Blackadder : Serpent of the Seven Seas

This play was written in 1999, so it's quite old now. Blackadder and his crew are aboard the S.S. Flotsam, and old termite-ridden pirate ship. Captain Melchett is a Navy Captain on the HMS Archaic, with orders to search ships and apprehend pirates. Rum is the Captain of a merchant vessel, and has a reputation as an easy target for pirates. Flashheart is a rival pirate Captain, who has just captured a new ship, the Mary Celeste.

Most of the Characters will be familiar to 'Blackadder' fans, except Barnabas, Jones, Marco Rolo, Richard and Mate. Barnabas is from the West Indies, and is Blackadder's First Mate, as he is the only other crew member with two brain cells to rub together. Jones is a fat warty slob, who spends far too much time talking to Baldrick.

Marco Rolo is a Spanish Mercenary who thinks just like Flashheart. Richard is a boot-licking swine, who could probably lead a mutiny if he wasn't so far up Melchett's arse. Rum's Mate is just a waste of space. The play is set in 1872, at about the time when the Mary Celeste was lost.

Disclaimer: I do not own 'Blackadder', in any of it's historical incarnations. I am writing this story for my own enjoyment, and do not intend to make any profit from it.


(Opening Music - Theme Tune, from Blackadder II, Any Episode)
Narrator is on stage, narrating.

Narrator: History has known many great liars. From Henry VII, the King of England who lied to cover up the existence of his lying, bastard predecessor Edmund, to the wartime General Melchett, who filed false reports to hide the shame of a Captain Blackadder, the greatest coward in the British army. All these lies will be revealed in time, and now, we present one more chapter of a history never before told, a side road of history that got ignored, because it led to a pile of raw human sewage, a pile named Captain Edmund Blackadder, the Serpent of the Seven Seas.

Scene 1

Blackadder and Baldrick are at the front of the boat. Baldrick is staring out from the ship's bow, and Blackadder is sitting nearby, looking bored.

Baldrick: Isn't it amazing, Cap'n?

Blackadder: Hmm?

Baldrick: The sea, Cap'n! The majestic waves, the beautiful horizon... It's fascinating.

Blackadder: Frankly, Baldrick, no, it is not fascinating. In fact, I could have a far more fascinating experience reading the Boringsville gazette to a group of politicians in the most tedious bar in Port Boring, than I will ever have from staring out to sea.

Baldrick: How can you say that?

(Blackadder rises and joins Baldrick at the ship's bow)

Blackadder: Simple, Baldrick. Look North, and there is sea. Look South, and there is sea. Look in any direction possible, and there is sea. Sea as far as the eye can see. There is a recurring theme here, Baldrick. Can you tell me what it is?

Baldrick: Is it something to do with the sea, Cap'n?

Blackadder: Congratulations, Baldrick. It is something to do with the sea. The point is, there is sea all around us. There is nothing but sea all around us. The only prospect for any change, or anything approaching interest, is the rare occurrence of a lump of wood bobbing around on the waves. And should such an event occur, I assure you I will sell tickets for the event.

Baldrick: I'd buy a ticket, Cap'n.

Blackadder: Baldrick, even the warts on Jones' face would buy a ticket, or suffer the risk of being bored straight off his face. Of course, this state of affairs does mean that we can create our own entertainment quite readily.

Baldrick: How's that then, Cap'n?

Blackadder: We are standing on a ship, Baldrick, which is so termite-ridden and rotted, that should anyone land heavily on the deck, sufficient pieces of wood would fall from the hull, to create a spectacle that would entertain the crew for months to come.

Baldrick: Really, Cap'n?

(Baldrick makes to jump on the deck, Blackadder restrains him quickly)

Blackadder: Yes, Baldrick, but don't do it just yet. Mind you, I suppose it's my own fault really.

Baldrick: Why's that then?

Blackadder: I should never have bought a boat from a Chinaman. It's Junk.

Scene 2

All of Blackadder's crew except Darling and George are standing around a table. There is a discussion going on, and there is a map on the table. Darling is in the crow's nest, and George is steering the ship.

Blackadder: So. We have assembled the greatest navigational minds among us, and after several hours of careful and constant contemplation and discussion... None of have a bloody clue where we are.

General murmurings of agreement and cluelessness.

Blackadder: Excellent. With the combined experience of seamanship and navigation at our command, we have managed to lose ourselves in the middle of nowhere, with no land within sight in any direction.

More murmurings.

Blackadder: Does anyone have any idea what we can do?

(Baldrick raises his hand)

Blackadder: (Ignoring Baldrick) Anyone at all?

Baldrick: I do, Cap'n. I have a cunning plan, Cap'n.

Blackadder: All right, Baldrick. Let's hear it.

Baldrick: We could look at the map, and find out where the closest piece of land is.

Blackadder: An excellent idea, Baldrick, with only two tiny drawbacks. None of the incompetents in this crew have the intelligence to know how to read a map, and the map in question is old enough to still feature Atlantis. This, Baldrick, is why we don't just look at the map.

Baldrick: Oh.

Jones: What we could do, is we could stop the next ship we see, and get them to tell us where we are.

Blackadder: Again, Jones, a somewhat flawed plan. Not only are we pirates renowned as something of a sea hazard which should be avoided at all costs, we are also some way away from England's green and pleasant land. The chances of us coming across a ship, with an English-speaking crew, which are willing to help us, are almost as remote as the chance of Baldrick taking a bath.

Jones shuffles on the spot, looking sheepish.

Blackadder: Now, do we have any suggestions from anyone with enough brains to outwit the planks I am standing on.

Total silence.

Blackadder: Good. Now that we have agreed to let the ship sail on aimlessly until we fall off the edge of the Earth, we should get on with our fascinating lives. Jones, go take the wheel from George, and get him to go and check on Darling in the crow's nest. Barnabas, go and cook up another round of your culinary delights. Might I suggest ship's biscuit a la mould, easy on the maggots. And Baldrick, just... go.

Scene 3

Darling is up in the crow's nest, looking bored. He has a telescope. Blackadder climbs up the ladder to join him, and starts looking out to sea.

Darling: There's nothing out there, Cap'n.

Blackadder: (Turns to face Darling) You don't think so, Darling?

Darling: Of course not, Cap'n. If there was anything, I would have seen it through my telescope. (Gestures with telescope)

(Blackadder takes off the lens cap)

Darling: Oh...

Blackadder: Actually, I think you're mistaken, Darling. At about 40 degrees to starboard, there is a small island. It's quite close, in fact it's close enough for me to be able to see a number of gorgeous hula girls, and some ripe fruit hanging on the trees.

Darling: Why don't we head for it, then?

Blackadder: I'm a bit worried by the huge, lighting-bolt wielding giant guarding the island. I think he may be a God or something.

Darling: Oh well. The search continues then, eh Cap'n?

Blackadder: The search for a creature of the even the most basic intelligence on this ship of lunatics? Yes, Darling, I'm afraid it does.

Darling: What do you mean?

Blackadder: (Sighs) Nothing, Darling. Nothing at all. Much like what is happening on this little pleasure cruise of ours.

Darling: True, Cap'n. Anyway, what's going on down below?

Blackadder: (Fake posh accent) Oh, we're having a delightful time, Darling. We've just had a quick game of shuffleboard, and when I get back down, we're going to have a bash at some on-deck croquet.

Scene 4

Blackadder has come back down from the crow's nest, and is standing next to Jones, who is at the wheel. Baldrick and George are with them. Barnabas is nearby, hanging over the deck.

Baldrick: Is there no land in sight, Cap'n?

Blackadder: That, Baldrick, is an understatement. There is so little land in the area, that should any land be sighted, we would have to use it to bury the crewmembers that died of shock from the event.

Jones: Never mind, Cap'n, at least we've got plenty of food and water. We won't starve here at sea.

Blackadder: Not quite, Jones. The rats and maggots will not starve out here. The ship's biscuits are coated in mould and rat's droppings, the water tastes more strongly of urine with each passing day, and I'm considering giving the salted meat a burial at sea.

Jones: Why's that, Cap'n?

Blackadder: (Walks toward Barnabas, and gestures for Jones and Baldrick to follow. George takes the wheel.) Well, Jones, there is a reason that there are constantly flies in Barnabas' kitchen, and it is not the fact that Baldrick pays regular visits. The meat is riddled with fly eggs, fly vomit and fly excrement. Almost certain to cause any idiot who would eat it to vomit constantly for hours. Isn't that right, Barnabas? (Pats Barnabas on the back)

Barnabas: Bleeeuagh!!!! (Vomiting over the side)

Baldrick: But what about that stew Darling gave me last night, Barnabas?

Barnabas: You mean the meat that I found sitting in that puddle of stale water? The one I told Darling to get rid of before anyone else smelt it, because it was so disgusting?

Baldrick: I thought Darling was giving me a bit on the side. It seemed fine to me. And it smelt so good.

Blackadder: Yes, Baldrick, I'm sure it did. Of course, you would know, being the ship's expert on rotten, putrid, disgusting things.

Baldrick: It wasn't rotten! It smelt fine, and it tasted so good.

Barnabas: Baldrick, There's one way to settle this. Could you get that last bit of meat from the galley for me?

Baldrick: (Gets up and walks to the edge of the stage) I can't see it!

Barnabas: (Walks up to just behind Baldrick) Look closer...

Baldrick: Nope. I still can't... Arrgh!

(Barnabas has just kicked Baldrick off stage)

Barnabas: Oops-a-daisy!

Blackadder: Thank you very much, Barnabas!

Scene 5

On the H.M.S. Archaic, with the entire navy crew on deck, doing their duties. Melchett is holding a piece of paper.

Melchett: First mate!

(Richard walks up)

Richard: Yes, Captain!

Melchett: I want you to tell the man in the crow's nest to keep an eye out for pirates. We've just had orders from fleet headquarters to apprehend any pirates we find, and do... (Pauses) ...oh, something nasty and horrible to them.

Richard: Yes, Captain! (Leaves)

Melchett: (Ranting to himself) It's not good enough, you know. These pirates, just roaming up and down the waves, doing whatever they please. They have to be stopped. I mean, one day just anyone will think they can go out and get goods like gold, jewels and decent booze. If it's not stopped, one day any old beggar will think they can come along and buy, borrow or steal things like jewellery and fine wine. It'll be the end of civilisation! Commoners will think they have rights, women will get the vote, and the Royal Navy might even wind up fighting alongside the French!

