CHAPTER III

'When the black sails go where the wild rivers flow, where bodies are worth more than the gold you have sold – west of dreams of the past you will be the outcast – in the deepest of forests you will find the hymn never left behind – and gold will not mean anything anymore, because you will have found the core – which you to me under the beloved palm tree bring – all to be the master of the wind'

Both Jack and Mr. Gibbs stared at the discolored map with the scribbling on it as they sat in the warmth of the captain's quarters by the table. Jack had of course already opened a new rum bottle. It usually made him think better – or at least, that was his best excuse. Outside the colored windows the rain was pouring down, trickling down the glass faster than the eye could see. Lightning bolts exploded into the water not very far away, but Jack didn't even notice the intense rumbling from the sky OR even the taste of the rum. Instead he was pondering – both about the mysterious text on the map and who that cloaked fellow might have been. Finally he gave up on figuring out the last part. He had to concentrate on the map…

"Gibbs, what do ye make of the first line??", Jack asked the grey bearded man sitting opposite to him in a quirky wooden chair. Gibbs scratched the back of his neck as he grimaced a little, deep in thoughts:

"I don't know, Jack… it's a little too cryptic for an old man like meself", Gibbs said and watched Jack as he merely nodded. Jack couldn't make anything of the first line either… wild rivers and bodies worth more than gold? What on earth was that supposed to mean?

"Bugger", Jack mumbled as his dirty index finger nail trailed down to the second line of the mysterious poem. The map showed Port Royal to the east, Tortuga to the west and then some islands further to the west…

"Wait…", Jack suddenly said, and Gibbs almost jumped in his chair:

"What is, Jack???", the old man said with curiosity painted all over his wrinkled face. Jack looked up at him with an eyebrow raised a bit:

"I think I just deciphered the second line…", he said and slurped down another mouthful of rum, quickly returned his gaze to the crumbled map:

"West of the dreams of the past, Gibbs", Jack said and thought about his usual day dreaming… Mr. Gibbs looked confused. Had Jack gone crazy? Staring at his captain, who was far away in thoughts, Gibbs couldn't help but notice the kind of dreamy look on Jack's tanned face.

"Jack?", Gibbs said carefully and simultaneously Jack snapped back to reality it seemed. He then looked at Gibbs with a smile:

"Remember where ye found me, Gibbs?", Jack merely asked and Gibbs nodded:

"Of course, Tortuga… OH!", Gibbs burst out – it finally dawned on him. Tortuga had been Jack's birth place and home for about nine years before meeting Gibbs and engaging in piracy… that was probably what was meant by the 'dreams of the past'….. Jack's dreams.

"We have to go west, Gibbs", Jack smiled and put his finger on the islands west of Tortuga on the map.

"Probably far west… to the last of the islands… have ye ever been there?", Jack asked and Gibbs shook his head:

"No, it is said to be completely deserted, Jack… what treasure could possibly be hidden where nobody has ever sat foot?", Gibbs asked and watched as Jack burst into laughter:

"Don't be foolish, Gibbs… what better place to hide something than a deserted island?", Jack asked and now Gibbs began smiling too. Jack was absolutely right. Then Jack trailed his finger down to the third line of the poem…

"In the deepest of forests you will find the hymn never left behind", Jack mumbled and shook his head… he had no clue what this meant. And Gibbs certainly didn't either. How could one FIND a hymn?

"Well, at least we know there are forests", Jack said and tapped his fingers against his temple. Without even noticing he began humming while he was thinking… Gibbs' eyebrows immediately rose as he recognized the melody:

"Jack!", he burst out and his captain almost fell off the chair in shock.

"What??? What???", Jack burst out as he looked in every direction, his hand ready by the pistol in his belt.

"Easy", Gibbs said and smiled at Jack, who looked like one big question mark. Jack just looked at Gibbs, his eyes wide and awaiting an answer. Gibbs pointed at him:

"Ye just solved the riddle, Jack… what is it ye always sing?", Gibbs asked and watched in amusement how Jack's eyes grew even wider. He also seemed to pale a little, but none the less a smile appeared on his face:

"All to be the master of the wind….", Jack whispered under his breath. This was getting a bit creepy.

"Exactly. That be the hymn… I guess", Gibbs smiled and Jack nodded in agreement. This was very weird… so far they had to go to the island far west of Tortuga, where there would be forests and his hymn… how THAT was possible, Jack had no answer to. As Jack swallowed he trailed his finger down to the fourth line:

"Gold won't mean anything anymore, because ye will have found the core…. The core… what core?", Jack mumbled and Gibbs shook his head once more. None of them could decipher THAT one, so they quickly moved on to the fifth line:

"I have to bring whatever we find… this core thing… probably…. To him under the... beloved palm tree", Jack said and scratched the back of his dreadlocked head. Beloved palm tree?? But there were thousands and thousands of them! Both Gibbs and Jack shook their heads… this one they couldn't find an answer to either.

"We'll figure it out along the way, Jack", Gibbs said and smiled a bit. He wasn't so sure, but he had to believe in this, even though it was hard. And he had to back up his captain and help him in any way that he possibly could… even maybe by sugar coating things a bit. Now for the last line:

"All to be the master of the wind", Jack whispered in something that resembled awe… Gibbs looked a bit worried:

"What does that mean, Jack?", he asked, but Jack shook his head:

"I'm not sure… but it has to be something of great value… winds of change will winds of fortune bring…", Jack said as he looked up at the ceiling. He then starting singing softly:

"Gold is at the end for each of us to find
There the road begins, where another one will end
Here the four winds know who will break and who will bend
All to be the master of the wind"

Gibbs just stared at his captain… he had been singing that song forever…. And Gibbs didn't like it.

"I think it bodes ill, Jack….", Gibbs said, but Jack merely looked at him and smiled:

"Gotta have a LITTLE excitement, Gibbs… besides I think… that it's some sort of test. When I am the master of the wind, I will either break or bend… so says the hymn… let's get going", Jack said and suddenly got up from the table.

"But Jack, the weather…", Gibbs started, but Jack interrupted him midsentence:

"I don't care. We sail now", Jack said as he opened the double doors to the deck. Immediately powerful gusts of wind hit him in the face along with ice cold drops of rain. In a few seconds Jack was completely drenched as well as Gibbs, who had followed him reluctantly. Jack quickly grabbed the wheel and howled across the deck:

"HOIST THE ANCHOR, SCALLYWAGS!!! SET SAILS!!! WE'RE HEADING WEST!!"

Immediately the crew men appeared through the hatch that led below deck, tired and heavy lidded from the sudden wake-up call. They scattered on the deck, each crew member manning his station and soon the anchor was up and the black, ragged sails were set for west. The strong winds tore violently in the sails, but Jack ignored it. It was actually in their favor, because the winds were blowing straight west… they would reach the western island within half a night. They would probably arrive approximately at five o'clock in the morning. The darkness surrounding them made it hard to navigate, but Jack was fearless. This was the adventure of a lifetime… and he couldn't wait to reach that island. Quickly the Pearl picked up the pace and they were headed straight for the island…