Disclaimer: Don't own them.
A/N: I apologize for the long wait. And I also apologize in advance for the fact that there will be no more "replies by James". The truth is, I had a spiritual reawakening several weeks ago. And because of it, I've been spending more time offline with my family, friends, and God. I'm a Christian, and working on some stuff in my life. But as I have this finished, and you were all in the dark about things, I have determined I will finish posting it. So here is the rest. Thanks for the reviews you've already given me! I had fun writing this, I did. Because of previously mentioned life and spiritual state, there will be no sequel. But I hope you enjoy this. God bless!
Property of the British Navy
1August 12th, 1728
Today was the first full day of non-medically reasoned leave I have taken for at least a year. Despite running all over Port Royal and generally having a good deal of fun, it was rather relaxing. We have also caused havoc that will be spoken of for months to come, and for once, I do not care what they all say about me.
This morning, Andrew was feeling well enough to go out, and Bentley declared it safe as long as he didn't exert himself too much. So I had Nelson hire a long carriage and a driver, and send a message to Lievtenant Heathrow to fill in for me at the Fort.
After Andrew was secure in the carriage, with much grumbling about being helped more than he wanted, the first unusual thing happened. I decided, on a whim (I rarely decide things on whims), to dash society and bring Monique along. Which, of course, led to picking up Theodore and then snatching Isaac from patrol duty.
It was rather exhilarating, actually. Andrew was quite proud of me, and he told me so.
The sky was ominous, but at the time, none of us thought anything of it.
On the way to the main market, Theodore inquired as to what I had thought of getting the Turners as a wedding gift. Andrew gave him a remarkably fierce glower and would have said something, had I not given him what he once dubbed "The Look". It is simply one of my more chilled expressions, usually reserved for duty aboard a ship.
When they found that I still hadn't a clue as to what I was buying, Monique immediately assigned herself to the task of helping me, claiming to know the most concerning the subject. None of us challenged her (she is a woman, after all), but Theodore gave a sort of strangled cough that prods me to suspicion.
I have not said anything yet, but I do plan to ask him as soon as I have the opportunity.
Upon Monique's recommendation, the first shop which we infiltrated was the silversmiths. There was nothing there that I liked, or felt Elizabeth would actually find use in, so we left. After four futile stops, it was clear that while Monique had some brilliant suggestions, nothing seemed right. It was all either too common, or too personal.
That is not to say nothing happened. We encountered bursts of chaos along the way: Isaac knocked over a small tub of sugar in the confectionary shop, Andrew hid in the carriage to escape a shrill-voiced admirer outside of the cloth shop, and the group of us together had to flee (in a most shameful manner) an angry guard dog that loosed its chain.
We paused for a break in the market square, and acquired some fruit to eat for lunch. Andrew was resting in the carriage, and the rest of us lounging about it, when Elizabeth made an appearance. She came towards us with a purpose, and I braced myself. But she merely acknowledged us with practiced politeness, before addressing Isaac.
She requested that he play a song at the wedding, for their original choice had come down with a case of stiff joints, and would not have time to practice. I can only guess where she had learned of his musical talent.
Isaac was hesitant, and Theodore offered, "Perhaps if James accompanies?"
I could have murdered him where he stood. But I did nothing.
"Oh, I had nearly forgotten that you played, Commodore. Would you mind very much?"
That expectant smile– she will probably never know how it sends my world spinning upside down. I am helpless to it, pitifully so. Andrew called, "He would mind, terribly!" from the carriage, but it was too late. I had already agreed.
Then she was gone. Wordlessly, we finished and rejoined Andrew in the carriage. As soon as we were sitting, Theodore apologized and admitted that he should have said nothing. I told him not to think of it, and told the driver to take us back to my house.
We were very nearly home when thunder exploded in the gray skies overhead, and the downpour began. We would have remained dry beneath the carriage roofing if nothing had happened. But things tend to occur, and this was no exception.
Theodore flung the door of the still moving carriage open, and tumbled out, Monique's hand in his. Fearing for propriety, I followed, and Isaac after me. I told Andrew to stay inside because I did not want him to catch cold or aggravate his injury. He acquiesced sullenly and slammed the door shut.
