judson replied as he looked at John.
"Over the years, we have learned many things about Captain Morgan. James and I even went to England in hopes of finding anything that we could about our ancestors. In the journal you are holding, Morgan writes that one day someone will find the real truth about him."
"What truth is he talking about?" Judson questioned.
"That's what we asked ourselves too. We read his last journal from cover to cover and then on the last page, we found a what looked to be a family crest."
Judson opened the book to the last page and then he saw the crest. It was English, he thought.
"We made a copy of the page and took it with us. We had no idea what we would find, but we had to try. When we landed in England, we went to find the Hall of Records. The people were very willing to help us. One man even took us to the hall and helped us find books on Family Crests. We showed him the crest and he went and brought back this book. He opened it to the same crest and told us that it belonged to the Morgan family of Scotland.
He asked us why we were so interested in the Morgans. I told him that we were descendents of Henry Morgan, but he didn't believe us. We told him it was true but he just shook his head no and then he left. The book he gave us had to do with the Morgans. I spent most of the day reading it and was shocked at what I found.
Henry Morgan was not a pirate in the beginning. He was a captain in the Royal Navy and was known for his tactical strategies in destroying the Spanish Armada during England's war with Spain. King George knighted him and he was promoted to the rank of Admiral.
In a few months, all of this would change for Morgan. There was talk among his men of a pending war with France but the war with Spain had been a costly one with the loss of men and ships. The King then ordered Morgan to stop the French ships from leaving their port. He was to do it anyway he could. The King had heard how pirates were attacking any ships on the open sea.
Morgan ordered his men to dress as pirates and then could do as the King ordered. Morgan was to bring any gold and other valuable items back to England. For months, Morgan carried out the raids on the French Fleet, but after months and months of fighting France, the war ended. Captain Morgan returned to England with his men but what happened on their return surprised Morgan and his men. The King wanted to keep peace with France so he denied any knowledge of what Morgan had done. They were accused of piracy on the high seas.
Morgan and his men were forced to flee out to sea. After months of peace with France, the French attacked several British ships. Many were sunk. The war had been started again. King George now knew that only Morgan could help to defeat the French Navy. The Royal Navy was ordered to find him and bring him back to England. The captain of the English ship was under orders to offer amnesty to Morgan and his men. Morgan agreed to the offer for the sake of his men.
Morgan believed that he would finally be able to return to his home, but once again, the King was lying. They had no choice but to leave England. This time Morgan vowed to destroy the King and anyone else who got in his way.
So Morgan was forced into piracy by the betrayal of King George. It would have been the only way for them to survive. King George ordered his Navy to hunt Morgan and his men and return them to England to be hanged for treason against the crown."
"So the truth that Morgan writes about is what happened to him and his men," Judson replied. "He and his men were forced into piracy because the King refused to take responsibility for the attacks on the French even though he ordered Morgan to carry them out."
"He's finding the answers. Maybe he can change history for us, Captain. Are you listening to me sir?"
"Sorry, Mr. Smith. I was looking at the men Mr. Cross is talking to. I can see me in their faces and I like it. Come, Mr. Smith. We have someplace to be. We can come back later."
He's going back to be with Mary, thought Mr. Smith.
"According to history, the King ordered the Royal Navy to hunt Morgan and his men down and to bring them back to England to be hanged," Judson remarked.
"What you said is true, but Morgan fled to Tortuga where he knew that he would be safe. Several months later, Morgan awoke to the sounds of cannon fire. He went to the nearest wall to look and that's when he saw the British Navy. They were a few yards from the mouth of the inlet. Morgan knew that if they were to enter that there would be no hope for any of them. Morgan ordered the cannons to be fired on his ship and to sink her. Some of the men thought he was crazy but he knew what he was doing. If he could block the inlet then the British wouldn't be able to move any further giving Morgan and the others a chance to escape."
"I remember reading how they went across the island to the other side where Jamie Boy had anchored The Seahawk and The Crimson Blood and they were able to make their escape. But I also read that a few months later, Morgan and many of the others were captured by the British," Judson continued.
