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Pirate Island Tales – Episode 5

pirate island“Look Granddad,” Timmy argued, “I can’t possibly get to sleep without knowing what happens when you met Solly. I know it’s going to turn out bad.”

“Well, as long as you lie down and close your eyes I’ll continue with the story until you got to sleep.”

“So, next day Nanny and I turned up at Pecan Palace and the guard let us straight through. We had to wait for an hour before we were let into Solly’s stateroom. It was a huge room. He was just saying goodbye to several well dressed people who we later discovered were some of the other Clever Cloggs. They did not seem happy but Solly dismissed them and then gave his attention to us.

“Hello Granddad and Nanny, I’m so pleased to see you.” He shuffled around in one of the drawers of the enormous desk he was sitting at whilst signalling for us to be seated. “I’ll be with you in a second. Ah, here it is.” He brought out a piece of paper which he handed to me. I looked at the paper and saw that it was the results of our test saying that we had passed and that we now could now officially own Dream Cottage. It was all set out nice and clearly.

We got up as if to go, thinking that lunch was no longer going to be served, but Solly indicated that we should remain seated.

“You now own Dream Cottage,” He said, handing me another piece of paper which said that the ownership of Dream Cottage had passed from Esther to Nanny and I, “and you can move the cottage to your land whenever you like. There’s no rush.”

I looked at Nanny. “I don’t understand.”

Solly shook his head slowly, “you fit in so well here I keep forgetting that you’re not from around here.” He paused to try to find the words to explain something quite complex as if to idiots. “When you first saw me you had a contract to transfer Dream Cottage and the garden from Esther to you. This was all very correct. You improved the cottage and therefore it is rightly yours but unfortunately since then poor Esther has gone badly into debt and has had to sell the garden the cottage stands on. I’m sorry about that. In fact she’s so sorry about what has happened that she has found some friends who will be quite happy to sell you a garden to put Dream Cottage in.”

“But we don’t want to live anywhere else!” Nanny shouted.

“I see.” Solly said, scratching his ear. “Well that puts a different light on it. I suppose you want to buy the garden then?”

“Yes!” We both said, hoping that this was possible.

“Well it’s rather expensive and it was going to be part of the Council Estate. But seeing it is you I’m sure I could arrange a very reasonable price of say… a thousand gold sovereigns.”

I was flabbergasted; this would take nearly all the money we had left. I knew Nanny had set her heart on living up in the mountains away from people and with beautiful views of the tree and the sea. I had no choice.

“It’s a deal!” I said and, almost immediately, Solly brought out another piece of paper which said that the garden was ours in exchange for a thousand gold sovereigns. We signed the papers, gave Solly the money and looked at each other’s smiling face.

“Well,” said Solly, “I am rather busy now, “so if there’s nothing else, I must get on.”

Nanny looked at me and whispered something about the Council Estate.

“Oh yes,” I asked, “what exactly is a Council Estate?”

Solly gave us a puzzled look. “You don’t know?”

We shook our heads.

“I was wondering why you wanted to live in the middle of a Council Estate. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem but you’ve always said you wanted to live far away from people and the tenants will be the most horrible in the land. We are being paid a hundred gold sovereigns for everyone we take from the Old Kingdom. You won’t like it.” He then explained about the hundreds of houses that would fill the forests around us.

“But we’ve paid a fortune for Dream Cottage.” I spluttered.

“Well I wouldn’t let you live somewhere you wouldn’t like. I tell you what, I’ll buy Dream Cottage from you; we can get ten tiny cramped houses on that garden once we’ve knocked the cottage down. It will cost a lot of money to do that so I’m afraid I can only offer you 10 gold sovereigns for it.”

We could not believe our ears. “But it has cost us thousands of gold sovereigns!”

“I know,” said Solly, “and it’s such a shame.”

Nanny and I stood up and I shouted at Solly. “We’ll never sell Dream Cottage, it’s our dream.”

“I hope the fairies curse you!” Nanny added.

“Fairies? What fairies?” Solly asked, looking puzzled.

“Esther said that the forest where you’re going to build the Council Estate is blessed by fairies and that no one would dare build a home there in case they upset them.”

Solly laughed so hard that his big belly wobbled so much I was worried it might knock us over. He spoke to us with difficulty, barely able to breathe.

“People who want to sell you things will always tell you fairy stories, that’s the way we do things around here.”

I was furious. I knew that if I didn’t get out of Solly’s stateroom immediately I would hit him. I grabbed Nanny’s hand and pulled her out with me.

Solly laughed as he shouted after us, “what about lunch? Aren’t you going to stay for lunch?” His laughter followed us down the corridors. We passed the miserable Clever Cloggs who had been in Solly’s stateroom before us and they looked at us sadly and I knew they were also suffering from something horrible that Solly had done to them.

I walked away from the palace trying to think of some way of making everything right and stopping the tears which were pouring from Nanny’s eyes. It was difficult enough to stop my own tears. There had to be a way.

We went home and found lots of men chopping down trees and clearing the land ready to build the hundreds of houses that would soon appear in our wonderful valley. There had to be a way.

As we opened a barrel of ale and a barrel of wine I thought about how little money we had left. I knew that soon we would barely be able to feed ourselves and our donkey and would probably only be able to buy one bottle of ale and a bottle of wine each week, if we were lucky. That might be a good thing as nowadays poor donkey was finding it more and more difficult bringing us up the hill.

As I drifted off to sleep, I thought of my father and remembered how he always gave good advice. I quietly said to myself, barely hearing what I said because of Nanny’s tremendous snoring, that by the morning a plan would appear and I knew for sure that it would.

