I thought this might be fun for Halloween --- hope the length does not break the NV software!
The Blue Pirates and the Mummy's Treasure
by Minnie Apolis © Minnie Apolis 2011
(Inspired by a the historical account of the Spanish galleon “Florencia” and its lost treasure, plus the traditional Icelandic folk tale, “The Skeleton in Holar Church”)
CAST of CHARACTERS:
1 Narrator 2 Mummy 3 Capt. Capp 4 First Mate Matt
5 Bartender 6 Old Salt 7 Parrot
8 Old Mother (of mummy) 9 Shipboard Goat
PROPS: a map, preferably drawn on a parchment-y paper. Pirates need hats or headscarves, or eyepatches if you prefer. Bartender may have armbands, or rolled-up sleeves and a cloth to wipe down the table. Bartender needs bottle opener to open pretend bottles. Goat and parrot need appropriate identifying headgear or masks. Need spyglass to spot ports for desired landings. Noisemakers for clinks, clumps, pops, etc.
NARRATOR: We present to you today the story of the lost treasure of the Spanish galleon, Florencia, once the payroll ship in the doomed fleet sent by Spain to try to defeat the English navy and maintain control of the high seas. The loss of most of the armada to a great storm at sea threw many ships onto the rocky coast of England and Ireland. The Florencia and her gold treasure were lost forever. Some details of the story have been changed, but we think this comes under the heading of artistic license. It’s allowed.
Long ago in a haunted land, there was a treasure guarded by a mummy. This was not an Egyptian mummy, but her corpse had dried like leather in that dry, desert land. The treasure was part of that carried by the legendary Spanish armada, the one that sank in that fateful battle of 1588. One ship, the Florencia, managed to limp north to Scotland's Tobermory Bay, where she laid down her bones and sank to the bottom.
The Blue Pirate gang heard about this legendary treasure and set out to steal the treasure from the mummy. First they needed a map to where the mummy and treasure were. Captain Capp and First Mate Matt began a search for a map by walking into the favorite local haunt of pirates, the Briny Bottle Bar & Grill.
CAPT. CAPP: Yo ho ho, I'll have a rum with a slice of lemon, IF you please.
FIRST MATE MATT: And I'll have mine with a lime, if you don't mind.
BARTENDER: Comin' right up, my lads. And how be life treatin' ya?
CAPP: Not too shabby. Got the sun in the mornin' and the moon at night.
MATT: (singing) got the sun in the mornin' and the moon at night...
CAPP: (to Matt) Stuff it, will ya!
(To Bartender) But I wouldn't mind having just a wee bit more of the coin, if you know what I mean. Do ye mayhap know where the legendary mummy treasure be?
BARTENDER: I heard many things about that treasure, but never any details. But I do know who you might talk to about that. Over at that table yonder is a real Old Salt who knows the real scoop --- the deep scoop, you might say. I'd mosey over there and buy him a rum to get him talking.
CAPP: Much obliged, barkeep. (tosses coin on counter, which goes 'clink' )
NARRATOR: Captain Capp and his loyal first mate Matt casually strolled over to the far table in the corner.
(clump clump clump)
CAPP: Old Salt? My name's Captain Ca--
OLD SALT: Captain Capp, James Capp, of the good ship Enter Prize, fearless fighter of the damned and the dead, famed flagon-tippler of many a rum, and a handy hand at gin rummy, too.
CAPP: So you've heard of me, ey?
OLD SALT: Indeed I have, and so has every other sailor and pirate worth his salt.
CAPP: Heard tell that if I buy ye a rum, ye be willing to talk about the mummy's treasure.
OLD SALT: Maybe, and maybe not.
CAPP: Depending on what, Old Salt?
OLD SALT: Sometimes it depends on the quality of the rum, and sometimes it depends on the quantity rather than the quality of said rum. Sometimes it depends on the phase of moon what determines if I'd like to talk or not. Right now the moon phase seems favorable. The part about the rum is all up to you.