"Yes, it's true but how did the British know where Tortuga was? We have asked ourselves this question over and over. There had to be a spy among his men."
"Morgan and his men found themselves in a prison back in London. They had all been found guilty of piracy on the high seas and of treason against the crown. There seemed to be no hope for them," John stated.
"Judson, you need to read this. I've been reading Morgan's second journal and I think you better look at it," Mac interrupted as she passed Judson the journal.
Judson took the journal from her and started reading where Mac had marked the page.
"You all should listen to this. Morgan started it while in prison. This is what he wrote."
The morning sun is starting to rise. The light is just coming through the bars of the window. It feels like we have been here forever, but it has only been a few weeks. I could not sleep last night because of the sounds of the men as they build the gallows. It is an awful sound and I hear it every day. When the sounds are gone, I know it will mean that time is near. I have tried to plead for the lives of my men but they wouldn't listen to me.
It has been several days since my last entry and the guards say it won't be long before they will be ready. There is a loud noise coming from the hallways. It is the sounds of the guards yelling and screaming. There have been guns going off. I thought I could hear Jamie Boy but I'm not sure. I looked up to see him standing in front of my cell. He says that he is here with others to rescue us. It is a good feeling. It has been months since I have been on a ship. It will feel good to go home.
"Morgan wrote more but it's mostly about his life once he came back to Tortuga," Judson finished.
"Didn't he know that Mary had come to the island?" Gabe asked.
"Didn't Jamie Boy tell him that the one person he loved had been rescued and brought to the island?" Mac added.
"Mary wrote in her journal that she made Jamie Boy promise not to tell him. She was doing it to protect herself and her son. By the time she was ready to tell him, it was too late. Mr. Smith found Captain Morgan dead in his bed. Later they learned that he had been poisoned but no one knows how it happened. Mr. Smith was the only one to take food and drink to him but he would never have done anything like that. They were too close," John replied.
"After Morgan's death, Jamie Boy told Mary. He took her everyday to the place where they had buried him. To Jamie Boy, the Captain was like the father he never had and Morgan treated him like a son," James continued.
"What will you do with everything that you find here," asked Steven.
"What we find will here will stay here. A museum will be built for the artifacts to be put on display here," Judson replied.
"It's getting late, Mr. Cross. We need to get home. We'll be back tomorrow and help you with the map," John said.
"It's late for us as well. We'll meet you here in the morning."
"What is it, Gabe?"
"I've been here listening to you talk about Jamie Boy and how he was always there for Morgan. I read in the journal that we found on the wreck that Morgan found him when he was a small boy. He didn't even know his name so Morgan called him Jamie Boy. He was like a son to him," Gabe replied.
"We need to go back to the Explorer. We still have a lot of work ahead of us. I could use some sleep too."
As they walked out of the hall, Judson turned and walked to the cemetery. He had to see it one more time, he thought. As he got closer, he could feel the air become colder and then he thought he could hear someone crying but there was no one there. As he looked harder, he saw the ghostly form of what looked like a woman and she seemed to be floating over the grave of Mary Morgan. When he moved closer, it vanished.
Judson turned back toward the harbor and continued walking. He could still hear the whispering sound of a woman's voice. He looked but he just shook his head and walked on.
"Captain, we should go. We have been here for a while."
"I know, Mr. Smith, but now that I have found her, I don't want to leave her ever again."
"Henry, we'll be together soon," cried the soft-spoken voice of Mary. "I have missed you so much my love."
"If you'll excuse me, I'm going to bed. It has been a long day and tomorrow will be here soon enough," Judson said as he stood up and headed down the hallway.
"What do you think we'll find tomorrow?" Gabe asked as he continued going over the map and the different location of the four x's.
"I don't know but I know that Judson is excited about what he has found. Earlier I saw him looking at the site of the wreck and I heard him say that this could be the biggest find of his career even bigger than the shipwreck he found a couple years ago."
Judson tried to sleep but he kept tossing and turning no matter how hard he tried to sleep. He had learned so much about Morgan, more than he had hoped for and now it was going over and over in his head. He still couldn't believe that the very King who had made Morgan a knight would betray him, accusing him of treason.