(Richard returns)

Melchett: Any ships on the horizon, First officer?

Richard: No, Captain. The sea's as clear as a bell. In fact, the sea is as clear as a bell made of clear glass, that's been polished so much it can see it's own reflection in itself.

Melchett: It's just as well they're staying out of my way, Richard. Those pirates do make my blood boil. If I never see another pirate again, I will be very happy.

Richard: So would I, Sir. But it would make it much harder to fulfil our orders if there were no pirates, wouldn't it?

Melchett: (Thinking) Yes, I suppose it would.

Richard: I was wondering, Sir. We haven't seen another ship out here since we arrived. Wouldn't it be a good idea to try another part of the ocean, to see if we have better luck?

Melchett: No, First officer, we're in the right place. I have very good intelligence that a band of ruthless pirates came this way, loaded down with the loot from their last victim. Now, all we have to do is find them, and we've got them red-handed.

(Call from crow's nest: 'Ship to Starboard')

Melchett: See, Richard, I told you. Although, now we'll all have to go through all the bother of capturing and interrogating some pirates. How terribly boring. Bring us to Port!

Richard: (Rolls eyes) The ship is to starboard...

Melchett: Starboard! Exactly! Bring us to starboard!

Scene 6

Back on Blackadder's ship, the crew are about to be boarded by the crew of the H.M.S. Archaic. They are about to notice the ship bearing down on them. Blackadder and Barnabas are playing chequers on deck, and the rest of the crew are sat around the deck, watching the game. Darling is in the crow's nest, asleep.

Blackadder: I'm glad I agreed to play this with you, Barnabas. There's nothing quite like a quiet, civilised game of chequers. And this is nothing like it.

Barnabas: Are you suggesting something, Cap'n?

Blackadder: Yes, I am. Jones and Baldrick come over every two minutes to laugh at my expense for a start, and then there's Darling snoring up in the nest. That's why it isn't quiet. And as for civilised, I'm sure you've taken at least three of my counters, and your parrot has eaten another one.

Barnabas: Are you suggesting I would cheat, Captain?

Blackadder: No, Barnabas. I am telling you, you are cheating, and doing it very badly.

Barnabas: Of course I'm not, Captain. Is that a ship to port?

Blackadder: (Looks away) Where?

(Barnabas puts a counter back on the board)

Barnabas: I must have been mistaken, Cap'n.

Baldrick: (Runs up to Blackadder and Barnabas) No, you weren't! I can see a ship to Port! (Gestures offstage)

Blackadder: (Still looking at the board) No, no, Baldrick. I've told you before, rocks do not count as ships.

Baldrick: (Looks at the ship) It's not a rock, Captain.

Blackadder: (Still ignores Baldrick) Seagulls, no matter how big, are not ships either, Baldrick. To be a ship, it has to be bigger than you, and made of wood.

Baldrick: (Checks again) It is bigger than me, and I think it's made of wood.

Blackadder: Darling! What's he dribbling about now?

Darling: (In Crow's nest, clearly just waking up. Looks out to sea) Oh, it's a ship, Cap'n! A navy ship, and it's bearing down on us!

Blackadder: Oh, bother. Baldrick!

Baldrick: Yes, Cap'n!

Blackadder: Go and hide all the loot we've pillaged for the last six months, and do it before that ship gets here.

Baldrick: At once, Captain. (Leaves)

Barnabas: (Still looking at the board) I didn't think we had pillaged any loot for the past six months, Captain.

Blackadder: No, we haven't. But it gets Baldrick out of my sight for a few hours until he figures that out.

(Melchett from offstage: 'Attention S.S. Flotsam! Stand fast and prepare to be boarded!')

Blackadder: (Shouts back, in a parody of Melchett) Attention Fish-face! Prepare to make a fool of yourself while wasting several hours of my time!

(Crew laughs)

Blackadder: (Gets up) I think this game will have to be cut short, Barnabas.

Barnabas: But we've almost finished, Cap'n. You've only got one piece left, and then I've won.

(Blackadder gets out his sword, and cuts through table and board)

Blackadder: What a pity. Our game was cut short. We'll just have to start again later.

(Melchett and his crew come onto the ship)

Blackadder: Oh, look. The return of the prodigal idiots. (Bows) And how may we serve your incompetence today?

Melchett: You can start by cutting out the stupid comments, Blackadder! There's been a lot of piracy on this part of the sea lately, and I think I know who's responsible.

Blackadder: Really? Then why not go and arrest them? If you go and arrest them, then I might start getting a ship worth looting once in a while. So, please, go ahead and arrest the culprit, lock them away and then put the key somewhere dark and forbidding. France, for example.

Melchett: Do you just make these comments to hide your fear, Blackadder, or do you really find yourself amusing?

Blackadder: I think I must be amusing, Melchett, because you are about as frightening as you are competent.

Melchett: Yes. I do strike the terror of God into the hearts of you pirates, don't I?

Blackadder: No, you strike terror into the heart of God. You see, He can't believe He could make such a colossal mistake.

Melchett: We'll see who makes the mistakes here, Blackadder! (Addresses his crew) Ransack this ship! Bring anything of any worth up here! Tear apart everything! Smash open the chests and cupboards! Break into every room!

Blackadder: But don't damage anything!

(Some of Melchett's crew go below)

Melchett: Right, Blackadder, I want a word with you...

(Blackadder and Melchett leave the rest of the crews)

Scene 7

Melchett is talking to Blackadder, with the rest of the crew to one side, Blackadder's crew surrounded by Melchett's.

Blackadder: They won't find anything, Melchett. They could break apart the entire ship, and they won't find anything.

Melchett: Maybe not, Blackadder. But at least I'll have the satisfaction of destroying your private property.

Blackadder: You know, Melchett, one day someone's going to stand up to you stuck-up, elitist navy snobs.

Melchett: Oh no! Have they set a date?

Blackadder: Yes, Melchett. It's tomorrow. In fact, if you sail away now and never come back, you might just escape before they get to you. Now, what do you want, Captain Incompetence?

Melchett: There's something I've never understood about you, Blackadder. You seem like an intelligent man. A bit disreputable, but not an idiot like most pirates. Why did you turn privateer instead of joining the navy?

Blackadder: Well, Melchett, I decided the navy wasn't really my scene. I mean look at them. A bunch of prepubescent, attention-seeking mummy's boys, who aren't old enough to drink, or even intelligent enough to open the bottle. A collection of childish morons so stupid, they could even make the French monarchy look vaguely intelligent. And that was just the Admiralty.

Melchett: I think you're being a trifle unfair, Blackadder.

Blackadder: You're right, of course. The French monarchy are every bit as stupid as the Admiralty.

Melchett: Still, you probably wouldn't have made it in the navy anyway. Yes, the life of a navy officer is a hard one, requiring endurance, integrity and skill.

Blackadder: And terrible dress sense. Don't feed me any of that rubbish, Melchett. You need to endure the indignity of having luxurious supplies paid for by the navy, and the only thing on a navy ship with any integrity is the hull. Which is a bit unfortunate, really. And as for skill, if you can get to be a Captain, I think Baldrick could succeed in the navy.

Melchett: Well, it's your loss, Blackadder. Now, let's see what my men have gathered from the bowels of your ship.

(Blackadder and Melchett return to the rest of the crew, as Richard and the others return)

Richard: Nothing, Sir. The holds are as bare as Admiral Dickerson's head. And at least twice as disgusting.

Blackadder: Of course they are. As if a group of upstanding seamen like us would ever steal anything. That's the government's job.

Melchett: Your luck holds out once again, Blackadder. But there's always another day. I wonder where the real pirates are...

Scene 8

The scene is on Flashheart's ship, the Mary Celeste, with all of his crew around him.

Flashheart: Well, crew, we've got a new ship, we've got some new supplies, and we've got a great Captain. What do you say, crew?

Crew: Hooray!

Flashheart: Good! Now, let's get out there and find that berk Blackadder and his cretinous crew! We'll see what treasure we can steal!

Crew: Hooray!

[Crew leave, except Bob and Flashheart]

Flashheart: After all these months at sea even that fool must have found something worth stealing. And speaking of fools, any idea where Captain 'Incompetence' Melchett and his shipload of losers is, Bob?

Bob: Oh, he's miles away, Captain. We told our last victim we were going off to the Spanish Main, so he's told Melchett and now he's gone off on a wild goose chase!

Flashheart: Good. So while Melchett sails off chasing his tail, we're free to pillage pillocks like Blackadder to our heart's content! It's the easy way to a successful life of piracy, Bob.

Bob: Yes, but why Captain Blackadder, Cap'n? Of all the Captains out captaining pirate ships out here at sea isn't there a Captain who's a better Captain than the Captain, Cap'n?

Flashheart: Almost certainly, Bob. In fact, I would be very disappointed if I was the only Captain better than Captain Blackadder. But, what you have failed to notice, is that it's just so easy to take treasure from Blackadder, that we don't have to bother going after the Blackbeards and the Captain Hooks. In fact, we don't even need to try to beat the second-rate pirates like Blackeye or Captain Shark-bait. We just don't have to bother.

Bob: But wouldn't we get more treasure if we boarded a better pirate?

Flashheart: Of course we would, Bob. But by taking such an easy route to fame and fortune, we leave more time for the important things in life!

Bob: And what's that, Cap'n?

Flashheart: Well, all the islands full of beautiful, pouting girls, of course! Woof, woof! Something far more important to do!

Scene 9

Melchett and his crew have left, and Blackadder's crew are sitting around on the deck of the S.S. Flotsam, trying to amuse themselves. George and Jones are staring at the mast, and Baldrick has the board, and is turning it over and reading it repeatedly by himself.

George: Come on, Left!!

Jones: Right! Right!

Blackadder: (Walks up to George and Jones) What are you two cretins doing?

George: (Points at mast) We're betting on which one of these flies reaches half-mast first.

Jones: We usually let Darling join in, but there were only two starters today.

Blackadder: So, this is how you two spend your time?

George: No. Usually, we have to get along without flies, so we bet on which board will fall off the hull next.

Blackadder: You pair really are pathetic. Why can't you be easy to entertain, like Baldrick over there?

