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They were up and at’em in the morning, all bright and shiny. Melora had bought the twins some pirate outfits the first day they were on the island and hid them away. Now she brought them out and they couldn't wait to wear them. They felt they were now properly attired to visit the pirate ship. The first stop today, though, was the Jumbok Ruins, which did not thrill the girls particularly, so when they got there they soaked in the hot springs instead. However; John and Trey had a small adventure. Trey got mischievous and put soap in the fountain. Now this was something he did from time to time to the little waterfall in his parents’ bedroom much to their consternation. He usually lost computer privileges when he did it too—but sometimes he just couldn’t resist. This time he got more than he bargained for.
Instead of bubbles, what Trey got was fire! And not only that; but it began to pour down rain with thunder and lightning. John came running over to see what was going on. Trey was afraid to say that it was his fault, but John recognized that guilty look in his son's eyes. Another man came over and said they must make an offering. John grimaced; he did not believe in superstition. But he tossed in a few coins. The fire kept coming and so did the thunder and lightning. "So much for THAT," John scoffed. Maybe the thing wanted his Visa card, but he'd heard that story before. So let it rain fire, he headed off to find Trey who had temporarily vanished.
Actually, Trey had run up the steps to a little fountain under a roof where he could not be seen very well from the falls. Of course, he then took what soap he had left and put it in the well. Fortunately for him this time only a bubbly froth appeared, no flames. Trey did not see his father coming up the steps behind him. His father saw a soapy waterfall and knew what that meant.
"If you're through amusing yourself, Son, would you be so kind as to tell me how in the world you managed to secret a whole box of soap flakes on your person?"
Trey's mouth dropped open and his eyes were wide. Then he closed his eyes and his mouth and waited for whatever terrible thing would come.
"Never mind, I think I don't want to know anyway," John sighed and wiped his face to cover the grin he was trying to hide. He sat down on the bench under the little thatch roof and relaxed. This vacation must be making him a little more mellow. The thunder and lightning got worse and that's when Melora and Lori showed up looking for shelter.
They headed over to South End Beach and it was amazing, almost as soon as they left the ruins, the rain cleared up. They arrived at SE Beach finally and there was the mighty ship. It looked very old and very tall and there was a long stairway going up the side of it to get onto the ship. Melora, who did not like heights or steps declined investigating it and went in to swim.
Trey happily manning the wheel
Lori brandishing a wooden cutlass
John checking out the view from the crow's nest
John was determined to learn the secret of the captain’s quarters after he had spoken to an old sea salt who hung around there at the beach. This retired seaman claimed there was a map to a buried treasure in there and other valuable finds. So John went over it with a fine tooth comb. He’d come out, sometimes empty-handed, sometimes not, and shake his head about to give up; then he’d try it again. John was nothing if not persistent. Then he ended up being chased out of the cabin by Capt Dregg’s ghost.
John was not a man that cared to be surprised nor was he a man who admired cowardice in himself or others. He took a few deep breaths and went back to the Captain and struck up a conversation. After a few jokes the spirit became quite congenial and eventually taught John his sea chantey. He did seem to have a rather bad tobacco cough, but other than that, was rather warm-hearted for a dead person. The kids seemed not to notice the captain at all. John wasn’t sure if they couldn’t see him or just accepted ghosts as a normal part of life. They left the ship and went down to the beach to swim.
When Melora heard there was a ghost she decided that even though she was more afraid of the steps than the ghost, she just had to see him for herself. So she dragged herself up there on shaking, quaking legs (fear of heights, remember?) and chatted amiably with the sea captain. He seemed quite taken with her (many men were) and was perfectly willing to teach her the sea chantey too. Melora had a much more musical ear than John and she learned quite quickly. Her smile was a trifle smug when she looked at John. As they made their way down the steps to the beach, John's reply was a grumbled "You think you're so cute," which only made Melora laugh.
The family ended their time at South End Beach by eating Teriyaki Mahi Mahi and Pineapple Surprise at the food shack there. John was able to learn the “hang loose” gesture that the locals used and later taught it to Melora.
They had only 2 more days! They spent a little time on the beach that night, roasting marshmallows and enjoying the warm salty breeze. John was playing chess on the deck behind them. In fact it got a little too warm by those flames and they had to decamp quickly to the house and drink icy cold fruit punch so they could cool down. John remained behind to put out the campfire and when he came in he remarked, “Guess we’ll keep roasted marshmallows, s'mores and the like for when we go to the mountains where it’s cold at night."
Next update: The Lassiters Ch. 3 Brickstone