I looked about on the deserted road for Theodore, and spotted him just a few meters before the carriage. He laid down on the road, and after what appeared to be a brief word of protest, Monique did the same.
I demanded to know what he was doing, and if he was insane. He told me that he was going to watch the rain fall, and refused to leave until we joined him. Isaac did not need much more to persuade him to get dirty. He darted past me, with a slightly apologetic look, and dropped to his back in the mud next to Theodore.
Amidst their laughter, I shouted at Theodore and Isaac both, to stop being so ridiculous and get back into the carriage. In the middle of a threat, I felt something cold and slimy hit my face. Gingerly, I touched it, and turned disbelieving (I could not fathom at first that he had actually done it) eyes on Theodore. He was sitting up, more mud already in his hand.
"Shut up and lie down, James."
I obeyed with a glare, wiping the brown muck off my face with a dripping wet hand.
After I laid down, I did not want to get back up. Where Theodore learned of the trick, I do not know, but staring straight into the sky as the rain falls is oddly therapeutic. I will not bother writing out boring and weak analogies, but I will say that the world looks different from underneath the rain.
I do not know how long we stayed there, but it was until we were good and frozen through. I waved the carriage driver on (I did not want to pay the owner to replace soiled upholstery), and we stumbled the last half kilometer home, talking and laughing all the way.
Something tells me I need to do things like that more often.
At the house, Nelson complained good-naturedly about the wet clothes and mud, while we washed and dried and changed. We ended up before the fireplace with cups of tea and a card game.
Andrew retired early, as did Isaac (he had a letter to write before the next ship bearing mail left in the morning), but Monique and Theodore stayed for quite some time. I assisted Nelson in carrying some of the dirtied cups into the kitchen, after Theodore announced that he was leaving, and I swear I saw Theodore steal a kiss from Monique when he thought we had left the room.
The man is getting bolder by the second.
Ra just came into the room with a "gift", and I shall have to dispose of it before I turn in for the night (I am worn out enough to fall asleep all-standing). I must take care of it before it stains the rug.
- C. James L. Norrington
August 15th, 1728
There are days that go without incident, and then there are days which spawn the strangest stories.
I came home for lunch today, as has been my custom since Andrew was shot, and we were eating in peace when there was a strong knock on the door. Nelson answered the door, and the visitor promptly attacked him with a barrage of indignant words.
A one Mrs. Barry Kent came into the room, looking positively frightening. I have encountered her before, and despite her short, plump stature, she is a stern woman with a very sharp tongue.
I rose, attempting to calm her, when she accused my cat of fathering a litter of kittens with her own house cat, delivered six weeks ago. I was offended by such a claim, as any person with affections towards their pet would be. So I kept a harness on my temper, and inquired as to how she knew it was my cat and not another.
As it turns out, I have the only partially Siamese cat of unusual gold color in this area of Port Royal. And one of the kittens is the splitting image of its sire. Not only that, but she found Ra snooping around her back step, and she followed him home. Upon the completion of Mrs. Kent's outraged narrative, she announced that she would not assume responsibility for finding homes for the kits, and was bringing them over as soon as possible.
She stormed out of the house, snapping at Nelson as she went, and I sat down in a shocked stupor. Andrew had his head bent over his plate and appeared to be having trouble breathing. I realized he was laughing, and he lifted his head long enough to gasp, "She was spying on your cat!".
I laughed with him, and was in a rather good humor for the rest of the afternoon.
Even the prospect of finding homes for kittens did not trouble me as much as it should have.
Mrs. Kent brought the litter of fur over in the evening, and Theodore (having heard the news, and invited himself over) immediately adopted the gray one, claiming that the Dauntless had a problem with mice. Andrew called it Captain once, and the name has stuck thus far.
It was actually a rather small litter– merely three kits. The gray one already taken, I had two left. Ra's miniature, and an oddly mewing white runt. My first thought upon holding the tiny version of Ra was that Elizabeth had admired the elder golden cat on various occasions, and I suddenly knew what I would give her as a wedding present.
Monique declared that Ra needed a companion, so enthralled with the kittens was he. The tough tom named for the Egyptian sun-god spent all evening guarding the kits and toying with them. The only one left was the white runt. I had decided upon the gold one for Elizabeth.