Finally, he sat up on the edge of the bed, holding his head in his hands. There's no way he could sleep so he started to put his pants back on. He opened the door and walked down the hallway to the kitchen. Maybe something hot would help he thought. He had just started the pot of coffee going when he noticed Morgan's journal on the table. He wanted to open it and read more of what Morgan had written but he really needed to go back to bed. I can forget about sleeping, he thought. He felt as if the journal was calling his name.
As he sat down at the table, he opened the journal and started reading. The second journal is just as fascinating as the first, he thought. Morgan had written in detail everything that had happened after he escaped from King George's prison.
Most of the men have made it including several captains and their men. I have asked but no one knows if Blackbeard escaped. The men are yelling that we should blowup the prison so no one is put there again. The other captains all agree that we should show them who we really are now. Mr. Smith says it's my decision. Jamie has all ready turned the Crimson Blood broadside and ordered the cannon loaded, ready to fire. Jamie Boy knows that I want to give the order but as a warning to the King that Morgan is declaring war against him.
I can see him as he stands there with the torch ready to light the first cannon. I see his smile and I know what I have to do. I raised my cutlass as a signal to Jamie Boy. He has lit the first one. It will hit the prison. As I watch, it hits the outer walls, sending rocks flying everywhere, most falling into the sea that surrounds the prison. I have ordered him to fire one more cannon and this will bring down the union jack and all it stood for.
I have given the order to set sail for the open seas. I watch Mr. Smith as he turns the wheel as we leave the harbor. I have men watching for any signs of British ships. I know that they will hunt us until the last man is dead.
I need more coffee, Judson thought as he stood up and walked to the counter. Pouring another cup, he couldn't stop thinking about what he had been reading. He sat the cup down and continued reading.
It has been days since the escape. No one has seen any ships that might be English. Captain Hawkins has told me that Captain Scott has died. He was wounded while escaping from the prison. I have talked to his men that survived and they are willing to join us. We have decided to sail for Tortuga. It used to be a safe haven for us at one time, but we don't know now.
We have been at sea for weeks now and there have been several close calls with other ships. I can hear Mr. Smith yelling about seeing land. It could only be Tortuga. I have spent the last few hours thinking about the families of the men who didn't come back but I must remember that we have a promise to take care of their wives and children. Captain Hawkins and I have been talking about what to do now. We know that we will need more ships. There is the Crimson Blood and The Seahawk. We will have to send men to Jamaica to learn when English ships will be coming. Jamie Boy has agreed to go with some men.
"As I sit here reading your journal, Captain, you must have been some kind of man in your day. I know that you are here right now. I could feel the air as it became colder and then it felt like someone was watching me. I knew that as I got closer, you would be coming around more and I'm right, aren't I?"
"Yes, Mr. Cross, you are right but soon you'll have all of the answers. As you read more of the journal, you'll find some of those answers," Captain Morgan replied.
"So I need to keep reading. What will I find?"
"Just keeping reading and see what you find."
"I need more coffee before I continue. I could use something stronger but coffee will have to do."
Judson turned toward the table. He could have sworn that he heard a loud noise. There on the table was a large jug. That wasn't there earlier, Judson thought. He picked it up and removed the cork. One whiff told him it was rum.
"So you think this will help huh? All right but just a little," he replied as he poured some into the coffee. "I need to finish your journal tonight so as you leave, please take the jug with you."
"Mr. Smith, would you please pick up the jug. We need to leave so he can finish reading."
"I have it Captain. Do you think that maybe I could have just one drink?"
"No, Mr. Smith. Now we need to go."
Judson picked up the journal and continued reading.
It has been days since we arrived here and I can see that the men are getting restless. There has been talk of fighting back at the British. I agree with them but first we must have more ships. I have sent Jamie Boy and several men to Jamaica to find more ships. He knows who to go to. Mr. Jones will help him and then send him home.