CAPP: Well, let's order the best bottle of rum they have here, and let the rum start talking.
OLD SALT: Sounds fair enough.
NARRATOR: The Bartender, having eavesdropped on every word of this conversation, brought over the best bottle of rum they had, and one of the largest, too. He popped the cork (pop) and poured three glasses full.
OLD SALT: Well, let me see now if I can remember the how the story goes.
NARRATOR: The three pirates clinked glasses together (clink) and yelled, “Down the hatch”. The Old Salt kept sipping his rum.
OLD SALT: Hmmm, that's mighty fine rum. Let me see now, it starts to come back to me. Something about a curse, yea, something about a curse.
NARRATOR: The Old Salt drained his glass. Captain Capp refilled the Old Salt's glass.
OLD SALT: Thank you, thank you kindly. (slurps down the contents of glass)
There now, now I remember, clear as day! The daughter of the Earl of Athol was betrothed to Lachlan MacLean, but on his way to his wedding, Lachlan took one look at the fair Margaret Cunningham and married her instead. The treasure was supposed to be the dowry of his intended. Yea, the girl that was jilted was rich as could be with Spanish coin.
CAPP: Never mind the curse part of it, just tell me where it is.
OLD SALT Oh that's the easy part, finding it. But getting it away from the mummy is the hard part. Can't kill a mummy because it's already dead. (cackling laugh)
CAPP: Well, I'll figure out that part when I get to it. But where be the treasure, gramps, where be the treasure?
OLD SALT: Well, I could draw you a map. You have ye old pen and parchment handy, sonny?
NARRATOR: And so the Old Salt drew a fine map for the captain and his first mate. And he explained every turn and and every landmark he wrote on it. It was a fine map, indeed. Capp and his first mate left the Briny Bottle and stood outside the front door with the map.
CAPP: OK, now we got the map. I'll get the crew together, you buy the provisions --- and we're off, over the bounding main. My favorite place to be.
MATT: Give me the shopping list and it's as good as done.
NARRATOR: Hours later, Captain Capp and First Mate Matt rendezvous-ed at the pier where the good ship Enter Prize was anchored. The Captain was accompanied by a ragged lot of pirates, some with peg legs, some with only one eye, some with only one hand. First Mate Matt was accompanied by stevedores trundling barrels of salt pork, biscuits, and grog, plus a flock of chickens and a nanny goat.
SOUND EFFECTS: Chickens clucking, goat baa-ing.
CAPP: What be these chickens for? And a goat?
MATT: A good pirate ship or an army marches on its stomach. And every well-provisioned pirate ship has chickens for fresh eggs and meat, and a goat or cow for fresh milk.
CAPP: And who be sweeping up after them, First Mate Matt?
MATT: The crew, sir, will take their turns at cleanup duties. We've had many a tour already sir, with much the same livestock, with you never knowing they'd come aboard. The crew appreciates a good breakfast, captain, and readily splits the burden of cleaning up after them. All the provisions are present and accounted for, sir.
CAPP: Very good, First Matey. Get the crew checked in and shove off promptly.
MATT: Aye, aye, captain. It will be a pleasure, sir.
NARRATOR: The good ship Enter Prize got herself loaded up and her sails made ready. The fast ship rode out of the harbor fully loaded and ready for action. She was a beautiful sight to see as she passed out of the harbor, sails filled with a fine wind.
CAPP: First Mate, lock the ship's wheel in place now that we're out the harbor, and see what ye make o' this map.
NARRATOR: The captain spread the map out on a flat-topped barrel of salt pork.
CAPP: Now what do ye make of these directions here? It shows arrows out of the harbor towards the east as far as Bermuda, then it turns north a long ways. Then we go to some place called Dull Point – a blunt promontory, the Old Salt says. Ye know the territory, mate?
MATT: Never been that far north, Captain. But she's a good ship and she'll get us there.