Continuing the tradition of Egyptian names, and as a joke of sorts, we named the white one Moses. He did seem to have a problem communicating, oddly enough. He couldn't seem to meow right. His attempts kept coming out as irate squeaks.
For the "fiercest Commodore in the Caribbean", I can be an awful sap sometimes.
Oh, well. As long as the rest of the world doesn't know, I think I am safe.
- C. James L. Norrington
August 19th, 1728
Well, that is that. Mr. Silas Brown, master of William Turner and mastersmith of the blacksmithy, has died. Though it was not intentional suicide, I do not think it in err to say that he killed himself. He was overfond of drink, and rarely did any work after signing Turner on.
I wish he was alive again, so I could strangle him. He left me with a ridiculous amount of paperwork to sort out. His will, along with a various stack of contacts he received and never passed along to Turner, had to be deciphered (they are practically illegible) and decided upon.
Andrew, being bedridden, helped a great deal. Turner was initially worried that I was going to hold Elizabeth against him, and be rude about the matter. We cleared that up with a lovely long chat in my office, over cups of tea (both of us undoubtedly wished it was something stronger).
Various parties were contacted, and only a handful of them still desired to obtain whichever item it was that they ordered. So Turner is not only the new master of his own smithy, but has a half-dozen orders to fill out. Including one of my own; a new sword for Theodore (the Navy is paying for it; the man needs a new blade).
The man may be half-pirate, but he's a good smith. And a good man besides, I suppose. I doubt I will ever quite recover from Elizabeth, but I can trust that she is in good hands. I can admit that at least, as much as it hurts that they are not my own. When Turner and I were conversing, I asked him if he ever thought of returning to sea (I was simply curious).
He looked at me with that odd intensity of his, and replied, (I will try to quote him exactly), "You either love the sea, or love a woman. You cannot have both in full. I have chosen the latter. As long as Elizabeth is alive, looking at the ocean from land will be enough for me."
I believe myself to respect him more than I did before he said it. And perhaps that is my problem; I love the sea too much, and anyone pursuing a serious relationship can sense it. I wonder if I would have been willing to give it up for her?
There is other news besides that of Brown's death, about my residence at least. We received word that Andrew's sister will be coming and bringing her four small children. Her husband, Andrew's brother-in-law, left abruptly and without word nearly two months ago (according to the letter, which was written a month after). She writes that she cannot fathom why and that it had nothing to do with her, but the town in which she lives has shunned her and her children.
Pity, this world now. Where a man can be unfaithful, and then society blames it on the wife.
Her children are all under the age of ten, and I wonder how she plans to manage them on the ship from Virginia to here (she had moved to America after marrying). I suppose she'll get by. She is their mother, after all.
Andrew tells me that he never liked the man she married, and their father disapproved strongly, which is part of the reason she left England. Other than being a bit strong-willed, he claims Emily (for that is her name) to be a pleasant woman. I wonder at that, however, for people can change, and it has been eight years since they last saw each other.
Well, I suppose I will find out. She is due to arrive on the twenty-seventh (merely eight days from now), a passenger upon the Covenant. Andrew and I must continue the search for a house for her to reside in. There is a boarding house not far from the Fort that looks promising.
Isaac is coming over later this evening, to practice a song for the Turner's wedding. We have just two weeks left, and still have not settled on a piece to play. Andrew was listening to us last time, and suggested a piece from a modern, musically assisted performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, entitled "Death's Paramour".
He will not be present at the practice tonight. He is far too much of a distraction.
Until the desire to write out meandering details of life seizes me once more,
- C. James L. Norrington
August 28th, 1728
The boarding house was unfortunately rather full of patrons.
And then brilliant Andrew pointed out that my house was not. And that I had extra room besides. Nelson and Monique immediately agreed, and added that they would not mind the extra work in the least.
The Girl (I was nearly killed with a candelabra for addressing her as Cilla), simply nodded. She still refuses to speak to me.
Yesterday, quite on schedule, the Covenant arrived.