Baldrick: (Reading board) How to keep an idiot entertained for hours... Please turn over... (Turns over board) How to keep an idiot entertained for hours... Please turn over... (Turns over board) How to keep an...

George: Well, we can't all be entertained by that one board, so why don't we all play a group game, Cap'n. How about a game of I Spy?

Blackadder: If I stab you in the chest, you'll know it's time to stop...

Barnabas: Okay, I'll start. I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with 'S'.

Jones: Sea!

Barnabas: Erm...No.

George: Sword!

Jones: Swordfish!

Barnabas: No, No.

Blackadder: Stupefying boredom.

Barnabas: No!

George: Scurvy!

Barnabas: No.

Blackadder: All right, Bonehead, what do you spy, with your bloodshot eye, that begins with 'S'?

Barnabas: Ship! The ship right behind you, there!

Blackadder: What rubbish! If there was a ship anywhere, then Darling would have... would have...

(Blackadder gets up and starts going over to the mast)

George: Well, hurrah, a ship to loot at last.

(Blackadder reaches the mast and knocks on it.)

Blackadder: I think we have to talk, Darling!

Darling: On my way, Cap'n!

(Darling comes down)

Darling: Yes, Cap'n?

Blackadder: Do you see that thing there, just there out to sea? Yes, that thing there, the only thing for miles around.

Darling: It looks like a ship to me, Cap'n.

Blackadder: Correct. It is a ship. It is a ship that is almost upon us. Were it not for bright-eyed Barnabas and his skills of observation, we would have missed our chance! Now, get ready to board that ship, men! Bring the ship about!

Scene 10

Scene is on ship, which is the merchant ship, S.S. Inept, under the command of Captain Rum. Mate and Rum are on deck, with other crewmembers.

Rum: Okay, men. Here's the situation. To get this ship, I had to spend my very last pennies. That means I have no money. So, if you, or anyone else, bust up this ship, we don't get another one. So, for Christ's sake, be careful. I don't want to be reckless.

(Voice from crow's nest: 'Pirate ship on the starboard bow!!')

Rum: Not pirates!! Full speed ahead!! Get us out of here!!!!!

(Fast Music, Rum's crew running around like lunatics)
(Rum's crew should overact completely, in amusing ways)

Rum: Yes! Yes! They won't catch me now! They won't-sink-my-ship!!!

(Agonisingly loud crunch, people fall down - the ship has crashed)

Rum: (Has fallen - kneeling on the ground) I may have run aground! But they haven't sunk me!!

Mate: And you didn't want to be wreckless, either.

(Voice from Crow's nest: 'Pirate ship weighing anchor just offshore')

(Rum moans, and collapses flat onto the deck)

Scene 11

Blackadder climbs onto the wreck of Rum's ship, with some of his crew. Rum is still on the floor, groaning.

Blackadder: No need to bow, Rum, it's just me. Get up off that deck.

(Rum gets up, looks miserable)

Blackadder: Ah, yes. Now, isn't that better? But, where are your manners? Say hello, Rum.

Rum: (Sounding fed-up) Hello, Blackadder.

Blackadder: There we are. Now that the pleasantries are over, let's get down to business. Speaking of which, how has business been lately?

Rum: Oh, terrible, Blackadder. Hardly worth looting the ship, really.

Blackadder: Oh, I am sorry. So my men will be wasting their time down in the bowels of your ship. (Motions for men to go below)

(Most of Blackadder's men go under the deck)

Rum: (Hesitates) Yes...

Blackadder: Right. Now for some of the formalities of the profession. You know the drill, Rum. If you and your men could form a circle... George, tie them up, would you?

(Rum's crew form a circle, George ties them up)
(Blackadder's crew bring a big chest up from below decks)

Blackadder: Well, for someone having such a bad time, your treasure chest seems quite full, Rum. And now, I seem to be honour-bound to take this wonderful booty. What an appalling life we pirates have to lead, eh?

(Rum looks sheepish)

Blackadder: Well, maybe it's just as well you're not feeling talkative today, Rum. I have a lot to do; you know, places to pillage, people to petrify, that sort of thing. Anyway, if you and your crew would just follow George and walk that plank over there, we'll be on our merry way.

(Rum's crew are shoved off stage)

Blackadder: (Calling to off-stage) Thank you very much. And have a nice day.

Scene 12

Back on Blackadder's ship, the crew are getting ready to start dividing up the treasure. The crew, except Baldrick, are sitting around a table on deck, with the treasure piled on top of it. Baldrick is still on the S.S. Inept, and is waiting offstage.

Blackadder: Finally we've made a successful raid! After all this time, we've got some treasure to spend! Now, if only we could find a Port to spend it in...

George: Yes, Cap'n. That must have been the best bit of looting we've done for months. Jolly good fun, I say!

Blackadder: George, we could have raided a fishing boat with a mouldy catch in it, and it would have been the best bit of looting we've done in months.

George: Yes, we've not had a good time of it just lately.

Blackadder: George, that is the greatest understatement since the day Baldrick said he needed a wash. Piracy has been so bad lately, we could almost make a better living by sinking our ship, and selling Jones' services as a Rent Boy.

(Baldrick walks on, with a plank on a lead)

Blackadder: (Gets up) What are you doing?

Baldrick: Well, Rum and his crew fell off the side of the ship, so I thought I should walk the plank.

(Blackadder walks over to the Baldrick, takes the plank away and throws it over the side)

Baldrick: (Rushes to the side) What have you done!!! You've drowned the- Oh, it's okay. The plank can swim.

(Blackadder and Baldrick return to the others)

Blackadder: Oh good. (Sits down) Now to divide up the treasure. Okay. I'll take all this Gold stuff, (Drags gold towards himself) and you lot divide up the rest between you. I think that's fair, don't you?

(Total silence, crew looks on in disbelief)

Blackadder: Good. No objections. Here you are, Darling. You can have this. (Hands Darling a jewel-encrusted item.)

Darling: Thank you, Captain. What is it?

Blackadder: Dunno. (Takes item back, and shows it to George.) George, what is this?

George: It's a Faberge egg, Captain.

Blackadder: There you go, Darling. It's a fab erge egg. The best kind of erge egg you can get.

Darling: Thank you, Cap'n. I think.

Baldrick: What have I got, Cap'n?

Blackadder: Scurvy, Rabies... There's probably more.

Baldrick: (Pauses) Yes, but what treasure do I get?

Blackadder: Oh... Well, I suppose I could give you this dagger. (Picks dagger up from table, holding the blade.)

Baldrick: I've already got a dagger, Cap'n.

Blackadder: Possibly, Baldrick. You might have a dagger. But you never know when you might need another dagger.

Baldrick: But I don't want another dagger, Cap'n.

Blackadder: Let me put it this way, Baldrick. Either you accept my very generous offer of a new dagger, or... (Flips dagger so that the blade faces Baldrick.) I stab this dagger into your leg. What do you think of that arrangement?

Baldrick: Um... Erm... Er... Okay. I'll take it.

Blackadder: Excellent. (Gives him the dagger)

Scene 13

Baldrick is lying on the deck, watching the stars. Jones is wandering about on deck. Blackadder is just offstage.

Baldrick: (Pointing at stars as he counts) One thousand, nine-hundred and seventeen. One thousand, nine-hundred and eighteen. One thous-

Jones: Are you still at it? Haven't you given up yet?

Baldrick: No! When I start to do something really worthwhile, I stick it out!

Jones: Is it really worthwhile counting every star in the sky?

Baldrick: Of course! The only thing I don't understand is, why hasn't anyone done it before!

Jones: (Puzzled look) I don't know. Well, if you insist on doing this, I suppose I could give you a hand.

Baldrick: Why thank you, Jones.

Jones: Okay. (Points to a star) Have you counted that one up there?

Baldrick: (Points to another star) Which one? That one?

Jones: (Points to the original star) No, that one.

Baldrick: (Points to another star) That one there?

Jones: (Points to the original star) No, that one.

Baldrick: (Points to another star) That one?

Jones: (Points to the original star) No! That one!!

Baldrick: (Points to another star) That one next to the bright one?

Jones: (Points to the original star) NO!!! THAT ONE THERE!!!!!!!

Baldrick: (Points to the right star) That one?

Jones: YES!! THAT ONE!!

Baldrick: (Pauses) What about it?

(Jones slaps his forehead in disbelief)

Baldrick: (Shrugs) One thousand and... and... Oh, you made me lose count!!

(Blackadder comes on deck, obviously just woken up. He is wearing a nightgown and sleeping cap.)

Jones: Sorry, Captain. Did we wake you?

Blackadder: (Yawning) Yes. But thank God you did. I hate it when sunrise takes me by surprise. What are you pea-brains doing up here?

Baldrick: Oh, nothing, Captain.

Blackadder: Which is good. You don't have the intelligence to do anything. (Yawns again) Baldrick, come with me.

(Leads Baldrick away)

Blackadder: (Calm, friendly voice) Now, Baldrick. I'm about to ask you if you know what time it is. If you do know what time it is, I'm going to kill you. And if, by some chance, you don't know what time it is, I'm going to assume this is all just youthful exuberance. (Pauses) And then I'm going to kill you. So, what time is it, Baldrick?

Baldrick: Half past three in the morning, Cap'n.

Blackadder: Jones!

Jones: Captain!

Blackadder: I want you to find some rope, and tie up Baldrick. Then, tomorrow morning, I want you to wake up Barnabas, and I want the two of you to keelhaul Baldrick. I want his smelly, disgusting body dragged under the ship, as slowly and painfully as possible. Even if the idiot survives, the experience might do something for the smell. And I want all this done without disturbing me again. Is that clear?

Jones: Yes, Captain.

(Jones leaves, gets rope, and ties up Baldrick)
(Blackadder leaves)

Scene 14

Daytime. Barnabas and Jones, who are on opposite sides of the ship, moving slowly from front to back holding pieces of rope, are keelhauling Baldrick. Blackadder and George are also on the deck, and Darling is just offstage.

(Darling walks on-stage)

Blackadder: Morning, Darling. Sleep well?

Darling: Yes, Captain. (Notices Barnabas and Jones, and points at them) What are they doing?

Blackadder: (Looks up) Oh, they're keelhauling Baldrick.