Mr. Smith has been watching for Jamie Boy's return. He says that he can see The Crimson Blood and there are three more ships following it. I have gone to the harbor to look at the new ships and I noticed they were flying the Union Jack. Jamie Boy tells me that Mr. Jones says not to worry about their crews. That means they are now part of another ship's crew.
With the new ships, we have started the raids against the British ships. I have given orders that they are to take any cargo found as well as any treasures they may find, but they are not to sink any ships. I want their Captain to go to the King and tell him that it was Captain Morgan who is taking his ships.
There have been many raids in the last year but they will continue till I say to stop. I have given command of the ships to Jamie Boy. I feel that the years are catching up with me. Jamie Boy has been to Jamaica. He has heard that the British are afraid to send any ships to the Caribbean for fear of being attacked. Jamie Boy says that we have beaten the English but I'm not sure. We'll have to wait and see.
Jamie Boy tells me what is happening every day but I no longer feel the way I used to. I have decided to retreat to the other side of the island where I can live out my life in peace. It will be the first time in years that I won't have to look over my shoulder to see who is coming. Mr. Smith says that he is going with me. He says that I will need him. Maybe he is right. We have been together for a long time.
As Judson turned the page, he noticed that the handwriting had changed. Jamie Boy had written the next entry. As he looked at the pages, he could see what looked like watermarks. He started to read the next pages. Jamie Boy had written about the last days of Captain Morgan.
"It has to be hard for you, Jamie Boy, to sit there and not let your feelings be known. Those are your tears. I can see them as they roll down your cheek and fall down on to the pages. It must have been hard for you to write about his final day as he lay dying.
He was the father you never had and now he is gone. But there is more that you feel. He has been talking of Mary for the last few days and you can't tell him because she made you promise to never tell him and now that he is gone, you can tell him. It was the last entry in his journal."
"Mr. Smith, what is Mr. Cross talking about? He says that Jamie Boy has made an entry in my journal. Is it true? Did Jamie Boy know that Mary had escaped from Port Royal?"
"Yes, Captain, he did and he is the one who found her with help from her friends. He brought her to Tortuga. She made him promise not to tell you. Jamie Boy was there when your son, Jacob, was born. He begged her to let him tell you of the boy but she told him no once again."
"She was afraid that your enemies might take her and the boy, forcing you to make a decision."
"She was right to keep it from me but Jamie Boy was there to help her."
"It should have been you, Henry, but I couldn't take that risk," replied the soft-spoken voice.
"Mr. Smith, did you say something to me?"
"No sir, Captain."
"We should be going Mr. Smith."
Judson could feel the coldness leaving as he turned to the last few pages. On the last page, there was another map just like the others. He could see that it was the same but there was writing over the x's now. Is this what you wanted me to see?
He looked to see what time it was. Soon the sun would be up, he thought. He stood up and walked over to the deck, leaning against the rail. I never realized what I would find when I started this search a few months ago. I need to get Mac and Gabe up. We have to meet John and his brothers at the hall soon.
He knocked on their doors as he walked down the hallway to his room. Maybe a shower would help. Just then, Mac opened her door.
"Judson? You look like you've been up all night but didn't you go to bed early?"
"I did, but I couldn't sleep so I finished reading the last of Morgan's Journals. I found another map on the last page but this time there is writing over the x's. Make sure Gabe is up and have the Equinox ready. I'll be out as soon as I get a shower."
Mac turned to see Judson as he came through the door and headed for the Equinox.
"Are you guys all ready?" Judson asked.
"I think so. Judson, did you hear voices last night? I could swear I heard someone talking," Gabe replied.
"Mac, we need to be in front of the hall. That's where John said he'd meet us," Judson continued, ignoring Gabe's question.
"There's John on the dock and his is alone. Wonder where his brothers are," Mac questioned.
"Good morning, Mr. Cross. Throw me the rope and I'll tie it off."
"Where are your brothers?" Mac asked.
"Gabe gave them a copy of the map so they have started looking for the first x."
"Maybe this will help a little more. I found this on the last page of the journal last night and someone has written over the x's," Judson remarked.
"Can I see the map?"
"What are you smiling at John?"
"You found this on the last page of Morgan's last journal?"