Today, two young boys and a young girl are prowling about my house, while their mother cares for the youngest son. Andrew did try to keep them occupied for a time, but he still tires easily. It is a very good thing Monique is here, for if I had been required to entertain them myself, I do not dare think what would have happened.
Honestly, they are not that horrid. The eldest, Thomas, is polite enough. He does seem rather sullen, however. But considering what he has been through, I cannot truly bring myself to blame him (as much as I loathed Father growing up, I wonder what I would have done if he had simply left us?).
Monique has spent a good deal of her time, with Nelson accompanying, chasing Benjamin about. The horror is the delightful age of six, and spends the majority of his waking hours wreaking havoc. They simply call him Ben, but I suspect it is because that is only as long as he will stay around to hear.
The little girl is eight, I believe, and named Catherine, called Kate. She's standing at the door, now, and watching me write. It is becoming a tad annoying, but I have not the heart to tell her to leave. She has followed me like a lost puppy all day, and Ra has followed her (Moses following him, and then the gold kit in turn).
The cats follow her mainly because she merely has to tell Benjamin to leave them alone, and he obeys. I am not sure why she follows me, but I suspect it has something to do with her father's sudden departure. She is extremely quiet, though. I do not know enough of children to know if I should be worried or not.
Andrew was correct concerning his sister's character. Emily is exceedingly nice; she glows with a motherly aura. It is something about her. I cannot quite explain it.
I think Nelson means to set us up. I should tell him now that it is useless. I do not care to enter into that sort of relationship at the moment, and I seriously doubt Emily has romantic thoughts on mind.
She has apologized numerous times for Ben's disasters and Kate's trailing. Monique and Nelson have assured her that it is quite alright, before I have even gotten a chance to. Perhaps they think that insuring that things are smooth between us will greater their chances of succeeding in match-making.
I have received approximately a dozen compliments from people I passed in the streets on the way to the Fort, concerning my "kindness" in opening my house to the "poor Gillette lady". I fear I am losing my image. I must do something to correct that. I think.
Isaac and I have finally decided upon a piece to play at the Turner's wedding. He found an obscure waltz that we both rather enjoy, and the fact that I like playing it somewhat lessens the dread of performing. I cannot say I look forward to Port Royal discovering I play the violin– it has been a rather personal affair until now. I wonder if playing in public will change my enjoyment of private playing? It is something to ponder, I suppose.
Emily was at the door just now, telling Kate it was time to ready for bed. I checked the time and then remembered some papers I need to look over and sign before I seek bed myself.
Which also leads me to wonder– what do I do all day that leads to the bringing home of unfinished paperwork? I will have to keep a stricter schedule and find out where all the minutes go. I think I shall begin tomorrow.
- C. James L. Norrington
September 2nd, 1728
Two more days until the Turner's wedding. I woke up yesterday with my stomach in knots, and they have not gone away since. I have tried everything I could think of, without saying outright to Nelson that I feel nervously ill.
I did remember to log my time at the Fort after the last entry. I have done so for four days now. The results are appalling, to say the least. I spend, on average, a solid forty minutes total every day simply staring out the window.
Another twenty searching for objects. As a man who previously considered himself rather organized, this is quite a blow. At minimum, thirty minutes a day staring at papers and thinking about something completely different, rather than comprehending them. I lose an hour and a half a day, doing absolutely nothing.
I have resolved to remedy this as soon as possible.
And by "as soon as possible", I mean, "as soon as it is convenient" and "after I burn these logs so Andrew does not find them".
So this is why I bring home forty minutes of paperwork every evening. I have time at the Fort, I just do not utilize it.
Now I have a headache, as well as the knots in my stomach.
The violin practice goes well. It is now the only time in the entire day that I have relative quiet at my residence. Ben and Kate watch us, with strict instructions from their mother to be as still as possible. If they breathe a word, she will remove them from the room posthaste.
She could have very well been speaking to posts, the first time she told them this. Ben was attached to the parlor sofa as if sewn there, eyes affixed on the violins. Kate was the same. And they continue to be, whenever Isaac comes to practice.
Emily herself is busy with the baby, who does not seem well. Little Samuel has been coughing since they arrived, and the woman looks run ragged with lack of rest. I've nearly offered to watch him so she could get some rest, but he is so impossibly small I fear I will break him.