Darling: Oh. Is there anything to drink?

Blackadder: Yes. There's a whole ocean of drink out there. But now that Baldrick's been in it, you might want to be careful before you consider drinking it.

(Baldrick is hauled up on stage, soaking wet.)

Blackadder: Now that he's out, the ocean might get cleaner in a few hours time. You might have more luck then.

Darling: Hmm. (Leaves)

(Barnabas and Baldrick come over to Blackadder and George)

Blackadder: What a shame. Baldrick did survive. Still, it seems like I win, George. Fifteen gold pieces, please.

Barnabas: Why is George giving you money, Captain?

Blackadder: I bet George that Baldrick would still stink after being keelhauled. And I was right.

(George starts counting out the money)

Barnabas: How did you know that Baldrick would still smell?

Blackadder: You tied Baldrick, the most disgusting creature to be spawned since the dawn of time, in rotting rope, and dragged him underneath a rotting ship, through dirty water. Do you really expect him to come out smelling clean?

(George slaps the money into Blackadder's open hand, and storms off)

Barnabas: Well, someone seemed to think he might be cleaner.

Blackadder: Yes. In fact, George is taking bets on when Baldrick takes his next bath.

Barnabas: I might put a bet down, Captain. How much have you put down?

Blackadder: Five gold pieces.

Barnabas: When do you think Baldrick's next bath will be then?

Blackadder: Well, if he beats the turn of the century, I lose my bet.

Barnabas: You could be on a winner there, Captain. By the way, I've been meaning to ask you something. When Melchett came on board, he asked you why you didn't join the navy. Why didn't you join them? I mean, they get a free ship, free supplies and do no work! How come you didn't go for the easy life?

Blackadder: Well, I wanted a life with a bit more excitement than just a constant barrage of good Ale, edible food and easy battles against tiny fishing fleets. I don't know what I was thinking.

Barnabas: Yes, but why did you turn your back on the navy? I know you took the training to be an officer. Didn't Melchett train you himself?

Blackadder: He did, and I had almost finished the training when some fat, bloated Admiral came up to me, drunk as Christ, and told me something. (Fake drunkard voice) 'Blackie', he said, 'You'll be a Captain some day. And when you are, I want you to remember the things that are important to a navy officer. Things you have to hold dear, above all else, against all enemies. We call them the 3 A's. Arrogance, Adultery and Alcohol.' I was a stupid kid then. I couldn't believe any group of people could be so corrupt.

Barnabas: So that's what made you turn to piracy?

Blackadder: No. I left the service when I realised there could be a group of people even more corrupt than Her Majesty's Royal Navy. Her Majesty's Government. Now, Barnabas, can I trust you to look after things up here for a while? After that bout of reminiscing, I feel the need to go and get drunk and become very maudlin. But since we have no decent booze on board, I suppose I'll just have to settle for getting very maudlin and depressed.

Barnabas: You can count on me, Captain!

Blackadder: Yes, I can, Barnabas. But it might be rather easier for me to use an abacus.

(Blackadder leaves)

Scene 15

Blackadder is going to have a birthday party. He is about to come on deck, looking for the crew.

(Blackadder enters, starts looking for the crew)

Blackadder: Maybe I shouldn't have trusted Barnabas. He'll lose anything. He'd lose his head if it wasn't attached. Which might be something worth remembering. Where is everybody? Where is everybody? I need a crew! I can't run this ship alone! I don't know how to do... anything!! Where are those imbeciles I call a...

(Rest of crew enter, with big cake and presents)

Blackadder: ...Crew.

Crew: (Singing) Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Captain Blackadder... Happy Birthday to you.

Blackadder: No. I was wrong. Maybe I can run things around here alone.

Baldrick: This is from me, Captain. (Hands over box)

Blackadder: Thank you, Baldrick. (Opens box, takes out contents) What is it?

Baldrick: It's a new hat, Captain. I made it myself.

Blackadder: Oh, thank you, Baldrick. You really shouldn't have bothered.

Baldrick: It was nothing, Captain.

Blackadder: I can believe that. (Throws thing overboard)

Baldrick: (Rushes to side of ship) Why did you do that, Captain?

Blackadder: Hmm? Oh, it's the shark's birthday today, and I forgot to get it anything.

Baldrick: Oh. But I forgot too, Captain. What can I get it?

Blackadder: Don't worry, Baldrick. I'll tell the shark it's from all of us.

Jones: Should I give the shark some cake too, Captain?

Blackadder: No, just throw Baldrick over the side. I'm sure the shark will understand.

Jones: Okay, Cap'n. (Collects George and they go to throw Baldrick over the side)

(Jones and George pick up Baldrick, and start swinging him in time with the count.)

George: One... Two...

Blackadder: No!! On second thoughts, I think the shark is allergic to smelly brainless morons, so maybe we should pass on feeding the shark.

Jones: Suit yourself, Captain.

Blackadder: I intend to. (Picks up another box) What's this then?

Barnabas: It's from me, Captain.

(Blackadder rattles the box furiously, then opens it)

Barnabas: It's a parrot.

(Blackadder pulls out a dead parrot)

Blackadder: Was a parrot.

Baldrick: Polly! You've killed Polly the parrot!

Blackadder: No, I've just supplied tonight's dinner.

Baldrick: I can't cook Polly!

Blackadder: Fine. George, what parrot recipes do you know?

Baldrick: You can't cook Polly! No-one can!

Blackadder: Well I'm not going to eat it raw, Baldrick. We can cook it later. What a pathetic idea, getting me a parrot. Still, at least you haven't bothered with the usual rubbish like eye-patches, peg-legs and hooks.

(Darling, George and Jones throw their presents overboard)

Blackadder: Ah, you have. Never mind, at least we have plenty of... (Looks in a tankard) ...whatever this stuff is.

Barnabas: Oh, it's some of my-

Blackadder: No, no, Barnabas. It's some kind of alcohol, and someone on this crew made it. So if you're going to tell me what it is, I think I'd rather get drunk first, and ask questions later. (Starts to drink)

Scene 16

Blackadder's crew are all around the deck, recovering from the party. Most of the members of the crew are in the middle of the ship, in a drunken heap. Blackadder has passed out next to a chair on deck, and George is lying near the chair.

Blackadder: (Coming around moaning) What kind of Grog was that, Barnabas?

Barnabas: A powerful brew, made to my own secret recipe, and brewed for three weeks.

Blackadder: Let me guess... Three turnips, well juiced, mixed with salt water and weevil blood, and then strained through wood shavings before leaving the whole lot to rot for as long as possible.

Barnabas: Have you been looking at my recipes, Captain?

Blackadder: No, I just know what's been stolen from the galley over the past three weeks. (Gets up) Now, where's that cretin Baldrick?

Darling: He's in the stern, Captain.

Blackadder: (Walks over to Baldrick) What are you doing, maggot-mind? You should be cleaning up the mess by now.

Baldrick: I'm still grieving over Polly, Captain. I can't believe you just killed him.

Blackadder: I still can't believe you named that thing! Anyway, I think you should just stick it in some salt and find some recipes for Parrot Pie.

Baldrick: You shouldn't make jokes about the dead, Cap'n.

Blackadder: Who's joking? Well, I'm going below for a while. If the ghost of Polly the parrot comes for me, tell him no revenge attacks today, thank you.

(Crew laugh, and Blackadder goes below)
(Blackadder screams from offstage)

Barnabas: What happened, Captain?

Blackadder: A rat. A big rat. This thing was the size of Flashheart's ego.

Baldrick: You see, Captain. The other animals on the ship are going to get you for what you did to Polly.

Blackadder: I should watch myself around you then, Baldrick. But it is strange. I did get the feeling that the rat was coming for me.

Baldrick: You see!

Blackadder: Then he came up at me. And he waved his little rat fist and said... I have a brain the size of a peanut. And so does your ship's swab.

Baldrick: I always said rats were intelligent.

Blackadder: Compared to you, Baldrick, yes, they are. Right then. Barnabas, Jones, come with me. Baldrick, go away.

Baldrick: What are you going to do, Captain?

Blackadder: (Picks up a bat) I want to have something to go with my parrot pie. So, we're going to make some rat pate.

Baldrick: You can't do that!

Blackadder: Of course we can. We have plenty of excellent rat-squishing tools.

(Blackadder, Jones and Barnabas go below)
(Lots of noise - Things getting broken, etc.)
(Baldrick looks horrified)
(Blackadder, George and Barnabas come above, holding a sack with the rat in it)

Baldrick: (Comes forward and snatches the bag) No!! You've killed Robert! You've killed my friend Robert the rat!

(Jones and Barnabas look surprised)

Blackadder: Don't look so surprised. He probably knows every termite on the ship personally.

Baldrick: Of course I don't! Most of them are horrible. Mind you, Terry, Tom and Timothy are all right. But why did you kill Robert? He was my best friend. And now Roland will be lonely.

Blackadder: I'm sure Roland the Rat will survive. At least until I find him. (Takes the bag from Baldrick and throws it over the side) There. A burial at sea for brave Robert. Now, Baldrick, get on with cleaning this deck.

Baldrick: I don't want to clean the deck.

Blackadder: I would very grateful if you do.

Baldrick: I am not going to clean the deck.

Blackadder: (Screaming at the top of his voice) I'LL FEED YOU TO THE SHARKS IF YOU DON'T!!!

Baldrick: Oh, all right then. I'll clean the deck. But I could use some help, Captain.

Blackadder: Fine. Darling! (Darling comes up) Darling, would you be a dear and wipe the deck with Baldrick.

Darling: Yes, Captain!

(Darling knocks down Baldrick, and wipes the deck with him)

(Blackadder goes over to the chair he was in, and uses the still-sleeping George as a footstool)

Blackadder: Now that that's dealt with, I can relax.

(George starts coming around, and Blackadder hits him over the head with a tankard. George is unconscious again.)

Blackadder: Ahhh...

(Lights dim)

Scene 17

Blackadder is sitting alone on deck, writing in the ship's log. George and Jones are just off stage.