"Yes, I did. Is there something wrong with it?"
"No, there's nothing wrong with it. It's just that who ever made this map, wrote the exact location of each x."
"What's so funny then?"
"We knew that map was there but someone really wants you to find out what those x's mean. The writing wasn't there before. We found that journal a few years ago and there was no writing in it then."
"Mr. Smith, did you do that?"
"No, he didn't. I did it," replied an unknown voice.
"It's me, Jamie Boy, Captain."
"Why are you here?"
"I have been with you for a long time. I just couldn't leave you."
"You wrote the exact location of each x so it would help him. You have been helping him too."
"But how did you know that?"
"It was you who showed him where the safe was in the wreck."
"What, Mr. Smith?"
"They are getting into that," he replied as he pointed at the jeep.
"We need to follow them," the Captain stated.
"Where are you taking us?" Judson asked.
"I'm taking you to the first x on the map. James and Steven should be there now."
"How did they know where to go?"
"James took a map of Tortuga and the other map and after studying it, realized that the first x was near Pirates Cove. I saw the map you have now and he was right. The map says something about a pirate and his cove."
"What do you think we'll find at each of the x's?" Gabe asked.
"I don't know. For years, people have come here searching for Morgan's treasure. They never find anything and give up after a while."
"Do you think he buried it in four different places?"
"I don't really know but if you do find it, what will you do with it?"
"It will stay here. A museum will be built on the island and whatever we find will be put in it, including the treasure."
"I just wanted to ask since it's a part of our history. What do you get for finding it?"
"There is a finder's fee for whoever find the treasure."
"This is the first location. James says that they have found something."
"Steven and I were looking around the area and we found this x on a rock so we started digging. This is what we found," John informed them as he pointed to a metal chest, "but the lock needs a key."
"What about the key we found in the medallion," Gabe asked.
"It can't be the key. That medallion was on The Black Rose."
"Judson, what's that on the ground?" asked Mac.
"It looks like the key but where did it come from?"
"Jamie Boy, did you do that?" asked the Captain.
"Yes I did and it is the key from the medallion. After you died, I took it and some other things and had some men drop it into area of The Black Rose."
"Judson, try it and see what happens."
He put the key into the lock and turned it. The lock opened. He lifted the lid and then just smiled. He had found part of the treasure.
"John, using this map, would your brothers go to the other sites and bring back what they find? Here is the key."
"They will do it. Now what happens after this?" John asked.
"A team will come in and start building a museum and then everything that is found here will be put on display. It will take at least five years to excavate what remains of The Black Rose. Another team will be here to record and catalog each item that is found."
"You will be coming back to see how things are coming?"
"Yes, I will be coming back from time to time to make sure that things are going right. The last few weeks have really been an adventure and I found more than I ever expected but I have one more thing to do. I talked to a friend of mine who has a friend that is a publisher. She told him about the journals of Henry Morgan and he wants to make a book out of them."
"How do we thank you? After all these years, the truth about Morgan will finally be known."
"As soon as they are done, the journals are to be sent back to you, John. When I first came here, I believed it was to find The Black Rose but now I know there was another reason. You'll have to excuse me. I have something to do. Mac, you and Gabe get the Vast Explorer ready to leave. I'll be back shortly."
Judson walked the few steps to the cemetery. He opened the iron gate and continued walking to where Mary was buried. He stopped in front of the stone and then turned his head slowly to the right and looked at the new stone. It marked the new resting place of Captain Henry Morgan.
"I know that you brought me here to find the truth about you, but you have found the love that you lost. Henry, all you have to do is say her name and she will come to you."
"How did you know I was here?"
"I could feel the air getting colder. Are you going to ask her?"
"Yes, but it's been a long time."
"Mary, can you come to him?"
"I have been here waiting for him for so long."
Judson turned and walked out the gate. The gate closed behind him. Judson stopped and smiled.
"Take care of the Captain and his lady."
"I will, Mr. Cross, just like I have for all these years," replied Mr. Smith.
I know you will, Mr. Smith, thought Judson as he continued walking.