I am a dreadful coward, I really am.
Andrew, too, is worried about the both of them. He has taken watch for a few hours as of late, but was warned by Bentley to not overtax himself.
Theodore is over nearly every evening now, to speak with Monique and play shamelessly on the floor with Ben and the cats. Isaac is already here for practice, and Nelson has resigned himself to the fact that he must cook for large parties on a nightly basis.
And amidst this, I begin to wonder when exactly my house became a constant social occasion?
I have no fewer than nine people here at a time, and it is usually more like twelve.
A dozen people.
I must be insane.
Or at least well on my way.
If the ratio of house-deed holder to residents is one to nine, and an object of serious debate came along, such as the addition of a wing, would the owner have the same vote count as the rest of the residents? Would a vote be necessary, or would the owner have final say? Could the owner's final say be out-voted?
Confusing indeed. And disturbing. I am only making my headache worse.
If I do not die of some type of fever or otherwise sudden illness before the Turner's impending wedding, I shall write again.
-C. James L. Norrington
September 5th, 1728
I seem to have acquired a rather large fan-base. Quite alarming, actually.
The wedding ceremony was thankfully short and simple. As it was, I nearly suffocated. Andrew had to lean over every few seconds and remind me to breathe. And when the Father asked if there were any objections, it was only holding Andrew's hand down that kept my own from going up.
I do wish them well. And they are happy together. But that does not, in any way, imply that I am completely severed from Elizabeth emotionally. No, I still regret the loss of her.
Very odd affair altogether. The knots in my stomach dissipated sometime late last night, after we arrived home and Andrew slipped brandy into my tea. Nelson had full knowledge, and would not allow me to "waste" the tea after I has discovered the less than virginal addition to the drink.
I cannot believe I just wrote that word.
My mind is going in places it has no right to venture.
I wonder if they would consider getting the marriage annulled?
No, James. No.
I am talking to myself with the written word. I need to stop thinking about the facts of last night, and more upon the events, so I can better explain the opening line of this entry, which I just realized is still hanging up there with no absolution.
The reception was actually the difficult end of the business. I was attempting to not get drunk right off on the wine, and not think about Elizabeth's new last name, when I was nearly devoured alive by the hopeful women of Port Royal.
It seems that taking in the "poor, destitute women with four babes" (I attribute that to Miss Johannes) and the "heartbreakingly beautiful" (Miss Hartford) duet with Isaac have bolstered my reputation as an ideal suitor.
If the woman herself was not interested in me, her mother was. So they were all after me. Andrew usually helps me escape such situations, but he claimed Bentley said he was not to "exert" himself and was therefore unable to assist me. The bloody traitor.
Isaac did help some, by pulling out his violin again and attracting a small crowd of his own. I could have played with him, but I thought that the wolf-women had enough to go on as it was.
I did not see Theodore from the first toast, until a full thirty minutes later. He left alone, and returned with a lady in a fine blue dress. It took me several minutes to realize it was Monique, whom he went about introducing as "Miss Monique Renault, of South Jamaica".
The two of them occasionally looked my way with devilish grins of equal mischief, and it was all I could do to sigh and tighten my grip on my wineglass. To smuggle a servant girl into a wedding reception, as a lady at that– Theodore cannot get much more courageous (or stupid) without being required to wear armour or some such nonsensical costume.
By the time the word reached me that he was also introducing her as his fiancée, I was so deadened to surprise that it did not shock me in the least. I have not yet gotten to inquire as to the wedding date, but will do that later today. Tomorrow at the latest.
He cannot simply take my best maid like that, and expect me to not want some type of notice.
I write the above while completely ignoring that he was the one who begged me to hire her.
I suppose I must readjust to life with Nelson and Cilla the Girl. I wouldn't mind her so much if she would just speak to me on occasion. Or at least not throw things at me when I tried to address her by name.
Emily did attend part of the wedding, but she left early because Samuel was getting restless and coughing even more loudly than usual. Dr. Bentley has examined the child, and I know not what he said to Emily, but he looked grim when he was finished.