Blackadder: Captain's Log. 2nd December 1872. Things are getting gradually worse on board ship. Supplies have run so low, we're having to eat the German food we stole three months ago. With food like this, no wonder they were such sour krauts. The stuff is so disgusting, even Baldrick's cooking would be a welcome change. The crew are getting restless, and Jones' impressions of farmyard animals just don't seem as funny after 3 weeks of repetition. And they weren't funny 3 weeks ago. Mind you, the sheep impression seems to keep George amused somehow. The ship is in worse condition than ever. The boards are so rotten the only thing holding the ship together are the termites holding hands, and the sail is full of so many holes that the moths are starving quicker than we are. To make things worse, we also haven't seen any ship since Flashheart raided us, much less anything worth looting. I hope something comes along soon worth our attention.

(George enters, holding a bottle with a message in it. Barnabas follows.)

George: Cap'n, Cap'n!

(Blackadder stands up)

Blackadder: What is it, shrimp-for-brains?

George: We've got a message, Cap'n! It came in this bottle!

Blackadder: Well, what does it say, George?

George: I don't know. It's stuck in the bottle.

Blackadder: (Walks up and stands next to George) OPEN IT THEN!!!!

George: Okay, Cap'n. (Opens bottle, takes out message)

Blackadder: Well? What does it say?

George: It says... To Edmund Blackadder. Captain, the not-so-good ship Flotsam. Congratulations! You have been entered for Ye Olde Reader's Digest Lucky Dip Draw, and have 1 500 chances to win the sum of 50 000 doubloons. If you return this bottle within fourteen months of being sent, you could also win the bonus prize of a digital alarm sundial, or a shoddy coffee table in a hideous colour that doesn't match any other furniture on this planet. Please return to the address over the side, which you've probably seen enough times by now to have memorised it anyway. Signed, U. R. Gullible. Well! How about that then?

Blackadder: I don't believe it!

George: I know! What kind of a first name starts with a 'U'? It's ridiculous! But as for the letter - how lucky can you get? That many chances to win, and a free gift! If I were you, Cap'n, I'd take the table - I've heard bad things about those digital sundial things...

Blackadder: (Ignores George in disbelief) I come hundreds of miles out to sea, weeks away from the sight of the nearest land, and even here you can't get away from this rubbish! What do I have to do, assassinate the entire staff of that place? (Pauses) On second thoughts...

Jones: I once heard of someone winning the prize from one of those things, Captain.

Blackadder: Really? What did they do with all the money?

Jones: I don't know. Bugsy the barman only told me someone had won, and then we left port.

Blackadder: Bugsy the barman?

Jones: Yes.

Blackadder: The same Bugsy the barman that told you about his escapades on the Island of the nymphomaniacs?

Jones: (Looking less sure of himself) Yes.

Blackadder: And would this be the same Bugsy the barman that told you he had once seen the future, where the Prince of Wales had ears the size of an elephant?

Jones: (Looking sheepish) Yes.

Blackadder: And of course, this would be the same Bugsy the barman that told you about the time when the Archbishop of Canterbury sprouted wings, flew around his own cathedral and then went back in time to assist in the birth of the baby Jesus?

Jones: (Looking very small) Yes.

Blackadder: Well, at least the bottle means we've come across something new out here. Makes a change from just seeing rotten boards bobbing about. I mean, it gets depressing seeing all these boards floating away. Especially since we know that most of them came from our own hull.

George: Why don't we try another bit of the ocean, Captain. There isn't a flippin' thing out here.

Blackadder: Where else could we go, George? The Caribbean is full of a bunch of fishermen, so all we could steal is a load of fish. And it isn't often fresh, either. We could go to Australia, and rob a bunch of convicts and nutty natives, or we could try our luck in the Pacific, where there's even more open sea than we've got here. No, George, we should stay here. I have a feeling our luck will soon change...

Scene 18

Flashheart and his crew are on the Mary Celeste, and are about to spot the Flotsam. Flashheart, Bob and Marco Rolo are talking, and other crewmembers are nearby.

Flashheart: Well, Bob, we should spot Blackadder any time now. Rum told us he came this way, with a lovely pile of treasure.

Bob: Yes, Captain. You can always depend on Rum to give up his treasure without a fight. It's a shame we didn't get to him first.

Flashheart: Maybe, but it'll be good to plunder Slackbladder's crew again. And anyway, it's not like they give us much resistance either. They might as well be a bunch of women.

Bob: What's wrong with women? There's nothing wrong with women!

Flashheart: Of course not! So long as they know their place! Tied to the bed, or tied to the sink!! Woof, woof!

Bob: Why are you so against women on this ship, Captain?

Flashheart: Everyone knows the only thing I hold against a woman is my body, Bob. But women just don't belong on a ship. It's a well-known, documented fact that God only gave women arms and legs because their tongues were too short for cleaning things with.

Marco Rolo: Why are you standing up for women so much, Bob? You're not really a woman, are you?

Bob: (Unconvincingly) No...

Marco Rolo: It's strange, Bob, but now I think of it, I've never seen you without a shirt on, and I've never seen you without your hat on. What are you hiding under there?

Flashheart: I wonder. Is it some rude kind of birthmark?

Marco Rolo: Maybe Bob's a leper underneath those clothes!

Bob: No!! I'm not hiding anything!

Flashheart: It must be something really weird and freaky to go to all this trouble to hide it. What is it? A tattoo saying how much you love Marco? Come on; let's have a look...

(Reaches out to take a look)

Bob: LEAVE ME ALONE!! I'm not hiding anything, so just go away and leave me alone!

Marco Rolo: Come on, Bob! Let's see what we have under this hat...

(Marco Rolo takes off Bob's hat. Bob's long hair is revealed)

Marco Rolo: Oh my God!! She is a woman!!

Crew: AARRGGHH!! (Run around like lunatics)

Flashheart: Well, I can't have any woman on my ship! She'll have to go. But... not before I've given her a good seeing to! Woof!

Bob: Woof!

(Flashheart and Bob leave the stage)

Marco Rolo: I always said that Bob was a bit of a tit.

(Flashheart and Bob return - Bob is tied up)

Flashheart: Right! That's got something out of my system! Woof! Now, get this woman off my ship before she jinxes it!

(Crewmembers take away Bob and prepare a plank)

Flashheart: Women at sea mean only one thing, Marco - bad luck. And besides, they're completely useless! I mean, they can't climb and they can't fight! And as for steering the boat! They go so slowly that you might as well be adrift, and thank God the sea is pretty clear most of the time, or they'd never get around to turning the ship!

Marco Rolo: Women drivers! It'll take them centuries to think up an idea like that again!

(The crewmembers return, and the plank is ready)

Flashheart: Okay, Bob. I think it's time for you to learn how to swim...

(Flashheart shoves Bob off the plank, and offstage. There is a splash)

Marco Rolo: (Fake Indian accent) Thank you very much, please come again.

(Call from the Crow's nest: 'Ship on the starboard bow! It's the S.S. Flotsam!')

Flashheart: It's Captain Slackbladder! My own, personal treasure trove! Bring us about and get ready to carry large amounts of gold and jewels, crew!

Crew: Hooray!

Scene 19

On Blackadder's ship, the crew are about to be boarded. Blackadder, Barnabas and Jones are on deck, and Darling is in the crow's nest. George is about to come on deck.

(George enters)

George: Captain!! Captain!! There's a leak in the ship! We're taking on water!

Blackadder: That's a surprise. On a ship with more holes than swiss cheese at a mouse convention, there's a hole in the side. We should really inform the press.

Barnabas: You're not taking this very seriously, Captain.

Blackadder: No, you're right. We shouldn't bother with the press. (Looks at Barnabas, who is looking at Blackadder disapprovingly) Oh, all right. Baldrick, deal with this leak, will you?

Baldrick: Yes, Captain. (Hesitates) How, Captain?

Blackadder: Take your time, Baldrick. I'm sure that you can figure it out. Eventually.

Baldrick: (Thinks) Right, Captain. I think I have a cunning plan now.

Blackadder: Good. Now get on with it.

Baldrick: Yes, Cap'n.

(Baldrick goes to the other side of the ship, and starts to drill a hole in the ship)
(There is a sound of rushing water)

Blackadder: Baldrick, come here.

Baldrick: (Comes over to the others) Yes, Captain?

Blackadder: What have you just done?

Baldrick: I've made a hole in the ship, Captain.

Blackadder: Baldrick, I would like the explanation that I am about to receive to be a good one. A momentously good one. In fact, I want the explanation you are about to give to be so good, that it is capable of healing the sick, raising the dead, and causing large and uncomfortable boils on Captain Melchett's neck. I want the explanation you give me to be so good, that we will have to fit the deck with prayer mats, for the hordes of lesser explanations that will come to worship your explanation as their new God. Now, why have you drilled another hole in my ship?

Baldrick: I made another hole to let the water out, Captain.

Blackadder: Barnabas, I am going below decks to fix this leak, and then I am going to find some rope. And then I intend to hang Baldrick from the yardarm.

Barnabas: Don't you think that's a little cruel, Captain?

Blackadder: No, Barnabas, I don't. Although maybe I should consider Baldrick's inexperience with anything involving water.

(Blackadder goes below, and the others gather around Baldrick)

George: I say, Baldrick, what made you think of making another hole in the ship? That isn't a good way to fix the leak.

Baldrick: Well, there's so many holes in the hull, I didn't think anyone would notice.

Barnabas: So, what will you do when the Captain hangs you from the yardarm?

Baldrick: Oh, the same as usual I suppose. Wear away the ropes and just hold on up there until tonight, and then I'll climb down and go to sleep.

(A boarding plank appears at the rear of the ship)

George: Won't that be rather uncomfortable?

Baldrick: Not really. It was worse that time when he made me clean his sword. By licking it.

(Flashheart's crew start to climb aboard)

Baldrick: But even that wasn't as bad as time in India when he made me sleep on that bed of nails. With no bedclothes. On my front.

(Flashheart picks up a board and creeps up behind Baldrick)

Baldrick: Mind you, I think the worst time was... Erm...

Flashheart: The time Flashheart came up behind you and smashed you over the head with a plank.

Baldrick: The time Flashheart came up behind me and smashed me over the head with a plank. (Turns around) Hang on!

(Flashheart smashes Baldrick over the head with a plank, and a fight breaks out.)

(Blackadder comes back on deck, with rope.)

Blackadder: What's going on? I can't get a moment's peace on this... (Notices fight) I can't leave this crew alone for a moment, can I! (Drops rope, picks up sword and joins fight)

Scene 20

Obligatory sword fight scene.