CAPP: Now, what does it say here by Dull Point? I fergits my spectacles.
MATT: It looks like, a cross here, something like a k something. Oh, not a kirk, captain.
CAPP: A kirk???
MATT: A kirk.
CAPP: Oh a CHURCH. A church??? But we're PIRATES, we don't go to church!
MATT: You might have to pay extra shares to the crew to get them to go to a church, cap'n. I mean, we're PIRATES for criminy's sake!
CAPP: I KNOW what the bloody heck we ARE matey. That's why we're going for that bloody treasure. And if the bloody treasure is at some bloody church, then by Davey Jones' locker, that's where we're bloody well going to go!
NARRATOR: And so the merry ship Enter Prize sailed east toward Bermuda on a course mapped out by Navigator Nate. It took several weeks to progress from Bermuda north to the Scottish coast where they began to hunt for Dull Point.
EAGLE-EYE: Ahoy, there! Land Ho!
NARRATOR: Eagle-Eye, the one-eyed scout, sighted land through his spyglass from his perch high in crow's nest, and shouted the alert. Several other crew members raced up the rigging to look, and shouted down descriptions of the coast. A blunt promontory was confirmed, plus a prominent church halfway up a hill. It seemed to be the place, all right. Plus there was a big sign at the dock office, “Welcome to beautiful Dull Point.”
CAPP: (putting map aside on top of another barrel) We'll anchor offshore and row over after dark.
MATT: But I'm skeered of the dark, cap'n.
CAPP: (grimacing) Well then you'll just have to take your teddy along, then, won't ye? Got to sneak up on the churchyard under the full moon if we want to chat up a mummy. Mummies and ghosts don't generally come out at high noon, y'know. Now where is that map?
(sound of baa-ing)
MATT: Nooooo, the goat is eating the map! What'll we do now, cap'n?
CAPP: Well, the map served its purpose. It got us here. I have a few tricks up my sleeve yet.
NARRATOR: Darkness descended quickly like a shroud of death after sunset. Half the crew climbed into rowboats with the rest of the crew winching the rowboats down to the water. Captain Capp and First Mate Matt were in the first rowboat, Matt clutching his teddy bear tightly to his chest. Matt's eyes were wide. The crew sneaked past the town and up the hill towards the churchyard. Captain Capp, looking very serious, pulled out a dowsing rod from inside his coat and proceeded to walk up and down the graveyard past the tombstones. The rod dipped sharply as he came to an ordinary looking stone about a foot and a half high.
CAPP: (slapping the top of the tombstone and pouring a bit of grog on the grave) Ahoy, there! “Roust the living and raise the dead, we've come a long ways to speak with youse, so sit ye up and comb yer head, Captain Capp's here to parley-vous.”
NARRATOR: An eerie wail pierced the night. (sound of wailing) A mummy wrapped in dirty funeral wrappings slowly glimmered into sight. The mummy sat on the tombstone, wearily bent over and leaning her arms on her knees.
MUMMY: Why be ye disturbing the undead? Why can't you let me suffer in peace?
CAPP: It's yer treasure I'm after, of course. I'm a pirate!
MUMMY: The treasure was to be my dowry. I still wait for my bridegroom to come to the church for the wedding.
CAPP: Your sweetie has scampered, mate, and long turned to dust. Yer wedding's been on hold forever, so no dowry needed. Now fork it over, my sweet, to someone who can make use of it.
MUMMY: You don't understand. I cannae leave the dowry, I cannae move on to the next world, as long as my mum's curse stands upon my head. It's she you want to parlay-vous with.
CAPP: Your mummy put a curse on you? I thought you were the mummy?
MATT: It's the mummy's mummy we want to be speaking with.
(to mummy) Is that right? Your mummy put this curse on you?
MUMMY: Aye, me mummy's the one that put a curse on me. I was jilted at the altar, and my mum blamed me somehow for ruining the wedding. Said I'd never find as good a man, said I'd ruined the both of us because it was the king's wish that we be married. And so she cursed me to forever wait for the groom to come to the church.
