Ahoy thar, mateys! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day, which be fittin', seein' as the tale of the day be one of robbery. It may not precisely be upon the High Seas, but it be no less dastardly fer that.
Once, I didst hear tell of a wily pirate, who 'twere sick of chasing down his prey. So he hit on a plan to make a wreck of his ship, and wave out flags of distress and such like, praying a kindly minded Captain would stop to help. Then o'course, he'd murder the fool, and the rest of his crew besides.
A like-minded scoundrel almost had to admire the genius of such skullduggery. I thought 'twere a clever, if lazy, way to plunder. But today I didst see some buccaneers improve upon the trick, and how.
There, before me eyes, were a squadron of ships, all run aground, water leaking from their hulls, sails tattered and torn. A whole mess of wrecks, and all aboard them the pirates crying and wailing for help. 'Twere an especially pitiful sight, for one wouldst think, "My, if only that ship thither could help the one beside it. Lend it a spare yardarm or jib, and it might make it to port." But nay, not a one would help the other, but instead didst call to one fat passing frigate.
Seeing that they were pirates plain, I thought to me self, "Self, that one frigate be not prey enough for all these scoundrels. What thought they, wrecking these ships so near together?"
So the frigate didst stop at one ship, a mighty vessel with a bear emblazoned on its side. The frigate let all the scoundrels aboard, but shrewdly. The frigate had guns, ye see, and the pirates could not overwhelm 'em. The frigate captain sent the pirates to a dank dark hold, told them to be content they'd make shore.
A wise captain, I thought, but then the pirates deployed their dastardly strategy. They didst begin to moan, and wail. They'd had a whole ship, they bleated, why now must they have but a hold? It seemed plain foolishness - "Ye has but a hold for ye sank yer ship!" I longed to scream. But the frigate heard me not, and it decided that aye, this Bear crew deserved more, and so it gave them a portion of the gold they had aboard.
Surely, I thought, the ship would now turn home. But low, then it spotted two vessels waving its own colors! 'Twere the schooners Fannie and Freddie, what had left the fleet long ago and turned pirate. Didst they not, they pleaded, have a right to come aboard, bein' fellow countrymen? And of course, the frigate relented, and brought them aboard.
Next it came to a great ships so wrecked upon the rocks that naught but shattered and scraps of canvas remained. "I be Lehman," bellowed a man standing amongst a pile of sticks, "Captain Lehman. Me brother be dead, but I be ready to negotiate!" Him, they ignored.
Finally, I thought, the frigate hath smelled this murdrous game, and may yet escape with some of its doubloons. But no sooner thought I this, then the freighter came to a wreck bigger than any it had yet seen. And again the shipwrecked captain pleaded, and again, the frigate let him aboard.
Now, this addle-pated frigate captain had a problem, for his boat were full up with pirates, and he'd no room for more. It was plain he could take not one more scallawag aboard, yet all about there 'twere more beached ships wailing f'r help.
"I cans't take no more," bellowed the good hearted skipper, and the pirates replied, "Tis well. But trade with us a bit, and we'll have all we need to return to shore."
This twere absurd, for the broken vessels had naught to trade. But the captain didst confer with his mates, and ask their offer.
"We'll trade ye this ripped up sail for yer good one!" yelled one ship.
"Aye, and I've two halves a rudder to trade for a whole one!" said another.
"Prey, if ye'll but give me a cannon and balls, I'll give ye some wet powder and some parrot poop besides." And so on.
And one by one the frigate made the trades. Hundreds of Billions of Trades.
And when 'twere all over, the frigate sat on the rocks, with no sail, and no rudder, its deck stripped bare, its hold empty. And the crew, the crew were wailing something fierce. "Where be our captain?" they cried. "Where be our first mate and bosun? Where be our leaders?"
Quick I grabbed my spyglass and swept it out o'er the sea. And there I spotted captain, first mate and bosun all, standing astride a deck with a golden hue. They 'twere laughing as they sailed away on their freshly repaired ship, its hull filled with gold.