The two crews take part in sword fighting and trade insults. Flashheart's crew must at least be the same size as Blackadder's, and preferably outnumber them.

Match-ups - Blackadder fights Marco Rolo
Darling fights Flashheart
Barnabas, George, Jones and Baldrick fight... Someone else, OK!! ;)

Flashheart's crew win the fight, and round up the crew of the Flotsam in the middle of the ship.

Scene 21

Flashheart's crew are taunting the Flotsam's crew. Blackadder's crew are gathered together in the middle of the ship, and Flashheart's crew surrounds them. The treasure chest is next to the ship's wheel.

Flashheart: Ah, look - it's the crew from hell. And what are you doing here?

Blackadder: We're not here. We're just a figment of your imagination.

Flashheart: Only in my dreams, Blackadder. (Fake over-the-top pirate voice) Now me hearties! What booty do ye have for me today? D'ye have any golden doubloons! Or pieces of eight!

Blackadder: Don't you think you're going a bit over the top, you barnacle-bottomed, haddock-flavoured bilge-rat?

Flashheart: (Smacks Jones with sword) Arrggh! Avast behind! (Stops pirate voice) So, Slackbladder. Still sailing this lump of rubbish, I see. How come you haven't got a better ship yet?

Blackadder: Oh, you know what most ships are like, Flashheart. Big, over-inflated, ego machines. Somewhat like you really.

Flashheart: Well, some of us have a reason for big egos. Like being big in other areas! Woof! Woof!

Blackadder: You're right, Flashheart, you are a big man. A man like you could go far. The farther the better.

Flashheart: You know, Blackadder, some men are so small that they have to watch out for any ants near them. In case they get caught underneath those ugly feet and get squashed.

Blackadder: It's strange you should mention insects, Flashheart. Because you're really starting to bug me.

Flashheart: Fun as it is listening to you trying to be amusing, I don't feel like being entertained at the moment. In fact, I think I'm ready to take your treasure now. So, Slackbladder, if you and the creature from the Black Lagoon there could go and pick up that treasure chest and bring it over here... (Gestures toward treasure chest, which is by the ship's wheel.)

Scene 22

Blackadder is with Baldrick, and they are off to one side, next to the ship's wheel. They are huddled around the chest, and Blackadder has something wrapped in cloth.

Blackadder: That show-off Flashheart won't get away with stealing my treasure, Baldrick! I'll fix him!

Baldrick: How will you do that, Cap'n?

Blackadder: I'm not sure...

Baldrick: I know, Cap'n. I have a cunning plan, Cap'n.

Blackadder: Oh really, Baldrick. And just how cunning is this undoubtedly very cunning plan.

Baldrick: Oh, it's very cunning, Captain.

Blackadder: Very cunning, is it?

Baldrick: Oh yes. In fact, I think it's the most cunningest plan that ever cunninged since the invention of cunninging.

Blackadder: You said that when you came up with the plan to make more deckspace by removing the mast. Nevertheless, what is your plan, Baldrick?

Baldrick: What you could do, is get my turnip from the hold, and use the delicious aroma to entice Flashheart below decks. Then, we could place the turnip under a net and get Mickey the mouse and Roland the rat to crew through the ropes on the net, so that the net falls on Flashheart's head and traps him. Then, we can use his sword to go and fight off the rest of his crew.

Blackadder: I see. So this cunning plan depends entirely on Flashheart being unable to resist the temptation provided by a mouldy disgusting turnip that no-one else in the crew will touch, on two stupid rodents having the intelligence to crew through a specific piece of rope and on our ability to fight off an entire crew of bloodthirsty pirates with only one cutlass between us.

Baldrick: Yes, Captain. (Pauses) Isn't it a cunning plan?

Blackadder: No, Baldrick. It is the most pathetic plan since King Canute decided to go sunbathing on the beach at high tide. I would suggest you send it to the useless plan convention, to defend the title of 'Worst plan in the entire universe', which your family have held since it began. Although fortunately, I do not have to rely on your feeble plans. I have a plan of my own! I can use this! (Gestures with the cloth)

Baldrick: What are you going to do with a piece of cloth, Cap'n?

Blackadder: It's what is inside the cloth that counts, Baldrick. Inside this cloth, there is an 'Evil eye'. I stole it from an old crone, who claimed it was cursed, and had magic powers to harm anyone who looks upon it.

Baldrick: She told you all this and then let you steal it?

Blackadder: No. I didn't like the way she was looking at me, so I just ripped her eye out. She cursed it afterwards. If I put this in the chest, when Flashheart opens it to gloat, he will have to look at the eye, and then something terrible will happen to him.

Baldrick: What will happen, Captain?

Blackadder: I don't know. His blood might boil, or his brains might explode. His arms and legs could drop off. Or, he could become a low-life, conniving, pathetic, worthless, moronic thief. Which would at least leave him a career in politics.

Baldrick: Will it really do something like that?

Blackadder: I'm not sure. Have a peek, would you, Baldrick, and we'll see if you drop dead.

Baldrick: Okay, Cap'n. (Reaches out for the cloth)

Blackadder: (Stops him) No, no. If you drop dead on the spot, I think Flashheart might just figure out something's up, Baldrick.

Baldrick: Do you really think so, Cap'n?

Blackadder: Yes, Baldrick, I do. I also think that if my comments went any further over your head, Icarus would have to duck.

Baldrick: Do you really think so, Cap'n?

Blackadder: (Sighs) Yes, Baldrick. Come on, give me a hand with this chest.

(Blackadder puts the cloth in the chest, and then they both pick it up and carry it over to the main part of the ship)

Scene 23

Flashheart is annoying the Flotsam's crew, while Blackadder and Baldrick take the chest over to the others. The other people are in the same positions as they were in at the end of Scene 21.

Flashheart: I still don't know how you can live on this piece of crap. I mean look at it. The planks are rotting, the sails are torn and the only reason the mast still stands is the moss growing around it. This ship is a crock!

Darling: Well, if you left us with some treasure once in a while, we could probably buy a better ship.

Flashheart: If you weren't such hopeless pirates you could capture a better ship. Like me! Look at the ship my crew have just captured for me. The 'Mary Celeste'. Brand new ship, straight out of some foreign dock. Better still, it was loaded down with gallons of booze. The next best thing to a floating brothel!! Then look at this barge. It's only fit for hauling junk!

Jones: Our ship isn't all that bad.

Flashheart: Of course it isn't. And I was wrong. I shouldn't have said it should be hauling junk. I meant to say; it should be hauled away as junk.

Barnabas: Say what you like about the ship; it does it's job. And there aren't many rats or vermin on the ship.

Flashheart: There are no rats on this ship, because they threw themselves over the side rather than stay on this ship. If I had to stay here much longer, I would do the same.

(Blackadder and Baldrick return, and slam the chest on the deck.)

Blackadder: Please don't let me stop you. If you feel suicide beckoning, just dive in and go with your instincts.

Flashheart: And if you feel death beckoning, then it could be because I intend to kill you. Very messily.

Blackadder: You would kill us all, and then use our bodies to make a mess all over our newly scrubbed deck! Have a little mercy, man!

Flashheart: I intend to have a little mercy. As little as possible.

Blackadder: If you were as merciless as that, then you would have made us eat Barnabas' stew last time you visited, instead of pouring it over Baldrick's head.

Flashheart: Well, I'll have to get off this rubbish barge now, or I may feel the need to slash my wrists. I do so hate to love you and leave you. So, I'll just leave, and continue to hate the short-lived fact of your very existence.

Blackadder: Oh, I'd hate for you to leave too soon, but if you must leave then off you go. But feel free to stop by any time. We'd love to see you again.

Flashheart: I'm certain. See you in hell, Blackadder.

(Flashheart and Crew leave)

Blackadder: (Calling after Flashheart) Yes, I'm sure hell is filled with people like you.

Scene 24

Blackadder and his crew are still on deck, and have just released themselves from the ropes. Barnabas and Darling have gone below decks.

Blackadder: Well, that's got rid of Flashheart at least. But now, we've got no treasure, no supplies, and probably a holed ship.

Baldrick: Why do you say that, Cap'n?

Blackadder: For some reason, pirates like Flashheart do not often just let their victims go unharmed. He probably put a huge hole in the bottom of the ship. That hole, Baldrick, will probably let in water. You remember water, it's that stuff we've been sailing on for months, which you never wash in, and we could all drown in.

Jones: Why would he do that, Captain?

Blackadder: He probably did it to demoralise us, Jones, to take away the one thing we hold dearest on this ship. That one board below decks that isn't holed.


Blackadder: Calm down, Jones.

(Barnabas and Darling return)

Blackadder: Darling, what have you and Barnabas been doing down there?

(Darling ignores him, and goes up into the Crow's nest)

Barnabas: Plugging the leak! Flashheart made a hole in the lower decks, but we managed to plug it up.

Blackadder: I'm surprised you found the hole Flashheart made, amongst all the other holes in this termite-trap.

Barnabas: If we weren't used to plugging leaks, we might not have stopped it in time.

Blackadder: So, to summarise, we have no supplies, no treasure, and now, we do not have a single board on this ship that is not leaking.

Barnabas: That sounds about right, Cap'n.

Blackadder: Oh, good. I'm glad we got that cleared up. (Sighs) At least things can't get any worse.

Darling: Navy ship to port!

Blackadder: Oh, Bugger!

Scene 25

The crew of the H.M.S. Archaic have boarded the Flotsam, and have surrounded the crew. Melchett is harassing Blackadder, and has his orders on a piece of paper in his jacket.

Melchett: Well, we meet again, Blackadder.

Blackadder: It would appear so. What a shame.

Melchett: Still the same dishonest rogue as always?

Blackadder: No, not at all, Melchett. After our last fascinating conversation, I've become a reformed man. In fact, I'm now making an honest living running passenger trips across this stretch of water for rich tourists with more money than sense.

Melchett: Ha, ha, ha. They would have to have no sense to come to you, Blackadder! Check the holds, men! I want any treasure this ship has, on deck, now!

(Some of Melchett's crew go below)

Blackadder: You won't find a thing, fish-breath. Why don't you shove off and harass some pirate instead of honest, hardworking sailors like us?