CAPP: That's a sticky one, all right. Supposing this story is true, how would we find this terrible mum of yours?
MUMMY: She lingers at the family castle, Athol castle it is. You'll find if you sail to Pixie Cove, then follow the river east to the castle. Ye cannae miss it, it's the only castle for miles around. Then go in the family chapel, up to the choir loft. She sweeps the choir, day after day except Sunday, when she makes herself scarce during services.
MATT: ANOTHER church, mate? I'll have spent more time in church this month than in the past twenty years!
MUMMY: Oy cannae help it, mate. Spirits like to hang around churches where there's a graveyard and other spirits. Like seeks like.
NARRATOR: And so the disappointed band of pirates trudged back to the good ship Enter Prize, where they threw themselves on their bunks and fell fast asleep. At dawn's first light the good first mate Matt steered the ship safely away from Dull Point and towards the open sea. A fair wind filled the sails and they made good time on the route that Matt had plotted to Pixie Cove, still further north along the Scottish coast. The weather turned colder, and a harsh wind promised snow. Yet the men sailed on, with visions of Spanish doubloons dancing before their eyes. The worst of it was that the wind no longer favored them, making the trip take twice as long as it ought.
CAPP: Progress report, First Mate.
MATT: Slow progress, cap'n. Can't hardly make a league a day under this contrary wind. But we'll get there. The chickens is mighty cold, cap'n. They might freeze to death here.
CAPP: Very, well, put the chickens in the hold for the time bein'. Steady as she goes, mate.
NARRATOR: After two weeks of this contrary wind, the ship at last came in sight of Pixie Cove. They found the river easily enough, and fortunately it was wide with lots of summer rains. They sailed up the river a mile or two and just when they passed a rocky crag, they spied the castle in the distance. They'd have to march on land to get to this target. The landing party was smaller this time, since they'd have no treasure to carry back to the ship.
CAPP: Just you and me, mate, plus a couple more to act as lookouts in case anyone comes. We'll march up right quick after sunset; it gets black as soon as the sun drops.
MATT: Can I bring my teddy, cap'n?
CAPP: (sighing) And ye may bring yer teddy, too.
NARRATOR: And so the sun went down on a blustery sky. The pirates bundled up as well as they could with mufflers around their necks, and the small landing party – with Captain Capp in the lead – began their march to the castle's chapel. Snow began to fall as soon as they left their rowboat, a snow that came down in giant flakes and pasted white hats and coats on all the pirates. The chapel was unlocked. The captain and his mate looked around for anyone else out in this weather, but saw no one. They left three other pirates posted as lookouts by the chapel doors. Capp and Matt climbed the creaking steps up to the choir loft. (squeaking sound effects) They sneaked up to where the choir director would stand. Capp once again poured some grog out, slapped the wooden stand and said:
CAPP: Ahoy, there! “Roust the living and raise the dead, we've come a long ways to speak with youse, so sit ye up and comb yer head, Captain Capp's here to parley-vous.”
NARRATOR: An eerie wail pierced the night. (sound of wailing) An old woman appeared, wrapped in old black rags. She held a broomstick in one hand, obviously interrupted in her sweeping. She leaned on the broom and glared at the two pirates.
OLD MOTHER: Wipe your feet!! You be born in a barn, young man?
CAPP: (wiping feet on mat at the front of the choir) Beggin' yer pardon, ma'am. Might you be the famous Mummy's Mum? The sweepin' spirit o' the chapel o' Athol? The force behind the cleanest choir loft in all o' Scotland?
OLD MOTHER: That would be me (curtseying). And who may ye be?
CAPP: Oh, just a seafaring dog and his mate. And do ye recall a daughter who was once betrothed to the young MacLean?
OLD MOTHER: (going back to her sweeping) Never heard of her!
