Blackbeard looked at Jim then he looked at Caroline, and tried to push himself from the ground, but failed. “Push that rock,” Blackbeard grunted, pointing to a group of rocks sitting below a group of shrubs.
Caroline nodded and started touching each one of the rocks, annoying Blackbeard. “Which one?”
“The one that is sitting to the right of your hand,” the pirate grumbled, glancing at his shoulder. “Great,” watching his white shirt turn a brilliant crimson. “We need to get moving,” the man said, getting to his feet. “Don’t think that you two can do anything funny. I may be hurt, but I’m still alive, which means I could still kill you,” glaring at Jim.
Caroline pushed on a polished brown colored rock, shocking the young woman as a door popped up from under a thin blanket of sand. “A door,” opening the entryway. “And some stairs leading to…”
“Start moving,” bullets flew through the air, striking rocks above Blackbeard and Jim’s heads
The threesome quickly stepped into the stairwell. Blackbeard pulled the wooden door closed and pushed a polished brown colored stone sitting on the wall next to the stairs. A click followed, sealing the door tightly and concealing the group from the naval soldiers on the beach.
A candle stood on a wooden shelf, dimly lighting a long tunnel. “Jim takes one of the torches that are under the candle, light and start walking straight down the tunnel,” the pirate waved his pistol in the direction of the long dark passageway.
“What is this place?” the young couple questioned at the same time.
“This is how sugar cane and rum is brought to the average person,” Blackbeard slouched in pain from his shoulder as he staggered down the tunnel. “The bigger plantation owners like to create laws that hurt the smaller sugar growers. So the small farmers got together and found other ways to sell their goods.”
“The Navy chases average people around the seas. Why would they do that?” Caroline questioned.
“Do I…” Blackbeard collapsed to the ground, grabbing his shoulder. “Give me a second to catch my breath,” looking at the couples shocked faces. “Think for a minute, and ask yourselves who the Navy works for.”
“Wait for a second; Jim’s family owns a sugar plantation. Does the Navy work for them?” A look of concern covered Caroline’s face.
The pirate chuckled, “His family has the smallest farm in all of North Carolina.”
“I would know if my family was doing something illegal,” Jim said his voice rising from anger.
“First of all your parents are good people that deserve respect. Second, they are providing a good product at a fair price. The only people that are making it illegal to sell sugar to me are the larger plantation owners.” Blackbeard scolded the younger man.
The group stopped talking and walked through the tunnel until they came upon a ladder sitting on the ground. “This is the place where we split up. Follow the tunnel until you come to a fork and take a left. The first ladder you come to will be your way out, and back to your newlywed bliss.”
Sunlight shined on the ground as the wooden door opened and a bag dropped at Blackbeard’s feet. “Nobody move,” Blackbeard whispered to the young couple.