It was a sunny, warm summer afternoon. Pirate Pete was aboard his mighty pirate ship, sailing on the Atlantic Ocean, towards South America.
“Sir, I was wondering if you could man the deck for a few minutes,” one of his mates said to him. “I am not feeling well.”
“Sure, Pirate Hank,” said Pirate Pete. “There’s not much doing, anyway.”
Pirate Hank went below the deck, while Pirate Pete took the wheel of the ship. Soon, Pirate Pete became drowsy and he fell asleep.
While Pirate Pete slept, the cleaning crew came on deck and started cleaning the ship.
“Oh look,” said Mate Bob, who was one of the crew. “Pirate Pete is sleeping.”
“What’s he doing at the wheel anyway?” asked Mate Steve, another crew member. “I thought that Pirate Hank was to manning the wheel today.”
“Yes, you are right,” said Bob. “That is odd, isn’t it?”
“Very odd,” Steve agreed.
“Well enough of this chit-chat,” said Bob. “We’ve got to get this deck cleaned up for the party we are having tonight.”
“Yes, I suppose we’d better get our work done,” said Steve.
Bob took a mop and a pail and started scrubbing the deck. Steve went around the deck picking up items and putting them where they belonged. He noticed Pirate Pete’s treasure chest sitting right out in the open.
“I’d better put this away,” said Steve, to himself. “I don’t think that Pirate Pete would want his treasure chest sitting out like this.”
Steve picked up the heavy treasure chest and carried it below deck. He put it into Pirate Pete’s cabin.
An hour later, Pirate Pete woke up. He glanced around the deck and saw how nice it looked.
“Oh, I guess Steve and Bob cleaned up today,” he said to himself. “Well, I hope they have a good time at their party, tonight.”
Soon, Pirate Hank came back onto the deck.
“I’m feeling a bit better now,” he said. “I can take over the wheel now if you’d like.”
“Alright,” said Pirate Pete.
Pirate Pete walked around the deck, admiring the work that Steve and Bob had done.
“The floor looks so clean,” he said to himself. “I could almost eat off it. Well, I’d better go and put my treasure chest away now. I wouldn’t want someone to be looting through it at the party tonight.”
“Sir,” Mate Bob called to him from the far side of the ship. “Pirate Hank is ill again. Would you like me to take over for him this time?”
“No, that’s alright Bob,” said Pirate Pete. “I’ll do it.”
Pirate Pete, once more took the wheel.
“See if you can get Pirate Hank to see the doctor,” said Pirate Pete to Bob.
“Yes sir,” said Bob, half carrying and half dragging Pirate Hank to the ship doctor’s cabin.
A little while later, Bob came back.
“It looks like Pirate Hank has a case of the flu,” said Bob. “The doctor said he should be alright in a few days.”
“Well, that’s good news,” said Pirate Pete. “Look Bob, could you bring my treasure chest over here?”
“Sure,” said Bob.
Bob came back a few minutes later, his face as pale as a ghost.
“What’s wrong Bob?” asked Pirate Pete. “Don’t tell me that you are coming down with the flu, too?”
“No,” said Bob. “I hate to tell you this, but your treasure chest is missing.”
“What!” exclaimed Pete. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” said Bob. “I looked everywhere for it.”
“Well this is crazy,” said Pirate Pete. “Someone has stolen my treasure chest! Who were the last ones on deck?”
“I guess Steve and I were,” said Bob, reluctantly.
“Alright that does it, both you and Steve are fired,” said Pete.
“You’re not even going to give us a chance to see if we can find it,” said Bob, angrily.
“No,” said Pirate Pete. “I’m not. I would tolerate almost anything from my mates, except for stealing.”
“Look Pete,” said Bob. “I didn’t steal your treasure chest and I know that Steve would never do such a thing, either. Let me go and get Steve so that we can settle this matter.”
“No, I’ve got a better idea,” said Pete. “You take over the wheel for a few minutes. I’ll go and find Steve.”
Pirate Pete stormed off the deck and went below.
“How could they think that they would get away with this?” he asked himself over and over again.
Pirate Pete passed by his cabin as he was searching for Steve. Something shiny caught the corner of his eye. He poked his head inside the doorway and there, sitting on the floor was his treasure chest. He instinctively went over to it and opened it up. Everything seemed to be in order.
Just then, Steve walked down the hall.
“Hi Pete,” he said. “Nice afternoon, eh.”
“Yeah, real nice,” Pete said.
“By the way, I hope you didn’t mind me bringing your treasure chest down here for you,” said Steve. “I didn’t think that you’d want it to be left up on deck, in case someone stole it.”
“You brought this down here,” said Pirate Pete, feeling the colour rise in his cheeks.
“Yes,” said Steve.
“Oh no,” said Pirate Pete. “Look, I’ve got to go and see Bob.”
Pirate Pete walked with his head bowed. He was very ashamed of the way he had treated Bob.
“Did you find Steve?” asked Bob.
“Yes, I did,” said Pirate Pete. “I also found the treasure chest.”
“You did,” said Bob, with apparent relief.
“Look Bob,” said Pirate Pete. “I’m very sorry about the way I treated you earlier. Apparently Steve was thoughtful enough to take the treasure chest down below so that no-one would get into it at the party tonight. I’m sorry that I jumped to the wrong conclusions.”
“Does this mean that I still have my job?” asked Bob.
“You bet,” said Pirate Pete. “That is, if you will ever work for me again after what I just did!”
“Nonsense!” exclaimed Bob, happy that this whole mess was sorted out. “I’d work for you any day!”