(Melchett's crew return and shake their heads - they found nothing)

Blackadder: You see. Nothing. Nothing at all.

Melchett: You're a lucky man, Blackadder.

Blackadder: I thought so too until a few minutes ago.

Melchett: Yes. You really are lucky. Not being caught with any treasure, your men being so loyal... I wouldn't be, you know. If you were my Captain, I'd poison your ale.

Blackadder: And if you were a member of my crew, I would drink it. But enough chit-chat. Why don't you go sail off into the horizon, walrus-face.

Melchett: No need to be so blunt, Blackadder. I'm just doing my job. I have here... (takes out paper) ...orders from... er...

Blackadder: The Lord Admiral Michael Edward Solomon Orville Dickerson...

Melchett: Yes, the Lord Admiral Michael Edward Solomon Orville Dickerson... Thank You.

Blackadder: You're welcome.

Melchett: Yes. Orders from Admiral Dickerson, the Fleet's Admiral in charge of... Erm...

Blackadder: Fleet Admiral in charge of Racial Genocide, Arranged Suicide, General Homicide and assorted other icky deaths.

Melchett: Yes, those, thank you.

Blackadder: My pleasure.

Melchett: Orders demanding that any pirates caught by the Royal Navy be... be...

Blackadder: Given lots of money and sent on their way.

Melchett: Be given lots of money and sent on their way. (Pauses, looks puzzled) Thank You.

Blackadder: Again, you are quite welcome. And as I mentioned, you are also quite welcome to leave.

Melchett: (Starts to leave) Well, you have your fun, Blackadder. But remember one thing. One day, I'm going to catch you. And when I do... you'll beg me to throw you to the sharks.

Blackadder: Really? And what torture will you subject me to? Perhaps a fascinating insight into the life of some ancient sea relic like yourself?

Melchett: Ha, ha, ha. Neigh!

(Melchett and crew leave)

Scene 26

The Flotsam's crew are sitting on deck, lazing about, except George, who is on watch in the crow's nest. Jones is about to suggest something to the crew.

Jones: I have an idea, Captain. I could tell you all a story to pass the time. I could tell you the story of 'The Shipwrecked Mariner'

Blackadder: Oh dear. It isn't anything like that tedious old rhyming sea shanty, 'The Ancient Mariner' is it?

Jones: Not really, Cap'n, but 'tis similar. This one doesn't rhyme, and it isn't as good.

(General Moans)

Blackadder: Jones, that has to be the worst idea since Captain Ahab decided to go whale-hunting. And the story isn't much better than the idea.

Jones: 'Tis a tale of terrible hardship and woe!

Blackadder: No, it's a terrible tale, which will cause hardship and woe. But if we can't stop you, we might as well get comfortable.

(Crew move about)

Jones: Well, once upon a time...

(Light dim, and then fade back in)
(The crew are now littered around Jones, very obviously asleep. Blackadder and Darling are leaning against each other's backs.)

Jones: And none of them lived at all ever after.

Blackadder: (Jerks awake, Darling falls over) Sorry Darling, the sudden silence startled me.

(Other crewmembers start to wake up)

Jones: So, what did you think?

Blackadder: I'm not sure. I was asleep after the first five minutes.

Barnabas: You're lucky, Cap'n. I had to stay awake for a whole two hours of that utter bilge.

Blackadder: Really? What happened?

Barnabas: I had trouble sleeping on a strange bit of floor.

Blackadder: No, in the story.

Barnabas: I don't know. If I'd listened to that, I would have gone mad. Mad, I tell you! MAD!!!!

Scene 27

Blackadder and Barnabas are on deck, talking. Blackadder has a large tankard of water, and is drinking from it.

Barnabas: Well, I hope we find a ship worth looting soon. We're running low on a few odds and sods.

Blackadder: Like what?

Barnabas: Well, we've had to throw the meat over the side after the incident with the flies, and we're totally out of ale or mead. Oh, and we definitely need some more freshwater. We ran out of that weeks ago.

(Blackadder suddenly stops drinking)

Blackadder: And, what have we been drinking since?

Barnabas: Haven't you ever wondered why I never need to stand by the side of the ship first thing in the morning?

(Blackadder throws his tankard over the side)

Blackadder: From now on, I drink from my own supplies, I think, Barnabas.

Barnabas: Suit yourself, Cap'n. Anyway, I must get off and prepare today's dinner.

Blackadder: Yes, you go and prepare dinner. Dare I ask what delights you have in store for us?

Barnabas: Sausage stew, Cap'n.

Blackadder: But... Aren't we out of meat?

Barnabas: Yes.

Blackadder: So... The sausage is...

Barnabas: Yes.

Blackadder: I see. Well, I'm not too hungry at the minute, Barnabas, so I wouldn't count on me for dinner.

Barnabas: Whatever you say, Cap'n.

Scene 28

The Flotsam's crew are on deck, still talking and trying to waste time. Blackadder is reading a copy of the Boringsville gazette, and most of the rest of the crew are littered around the deck. Baldrick is on all fours on the deck, with Jones. There is a mop nearby, and a box on the floor marked 'Winner's Enclosure'

Baldrick: Are you reading the paper, Captain?

Blackadder: No, Baldrick. Using only the power of my mind, I am attempting to make this paper spontaneously combust. A feat you could not hope to achieve, lacking any form of mind.

Baldrick: Well, you just be careful, Captain. You could get hurt doing that.

Blackadder: Thank you for the warning, Baldrick. Although you do realise if I succeed, you will have to arrest me for breaking the laws of physics.

Baldrick: I don't understand, Captain.

Blackadder: Of course not. You would need to possess a degree of intelligence to understand. (Gets up) What on earth are you doing anyway, Baldrick?

Baldrick: I'm running the 31st Weekly Dung Beetle Derby, Captain.

Blackadder: Really? Who's winning, you or the dung beetle?

Baldrick: No, no, Captain. You don't understand, the beetles race each other, on the track on the deck.

Blackadder: Oh, I see... (Picks up box) So, what's this one doing on it's own? Training to defend it's title?

Jones: Oh, he's doing a lap of honour, Cap'n. So, what do you think of Derby Day?

Blackadder: What do I think of Derby Day? This.

(Blackadder tips the contents of the box out, and treads on it with an audible 'squish')
(Baldrick pushes Blackadder over, and Jones rushes over to where the squashed beetle is)

Jones: No! Not White Whisky! He was a seven times Derby Winner! Baldrick and I were going to put him out to stud!

(Blackadder gets up)

Blackadder: Jones, just get rid of it before I squash you with it. (Jones leaves) Baldrick, do something about this deck.

Baldrick: What's wrong with the deck, Cap'n?

Blackadder: Apart from the stains of dead dung beetle, this whole deck is disgusting. As a threat to the health and safety of the crew, it is almost on a par with the contents of Jones' trousers. Get it clean, Baldrick.

Baldrick: How, Cap'n?

(Blackadder picks up the mop)

Blackadder: With this mop, Baldrick. Let me introduce you. Mop, this is Baldrick. Baldrick, this is the mop.

Baldrick: So what do you use a mop for then, Cap'n?

(Blackadder looks in disbelief, then recovers)

Blackadder: Usually, Baldrick, you would use it to clean things with, but for the moment, I think I'll use it for this...

(Blackadder smashes Baldrick over the head with the mop)
(The crew stop and look around, then go about their business)
(Blackadder goes back to his paper)

Darling: (From Crow's nest) Ship ahoy! Ship on the port bow!

Blackadder: (Putting the paper down) Typical. Can't even read year-old papers in peace anymore, every three months it's the same old story... Bring us about, Jones!

Scene 29

Rum and his crew are on the S.S. Delirium, which is Rum's new ship. The whole crew are assembled on deck, and Rum is briefing them on ship's matters.

Rum: Now listen, men. After last time, I couldn't afford a new ship, so I had to rent this one, and it's costing me a fortune! So, take good care of it, and steer clear of any other ships. We need to keep this ship safe.

Mate: So, if we saw another ship off the starboard bow, we should steer away from it?

Rum: That's right, Mate. We'll have to avoid any other ship on the sea.

Mate: So, should we do something about the ship over there. Captain? (Gestures offstage)

Rum: Which ship? (Looks around, sees ship) NO!!! It's them again!! Open the sails! Raise anchor! Sail for your lives!

Mate: This ship didn't come with sails. We just had a few oars below.

Rum: Row then!! Row for your lives!!

Mate: We can't. We've broken the oars. That's why we haven't moved for the last four hours.

Rum: Then... How do we get away?

Mate: I don't know.

(Blackadder, Darling, Baldrick and Barnabas drop a boarding plank, and come onto the stage)

Blackadder: You could always get out and push, I suppose. Mind you, it's all a little late now. Anyway, good afternoon, Rum.

Rum: No, Blackadder, it's not a good afternoon. In fact, it's a terrible afternoon. I've just been boarded by you for the second time in a week, I've got no money, so you can't even steal that, and I'm about to lose my second ship in seven days!

Blackadder: Maybe you should consider a career change. Into some career that allows you to work with total idiots, while lining your pockets quietly. Politics, maybe.

Rum: Or maybe we should start standing up for ourselves! (Rum's crew start throwing down their weapons, and stand around the mast) If we stand up for ourselves, we can stop you from taking our ship. Maybe we can fight off all the pirates that pick on us! We could even stop people from taking our ship every other week! You're not going to take us again without a fight! Right, crew?

(Rum turns around, and sees that his crew have already assumed the position around the mast, swords in a pile to one side)

Rum: (Sighs) Oh, all right, then.

(Throws sword down on pile, and joins rest of crew)

Scene 30

Blackadder and crew have just captured Rum's ship. Rum's crew have been rounded up, and they are tied to the mast. Blackadder is talking to Rum, and it's interrogation time.

Rum: There's no point raiding this ship, Blackadder. I've already told you - we have no money, no cargo... nothing! You've finally cleared us out!

Blackadder: You know what, Rum, I believe you. You probably don't have anything worth taking. So I'll tell you what. We're a bit low on a few supplies. You know, food, water, that sort of thing. So, if you give us some supplies, we'll go away just this once without sinking anything.

(Rum hesitates, then jumps up to give orders to his crew)

Rum: QUICK!! Get down to the galley and bring everything edible up on the deck! NOW!

