"You again." Jack Sparrow did not sound happy to see the man he greeted with these words. He was just sitting down to a well earned cup of rum and bowl of indeterminate stew in a tavern in Tortugas.
The man was tall, leanly handsome and wore a faint smile around his mouth. A number of the ladies, to give them the benefit of the doubt, were eyeing the man, but not with the distrust of the Captain. His clothing was of good quality, not the general run of seen better days pieced together castoffs generally worn in the area. The ladies could always sniff out a full wallet.
"Me. Again. Mind if I join you?"
"Will it do any good?"
He considered and shook his head, straight black hair falling down over one eye as he did so. "No." He pulled out a chair and sat. "I have a proposition for a man of daring and imagination."
"Ah. Go look somewhere else. I'm busy." Jack applied himself to his food and drink, hoping that Green would take the hint. It wasn't working. "I said …"
"I heard. I think you'll find this of interest, however." Green leaned forward and unfurled a parchment map on the table between them.
Jack knew he was sucked in as soon as he saw the "X" scrawled on the paper. He tried to play it off the cuff while squinting at the map. "It's a map, mate. I have a number of those. What makes this one of interest?"
"Probably that big black "X" that caught your attention. This is a map to a pirate treasure."
"I have one of those. Have the treasure, too."
"You don't have this one."
"What do I need with a second one? It's not cursed, is it?"
"Now that is a good question."
Any other pirate captain, any other pirate, would have shown the good sense to turn tail and run at the hint of a cursed treasure. Jack Sparrow, having survived one curse and being the owner, if not user, of said cursed treasure, had developed something of a fascination for curses. The obsession with treasure had existed before the fascination with curses.
"And just what do you want with me?"
"Well, my ship is now under the command of Captain Anna Maria. You have the beginnings of a fleet. I don't have the funds to purchase a ship, but I can certainly share the treasure, if it's there."
"Right. We toddle along, find the treasure, remove the curse, if any and you profit … I don't see the draw."
"I profit, because I have the map. You profit because your share of the treasure, sans curse, is the larger because you contribute more to the finding of it. Besides, do you really want Ramirez to find it first."
The question galvanized Jack, although he sat on the reaction to the best of his ability. Angel Ramirez was the worst of the worst, barring the infamous and now dead Captain Barbosa. Jack and Ramirez had tangled a few times in Tortugas. "Ramirez. How does Ramirez know where to look?"
"There's another map. Unfortunately, the gentleman who gave me this one, made two. One for himself, one for his captain. This was left to me. Ramirez killed the owner of the other."
"Sounds like Ramirez. How far ahead of you is he?"
"Green, I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy? Don't play games."
"I'm not. Ramirez took and sank the ship. He grabbed up the logs and a handful of maps. As yet, he doesn't know what he has. But he has a man on board who is looking at the maps for him."
"Ah. Which puts us ahead of him. For the time being." He looked at the map. "Mexico. That's a large bit of land to search."
"This bit isn't as big. They call it the Yucatan Peninsula. Lots of hostile Indians, but not much else."
"Right. Snakes that eat mules. Poisonous insects. Monkeys." He shuddered. "Been there mate. Not interested in going back."
"Not even for a treasure of mythic proportions?"
Jack considered this, his eyes taking on a dreamy cast. A treasure of mythic proportions. Then he laughed. "And just what is the one I already have if not mythic?" he asked.
Green blinked at him. "All right, how about two mythic treasures? You'll be a legend."
Jack laughed. "I am a legend, mate."
Jack finished his meal and had two more mugs of rum before he finally put Oliver out of his suspense. "Two-thirds."