“The Syck Monkey caught me falling and brought me to Jimmy and his yellow bus where I was reunited with the Captain,“ the King adds.

“You’re the exception.  Being a King might have something to do with it unless you have something they want.“

There’s another mighty crash above them and the remainder of the mast lands on deck.

“STEADY NOW!“ the Captain yells, “STEADY!“ as the Insatiable Princess comes to a complete stop.  There’s no sight of what is just above them, be it whale or monster.  The Captain pulls out the Doctor’s stick and beams it up towards whatever it is that did so much damage in an attempt to paralyse it for the time being.

“Belchiore’s tail,” the Commander informs at last, “monkeys, send your ropes above and launch them until you catch her tail!” the Commander orders, but the monkeys turn their gaze to the Captain and hold his stare.

“Do as the Commander ordered for this once only!” the Captain decides.

Labaguette flies off and lands on the King’s shoulders, his eyes begging him to untie his beak and then flies back to the Captain’s shoulder, whispering very fast:

“I’m your counsellor, your wise man, your fool and you’d be well advised to remember it.  There’s one thing you can do to shut me up and this is just to listen to me right here, right now: watch my lips: I wouldn’t trust the Commander if I were you.  I repeat, I wouldn’t trust his sort.”

Now they feel a jolt and the Insatiable Princess is moving forward once more, still climbing, but smoothly this time, as if no damage has been incurred and as if the ship is capable of moving by itself.  The white monkeys have disappeared below deck.

To be continued…©

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