It turns out that 'whaling' means something unspeakable in American - along the same lines as that 'Joanie loves Chachi' business, which is why this is called 'Ahab' if you live in the States. Still, even though the text is the same, you should probably buy both editions just to make sure you have the complete set. I think there might be a Polish edition as well, if you want to get really Aspergers about it.
The Pirate Captain and the scarf wearing pirate stood on the dock staring at a gigantic glass egg-timer. Cutlass Liz been very helpful in supplying it to the pirates and making clear exactly what it was for. 'Before this runs out, you boys bring me the full balance owing,' she had said, 'otherwise I'll enact section six, paragraph four. But I will be using a harpoon instead of an axe, to add a bit of local colour.' She had also taken great pride in letting them know that the grains in the egg-timer weren't grains of sand, but pieces of ground-up pirate bones. On their way back to clear out the old boat the pirate with a scarf tried to make some small-talk about how you didn't seem to find the same quality of cannonball about nowadays, but the Pirate Captain could tell he was just trying to take his mind of their predicament.
'Feisty lass, that Cutlass Liz, isn't she, number two?' said the Pirate Captain, packing away his portraits in an old wooden trunk.
'You could put it like that,' said the pirate with a scarf dubiously.
'I suppose you noticed the frisson between us?' added the Pirate Captain. 'That was sexual tension. I think she was quite impressed by me.'
The pirate with a scarf nodded. The Pirate Captain was a master of understanding body language, and he often detected things that nobody else would have picked up on.
The Pirate Captain clicked the trunk shut and beckoned for a couple of the crew to take it across to the Lovely Emma. Then he began to flick through the boat's inventory, to make sure that nothing got left behind. It didn't make for jaunty reading:
1 Prize Ham
18 Dry Cure Hams
2 boxes of ship's biscuits (one set custard cream/one bourbon)
4 barrels of tar
5 emergency doubloons taped to the underside of the tea pot
1 pirate with an accordion (deceased and subsequently electroplated)
'It is just possible I got a little carried away, number two,' he said. 'We don't actually have any loot whatsoever, do we?'
'Not really, sir. We have several limes.'
The Pirate Captain ran a concerned hand through his luxuriant beard. 'I knew I was exaggerating our finances, but I had no idea things were in quite such a sorry state.'
'We do have that big stone coin, Captain. I think that's worth something on one of the more remote Pacific island economies.'
Whilst the crew busied themselves moving everything into the new boat, the Pirate Captain went and sat on the edge of the dock, next to the strips of gelatinous jelly-fish bladders left out for salting. He whistled a little tune to himself and wondered where on earth he was going to find six thousand doubloons. A swarthy cove came and sat down next to him, and for one horrible moment the Pirate Captain thought he was going to be propositioned, because a surprising amount of that sort of thing went on amongst these sailor types. But rather than a saucy wink or a pinch on his seafaring behind, the man just offered him a swig of drink. He was a fearsome looking fellow, with an ugly scar running the length of one cheek, and a stump of whale ivory poking out of his trousers instead of the more regular leg. But he was offering grog, so it seemed only right to be friendly.
'Call me Pirate Captain,' said the Pirate Captain, shaking his hand.
'Aaarrr,' said the stranger. 'The name's Ahab.'
And with that the man went back to staring at the black waves, almost as if he was looking for something. The Pirate Captain wasn't very good at sharing a comfortable silence with someone, unless it was a girl he had been seeing for a while. And even then, once the friendly feminine chatter had lapsed for too long, he tended to babble on about how much he liked the smell of their hair. So after a couple of awkward minutes he tried to kick-start the conversation.
'So. Ahab. You off anywhere interesting?'
'The whale,' the man murmured. 'I'm going to find myself the whale. I've charted the course he takes, and I'll sail to the ends of the earth if I have to. Typhoons, hurricanes, craggy rocks… why, if the sea itself rose up against me, Ahab would not be stopped in his ungodly quest.'
'Wow. You must really like whales.'
'Not exactly,' said Ahab, his gaze still fixed on the sea. 'It was a whale that did this,' and he pointed at his ivory leg.
'A whale made you a prosthetic leg?' exclaimed the Pirate Captain, a little incredulously. 'But how? They don't have hands, do they? Just little flippers.'
'I meant it was the whale that left me without a leg. It was a man in
'Oh. I got bitten by a mosquito once,' offered the Pirate Captain. 'Look here - you can still see the bump. Well, you can't see it now, but a week ago it was the size of a golf ball.'
'I've never forgiven the brute,' snarled Ahab. 'And I mean to hunt him down to his watery grave.'
'Well, I've never forgiven that mosquito. But you can't spend your life chasing after a mosquito, can you?'
'He was white, Pirate Captain. White as snow. And monstrous big.'
'Goodness. I'm not sure I can really remember what that mosquito looked like at all. I mean to say, I don't know if I could pick him out in some sort of identity parade.'
'I'll have my vengeance!' spat Ahab, boiling with a tremendous fury. He looked like he was about to hit something, but seemed to settle for just pulling an angry face. After a moment he strange man slapped the Pirate Captain on the back, stood up and turned to go.
'Good hunting, Pirate Captain!' said the mysterious fellow.
'Yes, and you,' said the Pirate Captain, a bit puzzled by the whole encounter. He wandered thoughtfully back to the Lovely Emma.
'Are we good to go, number two?' asked the Pirate Captain.
'Aye aye, Captain,' said the pirate with a scarf.
'Tell me something. Do you remember that mosquito, attacked me near
'Erm, no. Not really, Captain.'
'Aaarrrr, well, that will be because I was so stoic about it, I hardly made any fuss. Big brute he was. Might even have been a queen. Do mosquitos have queens?'
'I think that's bees, Pirate Captain.'
'This wasn't a bee. It was definitely a mosquito - sucked my blood right out, like a ghoul. 'Anyhow, perhaps I went a little easy on the thing?'
'You've always been the magnanimous type, Captain.'
'You don't think it makes me look soft?'
'No sir. Gentlemanly.'
 If you are a fan of ridiculous oversized currency made out of big rolls of feathers and the like, then the