Thomas was the only other child beside Samuel to attend (Kate and Ben stayed with Nelson at the house), and he left Andrew's side merely once the entire time– and that was later at the reception, when Will and Elizabeth were going about and mingling.
I should say, Elizabeth was mingling, and Will simply stood back looking so outright miserable at being left to the gentlemen of higher society that I was relieved when Thomas went over to him.
From the motions they made with their hands, I gathered they were talking about swords. Thomas kept the poor man company until the bride returned, and then Thomas shyly and hastily retreated to Andrew's side.
I do not blame him. I would have fled from her, too. I did, most shamefully, on various occasions, yestereve. I did speak with her once, but I could not bring myself to face her for long on her wedding night. I was afraid I would say something terrible and Andrew-like.
Wedding aside, life sails on. A bit leeward in the shoals, perhaps, but on it sails.
Speaking of sails.
Andrew is officially reinstated to active duty tomorrow. And the day after that, the Dauntless sets off for another patrol, with me captaining. I will be gone for the customary two weeks, hopefully long enough for the talk of the Turner's wedding to die down and talk of Theodore and Monique's impending matrimony to spring anew in the gardens of social conversation.
I can tolerate that sort of talk. I wasn't planning on marrying either one of them.
There was some concern as to leaving Emily alone in the house for so long, so Andrew and I have decided it best if he stayed on another few weeks. Possibly longer, depending on whether or not we can find Emily a suitable residence of her own. It would not do for a Commodore to have a woman in his house with him, alone at night, even if she did have children.
Andrew's state of brotherhood saves us from scandal.
In a way, I am loathe for Emily to leave at all by this point. I have very nearly gotten to having Kate trail after me, and Ben's internal clock setting off a series of inhuman yells ever hour or so. I never forget to check the time when he does that now. (Is it bed time for the children, yet? Quite?)
As a conclusion to a question I wrote in here some entries previous, playing the violin in public has not stripped the joy of playing in private. I played this morning, just to make sure. There was a certain lingering panic that compelled me to play as soon as breakfast had ended.
I must go make sure I am ready to pack for the patrol. With all the excitement, I am afraid Monique may have forgotten to starch an extra shirt.
What a mundane note to end this on.
It is rather sad, to be honest.
- C. James L. Norrington
September 21nd, 1728
After a calm patrol, coming home is usually a joyous occasion. Theodore once said that every time we come back alive, we must celebrate with at least a bottle of wine, for no more reason than being alive to drink it.
But upon walking through the front door this afternoon, I knew something was horribly wrong.
Everything was still and quiet. No shrieks from Ben, no laughter in the kitchen. Nelson was wiping the table, looking like a man condemned. Andrew was in the parlor, taking shots of bourbon and refusing to speak at all.
Monique was scrubbing the kitchen floor and crying at the same time. She was the one I managed to get the news out of.
Often it is the ship coming home that has bad news, but the Dauntless had fair weather and clear seas. It was the house that suffered.
On September the nineteenth, year seventeen hundred and twenty-eight, Samuel Dodson Cuthridge, age nine months, passed away.
God rest his soul.
Emily has not left her room since the hasty funeral just a day after they found he had died in his sleep, and that was part of the reason Andrew had resorted to drinking (so Monique claimed).
I had reports to write, and left for Fort Charles. It was hours before I left my office, but I had not gotten any work done at all. It would be lying to say I cried– I most ashamedly did not shed a tear. I cannot figure out why, and it bothers me.
Have I become that accustomed to death? It cannot be possible. I was the ocean itself when Andrew was shot. I did not really know Samuel that well. At most, I had fondness for him and an acceptance of his existence.
I suppose I find it more unfair than I find it personally tragic. It is hardly fair to Emily, and certainly not to Samuel. It is times like this that I could almost curse God. Almost.
I have quite made up my mind to try and bring Emily from the room tomorrow morning. I am not an expert on grief, but I have known enough of it to know that it is not healthy for her to be locked up in that room all the time. Nor is it doing any good for her three living children.
But what do you say to someone who has had to bury their own child?
I am one to ask that question. I have written far too many letters (one was too many to begin with) to families in England, explaining in terse, military words with clipped and polite apologies that they have lost a son or a brother for the betterment of the Carribean colonies. I have felt every one of those letters as a knife in my heart, but yet I feel I know nothing.