To Be Continued

“Look Granddad,” Timmy argued, “I can’t possibly get to sleep without knowing what happens when you met Solly. I know it’s going to turn out bad.”

“Well, as long as you lie down and close your eyes I’ll continue with the story until you got to sleep.”

“So, next day Nanny and I turned up at Pecan Palace and the guard let us straight through. We had to wait for an hour before we were let into Solly’s stateroom. It was a huge room. He was just saying goodbye to several well dressed people who we later discovered were some of the other Clever Cloggs. They did not seem happy but Solly dismissed them and then gave his attention to us.

“Hello Granddad and Nanny, I’m so pleased to see you.” He shuffled around in one of the drawers of the enormous desk he was sitting at whilst signalling for us to be seated. “I’ll be with you in a second. Ah, here it is.” He brought out a piece of paper which he handed to me. I looked at the paper and saw that it was the results of our test saying that we had passed and that we now could now officially own Dream Cottage. It was all set out nice and clearly.

We got up as if to go, thinking that lunch was no longer going to be served, but Solly indicated that we should remain seated.

“You now own Dream Cottage,” He said, handing me another piece of paper which said that the ownership of Dream Cottage had passed from Esther to Nanny and I, “and you can move the cottage to your land whenever you like. There’s no rush.”

I looked at Nanny. “I don’t understand.”

Solly shook his head slowly, “you fit in so well here I keep forgetting that you’re not from around here.” He paused to try to find the words to explain something quite complex as if to idiots. “When you first saw me you had a contract to transfer Dream Cottage and the garden from Esther to you. This was all very correct. You improved the cottage and therefore it is rightly yours but unfortunately since then poor Esther has gone badly into debt and has had to sell the garden the cottage stands on. I’m sorry about that. In fact she’s so sorry about what has happened that she has found some friends who will be quite happy to sell you a garden to put Dream Cottage in.”

“But we don’t want to live anywhere else!” Nanny shouted.

“I see.” Solly said, scratching his ear. “Well that puts a different light on it. I suppose you want to buy the garden then?”

“Yes!” We both said, hoping that this was possible.

“Well it’s rather expensive and it was going to be part of the Council Estate. But seeing it is you I’m sure I could arrange a very reasonable price of say… a thousand gold sovereigns.”

I was flabbergasted; this would take nearly all the money we had left. I knew Nanny had set her heart on living up in the mountains away from people and with beautiful views of the tree and the sea. I had no choice.

“It’s a deal!” I said and, almost immediately, Solly brought out another piece of paper which said that the garden was ours in exchange for a thousand gold sovereigns. We signed the papers, gave Solly the money and looked at each other’s smiling face.

“Well,” said Solly, “I am rather busy now, “so if there’s nothing else, I must get on.”

Nanny looked at me and whispered something about the Council Estate.

“Oh yes,” I asked, “what exactly is a Council Estate?”

Solly gave us a puzzled look. “You don’t know?”

We shook our heads.

“I was wondering why you wanted to live in the middle of a Council Estate. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem but you’ve always said you wanted to live far away from people and the tenants will be the most horrible in the land. We are being paid a hundred gold sovereigns for everyone we take from the Old Kingdom. You won’t like it.” He then explained about the hundreds of houses that would fill the forests around us.

“But we’ve paid a fortune for Dream Cottage.” I spluttered.

“Well I wouldn’t let you live somewhere you wouldn’t like. I tell you what, I’ll buy Dream Cottage from you; we can get ten tiny cramped houses on that garden once we’ve knocked the cottage down. It will cost a lot of money to do that so I’m afraid I can only offer you 10 gold sovereigns for it.”

We could not believe our ears. “But it has cost us thousands of gold sovereigns!”

“I know,” said Solly, “and its such a shame.”

Nanny and I stood up and I shouted at Solly. “We’ll never sell Dream Cottage, it’s our dream.”

“I hope the fairies curse you!” Nanny added.

“Fairies? What fairies?” Solly asked, looking puzzled.

“Esther said that the forest where you’re going to build the Council Estate is blessed by fairies and that no one would dare build a home there in case they upset them.”

Solly laughed so hard that his big belly wobbled so much I was worried it might knock us over. He spoke to us with difficulty, barely able to breathe.

“People who want to sell you things will always tell you fairy stories, that’s the way we do things around here.”

I was furious. I knew that if I didn’t get out of Solly’s stateroom immediately I would hit him. I grabbed Nanny’s hand and pulled her out with me.

Solly laughed as he shouted after us, “what about lunch? Aren’t you going to stay for lunch?” His laughter followed us down the corridors. We passed the miserable Clever Cloggs who had been in Solly’s stateroom before us and they looked at us sadly and I knew they were also suffering from something horrible that Solly had done to them.

I walked away from the palace trying to think of some way of making everything right and stopping the tears which were pouring from Nanny’s eyes. It was difficult enough to stop my own tears. There had to be a way.

We went home and found lots of men chopping down trees and clearing the land ready to build the hundreds of houses that would soon appear in our wonderful valley. There had to be a way.

As we opened a barrel of ale and a barrel of wine I thought about how little money we had left. I knew that soon we would barely be able to feed ourselves and our donkey and would probably only be able to buy one bottle of ale and a bottle of wine each week, if we were lucky. That might be a good thing as nowadays poor donkey was finding it more and more difficult bringing us up the hill.

As I drifted off to sleep, I thought of my father and remembered how he always gave good advice. I quietly said to myself, barely hearing what I said because of Nanny’s tremendous snoring, that by the morning a plan would appear and I knew for sure that it would.

To Be Continued

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