(Mate and some others get up and run offstage, and Blackadder's crew sit down nearby)

Barnabas: Why did you let them go, Captain? We could kill Rum's crew and just search the ship ourselves.

Blackadder: Yes, Barnabas, we could. Except, I'm hungry, so I don't want to wait longer than necessary. And, when I think about what you and Baldrick would class as food, I think I'd rather let someone else have a look.

Baldrick: What do you mean by that, Cap'n?

Blackadder: Baldrick, it's your turn to cook dinner on Friday. Have you given any thought to what you were going to cook for us?

Baldrick: Funny you should say that, Captain. I did have a cunning culinary plan in mind. To start, I was going to whip up some weevil soup, followed by wood shaving and termite pie. And to finish, I thought I could make a little bit of fruit casserole.

Blackadder: With your world-famous fruit substitute, I presume?

Baldrick: Of course, Captain.

Blackadder: So... Beetle droppings and fish skins, then.

Baldrick: Yes, Captain.

Blackadder: Now, Barnabas, can you see why I sent Rum's crew down below decks?

Barnabas: I think so, Captain. But I'm gonna regret not sinking Rum's ship.

Blackadder: You can have too much of a good thing, Barnabas. Anyway, here they come. (Gets up)

Scene 31

The crewmembers that went to look for food are returning to the assembled crews, and they are carrying a big chest. The chest has some ship's biscuits, weevils, rotten meat and a mysterious lump in it.

Blackadder: Right, let's see what we have here... (Opens chest, and starts throwing items out of the chest as he says them) Mouldy ship's biscuits... Weevils... What looks like some kind of rotten meat… And I don't know what this is.

Rum: It's a-

Blackadder: I'm not asking! This is the most pathetic collection of useless crap I've ever seen! There is nothing in here of any use at all. There is no food, no water, and even the rodents are dead! Now clearly, this makes me very upset...

(Rum's crew roll their eyes, and start tying themselves to the mast. Mate picks up an axe and goes below decks, and there is a sound of splintering wood. Mate returns, and ties himself to the mast)

Blackadder: Right. Well, thank you for being such kind and considerate victims. You really are one of the easiest crews I have ever had the pleasure of pillaging, and I hope to have the pleasure of capturing you again in the very near future.

Rum: Well, we're here to service your needs.

(Blackadder's crew start to leave)

Blackadder: Don't interrupt, Rum. I really do mean it. Capturing your ship, however unprofitable it may be, is always a pleasure, and you go out of your way to make it easy to sink. I just want to say I appreciate the effort it takes to be this easy to roll over time and time again. Thank you all. Thank you, Gentlemen, and goodnight!

(Blackadder leaves)

Rum: (Sighs) Well, at least he's gone, and they even left us alive, eh, Mate?

Mate: Yes, Cap'n, but we're holed in the hold and I've got that sinking feeling again...

Scene 32

The crew are assembled on the deck, except Darling, in the crow's nest. Blackadder is talking to the crew, who are gathered around him.

Blackadder: So, men, here is the situation. We have no food, no water, and no hope of finding land. We either find some way to get some food, or we all die. What do we do?

Baldrick: It's easy. We all die. There's no way of getting food out here.

Jones: I think we should eat each other. That way some of us might live.

Blackadder: Almost a good plan, Jones, but there is one problem. Who do you choose to eat, out of this lot? Baldrick is the most disgusting creature on the planet, Barnabas and George actually perform some purpose on this crew, such as it is, and you yourself are a fat tub of goo. Who exactly could we eat?

Jones: Well, there's one man we could eat...

(Gestures up to the crow's nest)

Blackadder: Oh, no, you don't, Jones. If you ate Darling, who would we get to sit in the nest for hours on end, who would have the intelligence to call out...

Darling: Ship ahoy! There's a ship to port, Cap'n!

Blackadder: Exactly. Neither you nor Baldrick would have the intelligence to call out even those simple words.

Darling: There's a ship to port, Cap'n!

Blackadder: Yes, Darling, you've made your point.

Darling: No, Captain! There really is a ship to port!

Blackadder: If it's Rum's hunk of junk again, I don't care! What ship is it?

Darling: It's the Mary Celeste, Captain! And I don't think they've seen us!

Blackadder: Then lets see if we can get one over on him! I want that ship now! Get down here, Darling! Jones, hard-a-port! Men, get ready to board that ship!

(Men get ready)

Scene 33

Barnabas, George, Baldrick and the extra crewmembers have just boarded the ship, the Mary Celeste, Flashheart's ship. The ship is deserted, and there are signs that it has only been deserted recently. There is an open chest to one side, the chest Flashheart took from Blackadder earlier.

Barnabas: Well, this was a waste of time. Our first chance for a decent bit of piracy in months, and the ship has fewer people on it than a meeting of the Black Plague appreciation society. The Captain could have come with us instead of guarding the ship.

Baldrick: This chest looks familiar...

Barnabas: (Ignores Baldrick) Now where could that vermin Flashheart have got to. I was looking forward to cutting him up! Him and his bilge-rat crew!

George: Still, we've captured a ship and got back our treasure.

Barnabas: Yes, that's true.

(Blackadder calls from offstage: Help! The ship's drifting away!)

George: There goes the ship!

Barnabas: Never mind, we're better off without that lump of driftwood anyway. The Captain can take one of the lifeboats and catch us up. Now, what's left of that treasure then Baldrick?

Baldrick: Well, there's something inside this piece of oily cloth...

(Takes out cloth, unwraps it toward other crewmembers to reveal eye.)

Baldrick: What is it then, Cap'n?

Barnabas: (Leans closer) Well, it seems to be a... (Starts to die, falls off ship's edge. The death should be overacted and amusing.)

Baldrick: Just like Barnabas, always messing about. Does anyone know what this thing is?

(The other crewmembers lean in, see the eye and promptly start dropping dead and falling off the ship)

Baldrick: Well, there's no need to be rude. I just asked what it was... (Looks at the eye, copies others)

Scene 34

Blackadder, Jones and Darling are on the Flotsam, drifting away. Jones is running around panicking, and Blackadder and Darling are standing watching him.

Jones: (Running around the deck frantically) We're drifting!! We're drifting!! We're all doomed! We're gonna drift forever! We've got no food left! We're gonna starve! And then we're gonna drown! And then we're gonna DIE!!!

(Blackadder comes over and smacks Jones on the face. Jones goes down.)

Darling: Was that really necessary, Captain?

Blackadder: No. I just felt like hitting him.

Darling: So, how do we get out of this then, Captain?

Blackadder: Simple. Jones, go over there and drop the anchor so that we stop drifting.

(Jones goes over to the side, and drops the anchor over the side)
(Sound of scraping metal and splintering wood)

Jones: There goes the anchor.

Blackadder: (Face buried in his hands) Darling. Please tell me it was attached to the chain.

Darling: It wasn't attached to the chain, Captain.

Blackadder: I asked you not to tell me that! (Sighs) Never mind, we can just get on the lifeboats and sail out to the others.

Jones: Lifeboats?

Blackadder: Yes, Jones. The lifeboats. (Pauses) You did bring the lifeboats, didn't you?

Jones: Well, sort of... I mean I... Well, no.

Blackadder: (Stares in disbelief) Never mind! I'm sure there is another way out of this. I just need to think. As long as I'm not disturbed, I'll find a way out of this.


Jones: How long do you think you'll need, Captain.

Blackadder: Longer than ten seconds, Jones. Which is rather longer than you can stand to think.

(Longer pause)

Jones: Captain...

Blackadder: When I have an idea, Jones, I will tell you. Until then, if you disturb me again, I will disembowel you. Slowly, painfully, and with extreme prejudice.

(Longer Pause)

Jones: Er... Captain...

Blackadder: Right! Get me a knife, would you, Darling, I have a moron to kill.

Jones: It's just, there's something you should know...

Blackadder: (Takes dagger from Darling) I don't care! (Slashes Jones' throat, Jones dies)

Blackadder: Okay, now that that's dealt with, maybe I can get some peace and quiet to think.

Darling: (Looking over the side) Captain. I think Jones was trying to tell you about this hole in the ship.

Blackadder: Which one? I've told you before, Darling, you'll have to narrow it down a bit more than that.

Darling: The one Jones made when he threw the anchor overboard. The one that's letting in water. The one that's making the ship sink!

Blackadder: (Looks over the side, turns away in disbelief) Damn it! The devil lets one rip across my bows once again!

Darling: What are we going to do?

Blackadder: Nothing. We just sit here and wait for the others to come and rescue us.


Darling: The water's coming up the deck, Captain.

(Longer Pause)

Darling: I'm up to my knees now, Captain.

Blackadder: They'll be here. If that crew is competent in the least, they'll be here any minute.

Darling: So. If Baldrick, George and Barnabas are competent seamen, we'll be rescued?

Blackadder: (The horrible truth dawning at last) Yes.

Blackadder & Darling: Oh, B@[]@£&s!

(Lights start to dim, Blackadder and Darling start to sink to the floor)

Darling: I'm in it up to my neck now, Captain.

Blackadder: Yes, well, I've had it up to here. If there really is such a thing as reincarnation, I will never, ever have anything to do with cretins like that again! They're hopeless! They can't do anything! We're out here, about to drown, and that lot are sitting over there, doing nothing! They might as well be dead! I mean, once we really need them...

(Sounds of drowning, Blackadder and Darling die)

Lights dim. Scene ends.
End music starts. (Music - Funeral Music, from The Black Adder, Episode 6)


Narrator is on stage, talking to the audience.

Narrator: Flashheart's ship, the Mary Celeste, was found two days later, by the crew of the H.M.S. Archaic. Captain Melchett, to avoid the embarrassment of having two pirate crews evade his capture, reported the ship as being adrift, and claimed that no signs of life had been found on board. The eye was thrown overboard, and Melchett ordered his crew to hide any evidence of what had happened to Blackadder's crew, and Flashheart's crew before them. The wreckage of Blackadder's ship, the Flotsam, was found off the coast of Italy some months later, with three dead bodies on board. The ship was left under the sea to rot, and the ship's log was left in the wreck, to be found years later by a crew of divers, who read the logs, and found the truth that had been covered up by the officers of the navy, who had disguised the events of this play, one more chapter in the hidden history of The Black Adder.