It is one thing to write a letter. What do you say to a guest in your own house, who lost a helpless infant rather than a son to battle?
What am I going to do?
- C. James L. Norrington
September 22nd, 1728
You do nothing, apparently. You simply knock on the door, walk into the room, and stand there looking foolish. Then the object of worry exclaims, "Oh, James," and flings herself into your arms.
I held Emily as she sobbed into my shirt, trying to think of something to say that wouldn't come out sounding utterly ridiculous and petty.
But how long have we been on first name terms? How did I not notice this sooner?
My petty ponderings aside, I did convince Emily to leave the room. She paused in the hallway to assure a very worried Kate that she was alright, and kiss Ben on the forehead (he had fallen asleep on the sofa).
Thomas and Andrew engulfed her in hugs in the parlor, and Andrew mouthed thank you to me. I simply shrugged. I could not think of a singular thing I had actually done. I had just walked into the bedroom.
After a small breakfast that the majority of us pecked at and did not actually eat, Emily voiced her wish to go visit the grave. I had given my support and offer to accompany her before I even knew I had opened my mouth.
I wonder if Andrew is capable of mind control.
I hadn't seen the grave marker until I saw it with Emily, and the renewed reality of it stole my breath away. It was simple, wooden, and marked with a single year of time. Far too short for one life.
Emily wiped away her tears with my loaned handkerchief, and leaned against me as we stared at the austere marker. I put my arm around her to reassure her, and it felt right, so I left it there.
She has lived in my house for almost a full month, and it was not until I looked down at her then, her face tear-streaked and hair pulled back, that I realized how beautiful she was. It was a morbid sort of revelation, standing there and wanting to kiss her while we stood on her son's grave.
I contained myself, and instead held her all the more tightly.
We did not leave the spot until Emily sighed with a sorrowful sort of finality, and looked up at me, and said she was ready to go.
The walk back to my house was undisturbed, and quiet. It was in that silence that I learned some things. I was jealous of Emily's husband. I regretted not meeting her first. I did not mind the loss of Elizabeth so much anymore.
And as much as it hurt, and as selfish and strange as it was, I wished that the child Emily had buried was ours, instead of hers and some other man's.
There was a lump in my throat after that, and it was a good thing Emily said nothing on the way back, for I would not have been able to reply. I got a hot pot of tea for us from Nelson, and that served to abate it somewhat.
I think I love the woman.
I do believe I have reached port. Time to drop anchor.
- C. James L. Norrington
This concludes the salvaged portion of the Commodore's journals, though forensic transcribers estimate that another section may be available for study sometime in the next five years.
Until then, little is known of the remainder of James Norrington's life.
Though early family trees from the British Carribean Colonies are sketchy at best, several families kept extensive records in family Bibles. Along with the journals was found one such Bible, and it is strongly believed to be the Norrington family Bible.
There is an entry for a marriage on May 12th of 1729: James Leland Norrington to Emily Katherine Gillette. In 1730 and 1732 (respectively), there are entries for the births of David Andrew Norrington, and Sarah Emily Norrington.
Further study and investigation has uncovered a marriage license for Theodore David Groves and Monique Renault, as well as an letter mentioning the death of Isaac Mullroy, in a skirmish off the coast of Barbados. Many believe this to be the same Isaac Mullroy mentioned numerous times in Commodore Norrington's journal.
No record can be found for either the marriage, nor death, of Andrew Gillette, and it is believed by historians that he did not die in battle, but lived a long life as a bachelor. (A letter found with the journals, dated 1739, and signed "Davy Norrington" mentions an Uncle Andrew living with the family.)
The journals will be on display, along with the letters, Bible, and other manuscripts, in the Smithsonian Museums Exhibit "The Black Pearl: High Seas Truth or Sailor's Superstition?" coming Summer 2005. The display will also feature several swords believed to have been crafted by William Turner, the blacksmith who married Elizabeth Swann, and William Turner's memoir of his adventures with Captain Jack Sparrow.
– Sam Groves
Professor of History
June 17, 2004