CAPP: Please, ma'am, beggin' yer kind attention for a wee bit. We have a special request from her.
OLD MOTHER: She ruined our lives, she did. Don't know what she did but her intended dumped her and run off with another. She ruined our lives, I tell ye. No one to carry on the estate, everything fell to rack n ruin. She ruined our lives!
CAPP: If ye might give me a moment to tell ye what happened, Mother, ye might feel differently. That MacLean feller never laid eyes on yer daughter, so she couldn't have offended him. But you know who that MacLean did lay eyes on, was that Cunningham gal. Margaret Cunningham. He took one look and run off with her. And that's the sworn truth, it is.
OLD MOTHER: (stops sweeping) Oh, that Cunningham tart. (stroking her chin, thinking about that girl) She was always one to take what belonged to another. Actually that makes sense now.
CAPP: And so, we carry a request from yer daughter, from yer blameless daughter, I might add. And that is, if you could see yer way clear to forgive her after all this time. Could ye do that? Not just for me, but for yer daughter's sake.
OLD MOTHER: (crossing arms) Lemme think about it.
MATT: She sent you a present, she did, to help make up to you. (Capp looks surprised) She sent you a chicken, she did. (he pulls out a chicken from inside his coat)
OLD MOTHER: Well, I'll be! I always loved the clucking of chickens in the yard. Well, all right. We don't get too many requests from the living, that's fer sure. But all right.
(shouting up into the rafters) Hear ye, hear ye! Let it be known that I forgive my old maid of a daughter. Remove the curse and let there be peace in the house of Athol. (thunder and lightning)
CAPP: Thank ye, thank ye. And have a good night.
NARRATOR: So the captain and his mate descended the stairs from the choir and joined the lookouts at the door.
CAPP: Mission accomplished, men.
(to Matt) What was a chicken doing in your coat, anyway?
MATT: Well, this one looked particularly cold so I tucked her in my coat. Just kept her there on our little jaunt, seein' as she was being so quiet like. I liked the feelin' of her snuggled right up to me. Well, hope the old lady takes good care of her.
CAPP: Frankly, I'd just as soon you'd given her that dang goat. Eatin' up my map, the nerve o' that nanny!
NARRATOR: Fortunately the winds favored the return trip and the good ship Enter Prize returned to Dull Point in mere days. Again the merry band trudged up to the church in the dead of night, and again Captain Capp approached the tombstone. This time there was just a pile of ashes on top of the stone.
CAPP: (pouring out grog on the ground and slapping the tombstone) “Smoke be black and blood be red, Bewitch the living and hush the dead, Open the grave all dark and sooty, Captain Capp's here to collect the booty.”
NARRATOR: A creaking sound like a hundred gates opening proceeded from the grave site. The tombstone rolled back to reveal a narrow vertical shaft, at the bottom of which lay a locked treasure chest.
ALL PIRATES: (pirates cheer) Hurrah for Captain Capp!
CAPP: All right men, lose no time now. Bring up that chest and carry it on board.
NARRATOR: So the men rigged up a platform with long poles, and three men manned each end of two poles. The heavy chest rested on top of the platform. They all marched back to the ship with light hearts and feverish anticipation. What would be in the chest? Silver or gold? How much would each man's share come to? Would it be enough to retire from pirating, and live a life of ease?
There was no waiting for dawn to open the chest. The ship's carpenter got out his chisel and maul and broke open the hasp. The metal inside caught the moonlight with a soft gleam. There was gold. There were silver ingots. There were pearls big as onions. There were gems of every color, some in golden brooches and necklaces and earrings. All of it was the dowry of the unfortunate young lady who had been the intended bride of MacLean.
Captain Capp and all his men retired to the pirate paradise on Madagascar, where they lived in comfort and peace. And that was the story of the mummy's curse and the mummy's treasure, and the pirates who found it.
ALL PIRATES: (singing) I got the sun in the mornin' and the moon at night...
(chickens clucking along and goat baa-ing)