"The song has been sung?" Elizabeth repeated. "What song?" Mild AWE spoilers.
The men there utterly failed at springing into action. It was Elizabeth who finally spoke up, when she realized that the others were apparently still too afraid of Barbossa to contradict him. "We can't leave so soon. Most of the men are still on shore."
He stepped up to her, almost close enough to make her uncomfortable, and sneered down at her. "I'll be thankin' ye not to tell me what I can't be doing on me own ship, Miss Swann," he said, then turned back to the others and held a silver coin high for all of them to see. "I heard tell on the streets that the song has been sung! The others will come back when it reaches their ears, and if they dawdle, why, I wouldn't be wantin' such curs sailing with me anyhow."
From the looks on the faces of the other pirates and the buzz of conversation that started up at Barbossa's words Elizabeth knew that there must be something to what he'd said, but she didn't understand it at all. "'The song has been sung'? What song?"
He opened his mouth as if to answer, then glanced at Will and seemed to rethink it. "If you're truly wishing to know, Miss Swann, come to my cabin once we're at sea."
Will surged forward. "She'll do no such thing! If you think I'd allow her to be alone with a man like /you--/"
Barbossa cut him off by laughing in his face. "If ye believe that woman would let ye allow her to do anything, I'm afraid that I be knowin' your lady-love more well than you yourself do, boy."
Will, flushed with anger and looked as though he was going to continue arguing, but held back when Elizabeth lightly rested a hand on his arm. "Will," she said, "don't worry. I'll be perfectly safe with Captain Barbossa."
Though the words were directed to her fiance, her eyes were locked on Barbossa's, warning him that he had best not make a liar of her.
- - -
Just as Barbossa had ordered they put out to sea again when the bells in the port's church chimed for vespers, although when it became clear that not many of their crew-members would return before it was time to set out Barbossa hastily bartered a trade of ships with another captain whose boat was small enough to be more easily run by the small crew they had left.
"I hope you're happy, Captain," Elizabeth said when she entered his cabin. "We'll need to find another ship, and a crew to man her besides, if we wish to return to the open ocean for long." Although, in truth, she was rather impressed at the talent he'd shown at bargaining in obtaining the boat for them so quickly.
"Don't be worryin' about that, Miss Swann. If all goes as planned, we'll get both at Singapore. For now, 'tis more important that we be moving quickly."
"Because the song has been sung."
"Aye." He gestured for her to sit, then walked to the belongings he'd chosen to bring with him during their hasty move from the other ship and dug an item out of them. When he returned he was carrying what Elizabeth would only call a music box because she didn't know what the inner workings of one would be called on their own. At her look he said, "I found long ago that this was the best way to teach the song to another. As you'll soon be hearing, keepin' to a tune is not one amongst me numerous talents."
"You're still not telling me why a song is worth losing our ship over, Barbossa."
"Not just any song, Miss Swann," he said as he took a small key from his pocket and began winding the music box. "This be a song all true pirates must know, though you're not likely to be hearin' it sung in public often after these times have passed."
"'All true pirates'..." Elizabeth muttered to herself, recalling how Barbossa had stopped himself from telling her about the song when she'd first asked about it. "You didn't want Will to know about it!"
"Indeed, I won't be tellin' him, and nor will you if you're knowing what's good for you." He grabbed her chin in one hand, the other still holding the key in place so it wouldn't begin playing, and gruffly said, "Think whatever romantic thoughts ye wish about your lad, Miss Swann, but he's not a pirate to his boots, nor do I think he e're will be. He'll pretend, for the sake of his father and for your love, but there's more to bein' a pirate than sailing and fighting."
She pulled away from him and glanced down at the box again, her brow furrowing. "But you're teaching me."
He sat down, nonchalant in the face of her wonder. "Aye, and if you've any sense you'll be preparing yourself to learn quickly, because you won't be wanting to hear me go through it more than once. Once you've the words down, I'll be telling you why any pirate worth his salt will set sail once they've heard it." She leaned forward as he let the music begin to play, and listened as he began singing in a rough baritone once the first few notes had played "/The king and his men stole the queen from her bed.../"